29 November 2011

JellyBelly All Over the Place

First off, part of me is thankful that my recovery is more difficult than I thought it would be. I thought that I would be bored, but the enforced rest and relaxation has been so good for me.

1) My local Napro doctor checked my incision yesterday and she is happy with how it's healing. I have been ordered to keep it uncovered during the day (which kinda grosses me out). I am so glad that I didn't have a reaction to the antibiotics! Having drug sensitivities is not a fun thing at all.

2) My brother-in-law left for the S.udan today. He is finishing up his Jesuit training and will be helping with refugees. I am beyond worried, but Mr. JB and his dad are not. He is going to be there until March. Please keep him in your prayers.

3) We had our first Christmas party this past weekend. Mr. JB's dad has been friends with a group from Toronto for over forty years. It was our family's turn to host and my BIL chose this past weekend because he knew he was going to be home. The party went really well and I didn't get over-tired. Mr. JB's best friend (how convenient that his bf is the son of one of his dad's closest friends!) also gave me an acupuncture treatment which helped with my pain level. I felt extra-special barren since we were the only couple our age that didn't have a young child. I really wanted to have a glass of wine, but I resisted temptation. Thank God for the gluten-free cupcakes that I ordered!

4) Speaking of pain level, I've noticed an improvement. I stopped taking the prescription pain meds over a week and a half ago and I've been on Ad.vil and Tyl.enol. Dr. Hilgers said that I could start spacing out the meds in order to wean myself off of them. I slept through my A.dvil alarm last night and when I woke up I wasn't too uncomfortable. I've also been able to do some things in the kitchen (I roasted some kale last night for a snack -- yum!).

5) My energy level has been so much better now that I'm not getting up throughout the night to take meds. I hope that by next week I will be able to sleep through the night without the alarm going off!

6) I got the results of my thyroid panel yesterday, just in time for my appointment with Dr. T. I do have a thyroid dysfunction (I just can't remember what it is and the lab results are way too far from the couch right now!). When my next cycle starts (um, AF where are you?) I have to measure my basal body temperature and pulses. When I finish doing that I have to send the paperwork off to Omaha. I knew that there was something wrong with my thyroid all along! I love being right!

7) Mr. JB's cousin's wife passed away last week. She was Aunt Fran's daughter-in-law and she had been fighting cancer for over ten years. Please keep the family in your prayers, they have experienced so much loss in the past few years.

8) We still don't have an Advent wreath! I'm thinking that I'm just going to break out the candles, wreath or not. Who would've thought that it would be so difficult. Then again, I don't feel ready to drive. If I was able to drive I would've had a wreath last week!

9) We got a larger than anticipated bill from PPVI. It was so large that I had a panic attack -- my first since university. Mr. JB is dealing with it, but we would definitely appreciate some prayers for mercy or for a considerable amount of cash to fall from the sky.

10) On a happy note. We went to see the Muppet Movie on Sunday afternoon. I love the Muppets so much. I remember being a little kid and watching the show after dinner with my dad.  The movie made me so happy and it was exactly what I needed. If you haven't seen it, go!!!

23 November 2011

Hope in the Doctor's Office

In the past six plus years of IF, I have spent a lot of time at the doctor's office.

I would love to be able to erase my pre-Napro experiences where IVF and ill-timed drugs were pushed on me. I would also love to be able to say that all of my doctors have treated my infertility with respect, but I can't. More than once I was made to feel like I had some horrible disease and that my anti-ART stance was unfathomable.

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful and supportive local Napro doctor who has helped me forget her predecessors.

I was instructed by Dr. Hilgers and his nurses to get my incision looked at since it just wasn't getting better. So my dad picked me up early this morning so we could get in line to see Dr. T for her walk-in hours. We were there forty-five minutes before the office opened and we weren't even first!

Dr. T was so happy to hear how wonderful my experience in Omaha was. I also told her that I would speak personally to any patients that were considering surgery in the US since I was treated so well. I went over what happened at both my procedures and she was more than impressed. She also said that she wishes that Dr. Hilgers worked up here since he is so great. I could tell that she holds him in the highest esteem!

