Thursday, October 29, 2009

I miss Campbell.

But I do love my bed.
That hospital bed was actually pretty comfortable, but there's nothing like my bed.
Except for the bed that's in my dorm room.
That bed is even better than this bed.
I miss Campbell.
January 10 seems so far away.
I'm tired.
Good night.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I was right!

All along, I knew it.

I was the only one who thought so, but I just had this gut feeling.

I started to doubt myself, because I'm usually wrong about this kind of stuff.

But nope. I was right.

Come March, I'm getting a nephew!

Yep, Chelsea's having a boy. She's stuck by her name choice, too. Blake Richard Jones. Richard for my dad, of course.

I'm really quite excited. I don't really know why I wanted it to be a boy so badly, but finding that out today just made me almost giddy. I really wanted to be there for the actual ultrasound, too, so that made me happy, as well. It was really cool, being the first ultrasound I'd ever been present for.

We left Duke a little after 11. My grandma and Chelsea met us at Campbell and we got there about 12:20. We ate lunch at the Mexican restaurant next to my dorm and then packed up all my stuff. (Thankfully we can leave my furniture in the room till January.) Then, we stopped by the post office to get my retainer from the mailbox that my orthodontist mailed to me two weeks ago, because I thought I'd be there! And then we headed to Chelsea's appointment. I was riding with my grandmother, and Mom and Chelsea were about 10 minutes ahead of us, because of our stop at the post office.

My grandmother swore she knew where to go to get to Chelsea's doctor because she had taken her to a previous ultrasound, and as we pulled into the parking lot, my mom called and said that they were calling Chelsea back so we needed to hurry. So I went in and talked to one of the receptionists and said, "My sister Chelsea Jones is back there for an ultrasound." She called every ultrasound room they had, and looked up at me and said, "Um...there's no one here by that name." My grandmother looked really confused, so I asked, "Is this Dr. Crist's office?" The woman laughed and was like, "Uh no. That's across the street."

As we got back in the car, Mom called again and was fussing "Where the heck are you?" I said "Mommom went to the wrong building. We're coming." My mom just laughed and hung up.

We got there in plenty of time before they actually took Chelsea into the sonogram room. All Chelsea could think about was finding out the gender. Never mind the fact that the ultrasound tech lady was doing a full anatomy exam to make sure there were no problems with the baby. Every ten seconds throughout the entire exam we heard "Can you tell the sex yet?" And then finally when she got to the end and looked to find out the gender, the baby wouldn't cooperate. Of course. It is Chelsea's kid, after all. Thankfully, Chelsea was the woman's last patient of the day, so she could take the time to try and irritate the baby into cooperating. Mommom, Mom, and I all knew that if we left that office before Chelsea found out what it was, the rest of the day was going to suck. (I guess I can't really blame her, though. Every mom looks forward to that day, if they want to know.) The poor ultrasound tech spent at least 15 minutes prodding and jiggling that baby, and finally she was just like "Let me go get a second set of eyes." So she went and got Chelsea's doctor, whose name escapes me, she picked up the little wand thing, looked at the screen for two or three seconds and said "Oh, it's a boy." :) She even managed to get a picture of the "boy parts" so Chelsea could be 100% sure.

As for the rest of the exam, the only issue was that they could only see 2 vessels in the cord, so Chelsea has to go to some high-risk OB specialist. The doctor said that because she's only 20 weeks, they just might not be able to see the third vessel yet, or even if there's only really 2 vessels there, there's like a 1% chance that something else might be wrong, and that this is a fairly common thing that doesn't necessarily mean bad news. But they send all the patients in this situation to the same high-risk OB doc to get a closer look. So we're not really worried, but any prayers for safety for Blake would be much appreciated.

Okay, I'm exhausted. Mom woke me up about 7:30 this morning, and I haven't gotten a nap in today. So sleep is due. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Even better.

So Dr. F's colleague Dr. G and his nurse Tanya came by this morning.
They said that because when I came in I didn't have a fever with the staph infection, there's no reason to wait 24 hours to see if I spike a fever now.
My last dose of antibiotics is at 2 am.
I can leave in the morning.
Even better.
This increases the chances of me being able to go by Campbell and get my clothes (since I have NONE at my house) and make it to Chelsea's ultrasound in the afternoon.

So here's the plan.

Finish up antibiotics tomorrow or Wednesday.
24 hours of observation to make sure I don't spike a fever or anything.
Then I'm freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think I'm finally realizing how lucky I am.
Because as much as my life tends to seem to suck, I'm really lucky I went to the hospital when I did. Staph infection in the brain? Yeah, that could've killed me if I'd waited much longer.
Deep stuff to think about....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Today, I...

shaved all my hair off.


It's a buzz cut now. After the latest surgery, only about a quarter of my head had hair with any length to it, so I figured I might as well shave it all and start from scratch.

I want to get out of here so bad. I'm so dang bored all the time. But they'll be running antibiotics till Tuesday, so I've got a while.


I'm watching Law and Order: SVU. My mom is about to bring me up some carrot cake. Mmm. I wish it was chocolate. But the only chocolate cake they have has coconut in it, and I hate coconut.

