I’ve had a lot of routine appointments in between Iowa City, my diabetes and eye injections but after this week I figured I would touch base with you all!
First off, yep, still getting injections in my left eye every five weeks and still not a fan of them. My last appointment actually consisted of two shots, one in my eye and one just below my eyelid. Apparently I had a lot more swelling and fluid so he wanted to hit it hard with a steroid injection on top of my regular injection to hopefully get some control on the situation before any vision loss occurs. My eye doctor stressed the importance of being “proactive not reactive” and that statement was enough for me to be compliant and not look for an excuse not to get the shots haha!
Then Tuesday was the six week checkup for my diabetes and lab work.
Wednesday I was in Iowa City for my routine ct scan of the chest to look at my SVC and pulmonary artery stents. The doctor concluded that after discussing my present symptoms and reviewing the scans, that I would need to have angioplasty again to open up the SVC stents.
Friday I had another ct scan except this time of my back. I have been having some pain in my lower back and my right foot has been getting numb for the last several months again so I will meet up with my surgeon in January to discuss my results and options. Praying praying PRAYING that whatever is causing this issue will not require surgery!
Tomorrow I have to go do lab work again for my upcoming procedure on Wednesday in Iowa City…then the following Monday back for my eye injection. Welcome to my world!
Crazy right?! When I have to see so many doctors every 5- 6 weeks or every few months…a lot of my weeks are like this!!
Now to the reason I’m blogging…my Iowa City report.
I was on my way to my appointment in Iowa City when I inadvertently took a wrong turn as if I was going to Cedar Falls for an appointment. I kind of grumbled and rolled my eyes at my unnecessary error. In fact, I was actually pretty frustrated with myself. But, I turned around at the next intersection and got back on the road I needed to be on.
Then, right before I got to the hospital exit there was a horrible crash on the other side of the interstate involving what looked to be four or five cars. Sirens were blaring, police and fire trucks and ambulances all rushing to the scene. It was over two miles of traffic backed up on the interstate and on exit ramps because of this accident. There were people standing by the crumpled up cars so hopefully that meant no serious injuries but regardless, they were probably pretty shaken up.
I got to the hospital and once I was checked in they put an IV in and I waited to be called back for my test.
Once back to the testing area, they hooked me up for an ekg to be completed during the scan as well. After about 25 minutes I was done!
I then met my interventional radiologist along with a med student and we reviewed that it had only been five months since they last opened up my stents. We went over my current symptoms…shortness of breath, chest pressure and a pain that shoots to my back below my shoulder blade, brain feeling fried and foggy…not to mention that darn fatigue!!! All my usual symptoms yet some of them have become a lot more intense recently.
They began reviewing my scans and I could tell right away that something was up. The doctor asked me if I had any lifestyle changes over the last few months and I informed him the only thing I could think of was that I was trying to be more active. He agreed that was a good thing for me to do and both he and the med student continued to investigate my current scan and the scan I had done five months ago. My doctor then pointed to the screen and asked the medical student “do you see that?” which the student replied “it’s like they’re getting organized”.
Getting organized?? What??? Haha! I’ve been doing these tests for 16 years and have never heard my disease described like that!
Are they lining up for battle?! Because seriously, I felt like I was in a sci-fi movie all of a sudden! You know, where the intense scientists discover that their non life blob research stuff is actually alive and smarter and building up to attack the world! Okay sorry…I have quite the imagination when Tim is not there to help me stay focused on what the doctors are saying.
I finally interrupted their conversation and asked if something was wrong and the doctor explained that my scans looked different than the last ones.
He first informed me that I would indeed need to get my SVC stents open. But then he went on to say that the masses are more condensed as he squeezed his hand to make a fist and finished his sentence with…”and that is when the problems occur with the masses crushing and damaging your organs, veins and arteries”.
I took a deep breath because I am fully aware that my illness can flare up so this should not be such a surprise to me. I refused to cry this time. We scheduled my angioplasty and then I was on my way.
And for some reason I started thinking about my drive here and how life…and my faith…truly are like one big road trip.
I woke up this morning and knew where I wanted to go…my destination was the hospital. I know how to get there but I made a wrong turn. However, I didn’t keep driving in the wrong direction or just stop and say forget it and not even attempt to get to the hospital. I mean…just because I made a wrong turn didn’t mean the hospital wasn’t still there.
Instead, I realized I made a mistake and knew the road I was on would not get me where I intended to go. But, I also understood that it was still possible for me to get to the hospital so…I stopped going in the direction I was headed, turned around and got back on the road I needed to be on.
And the car crash I had seen! This news of my illness progressing was my “crash”. Most likely the individuals involved were going about their normal business…obviously not expecting to get into an accident. Just like I was coming here for my routine checkup, not expecting to hear my fm was active again.
And I couldn’t help but think about my relationship with Jesus. I believe God sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for me and I believe my final destination is heaven. But I sure have made a lot of mistakes in my life…and I still mess up! I also know that just because I mess up, even when I think it is too big to be forgiven, that the Lord does forgive me and gets me back on the right path. He doesn’t just give up on me.
Instead, I acknowledge Him and what He is capable of because I know I can not get to my final destination without Him! I am so thankful for God’s never ending love….and He is what brings me comfort through my “crashes” and “wrong turns” in this crazy journey we call life.
So when my mom texted me because she had not heard from me after my appointment…
I was able to call her back without a tear shed and say “yes Mom….I am okay”.
My angioplasty is this Wednesday and when I am feeling halfway decent I will try to give a quick update as to how my procedure went!!
Thank you all for your continued prayers and messages and support!