Thursday, May 31, 2007

Back To Normal

Well, after five and a half months, I am tube free! Yesterday (5/30), my doctor took out the catheter that was in me since my surgery. It took a while to get use to it being out, but the only part I am going to miss about having a catheter in me is that I could go whenever I needed to. Now I have to stop doing what I am doing and go, like before the accident.

Also, as of yesterday, I now have an internet connection! Oh, it is so nice to not have to try to find someone's open Wi-Fi. I can get online anytime I want to now.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Up, Up and Away...

Hey everyone. I am about to start telling you about my trip to San Francisco. But before I begin, you will have to remember a couple of things about how I am writing this:

First, I am writing every single blog entry of what happened out there on my PDA, so it may it may be a while before the entire trip is posted. I can not sit at my computer desk very long without it starting to hurt were the stitches are located. Plus, the only way I am able to get online is that I am picking up someone elses internet signal. It is not a powerful signal, so until I have my new ISP, I'll post them whenever I can.

Second, because of the pain medicines they had me on before, and the new ones they have me on right now, I may not remember everything the way it exactly happened because my memory is not 100% there. But I wrote down the important stuff on my PDA each day so it would help me remember more details. If something does not make sense, write me and I'll do my best to fix it.

Also, as for the photographs that I took while in Frisco, you'll have to wait for a few weeks before I can actually sit down at my computer desk to post them on my Photos page.

D-Qwon: "Alright then, let's get started..."

On Tuesday (5/8) afternoon, Annie made it down to St. George before Rachel was off of work. So we waited until Rachel made it home so I could say 'Goodbye'. It was going to be a whole week until I was able to see her again.

After saying 'Goodbye', Annie and I filled up on gas and headed to Las Vegas. We hit rush hour traffic as we drove into Vegas, but we made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Trying to figure out how long it will take to do drive to certain places, but having to calculate that time with time zones... It's not fun.

Since the covered parking area next to the airport was completely full, we had to park in the economy parking. After parking, we hopped on the shuttle that dropped us off at the airport. Checked in our luggage and before we went through security, I wanted a Red Bull. I'm sad to say that I actually paid just a little over $4 for one Red Bull! After going through the security gate, we grabbed us something to eat since we knew it would be very late by the time we arrived in SF.

After eating, we walked to our boarding gate and waited for over an hour and a half before our flight was ready to be boarded.

Due to heightened security, they had to do a few random bag checks and pat downs to the passengers as we boarded the plane. Guess who was one of those people to be searched? Yep! Yours truly.

The fight took off and landed in San Francisco safely. We thought there would be a shuttle provided by our hotel to take us to our hotel, but we found out shortly after that there was not one and we would have to pay for a shuttle instead.

We were the first group of people in the van to be dropped off at their location first. We checked in and went to our room to go to bed. Our room had a single king sized bed, and since I was too tired to go say, "Um, our room was suppose to have two beds...", we just used that room for the night.

Since I forgot to pack ear plugs and melatonin, around 2 or 3 AM, I heard someone outside (within the hotel room range...) yelling and then I believe I heard glass break. I was like, "Great...!". I finally got to bed shortly afterwards because we had a busy day ahead of us.

Monday, May 14, 2007

May 14th & 15th

(Since nothing very exciting happened the last two days while in San Francisco, I'll skim through what is worth mentioning.)

Since I never wrote down what happened on May 14th, all I remember is that I was lying in the hotel bed 90% of the time. However, I would get up out of bed to walk in circles in the hotel room. This was the only exercise I could get without leaving the room. I would also get up to reheat the pizza I had the night before and to take the two showers I was required (by my doctor) to take daily.

I also remember having Annie walking over to Walgreen's to try and get the medications that the hospital required me to take. But they couldn't get a hold of workers comp to confirm that they would pay for it. Well, since the pharmacy could never get a hold of Workers Comp, I had to do without the needed medicines for a day.

While Annie was walking to and from the pharmacy, she told me of how some homeless men would come up and ask her if they could pay her to hang out for just an hour. Talk about your friends in low places. She also told me of how she saw in one of the alleys while she was walking by, that a homeless man just started shooting up. It's sad that these people’s lives have ended up like this.

On the 15th, we had to be up early so we could be to the airport early so in case we had troubles with me getting though security with a wheelchair or other reasons, we wouldn't miss our flight and get home in time. We were told by the hotel, since they arranged to have a shuttle van come pick us up, to be downstairs by 6 AM. So we took all our stuff down to the lobby, checked out of our room and sat around for 10 minutes before the shuttle arrived. The drive to the airport, to me, seemed to be very gloomy because it was foggy outside and none of the other passengers in the van didn't seem to be awake.

