Sunday, January 25, 2009

Poetic Destiny

"My hair, uncombed for days, blew free in the salty air. My face, dark with weather was creased with a smile, I was squinting westward into the swollen face of a blood-red sun which cast a simmering golden road upon the sea. From where I perched it seemed we were sailing on that road in a marvelous dream; and there I was, joyous, new-made, liberated from a prison I'd thought was my proper place!"

-From a favoite book of mine that I've forotten the name of but this is a passage that I've memorized. It has always touched me. Does anyone know the name of the book? It's about a girl, heading West across the Atlantic from England on a ship mid 1800's I think, she comes to terms with who she is on this voyage.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Medical Drama

It's three months to the day when I had my emergency ambulance ride, internal bleeding, emergency surgery and blood transfusion. I had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy.

I guess it's time to talk about my ordeal. I don't want to ignore it. Like it never happened.
Most people would call what I went through a "life and death experience". It was quite the "ER" drama for sure. I'm still not sure what to call it myself.

It started after driving home on October 16th from my sisters' wedding reception. I felt totally normal all night long until two blocks from home I had this sudden sharp pain and then hard ache in my abdomen. I couldn't pinpoint it. It just felt like I ate something bad. I felt pretty terrible I didn't say "Hello" to my mom or mention anything to Kevin except my stomach hurt. I headed to the bathroom and stayed there on the floor for awhile, I hurt a lot, but didn't get sick or anything so after awhile I had Kevin help me up and put me to bed. I laid there for 4 hours or so with the same level of pain, then the pain moved into my shoulders and that was odd. I thought, "Ah, oh, I'm bleeding internally." I didn't know if I had a stroke, or a ruptured artery, maybe an aortal bleed, (with my cardiac history it was a possibility) but I knew it wasn't a heart attack, my head was calmly clicking through everything it could be. I didn't even know the symptoms of internal bleeding, but that was my first thought. My recent 2 miscarriages came to mind and I wondered if it was a complication from my D&C in August or something. (I'd had my first Miscarriage in April before that) But I knew I wasn't pregnant. And I knew miscarriages weren't this painful anyway.

I didn't tell Kevin any of what was going on in my head, but I shook him awake and asked him to take me to the hospital. He was surprisingly calm when he came over to help me up. I all but passed out when I sat up and tried to stand,but I fainted 4 times and couldn't stand at all, and the pain was s0 bad in my shoulders when I moved back down again I told him to call the paramedics for a transport. The pain took my breath away when I laid back down.

There were 7 men rushing around in my room not 10 minutes later. They were all amazing. My BP dropped 40 points from lay to sit, and then again from sit to stand, so It all but bottomed out. They tried desperately to then get dual IV's going and it took a few tries from two of the men to get a vein to work. I was thinking how embarrassing it was, I lying here in my bed with 4 men sitting here with me and Kevin not being one of them. Then I hoped Kevin got my underwear off the floor before they came in. Then I felt bad because I probably outweighed some of the guys there and they had to carry me up the stairs in a chair they strapped me to, and out the door, down more stairs to the gurney waiting on the sidewalk. I insisted they take me to McKay for many reasons. But I knew all my doctors that I trust would be there. And my insurance would cover me there, and I wouldn't die there. A little Davis/Ogden Regional prejudice. I spoke to the sheriff in charge as they transported me. He looked worried. I said, in a very calm joking manner, "Okay what is it? Aortal rupture or internal bleeding from somewhere else?" He gave me a surprised look, but said it really could be either. He asked me my history, took more blood, packaged my blood with my IV bag, and turned me over to the ER crew at McKay.

Those Paramedics were amazing, and I'd like to thank them for their kindness, thorough care, and level heads. They were lifesavers.

The ER doc got there and the lab tech came back with the report, and he looked at it worriedly and told me "You are down three units of blood have you had any external bleeding?" I told him no.with an ultrasound machine and was looking at my abdomen, he had an odd look on his face and I said, "Can you see anything?" He said "No, there's too much blood to see, I'm going to get you a full abdominal scan" I told him to call Dr Jiricko, my OBGYN because of my history, he thought that was a great idea.

Needless to say, the prep and the scan was the worst part of all of this, the details I'll spare you, but it was hard not to scream at the US Tech for hurting me so badly, (I knew she HAD to to get a good view) But she couldn't find my ovaries or tubes there was so much blood. Dr Jiricko arrived (Yea!) and told me before she even looked at the scan that "I obviously need to get you to surgery right now to find out the source of this bleeding, I'll have to cut you open with a long, tall incision just in case it's not gynecological related so I can call in the general surgeon and he can look further." She tried to do the scan herself and again couldn't see through all the blood. So off we went to surgery.

