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Soldiering Onward!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I was in agony all last week. I spent entire days in bed, with horrible cramps in my stomach. I am neither constipated nor do I have diarrhea. I guess that lack of problem was evidenced by my normal colonoscopy last week. Friday morning I called the urologist/gynecologist specialist in Omaha and had my appointment there yesterday. Of course it is impossible at this late date to get the surgery done before the end of the year. I have to go back the end of January for a pre-surgery bladder function test. This test will determine whether I need additional mesh to fix that problem along with my prolapse which they will also be fixing. They explained this bladder function test and it sounded horrible. And they gave me literature, which I read on the way home from Omaha, and it doesn't sound like a test, it sounds like TORTURE! Holy Cow! As Du said, "Can't we just all agree that you have bladder function problems (mild incontinence (not nearly as bad as when I was obese), frequency, urgency), and put the mesh in without THE TORTURE TEST?" After that they will schedule the surgery.

Along this journey, I have been trying various things to help with my cramps. I have a heating pad by my bed and use it a lot. I can't wear my tight jeans/jeggings comfortably anymore. My stomach starts cramping when I put them on. I have found some wonderful yoga pants (Shopko--cheap!) that are so comfortable and stretchy and not constrictive around my waist. I also give up certain foods that I think might cause problems, like the semi-spicy pepperoncini peppers. I loved to put them in everything, I would just eat them straight from the jar. What's not to like? They're tasty and low in calories! But if they give me cramps, I can give them up. My latest deprivation is my Diet Squirt. I drank way too much of it anyway. I read some probably unsupported and highly inaccurate reports about how the aspartame in diet pop is poisoning us. People were having severe stomach aches. So I gave it up about a week ago. After my colonoscopy last Thursday, I started feeling better. I slept the afternoon away, and woke up feeling half-way human again. I had called my doctor for more pain pills and his nurse was to return my call. I was living on pain pills. The doctor's office never called back and I feared a very long weekend without them. But I decided to be calm, and persevere. It seems to help if I keep active for as long as I can when an attack of cramps hits. Keeping my mind off of the pain helps better than anything. Makes me wonder if the diet pop was part of the problem. because I have slowly been improving since I quit drinking it. I had one can of Diet Squirt when we got back from Omaha yesterday afternoon, and sure enough last night, had a mild case of stomach cramps. NO MORE DIET SQUIRT for me! Water tastes good!!!

My oldest son, Mark had a second seizure last Wednesday morning. When Du & I walked into the ER, his wife, Laura was at his side, wiping tears from his eyes. The first seizure was extremely upsetting, it was scary, and it was totally unexpected. This second seizure says to all of us, that the first one was not an isolated incidence, that this is a real problem, and that he probably has epilepsy, and that was probably even a more upsetting realization. So we all shed some tears. They finally got him on some medication (the diagnosis/prescription process is very very slow, we have found!), and he doesn't seem to have any side effects from the meds so far. His second seizure came two weeks and one day after the first. So we will see what happens in the next weeks. A nurse came in whose husband had seizures and was on meds. She told us he had a few seizures, got on meds, had one more seizure, the meds were adjusted, and he hasn't had a seizure in 15 years. That's what you want to hear. I hope it is under control now. I took Mark Christmas shopping Saturday, since he can't drive. It was a nice excuse to get to spend some one-on-one time with my oldest son. I used to call him my "golden boy." I am very very proud of the man he has become, and the husband and dad he is. He is successful in his work, of course his dad & I worry that this epileptic condition will have adverse effects on his upward climb in his company. I hope not. He is a good person, and I love him very much. He is also going to be a dad again (they have a 7-year old boy, and a 4-year old daughter), in May, so we need him to be healthy!

Later this morning I am taking him to the dentist. I have offered to be his transportation when he needs it, since he won't be able to drive for at least 3 months after his last seizure. After the dentist, we are going to lunch, another good excuse for some mother/son time. When the kids are all grown up, you rarely get opportunities like this, so I'm embracing every single chance I get to have some time together with my oldest son!

I wanted to thank everyone for their comments on all my posts. I appreciate your insights, your thoughts, and your suggestions. I have given a lot of consideration to the fact that these stomach cramps could be stress related. I don't feel stressed. But considering what we are dealing with, I know there's plenty of stress and stress causes inflammation. They told us that at the Cancer Treatment Center. Inflammation is our enemy. We want to avoid it. I am dedicating myself to eating lots more fruits and vegetables. I think we're having fish for supper tonight. Evidently the vitamins and supplements we take are doing no good, may even be harming us, the best thing to do is EAT RIGHT!!!

Wish me luck on my NO DIET POP cure for my cramps. I am going to go through with the surgery as well, probably some time in February, but that's more than a month away, and if giving up Squirt helps me have less pain, it's a small price to pay.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Sounds like you have a great plan--I hope it solves most of your issues. I will keep your eldest in prayers as well--scary times but God will be with all of you.
    1581 days ago
    I have missed you and am catching up on your blogs - it really seems as though 2013 has been the most awful year for a lot of people (it certainly has been the worst year that I can remember in a long time) but we have survived, learned and strengthened through all the trials. You are a brave and inspiring woman and I know that you have been an inspiration to so many - we are all here for you in you times of trouble, your pain is our pain and the lessons that you learn are hopefully lessons for us all.

