Sunday, November 25, 2012

Another Update

I just wanted to take a minute to update on how Brian has been doing, as lots of sweet, kind people have asked.  The doctor started him on insulin shots two times a day a week ago.  It's taken some getting used to for him, as the insulin shots have lowered his blood sugars but now his sugars bounce around a bit more and he's had quite a few lows, which are no fun at all.  Overall, he's feeling way better!  He's only gotten sick at night once and both of us are sleeping much better at night.  Eventually he will probably end up going on the insulin pump but he'll have to be on shots for a few months before his insurance will agree to cover the cost of the pump.  I'm thrilled that he is feeling better and we have finally come to a resolution with his health. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Some Empties

I have some empties to share with you.  I'm not even sure when they are from... October?  September?  No idea!  But here they are.  ;)


1. Tresemme 24 Hour Volume Shampoo - I love both the shampoo and conditioner from this line.  They get my hair clean and soft without weighing down my fine hair.  And you can usually find them in the large sized bottles for a pretty fair price.
2. Herbal Essences Volumizing Mousse - Oh, how awful and disappointing this mousse was. It smelled okay, but just did nothing to give me any volume at my roots.  I much prefer my beloved Tresemme Thermal Creations Mousse.
3. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist - A tried and true product that helps to keep my hair smooth, tangle free, and conditioned.  I've purchased and repurchased this inexpensive product over the last fifteen years and still swear by it.
4. Suave Keratin Infusion Heat Defense Leave In Conditioner - I think this is about my second or third bottle of this stuff.  I really like it.  It helps keep away the split ends while still being inexpensive and easy to find in stores.
5. Up and Up Facial Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin (generic for Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer with SPF 15) - This was okay but I prefer the Walmart Equate Generic of the same product.  Equate's formula is a little thicker, which I like and the bottle on the Equate product has a smaller opening so you don't squeeze too much out.
6. Desert Essence 100% Pure Jojoba Oil (found at Whole Foods

Monday, November 12, 2012

Update

I'd like to say that after Brian's doctor's appointment with the gastroenterologist on Thursday that I have some news to share with you but it was rather anticlimactic.  Brian's biopsies came back without anything to even discuss (which is good because there is definitely no cancer, but we already pretty much knew that after the colonoscopy and endoscopy came back with nothing to find).  We explained to the stomach doctor that Brian's latest blood test came back showing that his sugars were way high and that was the most telling thing to the doctor.  He told Brian that he would be calling his endocrinologist to discuss the next step.

The endocrinologist had discussed putting Brian on insulin but wanted to wait to find out the results of the biopsies.  Brian's endocrinologist just called today and asked Brian to come in this Wednesday for an appointment to start him on insulin.  Basically, the gastroenterologist thinks that getting Brian's blood sugars under control will help reduce the effects of the gastroparesis.  Any remaining symptoms could be controlled through diet and medication.  So again, we are waiting for another doctor's appointment to find out what is next to come but at least we finally have some answers!  Brian doesn't like the answers and really doesn't want to go on the insulin pump but as a pumper myself, I have assured him that it's really pretty easy and not that big of a deal.  This weekend, we finally got smart phones, which make it super easy to access nutrition facts for restaurants and foods while on the go.  Knowing the nutrition information of what you are eating makes it much easier to follow the low fat, low fiber diet he's been given, as well as letting him know how many carbohydrates are in his food so he can take the correct amount of insulin.

This has been a long and extensive process to figure out what is wrong.  I'm really hoping that Brian will start feeling better soon.  And hopefully when he starts to feel better, both of us will start sleeping through the night again.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Very Rough Month

October was a very rough month, to say the least.  My husband, Brian, has been struggling for several years now with some digestion issues.  In 2007, he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  Being that I have been diabetic since 1998, that didn't seem like too big of a deal to us.  He took some pills, made some adjustments to his diet, and moved on with life.  Then he started getting sick.  It happened slowly at first, with occasional nausea turning to occasional vomiting from the nausea.  His endocrinologist (diabetes doctor) blamed it on the diabetes medications and said that basically, he would have to learn to deal with it.  Then, over the last year or two it seemed to get worse.  He was getting sick more often and more violently, especially at night and in the early morning.  Something just didn't seem right.  Neither of us has slept well at night for probably the last year because of his constant tossing and turning from not feeling well.  Finally, I convinced him to see my primary care doctor on October 1st.