Near the end of my visit with Dr. T I told her about my surgery rosaries. I pulled out my trusty i.Phone to show her and she was overcome.
 Can you spot the pain pump button? I loved that thing!
Now I've said before that Dr. T has believed in my ability to conceive when I had given up. If it wasn't for her and Mr. JB I would've thrown in the towel a LONG time ago. At every appointment she encourages and supports us. If it wasn't for her I wouldn't have even considered going for broke (literally and figuratively) and having surgery with Dr. Hilgers.

As she stood beside me looking at the images on my phone I could tell that she was moved. She turned to me and said, "This is going to work. I know it." And then she gave me a big hug.

We ended the appointment both in tears!

So the fifty percent that Dr. Hilgers quoted seems so much more hopeful. I guess I needed to hear Dr. T's reassurances which I didn't realize I needed so badly. She is so excited to be working closely with Dr. Hilgers. I have quite the team behind me!

Again I have to say, I feel at peace. Our journey has been long, but I know that the Lord has us exactly where we need to be.

So I will continue to nurse my yucky incision and take my antibiotics (yuck!). And when the anxiety creeps in I will remember to offer it up for my friends that are still waiting -- I was wide away at 2am and it took saying a rosary to put me to sleep.

And the next time I feel like my journey to motherhood is just a bit too long for my liking I am going to read this post, but I may need some reminding to check back here...

22 November 2011

RIP Dishwasher

At rate we are spending money in the JellyBelly household, I will never own my own K.elly bag.

I guess it's bound to happen. Our house is fourteen years old and with the exception of the refrigerator, so are the appliances. We tried to run the dishwasher Friday night and realized Saturday morning that nothing happened. We asked my dad, who can fix just about anything, and he had no insight (my parents have never owned a dishwasher and this is the first home I have lived in with one in it!).

So we called the very nice local repair guy. We had our dishwasher fixed a few years ago and were able to buy some time -- there was something wrong with the door and I MacGyvered a system with a kitchen chair and a book (I pride myself on being handy as well). The repair guy was here less than five minutes and he was able to give the diagnosis:

The motor is siezed. A replacement motor would cost $199 and the work would be $300.

My next questions was: "Do you have a dishwasher that you would recommend?"

So friends, recommendations anyone? We don't want to spend more than $500 and we're going with white (our real estate agent said that as long as everything matches, we don't need to go stainless. Praise Jesus, I didn't want to have to replace ALL my kitchen appliances!).

p.s. I missed my call from the nurses at PPVI yesterday and I was sitting beside the phone ALL DAY. She must've called when I picked up to see if my phone was working. Apparently our Lord is trying to teach me a little more patience....

21 November 2011

A Little Break from Our Scheduled Programming...

I found the perfect distraction today. I love to shop and I hope one day to be wealthy enough to own my own Ke.lly bag from He.rmes (or at least a framed picture of one for my closet!).

Check out one of my favourite fashion/photography bloggers, Gar.ance D.oré. She writes the most beautiful homage to the most gorgeous bag ever. And yes, I want mine in red as well.

A girl can dream, yes?

20 November 2011

JellyBelly Loses Her Mind

First off I apologize for not updating sooner. I am glad that we decided to push forward and drive straight home from Chicago. I stayed awake for most of the trip through the US and I fell asleep an hour away from our house. It was so wonderful to wake up in our driveway!

The only complication that I seem to be having is my second-look lap incision seems to be infected (sorry, TMI!). I'm sure two days of bouncing around in a car didn't help! I phoned the nurses at PPVI and Dr. Hilgers (I still can't get over how cool it is that he is one of my doctors!!) said to cover it with a pressure dressing for a few days. I have my first phone follow-up tomorrow so I'm sure there will be other instructions. I'm not too concerned since I am not feverish and the incision isn't swollen, but I know that what is happening isn't normal nonetheless.

Yesterday we went on our first outing since coming home. I wanted to go to mass at 5pm since I knew that the pressure of getting ready for our regular 10am Sunday mass would've been too stressful. It was so nice to just be a regular parishioner! Mr. JB and I are Ministers of Hospitality and I also work at the Religious Articles Store once a month, but we're always asked to work when we go to mass (which means, every Sunday we are serving in some way). I knew that there was no way that I would be physically able to do anything, so it was a good move to go to a different mass.

Mr. JB went to the Christmas sale this morning and word had gotten out that I had had surgery. He didn't have to volunteer too many details and so many people said that they were praying for me. I guess our IF is going to become big church news sooner, rather than later!