We arrived at the airport and Annie went inside to ask to have someone to bring a wheelchair outside for me. She checked in our luggage and then headed over to the security area. They do a thorough and more secure check on people in wheelchairs then they do with people walking through the normal security area. Well, after making it through security and to our gate, we sat at our gate and waited for our boarding time. Since I never got a good nights rest the night before, because I was excited to get back home and to see Rachel, I remember sitting there and just wanting to fall asleep... But I couldn't because the people next to us were talking like they had a few drinks (even though they had not)-- Loud and annoying!

We boarded the plane and then took off. I tried to listen to music on my iPod, but the plane was much louder than other plane trips I have been on. Well, we made it to Las Vegas on time and then headed downstairs to the baggage claim area. Since I was sitting in a wheelchair, it would be best for me to wait by the doors instead of getting in travelers ways near that area. So while Annie was grabbing our luggage, I called Rachel and played around with the wheelchair a bit. That was fun.

Annie found our luggage and we headed to the doors to get on the shuttle to take us over to where we parked the car. Loaded up our luggage, paid our parking fee and then headed back north. I was hoping we would be in St. George by noon to 12:30 PM, but we didn't arrive until after 1 PM. Rachel was outside waiting for us by her truck when we pulled in. We took my stuff inside and took it easy. Ginger was very excited to see me because she was whining and (sigh) went #1 on the floor. Geez! She has been good and has not done that in months.

While I was taking a shower, Annie took off to head back to Salt Lake because she wanted to make it back in time to be in class since her new classes had just started. Well, I laid down and Rachel went to have Walgreen's fill up my medicines. I had been in and out of sleep before Rachel got back home and once she was home to lay down with me, I just crashed. It was good to be home.

Now that it has been almost a month since getting back, I wanted to let you know that things are okay. My doctor here in St. George took out the catheter that was in place since SF, CA, and I have not had any troubles since. It is weird to have to stop doing what ever it is I am doing and go bathroom, but that is life. I still have the stitches where they made the incision, but they are the kind that dissolve. Right now, I am on an antibiotic to prevent any infection, and besides a little bit of swelling that I still have on a certain body part (not THAT kind of "swelling", lol), things look like they will be back to normal. I still am taking it easy right now and trying to prevent doing any constant lifting or running, but I am getting by.

If you have any questions about my surgery or my trip that I never mentioned, e-mail them to me and I'll be glad to answer them.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Release Me

(5/13) I was only able to get about 4 hours of sleep before my roommate started moaning because he was in pain, and the nurses were not responding to button you push when you need a nurse or assistance. So I pushed my "Nurse Button" and someone came in and I told them that he (my roommate) needed help. They got him whatever he needed, but I was now awake. So I tried to watch/listen to Napoleon Dynamite a couple of times to try and help me get back to sleep, but that didn't help. So I played my games until around 6AM when my incision started to hurt. So I called my nurse and told her that I was in pain, and she brought me a Vicodin. I should have called them much earlier on that because that helped me relax enough to let me sleep for an hour or two.

Around 8AM, my dad called and asked how I was doing and to make sure things were okay. I then talked to my mom and wished her a "Happy Mother's Day". Around 9AM, I received the breakfast that I got to choose from a menu the day before. So I was happy for once on what I was fed. I ate, and once breakfast was over with, Dr. McAninch stopped by once more to make sure things went okay. I told him the incision started to hurt earlier, but he looked and said everything looked fine.

I forgot to mention this earlier in the blog entry about the day of surgery... I don't know what the doctors did, but after the surgery, my 'juevos' and (whistle) were just black and blue. Not the entire thing area, just about 60-70% of the area. It's like that area had been in a cock fight [rim shot]. Lol

I can't remember when Annie arrived, but I know by now in this part of the story, she was at the hospital with me. While she waited, she brought a book with her on this trip so she had something to read.

But it was now lunch time, and once again, I was happy to eat something I got to pick out. Well, after lunch, my nurse made me get up and walk around the hallways again. Once we were done with the walk, they had one more antibiotic to have me take in before I was to be discharged. So they let it drip and we both sat there and waited (I was in my bed, Annie was in a chair) for the antibiotic to finish. Once that was done, we waited for her to finish up the paperwork to allow me to be discharged, and for the prescriptions to be written.

Well, I was officially discharged and I was leaving level 14, or as I call it, "The Death Floor". Every time I did my walks, I would look in the rooms of the other patients, and they were either sleeping or looking like they were ready to die (even if they were not there to die). My nurse even said that it was quite nice to have a patient who could sit up on their own and who wasn't always in constant need of something.