    Wishing you a very blessed, peaceful, pain free Christmas - I hope that you feel all the love and compassion that is sent your way and that you are able to celebrate joyfully the little blessings that you take hold of.

    Merry Christmas and may the coming year be one of peace and joy for you.
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    1581 days ago
    Giving up pop might be hard but it might be worth it in the end. emoticon
    1584 days ago
  • NEWME654
    So sorry to read of all your pain and your son's seizures. I'm glad to read that you're looking at the bright side in that you're spending extra quality time with your son. I want to encourage you to stay off the diet pop (soda here). I drank diet coke for years and when I decided to get rid of all the 'fake' sugar - the diet soda had to go. I no longer crave it or the experience of drinking it - yes, it was just like giving up smoking...the habit, the experience, the addiction. I think that tells us that it's really not good for us at all! I've not reached my weight loss goals, but I've given up cigs and fake sugar and feel I'm healthier for it. On another note, I work for a group of neurologists and read medical records ALL DAY of people who are living very normal lives with epilepsy. I'm sure they have their fears, but once their meds are adjusted - they go on their way with few issues.
    I wanted to thank you for writing of your love of Husker volleyball. I've been following our Badger girls now...and they're headed to the championship tomorrow night! Their story is a good one and it's fun to watch! Go Badger girls! emoticon
    1585 days ago
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    1587 days ago
  • 4KWALK
    the aspartame in diet pop cannot be tolerated by my son or husband - it causes severe stomach problems so possibly it is a problem for you as well.
    If leaving the aspartame out of your diet helps than that will be one relief for you.

    Sorry to hear about your son's seizures but the good that is coming out of that is you are able to spend some one on one time with him. Such precious times.

    May you find peace in the midst of your tumult.
    1587 days ago
    The diet pop seems to be part of the problem but having to endure more tests and waiting for surgery is scary. Hope you health improves and DS finds a medication that will allieviate the seizures. HUGS and congrats on a new grandchild on the way.
    1587 days ago
    I rarely comment, but I read every single one ofyour blogs and pray for your family, esp. Du and now your son, and you. Just so you know, I was addicted to diet soda, would love the sound of opening can, drinking a can, and just enjoying every sip. I gave it up July 1 2012 and haven't had a sip since. The first week was the hardest, it does get a lot easier. For me, I found it worked better if I just gave it up cold turkey. I now very occasionally (once or twice a month) have a few sips of regular soda off my husband or kids, and that's enough for me. I would like to be strong enough to give up soda completely, I'm 90% there, but hven't been able to make that last leap. Good luck and god bless!
    1587 days ago
    HUGS and prayers that the medication is exactly right.
    1588 days ago
    So no to POP that is good!
    I am asking Santa to send less pain for you, hubby, and your son!!!

    er's Fitness Club, Co-Leader
    1588 days ago
    You certainly have a lot on your plate right now! I'm glad your cramps are're right, giving up pop is a small price to pay.

    I'm sorry your son is having seizures. My sister has had them for many years but medication really does keep things under control and she is able to drive and live a completely normal life. I pray that will be the case for your son as well.

    1588 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    I am so sorry you are still struggling with the mystery of the misery of stomach cramping. How awful. I sure hope the surgery is the fix and I wish you did not have to undergo such awful tests (do the people who design these tests, or write policies requiring these tests, ever actually endure them?) I also wish you did not have to wait so long! I hope your son's situation gets sorted out. How scary. How wonderful that a side benefit is that you get to spend time together.
    1588 days ago
  • LINDAK25
    It's good to stay away from the pop if it bothers you. I find stevia irritates my bladder. Cilantro, too. My sister had the surgery your talking about. She's been problem free since. She said it felt like a miracle.

    Sorry Mark is going through this. At least he has a diagnosis now and once his meds are adjusted he'll be okay. You'll see.

    You're in my prayers.
    1588 days ago
    So good to hear that you are much improved.
    As to your son's epilepsy, I know of several people who have been diagnosed with it who all have it under control with medication, no seizures in years, and are driving and doing everything they did before they were diagnosed. So your nurse's husband isn't an isolated case, but is often what to expect once they are able to adjust the medicines. They have so many options today that they are having greater success controlling it.
    Best of luck to your entire family.
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    1588 days ago
  • KERRYG155
    Stress and diet pop? You can't imagine how funny it feels to type pop instead of soda which is what it's called in the south. When we first moved here and asked what type of pop they had the waitress had no idea what we were talking about.

    Who knows what our bodies will do under enough stress. I do pray they get not only your problem figured out but your son's. That epilepsy is really scary, I know, and hopefully he can be like that nurse's husband and stay clear and free with the meds. Remember to take care of yourself.
    1588 days ago
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