So friends, I feel like I'm losing my mind. I like to pride myself in being a toughie, but this recovery is so much harder than I thought it was going to be. I have been better physically than I was after my last surgery, but it is still so frustrating that I have so little energy to do anything. I have a hard time sitting around and doing nothing!

I also started crying because I am so scared of being home alone. Mr. JB and I have been together pretty much 24/7 since October 29th and he is such a good nurse. I have been so blessed to have such an attentive husband! I have not had to lift a finger at all -- although I've wanted to! I put away some dishes yesterday and I was wiped out!

After my first laparotomy we were both home on summer vacation and I went back to work a couple of weeks later to get my classroom ready. I didn't have time to be sad or anxious! It's more difficult to have so much going on around me that I can't be a part of!

So, I'm asking you all for more prayers. Physical healing is one thing, but the psychological part is brutal!

16 November 2011

Canada Here We Come!

I apologize for not updating yesterday. I cannot believe how tiring it was to be a passenger that got to sleep most of the way (thankfully I was asleep since Iowa wasn't the most exciting state to drive through!). I am so grateful that Mr. JB didn't mind that I was comatose for most of the trip.

I'm also glad that I waited a day to post after my appointment with Dr. Hilgers. I was an emotional wreck after seeing him. I recognize now that I am over-tired, in pain and have been away from home for longer than I thought we would be, but that reality didn't hit me until yesterday.

Dr. Hilgers was late for our 1:30pm appointment which was first since arriving in Omaha -- waiting is normal in doctor's offices back home, but we waited for nothing at CUMC and PPVI. Apparently he had a really long surgery (probably someone that had a 6 1/2 whopper that I had!) so we didn't see him until almost 2:30pm. I'm sure that the Lord wanted to show us that our waiting was not over!

He went over the DVD of my second-look lap and Dr. Hilgers was almost giddy, which I take as a good sign. It was hard to watch the bloody parts since I am so squeamish. It was great to see how adhesion-free my insides were, particularly since the surgery pictures from the first time around were pretty gross! Dr. Hilgers was so happy that the dye flowed through each of my tubes and that everything looked good (to my untrained eye it didn't, but according to him it did!). The one thing that he mentioned more than once was that he probably should've removed the right ovary which was most likely damaged from my first laparatomy. The right tube is now open and he did say that it could still ovulate so I am very glad that he didn't remove it.

Seeing the DVD also helped me understand why I am in so much pain! It is amazing how much work he did inside of me. It is still unbelievable that I am now endo and adhesion free!

Dr. Hilgers also mentioned that I had some inflammation in my rectum (eewww!) that he is going to treat to antibiotics. At the end of our appointment he asked if we had any questions and I asked the biggest question of my life, "So what are our chances now?"

And he said, "Fifty percent."

My heart fell. I tried to keep the tears at bay because I didn't want to ugly cry in front of him. Logically, after having a day to digest the information I know that we had no chance before my surgeries with him -- Dr. Hilgers said as much. We have a 50% chance without any meds, which is miraculous enough in itself. Now that I am his patient, we have a much better chance at conceiving. I am not doubting my Napro doctor back home, but this is the big Kahuna!

Mr. JB has reminded me many times that this is a process and now we're starting off at the beginning. I need to reset my TTC clock back to zero, easy to write, but way harder to do after slogging it out for so long. Mr. JB also reminds me that I am healthy now. No more pain. Dr. Hilgers was very happy to hear that the nagging pelvic pain that I have suffered with since the pelvic abscess of 2009 is gone. I do have pain still, but it's healing pain.

I have to speak to the nurses at PPVI on Monday and I know I will have many more questions as the fog lifts from all the pain killers. I also have to call in four weeks for another update.

For now, I have to focus my energies on healing. The enormity of our trip is just hitting me now and I know that in my heart that we made the right decision to go for broke and see Dr. Hilgers.

No regrets. Absolutely none.

Now, the next task is to get changed and get out on the highway. I have never missed my house more!

Thank you for all your prayers and support!

13 November 2011

Day Sixteen of the Big Infertile Adventure -- The Last Full Day in Omaha

I am so ready to go home. I just wish that I wasn't going to take three days, two overnight stops and time in the car!

