Yep, you read it right! I literally lost 7 pounds of water weight in a period of 24 hours. I bet you want to know how I did it, don't you?? Well, first you need to gain 13 pounds of IV fluids...ok, I am kidding about that, but I am not kidding about the 7 pounds making its way out of my body in a matter of one day. That's just crazy to me. Here's what I discovered. It was those stupid pain pills! Yes, the pain pills. Those same pills that kept me from feeling every ache in my incision, muscle pain in my back, and the newly "waking up" nerves that kept screaming at me, were wreaking havoc in other ways, namely holding on to every bit of IV fluid that was pumped into me during my 6 days in the hospital!
On Thursday during my clinic visit, my favorite resident surgeon, Amy, said I needed to start alternating Tylenol and the pain meds starting with my next dose. Ok, no problem, I said. Little did I know that I was going to be feeling like "H-E-double hockey sticks" that evening...really, I'm not kidding. The first time taking the Tylenol, I could tell that it wasn't relieving the pain like I was used to, but I am a teacher, and I am a BIG TIME rule follower. I am going to do what the doc says, no matter what. As the evening wore on, I decided, ok, I'm just going to go for it. Cold Turkey. Tylenol only. No more pain meds for me. That night, I thought I was going crazy. I couldn't sleep, my skin was "creepy crawly" on my back...you know, the way you feel when you have a fever or the flu? I kept asking Dan to feel my forehead. I'm pretty sure I was driving him insane. I tried to sleep but only tossed and turned. No matter what I did, I couldn't get comfortable. I laid on my side, on my back, on my other side...not a chance. Finally, I sat up with 6 pillows propped around me and fell asleep - for an hour and a half. When I woke up, I was so agitated and the acid reflux was back with a vengance (yellow tongue and all), that I told Dan he had to leave and sleep in the other room. Poor Dan, he didn't do anything. By the time morning came, I was so tired from lack of sleep. Dan told his sister about my evening, and she just bust out laughing. My sister-in-law, a clinical psychologist at Stanford University, declared between fits of laughter, "She's going through withdrawls!" Oh great, another one of the mysteries of my recovery. As I said before, and I'll say it again, why dont they tell you these things????
So you're still probably wondering about the miracle weight loss, aren't you? Patience my friends, I'm working up to it. :) Friday Dan and I went to visit our nephew Ian at school for his Celebration of Learning (That's us above with Paul, Kristi, and Ian in his classroom). He's a 2nd grader and goes to a private school here in town. Of course, I wanted to see what he's been working on, but I think secretly all teachers want to see what's happening in someone else's classroom. Wow, jealously was the first feeling that came to mind. They had so much technology in the classroom it made my head spin. There were desktop computers, laptops, a smart board, projector, flip cameras and a laptop for the teacher. Not only that, but Ian's classroom was in the newer addition to the school...high ceilings, modern everything...how cool! It was fun to visit, however it made me wish we had better funding for our public school system back home. For me, this was a pretty big outing. My ankles and legs were so swollen with fluid, I was starting to get worried, even though Dr. Amy said keep taking the Lasix until the following Thursday. Even though I am a "rule follower", I can be an impatient one at that, so I called the clinic to ask what else I could do. At this point, you're probably thinking they gave me some miracle cure, that's why I lost all that water weight. Nope, not a chance. Dr. Amy said I needed to be "patient". Insert BIG *sigh* here.
Enter...Friday night...the night I wrote my last post. Now mind you, I have been weighing myself regularly, several times through out the day, hoping and praying that by some miracle, I'd start to see something work. I had kept my legs propped up the entire rest of the afternoon. It was so frustrating to have no control over what was happening to me. The good news is that I was better able to fall asleep Friday night. I didn't kick Dan out or get annoyed with him for no apparent reason, but here's what DID happen. I woke up literally every 1 1/2 to 2 hours, sweating profusely and needing to go to the bathroom. All...night...long! When morning finally came, I told Dan what had happened. On my last trip in the bathroom, I weighed myself. I was exactly 7 pounds less than I had been on Friday evening. No kidding. The swelling was gone on my right foot and ankle, but there was still some swelling on the left one. I couldn't believe it. Since Friday night, I've managed to "let go" of 3 additional pounds of the fluid trapped in my body. My ankles and feet are back to normal, but I'm still holding on to some in my midsection. I can live with that for now. Oh yes, I almost forgot. That acid reflux, yucky taste, yellow tongue...no sign of it Friday night, and I haven't had it since. Nice. I can officially say that I don't like pain medication. If it was on a Facebook post, I'd add *dislike* to it! And another thing. Shelly, if you're reading this, I decided to suck it up and take your advice on the Lovenox shots. I found the softest spot on my belly and gave myself a shot the next day. You were right, I've done it now for 3 days and haven't had a single bruise or reaction to the shot. I only have 7 more shots to go. Thanks for suggesting I give it a try. You're my legs' new best friend! :)
Enough about me. You're probably wondering how Cayden is doing through all of this. He's spending his time with his mom and Rob, because they'll have to go back home pretty soon and he won't get to see them again until after school is out. Everybody came over on Saturday night to share in my yummy birthday dinner. It was wonderful to have everyone together and enjoy such a fabulous meal (baby back ribs, shrimp, salmon...triple layer chocolate cake!). It really was one of the best birthdays I can remember.
Today was a blood draw and a liver clinic visit for Cayden. He has his draws and appointments on Mondays and Thursdays until they clear us to head back to Washington. According to the doctors, his liver is doing great, and he even had all but a few of the rest of the staples removed from his incision. But he's emotionallly having a tough time. He feels lousy and tired a lot, which I think frustrates him. I know he really wants to feel better much faster than it's happening. The docs assured him that this is normal. He can't seem to bring himself to eat much and has lost weight, which does concern the doctors. It's important for his healing (as it has been for me) to be able to eat enough so the body can do what it needs to do to grow the liver and get the body back to a more normal state. I talked to him about this today...about how important it was for me to push myself to eat a little more than I felt comfortable eating. I also shared my experience with being off the pain medication now. He's having the same acid reflux problems I had, which made me less apt to eat. I know he's very uncomfortable with his drain tube clamped off at his chest and two small tubes protruding from his belly that drain the bile into bags. Later this week he is supposed to have another Intervention Radiology procedure where they'll again inject dye to make sure that the bile leak has closed itself off. If it has, then they'll at least be able to clamp off the drains and remove the bags. The doctors today said they didn't detect any excess fluid in his belly when they examined him.
So for now, all is mostly well in liver transplant world. I just hope and pray that Cayden is ready soon to work hard at helping himself heal. It'll be the best thing for him.