At this point I was still fine, still in my same bed from when I arrived at the ER, the uncomfortableness of the scan had faded, I wasn't nervous, I rarely am for any medical procedure. I was just thinking about work and what to do about that, and I was worrying about Kevin. He was so calm, and collected and helpful and understanding through this "Scary"part, he kept the family informed, kept Nathan calm from home, but I knew he would panic as soon as they wheeled me away.

When they moved me from that bed to the operating table, that's when all the pain and frustration, and panic hit me. The pain was so bad I couldn't hold still for them, they tried to strap my arms down but I kept curling in because of the horrible pain. I was thrashing my head around, pulling in my arms and legs, trying desperately to get some of the pain under control, my shoulders burned like fire, worse than fire. I wanted to die. I was pleading with them in my mind to help me, but I meant help me die. The pain was excruciating. The hospital has you rank your pain from 1 to 10, ten being the worst. It was a "10", a REAL 10, maybe it was an "11." I've never ranked my pain over a 3 before this. They said things like, "Hang in there, Kelley!" and "You're going to be okay!" and then I heard Dr Jiricko say, "Get that going ASAP!" and the anesthesiologist put a mask on me and I was out in one panicky breath.

It was over in 2 hours. Dr Jiricko found my ruptured fallopian tube and repaired what she could there, she was able to save both ovaries, she suctioned out all the blood, and gave me a blood transfusion, after it was all over I woke up with no pain! A few hours later she came back to check on me, she told me I'd be able to try to get pregnant again with the one tube in 5 months or so to give my body full time to recover.

I only spent 2 nights in the hospital, I was up and walking later that day, I got my lung capacity up to desirable levels by the next morning, (Curse you Respiratory Therapists!) And I was doing great, blood levels up to acceptable norms.....etc...etc...

It was painful, yes, but internal bleeding is quite bearable actually if you don't move. It's when you move that the pain hits. So as long as everyone left me alone I was fine. :)

I had to take 6 weeks off work. That was hard to do. I had plenty of benefits for this "just in case" scenario, thank goodness. But leaving my team stranded without me was gut wrenching for me because I felt really fine! I got a little sore if I did too much, but I didn't need any days in bed or anything. I kept Cameron home with me while I was off so that was a blessing in disguise. I loved my time with him, being there for when the boys got home, making dinner every night, having a clean, peaceful house, the difference between a working mom and a stay at home mom is more for the family to notice...there's much less chaos and stress in the home.
It's the whole, "If mama ain't happy...." scenario.

I am sort of lost about the way I feel about this whole thing now. I didn't panic. I never do though, you know me, calmest person on the planet. I'm not traumatized. I'm ready to try for a baby again if that's what we decide. I'm not nervous or anxious about that. And I don't feel moved or changed in any permanent way. I didn't have a "spiritual experience" nor did I even think for a second that my life might be over. It was all just a huge....weird mess. I hate inconveniencing people, scaring them at my expense. I don't like the attention,I guess. So I'm not sure what I have to offer you by this experience.

Only that panicking is something I never do, because it never solves any problem, it just cripples you so others feel obligated to solve your problems for you. Not a good thing.

I am happy I'm still here, not sure what my family would have done without me.... if/when/where Kevin would have moved with the boys, how the boys would handle the loss, how Kevin would. How helpless I would feel "Looking down" on them. I realized how happy I was, and how much more I want to be a mom again. I also realized how much I appreciate the subtle mix of modern medicine and Divine intervention.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Put yourself here

As I emerged from the forest, the mist softened. Everything I saw blended trees to sky, sky to cabin. It was as if I were standing at the core of a pearl, looking out at the world through milky silver.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

San Diego for Christmas

We took off 5 seconds after my clinic closed on Chritmas Eve for our Christmas Vacation in San Diego!
We drove. Kevin had a sleep study the night before and he packed the van, got the dogs to the boarding kennels and was ready to go, bless his heart by the time I got off work at 1:05pm.