I have my pain under control and I am so grateful that the Fellow that was following my case with Dr. Hilgers was very generous when prescribing me pain medication. I definitely didn't have this much when I was discharged from the hospital after my first laparotomy! I had to survive on Ad.vil after the good stuff was finished!

When I woke up this morning I felt like I could've slept the entire day away. I am still getting up at all hours of the night to take the medication, which is a good thing since when I get behind my incision starts to hurt! Again, I am so relieved that I discovered the new incision last night. I was feeling so defeated and it was wonderful to have an explanation as to why I was in so much more pain! I was too chicken to remove the bandages and I decided to wait until my post-op appointment tomorrow and I'm going to ask the nurse to remove them for me. I am convinced that I am going to pass out or throw up if I do it myself! This is a job for a professional or my mom!

Yes, I am over-dramatic. At least I recognize it.

We attended mass at the Medical Centre today. I didn't have it in me to attend daily mass with the Jesuits on campus while we were here, so I wanted to make sure that we went to a mass that was being said by a familiar face. We arrived after mass started (although my watch said that it wasn't quite 11am, I guess the clocks are different at CUMC!) so we weren't able to ask if I could receive from the cup. The priest was able to give me a blessing after mass since there was no physical way I could make it down the stairs for communion. He was sympathetic since he has celiac disease.  The cook made sure that we both had gluten-free foods to eat when we stayed with them and he was so sweet at meal times. He made sure that I had stuff to eat too! 

Have I mentioned how well the Jesuit community took care of us? We were so spoiled!

After mass we met the priest that was in charge of taking care of us. The Rector who agreed to give us lodging was not available for our stay, so he asked a fellow Jesuit to help us out. Well, Fr. C took his job seriously! He gave us so many recommendations of where to eat, what to see and visit. He made sure that we had a detailed map of Omaha and he was fantastic company during our meals. It must be so hard to live a solitary life. We could tell that he appreciated our company and that he could help us out during a difficult time.

Fr. C also invited us back to stay in the Jesuit community, which is something we will definitely love to do. Although the trip is LONG, we would love to enjoy Omaha without the pressure of surgery and recovery!

After lunch we went to Wa.lmart to get some more Hu.sker gear for Mr. JB (have I mentioned how big of a fan he is? For his birthday his dad gave him some money to load up on Co.rnhusker merchandise while we were here and he totally took advantage! I may have gotten a few things too, good thing my favourite colour is red!). We also got some extra re-usable tote bags to help with our packing. Honestly our stuff multiplies when we are away! I have to figure out a better way to streamline our stuff. I totally over-packed since I forgot that my days in the hospital would not require clothes! I also didn't expect to be admitted for five nights, so I was totally off! I also can't wear quite a few things that I packed since my incisions are so different from the last time. I am so lucky that my yoga pants are comfortable and fitted enough to wear -- yet another reason why I don't mind spending so much on them!

We also snuck one last trip in to T.arget. I picked up a few Christmas presents for my fertile bf's kids. I can't resist shopping for those kids! I missed her daughter's birthday on Friday and I was really upset because she was getting her ears pierced. We had planned an outing to get her ears done, but obviously I couldn't be there. We spoke to her last night, but the connection was bad and I was so sad that I didn't want to keep her on the phone for long. I hope that she forgives me, we're very close and I'm one of her favourite adults.

So we're all packed (and Mr. JB just told me how scary I am when we're packing! Like I've mentioned before, I am very particular and he is very disorganized!). Not the best combination. I can picture how all of our stuff is going to fit in our car, but he likes to just throw stuff in and hope for the best. When we opened the hatch of his car this afternoon some stuff fell out, stuff that should've been packed in a suitcase or a bag. It is so frustrating to not be able to do the lifting and organizing myself because I know that it would make our two overnight stops so much easier. It also doesn't help that I'm so foggy from the pain meds.

I am so happy that everything went so well in Omaha. I was a bit worried when we had to move from the university to the hotel, but things have so fantastic! I even took a picture of my newly made bed this afternoon so I can look at it when I feel stressed. I worked in linens in a big department store while I was in university so I have a real appreciation for fancy bedding. I am even tempted to buy one of the pillows, but I have to control myself!