They brought a wheelchair around for me to help get me to the main level so we could wait for the cab. We didn't even have to wait long before the cab driver arrived at the hospital. He took us back to the hotel, where I walked in the lobby looking like I had been horseback riding for days. Got back to the room, and shortly after, was successful in going the bathroom. That hurt!

Since I was unable to get a good night sleep before, I crashed and awoke when I was hungry. So we ordered a pizza and had it delivered to the room. We watched the Jazz/Warriors game (Jazz won), and I then took a shower since I had not had one in almost 2 1/2 days. I don't remember much after watching the game, so I must have played my games and then went to bed.

(Updated on June 4, 2007 @ 11:18 MST)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Taste Just Like Chicken

Because I took sleeping medicines the night before, I was able to get a good nights sleep. So when I awoke the next morning (5/12), it wasn't long before the nurses started doing their rounds. Around 8AM, Dr. McAninch (the doctor who performed my surgery) and his assistants stopped in my room to do a follow up on me and to make sure things are okay.

Around 9AM, they brought me my breakfast and I ate it all (except for the bacon-- I have always hated bacon). Shortly after, my stomach started to ache because I ate my breakfast, and because I have not been able to get up and move around. Plus, never eat half a box of Dots while in the hospital (it builds and can back you up). Luckily, Annie had arrived at the hospital. So the nurse requested that I now get up and walk around the hallways on my level of the hospital. I got up and walked towards the window that allows you to view San Francisco out towards the Golden Gate Bridge. Then we headed back to my room to rest because (even though it was good to walk around for the first time in a day and a half) I was starting to get tired (plus my knees started to get ache).

After my little walk through the hallways of the hospital, I laid back down in my hospital bed and just played with my PDA and listened to music. Since it was now lunch time, the lady who brings everyone their meals brought mine to me. Ate pretty much everything and soon afterwards, I was exhausted that I dozed off and took a nap.

I awoke shortly before dinner was to arrive, and my nurse had me use this breathing device that you put your mouth on the mouthpiece and then you suck air into your lungs to “exercise” and expand the lungs since laying in bed can cause your lungs to weaken. She wanted me to do this at least 10 times a day. Well, it being 7PM, it was now dinnertime. Since they still didn’t understand the term “vegetarian”, they brought me teriyaki chicken. Since the other items they brought me for my dinner was not enough to fill me up and to hold me though the night, I ate the chicken. Yes, I really ate it and Annie was my witness.

Well, now that it was getting late, Annie wanted to get back to the hotel before it was too dangerous to get back. So after she left, I entertained myself by playing poker and Suduko, and by also doing my breathing exercises.

Shortly after Annie left, the IV that was in my left hand, started to hurt (as if no liquids were not getting though). I can’t remember how, but I convinced my nurse that I did not need my IV any more and she removed it. Well, that was a relief to have that out because I would not have to call a nurse to detach me if I wanted to get up and move around. Since I was now free, I tried to go bathroom. Since I could feel the pain down there, I couldn’t go. So I laid back down in my bed and played my games.

Before I was to go to bed, the new nurse that would be checking on me during the night brought in a bag to help keep me hydrated and a liquid antibiotic to hook into my IV. Since I had no IV needle in my hand, and it was important that I have this stuff in me, she had to place a new one in. But since my left hand was sore, I had her place it in my right hand. While she was doing that, I could hear “BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!” and other noised outside. I thought there was a music concert going on in the park that was near by, but it turns out it was fireworks. By the time I sat up enough to see the fireworks, it was over… Dang! I believe Annie said she got a few pictures of the fireworks, but I could be mistaken. Well, the nurse placed IV in my hand and got the fluids going for me. She then gave me night medicines and I played my games until I fell asleep. But I didn't stay asleep for very long...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Why Should I

(5/11) We set the alarm clock to wake us up at 4:45AM. Since I showered the night before, I got dressed and went down to use the computer while Annie was getting ready. I checked my many e-mail accounts and posted those blogs. Went back up to the room and called front desk to call us a cab since Annie was now ready and because it was time for us to leave. We waited for just a few minutes before the front desk called our room back and said the cab was here. We walked down the stairs since the elevator was broken. Hopped in the cab and told him our destination.

While driving, he took us up a steep road that still uses bricks instead of concrete or asphalt. He dropped us off in front of the hospital and we checked in at the waiting area. I don't recall waiting very long before my name was called, along with a couple other people who were waiting, to head to a different level of the hospital to get ready for surgery and to wait for my doctor to arrive. We waited about 30+ minutes before my doctor finally arrived. The anesthesiologist arrived and started to prep me for surgery (I.V., etc.). They made me drink about an ounce of very sour liquid to help knock me out. I don't remember much after drinking that, except for them wheeling my gurney into the surgery room and just looking up at the operation room lights while dazed......

