Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Going into surgery tomorrow morning.
I've been missing in action from my blog not just because we've been busy with the process of getting closer to adopting Boo (although that's been in the works and still is), but lately I've been even more busy going to various doctors and specialists and having tests run, for some health issues that have been recently discovered.
I think long ago I mentioned that I have only 1 kidney (my right one was removed when I was 2 years old).
Well, at an annual physical, it was discovered that I had over-the-top high blood pressure, which is not normal for me. My blood pressure has always been within normal ranges, until recently.
My Primary Care Physician (who I think is awesome) was alarmed and acted aggressively by ordering all sorts of tests on me. She started with blood work and focused on my kidney, telling me that sudden high blood pressure was often a sign of kidney problems and, since I only have one, she was quickly starting to look there.
After all the tests were run (including an ultrasound, a cat scan, and x-rays), it was determined that I have two very large stag horn kidney stones in my one remaining kidney. Left unattended, they are ticking time bombs waiting to go off and the results will not be pretty.
I was referred to a urologist and a nephrologist, and they even consulted with other doctors in their field and it was collectively decided that I needed to have surgery to attempt to have the stones removed (they're too large to pass on their own or be dissolved by medicine and lithotripsy is not a viable option in my case) while I'm in relative good health and not in a crisis situation.
So, tomorrow I go under the knife for a rather invasive surgery that involves cutting into my one remaining kidney. The surgeon did her job very well in informing me of the risks (internal bleeding, infection, accidental damage of other internal organs, renal failure, need for dialysis, even death). As Oronzo and I sat there and listened to her spell all of this out and then signed the paper listing all of these risks, the terror set in.
I'm terrified. I'm terrified that things will go wrong and that I won't wake up from this surgery and I'll never see my kids or husband again. I'm terrified that I'll wake up from surgery and have no kidney left. I'm terrified of all the worst case scenarios.
And it's a bit surreal to have to sit down and explain to your 4 1/2 year old and 2 1/2 year old children that Mommy has an owie in her kidney and has to go to the hospital for an operation to make it all better. The picture I've attached is the one I showed Snuggle Bug because, bless his heart, he's a worrier and I knew that giving him a visual image would help him process. I thought about crossing out the right kidney, that's missing, but thought that might just confuse him.
And today I spent the day filling out Durable Health Care & Mental Health Power of Attorney forms, as well as Living Will forms. I'm 41 years old and I'm having to face the reality that these forms need to be filled out now, not some day, but NOW.
So, please, if some of you are still reading after my long absence from blogging, please say a prayer for me and my family tomorrow, that all will go well.
I'll be heading in to the OR at about 8:30 AM so that the radiologist people can prep me for the surgeon who starts her procedure at 10 AM. The surgeon told me that the procedure normally takes under 2 hours, but she suspects mine will be longer so she booked the OR for 4 hours!
Thank you! God willing, all will go well and I'll be able to provide you all with an update over the weekend or early next week, depending on how well my healing is going.
Monday, September 07, 2009
Slowly moving forward with Boo's adoption.
So, I've been out of commission in the blogger world lately. What can I say, we've been busy on this end.
Today was a good day. Oronzo took both kids out and kept them busy for about 4 hours so that I could clean our home from top to bottom!! I guess you could consider this a fall cleaning, but I had a specific purpose in mind for the clean fest.
We had another home inspection today, you see, and we passed! In the past 4 1/2 years, we've had 4 home inspections. One for Snuggle Bug's adoption, and 3 now for fostering (the initial one and now 2 renewals). So, by now, I know exactly what they're looking for and I made sure our house was in order.
The medicines were locked up appropriately. Our pool gates were padlocked, probably not necessary considering we have self-latching, self-closing gates, but with the state you can never be too prepared. We made sure the smoke detectors in every room had functional batteries. All the cleaning supplies were up out of reach. Our meager stash of liquor (wine and stuff for mixed drinks when we have parties) was up on a high shelf out of reach. The fire extinguisher is a current model. Our evacuation plan was prominently displayed. Every room of the house was neat and tidy. Everything was in order and we passed! Hooray!
Our foster licensing worker was in our home for about 30 minutes, and after doing the walk-through of the house, he sat and reviewed the mound of paperwork that we had to fill out for the relicensing. All was in order (yep, we're getting good at this).
We've been told that once we get certified for fostering for another year, that also transfers over to get us certified for adoption for Boo! :) We don't have to go through the same process twice in one year, thank goodness.
We're keeping our fingers crossed that we'll be allowed to finalize Boo's adoption by mid-November, in time for a huge adoption celebration that our city is holding in the park. It'll all depend on how well the foster agency and the adoption agency work together in passing information back and forth for certification. And it'll depend on whether or not that appeals ruling will be returned in time.
We'd appreciate your prayers. It's moving forward...just rather slowly! We can't wait for Boo to be a permanent part of our family!
By the way, check back later this week. I have some books to review and give away!