I am trying to be as calm as possible for our post-operative review with Dr. Hilgers. I am excited and afraid to hear what he says. I have been offering up all of my anxiety, but it still isn't helping my nerves (which is probably why I was so scary while packing! I don't deal with stress well!).

We're leaving for our friends' house in Chicago right after our appointment and we've already planned to make our first visit to Q.doba in Des Moines (Sew Hormonal's fault!). We'll be just in time for a late lunch/early dinner. We've also picked out a couple of places to stay close to Detroit for our second stop. We had an extremely long wait at the border on our way to Omaha, so breaking up the ten hour trip into two days may be better for my comfort.

I will update about our appointment as soon as I can. I don't know if I'll have the energy when we arrive in Chicago tomorrow night. Please pray for a safe, smooth journey. Poor Mr. JB has to do all the driving since I'm not allowed to on the meds!

Again, I am so grateful for all of your support! I feel like I have an army of prayerful warriors surrounding me! God bless you all!

12 November 2011

Day Fifteen of the Big Infertile Adventure -- Where JB Starts to Lose Her Mind -- UPDATED

I am officially done with being in pain.


Like dinner.

My second-look lap went well (as Mr. JB reported yesterday) and we were back at our awesome hotel by 1pm. I have never been so grateful for the ultra-comfy beds!

The biggest reason for my frustration was that I felt great when I woke up yesterday morning. I did have some pain, but it was totally bearable and I didn't need any help getting ready.


I know that this is a temporary setback and that this is all part of the healing process. Also, I didn't eat enough yesterday so I had a horrible headache and my blood sugar was all over the place. I was really careful to eat breakfast and snack today since the painkillers did nothing for my head.

I think that I'm also worried that Dr. Hilgers is going to have bad news, although he was very positive when he spoke to Mr. JB after both my surgeries. As I've blogged before, this is it. My last surgeries. Ever. The last thing that we are going to do to have biological children. Part of me wishes that Dr. Hilgers will say that we can't have kids so we can move on, but another part of me is scared to hear anything he has to say.

I've tried my best to keep positive, but being the social being that I am, it's hard to be holed up in a hotel room in an unfamiliar city. There is only so much television a girl can watch! Mr. JB tried to cheer me up by watching the M.uppet S.how DVD that he got me for Christmas. Even that didn't get me to laugh.

I know that this is a passing phase and that we are both very homesick right now (although we are in love with the beds!). Once we're home I know that my spirits will be better since I will have people visiting me.

This dying to self business is tough stuff!

Update: I spent the entire day feeling sorry for myself. It wasn't until I took a shower at 7pm (yes, I am a sloth) that I realized why my belly was in so much pain. I have two new incisions, not one! When Dr. Hilgers removed the Gore.tex yesterday he made another incision below my belly button as well as the incision inside. That explains why my stomach hurts, it isn't just gas pain! I don't know why that makes me feel better, but knowing that there is a physical cause is a comfort.

I chewed gum (and blew bubbles), had some fizzy water, ate beans and walked around our hotel room many times. The gas pain has abated, but the belly pain is still there. I am so glad that the hospital sent me home with an ice pack!

Also, the bandage covering my belly button is in the shape of a flower and the incision below is a heart. I think that the Fellow working with Dr. H has a sweet sense of humour! 

11 November 2011

Post Second Look Lap -- November 11

This morning's procedure went fine.  Just before 11, I was in Recovery and by 12:45 we were back in the room at the hotel.  The Doc and I spoke for a few minutes and he was quite pleased.  The go.re-te.x was very effective in its job and was removed.  Dye was put through both tubes, they are working well.  It took longer on the left but it ended up flooding out.  The right ovary is working very well but the left one is not.  The Doc referred to it as a 'little nub' but chose not to remove it.

My totally non-professional eye saw a major difference in today's pictures.  You could see where the dye was and how it was working.  You could also see the g.ore-te.x and the way it was used.

There was a lot of pain meds in the Recovery Room.  JB immediately got up to pee.

JB is resting.  She's dopey from Ty.lenol C..odeine and her mouth "feels like a desert".

Please help us with some prayers.

Bye for now,

Mr. JB

10 November 2011

The Conclusion of Day Thirteen & Second-Look Lap Eve

We had the busiest day! It took a while to get going, but I finally got out to see the beautiful city of Omaha. 