We drove to Nephi, met up with my brother, who drove like a snail. BTW. He had like an hour start and we still caught him! We all ate pizza at the truckstop there, and then made it to St. George at 5pm and ate at Arby's there, then on to Primm, Nevada, two seconds before California for our overnight stay, we were exausted. Cheap rooms! 24.99 or something for a great hotel. I don't recommend eating there and the customer service is BAD, but the rooms are nice.
But the night was young! So Jeff convinced me to join him in a game of Blackjack, yes, my brother and I sitting around the table with strangers, sad, sad, strangers, playing Blackjack on Christmas Eve. Something was very, very wrong with that....I think.
Anyway, we got off the next morning at 9 and got to San Diego at 2ish.

It was Christmas day. My mom was there waiting for us. She had rented a cottage by the beach, cute little place, like 20 yards from the boardwalk. It had 2 bedrooms, kitchen, one bath, washer and dryer, and no parking. She had a Christmas tree all lit up and decorated and Christmas dinner waiting for us!

We had Christmas morning on the 26th so Santa had time to get there, Cameron didn't suspect a thing! Amazing how you can manipulate time with a child who can't read a calendar yet or telling time.
Presents were stored nicely under the floorboards of the Van, thanks Kev!
So...the four of us, my mom, and Jeff. Crammed into this little adorable beach cottage.

Around the 28th my brother Dave and his wife joined us, so now we had 8 people and two rats in a cage, in that small two bedroom one bath place. We all got along quite well! We got groceries and ate "at home" mostly, that save a ton of cash.

Playing Killer Bunnies on New Years Eve

Jeff, Nathan, Cameron and Kevin and Point Loma

Tide Pools at the Aquarium

We had a great time, hung out in the cottage, played games, and toys, and played on the beach of course, and we walked a LOT, thanks to Rachel we were walking 5 miles a day or more. It was really cool. We hit the aquarium, Point Loma, a couple of movies, (Bolt, and Benjamin Button)
We got a TomTom and found our way around easily. The weather was great, mid 60's most of
the time.

More Aquarium fun, look that girls's not even bothering to help....typical.

Kevin and I were lucky enough to have our own bedroom which we only had to share with Cameron a couple of nights so we had some peace and quiet in the "Cottage Of Chaos."

We all had a great time!! Thanks Mom!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

What do you believe?

So many of us who truly believe in this country, but think common sense is dead, and feel alone these days. I get so frustrated, Glenn asked a caller who was ready to give up, to give him a few weeks to prove that he wasn't alone. Today, Glenn starts trying to make this idea into a reality. Step one---if you believe in the principles that this country was founded on---please email an individual picture of you--and each member of your family who wants to participate to

1) Yes or no: Do you believe America is a good place, that we've lost our way over the years, but generally speaking we tried hard. We try to make amends. We have tried to do the right thing. Just like everybody else, we fail from time to time and we have truly lost our way in the last 20 years. But gosh, if you look at America, she's good and our founders were good and our founding documents are good. We've just strayed too far away from them.
2) Yes or no: I believe in God. I believe in God and he is the center of my life, and God does not tell people to behead others or to persecute others that see God in a different way. I believe that God is not telling "them" to persecute others.
3) Yes or no: It is my responsibility to try to be better and a more honest person than I was yesterday. Sometimes I fail, I'll make mistakes, but it's my main mission to be better than I was yesterday.
4) Yes or no: The family is sacred. I and my spouse are the ultimate authority under God when it comes to my family. I raise my family, and that comes with a grave responsibility. If I fail, I answer to God.
5) Yes or no: If you break the law, you pay the penalty. No one should be above the law.
6) Yes or no: I have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but that is not a guarantee of equal results for anyone. Ex: Owning a home is a privilege not a right.
7) Yes or no: I work hard for what I have, and I will share it with others that I choose when I choose, should I choose. Government should not force me to be charitable.
8) It is not un-American for anyone to disagree with my opinion, but my opinion or others' opinions may be anti-American. Anti-American rhetoric would be anything that is destructive to the Constitution and our country as our founders understood it.
9) And the last one is the government should work for me. The government should answer to me. I do not answer to the government.

I want you to ask as many people as you know, do you believe in these things? Just seven out of nine. Do you believe in them? Then will you please take a picture of yourself. If you ask your family and you ask your children tonight, do you believe in these things. Take a picture of your spouse. Not as a family. Take them one at a time and send them to Glenn, e-mail them to This is how much I believe that you are not alone. This could be considered a petition, a photo petition that our values are still solid. That Americans still have faith in our Constitution and what it was meant to stand for. That we believe we can still have a society of Accountability, Responsibility, and Pride. How many millions of people can send their picture in? It will be interesting to see what Glenn Beck will do with the photos....