In April Billy was rushed to the hospital. At the time we weren’t sure if he was having another stroke, or what was going on. He had been to the doctor the day before and was diagnosed with a sinus infection. He was still feeling pretty bad and had slept most of the day. When he woke up around 8 PM, he was disoriented and very unsteady on his feet. Walking the 20 feet to the bathroom, he had to sit down several times.
When the ambulance got there they couldn’t get a pulse or oxygen reading and his blood pressure was around 80/40.
Blood tests showed that his hemoglobin was a 6. Normal is about 13. They started blood transfusions right away and the doctor told us if he hadn’t gotten to the hospital when he did, he wouldn’t have made it to morning.
After several days in the hospital, many many blood transfusions, an endoscopy, and a digestive study, he was diagnosed with Gastroparesis. His stomach is very slow emptying, which means the food starts to rot in his stomach before its digested. This is bad enough on its own and can cause the lining of the stomach to become inflamed. Add in the 3 different blood thinners he was on, it caused the lining of his stomach to start bleeding and he almost bled to death before we figured out that his sinus infection symptoms were actually caused by his low hemoglobin.
One of the side effects to the gastroparesis is gas. Not just normal burps, but as my kids called them, rotting food burps. They smell horrible.
Enter Plexus. While he was in the hospital they put him on a new med, took him off 2 of the blood thinners, and added a probiotic. We were talking about the burps at one of his endocrinologist appointments and she suggested trying Plexus and see if it will help with.
He’s been doing the Plexus Triplex for several months now and those unpleasant burps are so much better.
Gastroparesis is something he will have to deal with for the rest of his life, but thankfully we found something that has helped ease some of his unwanted side effects of it.
Just 10 days shy of 6 months since his strokes, Billy was able to go back to work!
He’s only able to do about 2 hours a day right now, but its a start.
The social interactions will be so much better than him sitting at home every day. Plus working and having to think will be great therapy for his brain.
How is it already August? How is it that Jazzy is already 15??? Happy Birthday Jazzy, mommy loves you!!!
Since Billy’s strokes, life has been beyond hectic and I am trying to get things back into order. August is going to be very hectic until we can get back into the routine of school, doctor appointments, therapy, and perhaps one day we will recover from our trip to California.
My goals for August are Continue reading
We’ve all walked around Walmart, or Target, or the grocery store without thinking twice.
I’ve done it a million times it seems like. But today made me stop and think about all those times that I didn’t even think twice about it.
There was a time that Billy and I would go to the store just to walk around.
All that changed in February after Billy’s strokes.
Usually when we go to the store Billy uses a cart. He’s getting better with walking with his cane, but he still has a hard time doing long distances. Unfortunately (maybe fortunately) there wasn’t a cart available, so he had to walk around holding onto a cart.
Billy’s dad became attached to Bacon and it was decided that Bacon would stay with him. Plus when we moved from California to South Carolina we were worried about the extreme climate change and how Bacon would tolerate it.
Unfortunately Bacon passed away the same night that Billy suffered his strokes. It was several weeks later before we were told about Bacon passing. His parents knew how upset Billy would be and they were afraid of how it would affect his recovery.
After seeing how Bacon’s death affected Billy, and everyone involved was afraid that his depression was going to affect Billy’s recovery.
Enter Rhino. Continue reading
I miss feeling normal.
Some days I feel like I’m just a little cracked, but I’m ok.
Other days I feel like I’m so broken I’m about to fall apart.
Even worse is waking up feeling great and then this wave washes over me and I’m trying to hold myself together.
Here’s to hoping I can sleep and wake up feeling a little less broken.
Everyone is going through something, and most of the time it goes much deeper than what you see on the surface. Much deeper than what is posted on Facebook and other social media.
It’s no secret that I became a widow at the age of 32. Patrick’s transplant and all the complications were posted all over Facebook. Family and friends were kept updated. His story drew the attention of strangers. Others in the transplant community. Those in the Congenital Heart Defect community, both the adult CHDers and parents of CHDers. Continue reading
When I met Billy, I hadn’t planned on dating. I was looking for friends. I was looking for people who didn’t know me before Patrick died. I wanted to meet people that wouldn’t look at me like I was broken. People that would see me for me and not as Sam with the dead husband.