We started at Wal.greens to exchange something that Mr. JB bought in error (he bought me some Ceta.phil lotion, not cleanser, my travel bottle got left behind at the hospital, oops!). Then we visited Boys.town which is an organization dedicated to the housing and education of at-risk children, founded by Father Ed.ward J. Flan.agan. I stayed in the car, but Mr. JB took lots of photos to show me. I wanted to save my energy for the zoo!

Next we visited Glor.ia D.eo an amazing Catholic bookstore that Hebrews 11:1 recommended. I wanted to buy the entire store! Instead I got a cute plaque for my teacher partner to thank her for all of her help, Un.planned (which I have had hard time finding back home), a Christmas ornament and some other little things. It was exactly what I needed for a my first big shopping trip (the one to T.arget doesn't count since I didn't get anything!).

After the bookstore I was famished so we crossed the street to go to Chi.potle. It was the most I have eaten in LONG time! It was so tasty! We tried to find a second hand bookstore, but I was hitting a wall so we decided to to straight to the zoo.

I don't generally like zoos since I always think that the animals look so sad (and some did, especially the polar bear!), but I'm glad that we went. Mr. JB got me a wheelchair (that we weren't charged for!) so he got a work out and I got to see lots. We had just under two hours to visit, but it was the perfect amount of time since a lot of closed due to renovation. We really like the bobcats and I didn't like the snakes or bugs.

As we were leaving the zoo the nice ladies at the visitor centre helped wheel me out to the car. I explained that I wasn't an invalid and that I just had surgery. When she heard that she insisted wheeling me out!

I still had some energy so we decided to go to T.arget to look for a book for Mr. JB for the wait tomorrow. I picked up some more larger comfy clothes on clearance and a cute dress for the holidays. We walked through the mall to the Barn.es and No.ble and Mr. JB found a couple of things for himself.

While in the store I discovered that one of my favourite US shoe stores, D.SW wasn't far away so we went to that mall! We found a C.ornhusker store so Mr. JB got to spend his birthday money and he got a few things for himself and I got to go through the shoe store. I didn't anything, but it was so much fun to look!

Before we left the mall I went through the ladies' section of J.C Penn.ey and I got a cute sweater.

I'm pooped!

I'm going to have a little soup and then I have to start prepping for my second-look lap in the morning. I have tried to keep the anxiety at bay, but it has crept up more than once (one of the reasons why I kept pushing for things to do today!). Tomorrow is it, the last procedure, the day that Dr. H does his last diagnostic work on my insides. Please pray for an open right tube and good healing as he removes the Gore.tex.

I have to be at the hospital at 5:45am and my procedure is at 7:15am. I hope that I can update in the afternoon, if not, Mr. JB will. He's become quite the blogger!

St. Gerard, pray for us! St. Gianna, pray for us! St. Rita, pray for us!

Days Twelve & Thirteen of the Big Infertile Adventure -- Surrendering to the Tireds

The title says it all.

My body has spoken: JellyBelly needs rest! The evening of the eleventh day of our adventure we went to T.arget and I thought I was going to die! Two outings in one day were way too much!

Yesterday we had to pull up stakes and move to a hotel. We were only supposed to be in Omaha until the 8th, but with my second-look lap and follow up with Dr. H we had to extend our stay until the 14th. Mr. JB's brother found us a hotel with a kitchenette not too far away from the hospital and he paid for it all with his A.ir M.iles!

I spent most of yesterday watching Mr. JB pack up our room, which was so hard since I am such a control freak and I am a very good packer. I am always the one that packs up the car when we go away because Mr. JB is not the most organized (or as good of a packer). I cried more than once in frustration while I watched Mr. JB go back and forth to the car.

When we finally got to our new room I almost cried for joy. We have two queen-sized beds with the most comfortable pillows and duvets! I sent Mr. JB for more pillows at Wa.lmart before I was discharged from the hospital so I could be more comfortable when we were staying with the Jesuits (there was one pillow per bed and a little cushion). When I woke up this morning I felt so rested, even though we had woken up multiple times to take my pain meds.

It is so great to have our own little kitchenette (with a full-sized fridge), stove top, microwave, toaster and everything else we need to cook a meal! Mr. JB was able to get some breakfast this morning in the lobby, although there was nothing JB-friendly (not a shock!). It also helps that we have a flat screen TV that swivels so we can watch it anywhere in the room! Lastly, the bathroom is amazing. There's a rain shower shower head and the most beautiful vanity. We've stayed in many hotels all over the world, but this is our favourite! I could move in!