Okay, I'm off. It's been a kind of long day, and I love SVU.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Successful surgery.

So this morning I had my 16th surgery in my whole lifetime, and my 6th brain surgery since August 11th. (They were August 11, August 18, August 24, September 30, October 13, and October 20.) Thank God it was successful and I have an internal shunt again.

Dr. F had to make new incisions more towards the front of my head, though, because he was concerned about the old incisions being opened up again when they've been opened so many times. He basically shaved the whole right side of my head. When I saw this shave job, I decided I'm just going to buzz it all. Might as well, right?

I've still got at least another week in Duke because they have to run a ton more antibiotics to make sure the infection is completely gone and stays gone.

For having my head and abdomen cut open today, I feel pretty darn good. That should be obvious since I'm here updating you guys. But that's all I've got. It's pretty boring.

P.S. Eight days and I get to find out if I'm having a niece or nephew! :) Holly and I are both trying really hard to be excited.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another update.

According to Dr. F, I should be getting a new shunt put in on Tuesday. However, I'll still be in Duke for a while afterwards getting more antibiotics.

The docs are really irritating Mom and me. Instead of treating the breakthrough pain I have, Dr. F is just all "you shouldn't be hurting." Well, I'm sorry, dude, that I shouldn't be hurting, but I am. So do your freaking job and treat it.

It's my mom's birthday today. We've done nothing but sleep. It's kind of depressing.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A long overdue update.

Yeah, I know. I suck. And y'all are probably mad because I'm not keeping you updated on how I am.

So here I am to tell you how I am.

I'm crappy, to say the least.

  • I had stomach troubles so bad that I was screaming and in what was the worst pain I'd ever experienced all last week and weekend.
  • I had to drink hot Milk of Magnesia and prune juice (at the recommendation of my aunt, a geriatric nurse) twice.
  • I got another headache on Monday as I was heading back to Campbell.
  • Late that night, I took another ambulance from Campbell to Duke because I not only had a headache that was a 10 on the pain scale and a fever of 101. (I usually run 97 degrees to 97.5 Fahrenheit, so that was really high for me.)
  • Holly met me there from Raleigh and stayed with me till Mom got there just after 2 am.
  • I found out on Tuesday morning that my shunt had a staph infection growing in it, so I had another emergency surgery.
  • I reacted to the super strong antibiotic they gave me; my face turned beet red, I rashed, and my fever spiked again.
  • I had my shunt removed Tuesday afternoon and got an external ventricular device put in.
  • I had to get a PICC line put in while awake.
  • I continue to itch even though I'm not on that antibiotic.
  • I still have severe headaches.
  • The docs told me I have to go back on the antibiotic I reacted to because it's the only one they have strong enough to fight the type of staph in my brain.

And the icing on the cake of terrible situations? I had no choice but to take a medical withdrawal from Campbell for this semester when this happened . There was no way I'd ever get caught up since I don't even know when I'll get out of here. They first have to get rid of the staph infection, and then I have to have a week straight of clear brain fluid before I can get a new shunt. So we'll see.

I'll be honest with you. I'm really kind of mad at God right now. I feel like I can't catch a break. Wanting to be able to go to college was not too much to ask. As soon as I feel like I'm turning the corner, He throws something else that sucks at me. I hate it. It's not fair. I'm tired of my life sucking all the time. Now I have to move back home and live with Chelsea which is going to be toxic in its own way.

So yep. That's it. I may or may not blog much over the next while. However, I do want to say again thank you for your support, friends.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another day, another problem.

Guys, I'm exhausted. Physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.

I'm back in Duke. Again.

After writhing, sobbing, and howling in severe pain from the GI problems for all of Saturday and Sunday, my mom took me to the local ER at about 1 am Monday morning. I got pain meds and an X-ray to see just how...backed up I was, and over the next 10 hours they gave me 4 enemas to try and help. If you don't know what an enema is, you'll have to look it up. I'd rather not describe it here.

While all of these GI problems were going on, my headache was still minimal. It was almost miraculous. But just after they were done with the enemas, my headache came back full force. Like a 9 on the pain scale. So my mom called Duke again and they said I should just get brought up to them. Well, my mom hadn't slept at all, so that was a problem, but thankfully, after some phone calls, my uncle agreed to drive my mom's car and my grandma drove me up to Duke.

We went through the ER because that was all we could do. The pediatric neurosurgery resident on call down there did a check of my shunt to see if the pressure was okay, and it was. That means that's not the reason that I'm in pain, but it also means I don't have to have another surgery. A CT and X-ray were done, too. However, since it's nighttime, nobody was really available, so tonight is just about trying to keep me comfortable till tomorrow when we can get some neurologists to consult on my case.

So yeah. That's about it. And I'll be flat honest, it's really hard to be optimistic right now because I am so freaking tired of being put in a stupid hospital. This is just not fair. I want to be a college student, and at this point it feels like I'm never going to get back to Campbell.

This just sucks.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I'm home for the week, since my Fall Break is this Thursday and Friday, anyway.

In all sorts of pain. My GI system is screwed up terribly.

Sorry for the lack of updates. Feeling this badly makes me not want to blog.