Friday, February 10, 2012

TWO Big Things: Andrew update and FRIENDS!

(Added after I wrote this post. This post covers 2 important things and I got off track and started on the 2nd topic and then made my way back to the 1st topic. You will see!)

Andrew is STILL in the hospital.

He called me around 1 PM yesterday telling me he was going to be discharged. I told him I would be right down. I had been down to see him the night before and he was not well, so I knew he should not be discharged. Even with morphine and lots of other meds, it only took the edge off! Also, the meds make him act intoxicated. I brought Anika to see him and it was just hard with her. And he gets so short with me.
I left work. After hopping in the car, I called my friend C. I have been talking to her daily about all of this and she has been a HUGE support! She is such a logical thinker :)  I wanted her to look up the difference between MRI’s and CT/Cat Scans and email me the information, so I could review it before going into the hospital to deal with Andrew’s doctor. A few people had mentioned an MRI to me and I got to thinking that I would request one, but I needed to know what I was talking about first. Andrew already had one ct scan during his first ER visit and a 2nd ct scan on this visit. Both came back fine.

 C didn't didn’t answer the phone. I called another friend, L who has also reached out to me several times to help with all of this mess. I want to say here, that there are friends who say they will help in these situations, and then there are friends WHO DO HELP. L and C are both Doers. They are both real friends. C lives half way across the country and has been a HUGE support via phone, email and text through all of this. L lives close and she has her own baby and juggles working, baby and dogs, etc. She also had offered to help in many ways.
L searched the web and sent me the info (I didn’t see any of the emails until I got to the hospital which is 50 minutes away)  C ended up calling me back and I told her why I had called, so I had her still pull info and email it as well. I am glad, because they BOTH sent me different info and I was able to use it all! My gram also called while I was driving about some lunch plans we had made for Friday (today). I told her I couldn’t go because I had no idea what Friday would hold and if Im not at the hospital, I should be at work…and then I just cried to her. She is 85 years old and offered to pick Anika up at Miss B’s for me and help out. The thing is, I LOVE my Gram, but she wouldn’t even know how to use a modern day car seat! She offered to come meet me and drive down to Boston with me to bring Andrew to a hospital in Boston. At that point, that was my plan: To bring him to Boston, but I also needed to get Anika at some point, so I had not worked out the logistics of that yet. I saw a text from Natalie wheN I stopped to get gas, so when I got back in the car, I called her.

I want to take a moment to epxlain THIS friend, N. A couple months ago I was invited into a private on line group for moms (and even moms to be) by Brittany. A blog friend who by the way just opened her own photography business

YOU CAN SEE HER First series of MOMS BF'ing in Public HERE. I became “Friends” with Brittany when I was pregnant. She lives in Boise. The mom group is a bunch of moms from all over the country that believe in natural parenting and living. Some are more “hardcore” than others. Some are pregnant and don’t have kids yet. MANY of the moms know each other in real life. A majority of the group lives in CA. IT is a place for like -minded moms to post questions without any judgment. There are currently 111 women in this group and I’ve never seen any fights or catty behavior like I heard exists in other online groups. I have no idea, because this is the first online group I’ve been part of.
There is one member in the group who had a natural homebirth right when I got into the group. Since the birth, she has experienced EVERY difficulty possible with breastfeeding. EVERY obstacle you can think of. I dont want to get into specifics because of her privacy.  Also, her partner left after the birth of her beautiful daughter, so she is doing this ALL alone. He is not helping out in ANY Way. About a month ago she mentioned how she was not eligible for ANY assistance. She was soon going back to work full time and would have to pay her mortgage (alone), pay daycare (alone) and everything else related to her baby. Here she was- trying to make an honest living and support herself and her daughter, and she couldn’t get any assistance unless she left her job and took a lesser paying one...or didn't work at all! This touched my heart. I know a lot of people who don’t make this effort, and get a lot of help. It is not fair. I Know people who choose to stay home and get assistance, but this hard working mom cant?! That is effed up.  Here she is using cloth diapers and breast feeding (both save money).  She also mentioned several times how she wanted an Ergo baby carrier when other moms posted wearing their babies in them.  I have one and they are about $110 brand new. I wanted to surprise her with one SOO badly. To let her know I was proud of her and I appreciated her efforts to support her family. I see too many people who abuse the system and don’t do this.

I talked to Andrew (this was when he was still working and pre health issues) and he didn’t go for US buying her one, but he said I should ask other HM’s to go in on it. I took a chance and texted Natalie. She had given me her number a while before, but I didn’t really think I would text her! I texted asking her if she thought the other moms would donate towards the ergo. It took her a while to respond, but she finally did and she said it was a great idea. We got started on the logistics of sending out a message (actually it had to be several message) without the recipient girl knowing. I figured out how to get donations on paypal, etc. Once Natalie sent the messages out (I wanted her to because she knows a lot of the group members in real life and I was still new to the group and know NONE of the girls in real life). The donations started rolling in. We only needed $120 to cover the ergo and shipping and we raised almost $400 in the first DAY! I was busy with work that day, so Natalie took over a lot of the administrative issues dealing with all the other moms.