We're going to try to tackle the zoo today. More than one person has said that we have to go. I'm going to take photos so I can share with my class when I teach the animal unit near the end of the year. We're going to rent a wheelchair so I don't have to over-exert myself.

In my post-surgery haze I totally forgot to blog about meeting Hebrews! I was so excited that I made sure that I showered before she got to the hospital (which wasn't the easiest feat four days post-op!). Our visit went by too fast! I felt like I had known her forever and she is exactly how I pictured her! I am so grateful for all of her support since we've been in Omaha. She has been so great at giving advice and encouraging me, particularly when I'm having a bad day. Thank you so much Hebrews! You rock!

It amazes me how many people have been willing to help us. The Jesuits were so generous with housing us for eleven days. They even fed us every day, even though I could barely eat most days. One of the cooks even packed me dinner one night because I didn't have the energy to go to the dining hall. Brenda and Mrs. Henderson gave me the most amazing care packages -- there was everything a post-op girl could ask for!

We have been surrounded by blessings on our journey. I have no doubt that the Lord wants us to be where we are. God is so good!

I hope to get back to blog so I can tell you all about the zoo!

8 November 2011

Day Eleven of the Big Infertile Adventure

The frustration of recovering from surgery, particularly away from home and all things familiar, hit yesterday.

I dropped something on the floor and I had a meltdown.

I admit that I am a very prideful person. I don't like being helped and I especially resent not being able to do things, like pick something off the floor, myself. I am also married to a person that is used to having a wife that is very independent. He is a wonderful nurse, but he is at a different speed that I am on, if you know what I mean.

I so wanted to go out yesterday, even if it was just to Wa.lmart to pick up some stuff (i.e. bigger pants and pj's!), but the gas pain was so bad that I couldn't leave our room. I am starting to understand what dying to self means!

This morning after breakfast we took a very long walk to the Cre.ighton bookstore to get some souvenirs. Along our walk I had to remind Mr. JB to slow down and I got frustrated again. My incision was really hurting and I think that I bit more off than I could chew. As soon as we got back to our room I crashed.

I intend to go out later today since I am getting cabin fever, but we'll see. We're changing rooms tomorrow since our stay has been extended so I have to conserve my energy!

Thanks again for all your prayers! I've been praying for all of you!

7 November 2011

Day Ten of the Big Infertile Adventure -- Surgery From My Point of View

I sent this e-mail to some girlfriends back home. I think that I got all of the details down and I have too much gas pain to stay seated for too long to compose something new!


It was such a different experience being in a US hospital compared to my experience back home. The nurses come right away when you buzz for them and there is so much more one-on-one attention. We even did a survey rating our experience at the hospital, something that I couldn't even imagine back home!

My surgery went very well on Tuesday. I am so thankful for anesthesia since I was under for six and a half hours! The doctors did a very thorough job and the surgeon is very happy with the results. They applied Gor.etex (yes, the stuff they make jackets out of!) to my insides to prevent scar tissue so I have another quick laparoscopic surgery (through my belly button) this Friday to remove it.

I was in recovery for quite a long time 'cos they couldn't manage my pain levels. I think I shocked them since I needed A LOT of pain meds to stabilize. The night of the operation was tough. I had an allergic reaction to one of the antibiotics and I felt horrible on top of the pain. The doctors were concerned about my blood volume since I lost quite a bit during my surgery, so I had a transfusion.

Not fun!

Lucky for me the next couple of days were so much better. I had to pass gas in order to get oral pain meds (and eat and drink!), so I tried every trick and yoga pose on Thursday to get it to happen. Unfortunately, it wasn't until Friday at 6pm that it happened. I've never prayed to toot in my entire life!

I was told that I would be discharged once I was taking oral pain meds, but my pain was unbearable on Saturday. My doctor tried so many combinations of pain meds and finally at about 9pm I was comfortable. I have FOUR different pills I have to take at different times so I have my i.Phone programmed to remind me!

It has been so great to be out of the hospital! I spent the afternoon catching up on the shows I missed while I was out of it. Unfortunately I can't watch last week's Glee episode 'cos Fox.com has it locked until Wednesday.