The doctor saw Brian in her office and after talking to him about his symptoms, she immediately said that it would not be caused by his medications.  He asked what she thought might be causing it and the doctor said that she didn't want to even guess until he had seen a specialist and had his stomach scoped.  She sent him straight downstairs to a gastroenterologist (stomach specialist).  They made him an appointment for the next week.  Knowing all this, I began to really worry.  There is nothing worse than waiting around for what could possibly be bad news about your loved one.  That week passed by as one of the slowest of my life.

October 8th finally rolled around, the date of Brian's first appointment with the gastroenterologist.  I had family in town that week, which was keeping me extra busy already.  Brian came home from the appointment very upset.  After describing his symptoms to the doctor, the doctor told him it could be one of three things.  1: colon cancer, 2: something simple like Celiac's Disease, or 3: something we didn't yet know.  He thought it was most likely colon cancer.  Devastating news.  My 31-year-old husband, my best friend, the love of my life might have cancer.  Yet there is a huge difference between "you have colon cancer" and "you can't eat gluten".  I stayed optimistic and hopeful.

The doctor scheduled Brian for an endoscopy and colonoscopy for the soonest date possible, which just so happened to be on my birthday, October 25th.  More waiting.  And I thought the previous week had been slow.  When you are suddenly thrust into the realization that the person you care the most about in your entire life may be taken away from you far before you are ready, your priorities quickly change.  Suddenly writing about makeup and nail polish seems a little frivolous and the only thing that matters is spending every moment you can with the person you love while you still can and being sure that they know just how much you truly care for them.

Again, we waited and I worried.  On the morning of my birthday, we went to the hospital.  The doctors and nurses prepared Brian for his procedure.  They took him out and I waited in his room.  Pinterest kept me mindlessly busy and soon the doctor was coming in to talk to me.  The moment of truth.  As far as he could see, there was nothing to worry about.  No irregular tissue.  No tumors or growths.  No sign of gerd.  Everything looked healthy as far as the doctor could see.  They took some tissue to biopsy, just to be sure.  We were left with more questions than answers but it was a start.  The doctor thinks that it is likely gastroparesis, which is common in diabetics, especially diabetics with high blood sugars.  It's basically where the stomach digests food at a slower speed than normal and since the food can't travel down through the digestive system, it comes back up.

That same evening, I went to the orthodontist for my first adjustment since August.  The orthodontist confirmed what I already knew: my right canine still hadn't moved at all.  I was completely frustrated and pretty much ready to give up on the braces.  I've had these things on for nineteen months and that tooth has not moved at all.  My orthodontist was equally frustrated and he suggested a new strategy: a microimplant to pull at the tooth from a different angle.  If you don't know what a microimplant is, you can watch this video.  For me, they wanted to put a small titanium screw into the roof of the mouth so that the chain on my right canine could be attached to the screw and pulled.  The orthodontist forewarned me that there would be no anesthesia and that the process would be rather painful.  I can handle pain.  What I can't handle is the frustration of having braces and feeling like I'm making no progress towards getting them off.  I was ready to do this.

A week later, Brian went back to his endocrinologist and found out that his Hemoglobin A1C was exceptionally high over the last few months.  This means that his blood sugars have been way higher than usual, which might help to explain why his stomach problems had gotten worse over the last few months.  It also means that his pills are no longer working and as soon as they figure out what exactly is wrong with him, he will probably be starting on insulin via an insulin pump.  Then the next day, I nervously went back to the orthodontist to have that screw put in.  After waiting for quite awhile in the waiting room and getting rather nervous (Did I seriously agree to have a screw drilled into the roof of my mouth with no anesthesia?!?  Have I lost my mind?  This is going to hurt!) they finally took me back and got me started.  And honestly... it didn't hurt at all.  They used a topical anesthetic gel and then a shot (maybe novocaine) and all I felt was a lot of pressure while the ortho screwed it in but it really didn't hurt at all.  One problem solved, (at least for now), one to go.

This Thursday, Brian goes back to the gastroenterologist for his follow up.  We should get the results of the biopsies and we're hoping for some sort of diagnosis as to what is making Brian sick.  Meanwhile, he continues to be sick, especially at night or in the early morning.  We both are feeling worn out and tired all the time from so many restless nights.  I couldn't even tell you the last time we slept through an entire night.

Yet, I have found a newly rekindled affection for the man who is my everything.  We are spending more time together, laughing more often, and it sort of feels as exciting as it did thirteen years ago (as of October 27th, 2012) when we very first started dating.  It is rather like falling in love with the same person again.  After seven years of dating and six and a half years of marriage, when I get in bed each night, I know that I am absolutely in love with this man lying next to me and I will be there for him no matter what the outcome of all of this is.