Once we were able to order the ergo, we started thinking of other moms in the group-either in need or having  a hard time. Gifts and gift cards were sent. Since then, we have raised money for other people in the group. I think just this week, one mom about to have her 2nd baby, is getting a doula paid for by the HM’s.
Through working with Natalie on these secret missions, we became closer. Other moms have now sent in ideas, and now the whole group is on giving missions! It is amazing, truly. It is SUCH a special group to be part of! N texts me a lot and we have even talked on the phone a few times. While I was driving, things were going through my head about how scared I am if Andrew can’t go back to work because of this health issue…and what if we run out of savings…I can’t pay for everything on my salary! The fears are endless! He can’t even really play with Anika right now! THIS alone, would break his heart, and IM afraid he wouldn’t want to live that way. I had a full out breakdown in my car. I keep taking time off from work and granted, I am using PTO time NOW, but It will run out if this continues! After talking to L, C, and N on my ride down, I cheered up a bit. YES, I am in a shitty situation, but WOW- Do I have some great friends! Friends who know me in real life, and Friends I HAVE NEVER MET! My “Imaginary” friends are just as much my friends as well. AND, That extends to THIS BLOG- and the imaginary friends I have through blogging. The emails, comments, texts and tweets-letting me know you are thinking of us and praying for us- THOSE HELP. They make me smile in a shitty situation when I am scared. You guys throw ideas at me and they help. I have looked into the possibilities you have thrown at me. Most of you know Andrew is not a fan of this “Imaginary” life, but I think he gets it now. I mean, sure he thinks I have Plenty of great in real life friends so can’t imagine why I would need “imaginary” ones, but I think he is starting to get it.

I also want to note that I have two other friends that live around here who have helped me watch Anika and I appreciate their support as well. I also have a “friend” who turned down watching Anika one morning because it was “too early for her to get out of bed” This friend is Great with Anika and with kids, but she does not have her own kids. Fine, I get her sleeping in time is valuable to her, but I also reached out to her to go visit Andrew in the hospital while I am at work and she hasn’t responded. In fact, she doesn’t respond to a lot of my calls or texts. That stings. (UPDATE – ANDREW JUST called and said she called HIM and is going to visit him! So, I Take back saying that, but she still doesnt respond a lot of times). I have tried not to ask my friends with kids to help because I get it- life is busy with kids. But, for SOME of my local friends who don’t have kids, I just wish they would show a bit more support- even if it just means going to visit him!  No one has visited him except me! Andrew’s brother is out west for the week, so even he hasn’t been around to visit him.

Anyway, I JUST want you ALL TO KNOW, THANK YOU. I appreciate your friendships- IRL and Imaginary. I am ONE LUCKY LADY To have all of you, I really am.

I also just want to make a note on my friend L. She is the older sister of my high school boyfriend. I was with him in HS and into college. I no longer speak to him, but THROUGH him, I met her. We even lived together in my tiny Boston apartment the semester after I got back from New Zealand. She was married at the time but lived down there during the week while she went to school! It took me MANY years to get over her brother,  and in a way, I probably never fully will (This is embarrassing because L reads this),  but IF it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have L in m life! We both moved back to NH after college and we both struggled leaving the city, but our husbands love it up here. We both struggled career wise up here. We both bought houses like 20 minutes from each other. She encouraged me to rescue Piri! We were also pregnant at the same time! I KNOW that her brother was in my life FOR MANY reasons (He taught me a lot about myself) but I think the main reason was to bring us together, because now I have HER and we won’t have a breakup! Haha

BACK TO THE ANDREW UPDATE, Sorry for the side track, but I REALLY have been wanting to POST about friends, and what better time?

OK, so I went down to the hospital and when I walked in his room, he was in his clothes and leaning over his bed in pain. I asked the LNA (a nurse assistant) to gather all his records, CT images, and we would not be leaving until we had all of that in our hands, so I could take him to another hospital. I WAS serious and I meant business.

The LNA also whispered to me that there was a number I could call to dispute the discharge. Andrew had already signed all the papers, but I argued he was not competent to do so. He is on HEAVY pain medicines and when the medicines wear off, the pain is so intense, he is irrational. He had already had 2 CT scans but people (friends, family and moms on HM’s) kept asking me about MRI's. I had looked over the stuff L and C sent me, on my way into the hospital, and one of the links had something about a herniated disc. Many symptoms sounded like it. I even forwarded to Andrew to read when he could. When I was in his room, I saw a reflection of myself in the room mirror and I was red in the face and red in the eyes from my meltdown. Ugh, I needed to get my shit together to be taken seriously.

The LNA (male) hung around and seemed to really like Andrew. I asked Andrew if he had any discharge papers, but I guess he had turned them in, but I read over the parts he got to keep. I had to fish them out of his bag.  There was no number. The RN came in and I was reading over the papers. I was also filling out the record release form by then. The RN said she called the doctor and he would be back since Andrew had asked for a note from him...and it was obvious that he was crippled with pain. He couldnt even talk in full sentences!