Mr. JB has been a good nurse too. I sent him to Walm.art to get me bigger undies since my incision is a little bigger than I thought it was going to be and my regular undies are a little uncomfortable. He called me three times from the store 'cos he was so confused! Poor buddy.

So Dr. H was very happy with the results of my surgery. The endo was so minimal that he couldn't even stage it. He was very happy with the surgeon that did my surgeries back home, something that he doesn't always encounter with the work that he does.

My adhesions, however, were extensive. The pelvic abscess caused a lot of damage and looking at the pictures that we were given, it was a mess inside of me. My left tube was clear, but my right tube was hydosalpinx (sp?) and he had to insert a stent in order to drain it. On Friday he is going to do another selective HSG to see if both tubes are clear. Dr. H thinks that the surgeon back home may have done damage to my right tube, but there's no telling if that is the case.

There were no fibroids and I don't believe that there were any cysts.

My first laparotomy incision had to be lengthened because it was really hard to get to the adhesions in my posterior cul de sac. It's the reason why I felt so much pain when I was urinating after surgery.

We see Dr. H on November 14th to review my surgeries and then we can go home. Poor Mr. JB had to call PPVI to ask for a letter extending his leave. He only had two weeks off and this third week is proving to be a challenge. He's afraid that they're going to dock his pay which is something that we can't afford to do with the added cost of my second-look lap.

Don't worry, I'm offering up all of my pain and worry! I need to be productive with my prayers!

6 November 2011


Hello all! I am finally free of the hospital!

I will blog more as I settle in. I'm trying to stay mobile because I am having a lot of gas pain. Please pray that my bowels wake up because the gas is killing me!

Thanks for your prayers! God bless you all! 

5 November 2011

Post Surgery Day 5

Thank you for all your prayers.  Unfortunately, JB is spending another night in the hospital.  As I wrote earlier, the adjustment from IV to oral painkillers did not go well.  JB was in great pain all day.  The shower was put off a number of times, as were the walks.  The decision was JB's to make.

The combination of painkillers is not even holding things steady.  The walks were more difficult today than the walks on Wednesday (Post Op 1).

Keep praying please.

Have a good evening,

Mr. JB


JB is having a very difficult time shifting from IV to oral painkillers.  All prayers are welcome!


Mr. JB

4 November 2011

Post Surgery Day 4

The big event that was hoped for today did in fact occur.  Around 6 pm, JB passed gas.  The dinner that followed consisted of gluten-free chicken broth, herbal tea and a grape popsicle.

The roughest part of today was that JB was suffering pelvic pain.  She had to deal with an incredibly uncomfortable internal exam.  A stitch near the bladder was causing the difficulty.  

It was an eventful day.  In addition to long walks and a shower, we had company.  Hebrews11:1 visited and brought awesome gifts for JB.  A Padre who is a good friend of my brother also visited.  To keep things interesting, JB's mom called and asked, "Does it hurt?"

I should have wrote this sooner, the doctors, nurses and support staff here are amazing.  

Good night all,

Mr. JB

3 November 2011

Surgery Update

JB had an excellent day.  JB did a lot of walking and sat up for long stretches of time.  Unfortunately, gas has not been passed.  Yoga was performed in an attempt to help but it did not work.  The Doc this morning believed it would happen tomorrow and we are hoping that it does.  JB wants to have some liquids and start eating.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support.

Good night all,

Mr. JB

2 November 2011

Surgery Day 2

After a rough night, today went very well.  JB walked six times and went to washroom each time.  She slept a couple times and sat up frequently.

Last evening, JB had a reaction to the antibiotics and they had to be switched.  That left a lot of itching and scratching.  While her blood level never got low enough to be concerned, she was given a transfusion.  That helped settle things in the night as did a change in painkillers.

As I said, things went well today.  The doctors are pleased with everything.  After their visits, ice chips, walking and napping were the order of the day.  Sleep appears to be arriving.

Bye for now,

Mr. JB

1 November 2011

JellyBelly Surgery Update

The surgery was very long and according to Dr. H, it went very well.  More endo was removed, both tubes are clear though the one on the right is not in great shape.  Adhesions were removed as well. 

I have to scoot now!

Mr. JB