Monday, July 23, 2012

Family, Friends, Surgery, and 9 Years of Bliss

The past week has been a crazy week!  What was supposed to be a "quick" visit with my family ended up being a 2-month stay.  Our visit started really fun and enjoyable.  My sister, Jenny, and I were able to do a few things together, including a visit to the KCC farmer's market where they had some awesome coffee, loco moco (a local dish with a hamburger patty and over medium eggs on top of rice then smothered with gravy) that makes my mouth water thinking about it, and kimchi sausage (who would've thought!).  I had a nice lunch with friends from work, and a great stella and dot party at home hosted by my sister's friend.  Overall, it was going really well.  
Lunch with friends from work at Ichiriki

At the farmer's market with Jenny

I had known for a while that I have gallstones.  When we were visiting last March, I went to the ER for severe abdominal pain.  At the time, the doctor felt that there was no rush in getting the surgery and I was told that it is elective.  Since we were about to go back to Virginia, I opted not to seek treatment and put it off.  Josh and I talked about how we're going to do it without family support in Virginia, but we decided that eventually, I am going to have to come back to Hawaii to get the surgery so that my family could watch and take care of Sam while I recover.  That plan was not part of this was supposed to be another trip, sometime in the future.  But God, in his impeccable timing, decided that it was time.  That I should not wait any longer or continue to suffer the agony every time I have a gallstone attack.  So last Monday, July 16, I landed in the ER again.   Well, not initially.  While at work (yes, I work part time every time I come to Hawaii for my old boss), I started feeling the ever familiar stomach pain.  Since I anticipate that I could have the pain anytime, I always have my pain and nausea medicine with me.  I took one of each and decided to go home and let the pain pass.  My mom, however, felt I should go to the doctor.  I don't like going to the doctor, maybe that's why I ended up with this.  But at that time, I felt it necessary to go.  While at the doctor's office, I started having cold sweats and the pain intensified.  I started feeling dizzy and I was starting to feel faint.  When they finally took my vital signs, I alarmed the medical assistant, as well as the doctor for having my blood pressure at 70/44 and my pulse in the 50's.  That is way below my normal of 110's/60's and my heart rate is usually in the 80's.  I didn't think I was dying, but it sure felt like I was going to.  The doctor hydrated me, put my feet up and told my mom to take me to the ER.  So I landed again in the same ER where I found out I had gallstones.  Luckily I didn't have to wait long to be soon, and soon enough I was being told that I'm not going home that day because I have an infection and I'm going to have surgery.

I had my surgery on Tuesday.  The nice thing about being in the hospital was that when in pain, I can always ask for medicine.  And they sure give the good stuff.  Morphine was the medication of choice...or at least that's what the doctor order.  The pain disappears into oblivion as soon as the morphine hit my veins.  While waiting in the holding area in the OR, the anesthesiologist introduced himself and started talking to me.  He was explaining what he was going to do, medications he was going to give me, how he's going to put a breathing tube in my throat etc.etc.  I remember telling him that I wasn't feeling any pain at the moment.  Only that I was extremely hungry.  That was the last thing I remembered.  I woke up feeling groggy and my throat sore in the recovery room.  

That wasn't the end of it.  I had to have another procedure done to remove the remaining stones that were stuck in a duct between my liver and small intestine.  The lucky thing is that I didn't have to be cut open for this.  It's amazing what technology nowadays can do.  They were able to remove the stones using a scope that went through my mouth into my stomach.  Sounds morbid, yes.  But also amazing at the same time.  

Flowers and balloons from family and friends....I felt loved

Since my hospitalization, I barely got to spend time with my little boy.  But he was able to visit me for short periods (even though he's not allowed).  Of course, he didn't like mommy's hospital bed very much since it's not comfortable.

After my discharged, my sister and I got to spend some time with Sam at my parent's time share.  He's growing up so fast that I am amazed every day.  And as usual he loves his shave ice.

Yummy Passion Orange Guava Shave ice
The week was not only of my recent adventure with the scalpel though.  The highlight of my week has been yesterday (07/22).  Josh and I have been married 9 years.  Seems long if you look at the numbers, but to me, it feels like it's only yesterday.  We've gone through so many moves, so many changes, our lives have been in limbo for the last 9 years.  It has not been the easiest, but through it all, we've made it this far.  And although we are far apart (as we seem to be most of the time when there are special occasions), I always feel his love for me so much more as if he is just right next to me.  And for that, I will always be grateful that God gave him to me, to be my husband, partner, and best friend.  So here's to many more years of marriage.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July in Hawaii

Sam and I arrived 5 days ago here in sunny and breezy Hawaii. I was so glad to leave the sweltering heat of Virginia and definitely enjoying the cooler temperature. Sam has been having a blast hanging out with his grandparents, and of course, he is spoiled with attention and toys. Though the weather has been enjoyable, I am not faring so well with my health. Not even a day after our arrival, I caught a cold, and now suffering a terrible cough as well. I guess better to get sick here when I have enough people to care for Sam while I lie in my sick bed. I've got so many things planned...people to see, places to go, restaurants to eat. Being here makes me realize what I love about home, but it also gives me an understanding of why it was a good thing to move as well. For as much as I love having all the help I can get, moving away has helped me become self sufficient and able to manage my own home. It has helped me grow and become a stronger person. I just wish the distance was not so far as to deprive my son the company of his grandparents, especially Papa, who he loves so much.