When Patrick died, I realized that I didn’t have as many friends as I thought I did. I will always be grateful for the friends that stepped up and where there every step of my grieving process. But I learned that a lot of my friends were to weirded out and ran away instead of being the support I needed.
Maybe I should be grateful that they showed themselves out of my life instead of sticking around and just pretending.
I met Billy on Oct 1, 2013.
I almost went off on him after that first hello. I had had a really bad day, and I was in a I-hate-everyone mood. A little voice in my brain told me I needed to be nice to him and at least say hi.
We had been talking for a could of weeks before he asked me to lunch one day. He knew I had an appointment to get my car worked on and thought meeting after would be a good idea.
Only, sitting in a waiting room at Hyundai gave me a lot of time to think, and over think things. I wasn’t sure I was ready for this. It had only been 18 months since Patrick died. What was I doing? I still loved Patrick, and how could I even think about anyone else, even if this was just a lunch date.
I finally gave in and called a friend. She was thrilled and spent an hour talking me into going to lunch. If it didn’t work out, or if I wasn’t ready, it was just lunch.
Even though she made sense, I wasn’t sure. Then there was the, what are my kids going to think? What’s his family going to think? OMG what are so and so going to think?
In the end, I decided I needed to do it for me. I needed to test the waters and see if this was something I was ready for. On the way there I talked to Patrick. I asked him for a sign if he was OK with this.
Lunch went well. We talked about me, my kids, Patrick, and everything I had been through. We talked about him, his divorce, his family, and his dog.
After lunch we decided to walk around the mall. I was surprised that I was enjoying his company, but I still so wrapped up in my head being worried about what everyone else was going to think, that I didn’t know if I could do a relationship with him.
Plus I hadn’t had a sign from Patrick. I know it sounds crazy to so many people, but it was really important to me.
We walked into a store and there was a ladybug on a tumbler. It was cartoony, and I blew it off as it was just a coincidence. My signs from Patrick had always been real ladybugs.
We walked on. The next store had another cartoony ladybug. My brain told me this was just another coincidence. It was getting closer to the time I had to leave to be home when Jazzy got out of school.
One more store before he walked me back to my car. We walked towards the back, and ended up having to zig-zag through the store because of rude people. We ended up on the opposite side of the store than we wanted, but I got my sign. The back corner was full of ladybugs. Curtains, towels, bath mats, sheets, all covered in realistic looking ladybugs.
Like I said, most people would think I’m insane for deciding to date Billy based on if I saw ladybugs or not, but I believe in signs from our passed loved ones, and I needed that sign from Patrick to know that he would be ok with it.
On November 12 we were hanging out with his dog, Bacon. I needed signs from Patrick, Billy needed to know if Bacon liked me. Once it was apparent that Bacon loved me, Billy asked me to be his girlfriend. Like we were 14 again. It was so corny but so sweet.
3 1/2 years now.
We are getting married August 5, 2018. And we bought our tickets for an Easter Caribbean Cruise 2 weeks after we get married. I’m so excited!
This picture was taken of the kids with their dad in August 2009. This was Patrick’s first stay at Stanford. The kids were so excited to sit/lay in the bed with their dad and watch Spongebob.
Robbie was 11 and Jazzy had just turned 7.
How is it possible that its already May?
I’m thankful we are done with April and I don’t have to deal with it again until next year, but seriously, where has this year gone?
A lot of my time this year was spent worried about Billy.
- January he was in the hospital and diagnosed with cardiomyopothy.
- February he was rushed to the ER and ended up having emergency bypass surgery. Followed by his strokes.
- March he was in the rehab hospital and finally came home on March 25th.
- April he decided he missed the hospital and was rushed back to the ER by ambulance on the 12th.
I have challenged him to stay out of the hospital this month. We are supposed to go camping with family later this month, and if he ends up in the hospital again, we aren’t going to be able to go.
How is this picture almost a year old already?!?!?!
Robbie finished his first year of college and How is that possible? It doesn’t seem long ago that I was registering Robbie for Kindergarten.
Time needs to slow down!