 Apparently the dr told him he was ok to go back to work, so Andrew asked for a note or something (before I got there).  HE COULDN’T EVEN STAND UP. The drugs he was on earlier were obviously wearing off. We waited (I thought we were waiting for records).

Finally, the dr who discharged him came back with a slew of other people (one being his supervisor I THINK). I told them we wanted an MRI. The "team" thought that was a good idea.  It was mentioned at one point that a back dics may have slipped and could be pinching a nerve causing all the pain in the front (pelvic/groin area). The hospitalist didn't think it was possible though, and kept sending urologists to see him. The hospitalist did say he just didn't know what was going on and it didnt make sense! Well, then GET specialists in here! Many prostate exams showed nothing wrong. Also, he is not tender on the outside. The pain is deep in.

The doctor said In front of all the other people that Andrew was CLEARLY in a lot more pain now than when he discharged him. They got an IV in him and gave him some morphine. I will also note here, that the RN KNOWS MY MOM!! She has been Andrew’s day RN for a couple days but this was the first time I saw her. Andrew JUST told me this when I got there.
I called my mom who is still in Canada later that evening, and I guess she has kids on my niece’s swim team and my mom was JUST talking to her last week at swim about Andrew being in Concord Hospital the week before and how he got no answers, etc. LET me just say, that at first I was HORRIFIED that she knew my mom, because Andrew’s language has been poor. He also gets frustrated and says embarrassing things. I know it’s bad to say, but sometimes I have felt that his behavior might impact the care he gets. For example, when all those people came back in with his main hospitalist dr, they were asking him questions about his pain, and while explaining about his pain, he used the terms “cock” “balls “ and “nads” I JUST ABOUT DIED. I seriously turned even redder. This “Team” was in there because I caused a ruffle when I asked for all his records.

 I also think the RN saw how much pain he was in and might have mentioned it to the doctors. I told his RN later that his pain meds make him act intoxicated and use improper language. My GOD! One of the supervising physicians (I assume that is what she was) called me out in the hall, and asked me how long this pain has been going on, etc. She wanted my take on it.

They readmitted him and did the MRI last night.

The results were read this morning. The orthopedic dr said the current MRI shows a pretty bad herniated disc and it is pinching a nerve, however it is not pinching the nerve connected to his scrotum area where the pain they are confused as to why he has pain where he does.

They want to do a cortisone shot to test something; however Andrew has recollection that he is allergic. We are trying to get in touch with his doctors in NZ to find out. Andrew’s old doctor was a sport medicine doctor and she is now an official doctor for the NZ Allblacks! But, we can call the practice she used to work at and hopefully get some answers. Just need to wait for them to wake up on the other side of the world.

I am so happy to have SOME kind of answer, even if it still doesn’t make sense to them, BUT it doesn’t explain the FIRST visit- with all the vomiting, diarrhea, etc. But A HM wrote that “Herniated discs cause vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite... and a whole slew of other issues. Especially if there is spinal cord compression happening” and I’m going to research that more now.

Now, Please pray that they can FIX him. I know a lot of people live in chronic back pain, and I Just hope we can fix this. I want my husband back (Pain and Med free). I know Anika wants her daddy back too.


  1. Well good news that you have AN ANSWER and that you have wonderful friends. Praying for ya'll.

  2. I'm glad you guys have found SOMEthing. I've been praying and will continue to do so!

  3. Oh my word - I haven't commented much on these posts b/c by the time I finish reading them, I'm emotionally exhausted from all that you're going through. Crazy!!! I'm glad that you have some friends both locally and around the country/world to rely on. Blogging is such a great means of support and friendship (I've found) and I'm glad that you have that in your life :-)

    I'm also glad that you were able to get some answers, though maybe not a complete solution. Hopefully you were able to get in touch with the doc over here, too.

    As far as the friends w/o kids watching kids, in my experience some (not all) of them just don't realize how hard it is to do things with a baby in tow and how vital it is to have someone available to watch them. Friends with kids get that and are willing to bend over backwards to help out, b/c they've been there. Like I said, that's not always the case, and when you find those kid-less friends who are willing to help out no matter what, hold on to them!

    Take care :-)

  4. Wow! So glad that you guys are getting closer to answers!

  5. Thank you so much for promoting my new blog! And I LOVE our hippie group. Seriously, could these girls be any more amazing? Wishing Andrew a fast and full recovery. xoxo

  6. Wow! At least you have some answers!

  7. So glad that you are finally getting answers! I know you have to be relieved. My dad has really bad back problems and used to have to get cortizone shots frequently. Im so happy that you have such great friends! Its such a big help during times like these! Still thinking of and praying for you guys!

  8. Well I hate to say a herniated disc is good news, but better than no news! My dad has chronic back pain from a herniated disc at 18, he never got the surgery and i wish he would have! He can't walk 1/2 mile without having to stop, and he is an amazing and usually after going he cant walk right for days. I don't know how they treat HD nowadays, but i hope you guys get all the answers you're looking for!

  9. I am glad you updated us and glad they found something wrong and hope you get your husband back! I can't imagine what you have been going through!

  10. So glad that you there are such great people out there!!! Sounds like such a wonderful group of ladies