Saturday, September 8, 2018

So much has happened over the summer, mostly related to my health. I had posted a few things about it back in June. So I'll briefly recap and then start where I left off with a fairly brief explanation of what happened and how I got to where I am today. Followed by a few bits and pieces from the rest of the family.

In September of 2017 I had a breast reduction and tummy tuck. I healed very well from it, recovered and returned to normal activity fairly quickly. In March of 2018 I noticed a couple small lumps in my right breast. I made an appointment with the surgeon who did the reduction, and he believed at that time it was just unsettled breast tissue from the reduction. A month later, I had an unrelated infection of my tonsil. It was treated with strong antibiotics and steroids and went away just fine. And so did the small lumps in my breast. I thought it was just a cool coincidence and went about my life. But when the antibiotics and steroids were all out of my system, the lumps in my breast came back with a vengeance, and I ended up making another appointment with my surgeon. He prescribed me a few different antibiotics to try over the course of a month. The lumps continued to grow. Then in May, he aspirated some fluid from the area of swelling. When he got the results back he had me come back in to explain it was a serious bacterial infection in the family of tuberculosis, but in the soft tissue of my breast. He said it would take months of heavy antibiotic treatment to cure it, and told Jarrod and I to stop trying to get pregnant immediately. This was on May 30th. On June 3rd we got our positive pregnancy test. I was referred to an infectious disease specialist.

So all together, my OBGYN, surgeon, and infectious disease specialist (and home care nurses) have been collaborating to make sure I've had the best care for both me and baby for the last few months. I've had two debridement surgeries, and I've been on several IV antibiotics, switching every time I develop a reaction or allergy. I had a PICC line for 6 weeks until I could no longer handle it physically - my body was pushing it out (which the nurse said she'd NEVER seen that happen before). Once I hit my 2nd trimester I was able to start taking stronger (more risky) antibiotics. But with that, came a referral to start seeing a perinatologist for the rest of my pregnancy to make sure baby handles it okay. So... so that makes 4 doctors on my team.

But it seems to all be coming to an end.... FINALLY! Just this week I was released from seeing the surgeon because I have healed so well since the 2nd surgery, and now that I'm on the proper antibiotics. I see the infectious disease specialist again in a couple weeks, but I expect he won't want to see me too often, maybe even just a couple more times, because the surgical open wound will likely be closed by then and the infection truly seems to be extremely minimal if not just about entirely gone. And once I'm finally released from this illness, I can finally focus more on this joyous pregnancy!

Speaking of the pregnancy, everything has gone fantastic despite the infection and antibiotics. I got a Sneak Peek mail order blood test at 9-10 weeks and they gave us the result it will be a BOY! Then when we went to see the perinatologist at 16 weeks along and the ultrasound confirmed its a BOY!! I am currently almost 18 weeks along. Jarrod and I have a name chosen, but we aren't telling anyone until he's born. We have a detailed anatomy scan coming up around 21 weeks along. I'm trying to arrange a VBAC, but with the baby's due date being in February, and my only doctor and delivery center would be 45 minutes away in good weather, I don't know that it will be a possibility. But I'm still going to try.

Unfortunately, my health issues kept us from doing much of anything as a family this summer. Having a PICC line and an open surgical wound all summer kept me from doing anything involving water. And being pregnant kept me from going on amusement park rides. The antibiotics have made me feel very weak and nauseated. So pretty much anything that anyone wanted to do, I was not up for. Jarrod and I went ahead and let the kids who had the opportunity, go do things with their friends. And I insisted that he take his girls to the Iowa State Fair without me. All summer I felt like such a spoil-sport, a wet blanket, and nuisance and inconvenience. I must say it's probly been my worst summer ever because of all the guilt I've had from keeping the family from having fun just from being sick. Of course it's certainly not like I chose to be sick. I was very much looking forward to going to Adventureland, the Iowa State Fair, and other summer festivities. I very much hope next summer is much more fun for us all!

There are a few other things that happened this summer too...

• Autumn and Willow moved in with their mom in a town about 90 minutes away. But they still visit every other weekend.

• Evan went to a residential psychiatric facility to get treatment for his anger and impulse control issues at last! I've been trying to get him help for years, and I'm so very glad to report it's helping so far!

• Andy is a few short days away from getting his jaw surgery to extend his lower jaw and improve his overbite.

• Jarrod has lost about 60-70 pounds in the last year and has been visiting the bariatric/surgical center that can do excess skin removal - his surgery is pending insurance approval.

• And finally, I must say my husband is amazing. Through all of this illness, all of the bullshit, he has stood by me and supported me through it all. He's been my rock, my best friend, my encouragement, my caretaker, and my reason to keep going on. Thank you so much for everything Jarrod. I couldn't have made it without you. I love you more than you'll ever know.