(I have to let you know, that what I mentioned above, is to the best of what I can recall. Besides being drugged, I was also nervous before surgery.)

...I awoke up (around noontime) to me vomiting. I found out later that I was wheeled in around 10AM. But since the drugs they used to knock me out for surgery were still in my body, all I remember is hearing what was going on around me. Whenever I wanted to talk, I remembered trying to force myself to talk, but I couldn't. Whatever drugs they used were very strong because while I was going in and out of consciousness, I had very odd dreams... Things you would never normally think of or dream in your lifetime... Unless you do drugs, which I advise not to do.

Since the drugs that were causing me to be nauseated, they tried giving me other drugs to help, but nothing would work until they finally gave me something else in the buttocks. Immediately after that shot, I started to feel much better. I still had the pain from the incision, but they gave me morphine for that. Man, that burns for about a minute when that is injected through the I.V. Oh, a little tip for everyone out there. Every time I started to be nauseated, the nurses would tear open a small pad that has alcohol on it, and waved it in front of my nose. It seem to help calm my stomach from being queasy.

Since I was feeling better and could keep my eyes open longer now, I lifted up the sheets to see what damage had been done. I couldn't see the incision right then, but I could sure feel it.

The nurse who was helping me in the recovery room, grabbed my iPod that was in my backpack which was stored under my gurney. That helped me while I was waiting for them to take me to my room. While waiting, Annie quickly stopped by to say hi. Since she couldn't stay in the recovery room, she went out venturing to the park and other places near by.

While waiting, I was starving since I had nothing to eat since midnight. They brought me water and crackers to munch on while I waited. Finally around 5PM, they took me up to my room and since I had my cell phone with me, I text messaged Annie and told her what room I was in. She arrived shortly and sat there with me while the nurses did their thing.

The room I was given was one that you have to share with another person. The person I had to share the room with, Mr. Ho, has some (non-airborne) disease with a side effect that made it so he could barely eat what was given to him during mealtime. Every so often, he would cough and then you would immediately hear him throw up. Delicious! Thank God, I had my iPod on and the volume cranked up so that I would not have to listen, and get nauseous myself, to that every single time. Annie on the other hand would be sitting there reading her book that she brought with her and would have to hear him.

Well, here is the part that might shock many of you if I have not told you already. While I was in the recovery room, I told the nurses three times that I was a vegetarian. Now that it was around 7PM, dinner was finally arriving to people in their rooms. Well, guess what the main course was? Salisbury steak! Since I was starving, I ate it, as well as everything else on my tray. I didn't want to have to send Annie out to go get me something to eat. Plus, if I didn't eat everything, I knew I would wake up in the middle of the night starving. So, after 10 1/2 years...

I can't remember who called who, but I talked to Rachel and my parents after I was finished eating. Then, Annie and I tried to watch the Jazz game. But since the Jazz were being slaughtered, Annie decided to head back to the hotel for the night. I just watched movies on my iPod, took my medicines and crashed for the night.

Happy Mother's Day... Early

Since I will probably be in the hospital on Sunday or that I will be laying in bed at the hotel, I have to post this now. This is a hilarious video from BaratsAndBereta that was posted on YouTube and it's meant for Mother's Day. Click here to watch it...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Out on the Dock of the Bay...

(Note: When I say the Downtown San Francisco area, I am talking about the area where the cable car track ends right near Powell St. and Market St.)

I awoke Thursday morning (5/10) to find that Annie had awoke earlier and went to the gym to exercise in our hotel. It wasn't long before she came back to the room while I was getting ready. After leaving the hotel, we started to walk along 7th, up to Market Street, to head over to the downtown area. But when we arrived at 7th and Market, we noticed that there were tents set up the long walkway in front of the City Hall, selling items and trinkets. We decided to check it out, but since most of the items being sold were used items from/used in different countries, we decided to keep on walking. Well, there was one thing I would have bought for the twins, but one alone was very expensive. I can't remember if it was a bib or a 'one-sie', but it said, "B is for Bob" along with a picture of Bob Marley. It was cute, but not something I would be willing to pay $16 for, especially when it is something that would be destroyed by food spit-up, or worse. If it was a bib, I can make my own, thank you very much. Afterthe tents, we walked more towards the City Hall to take pictures of the many marble statues/monuments.

After taking pictures, we continued onward to the downtown area. Once there, Annie wanted to go shopping for some perfume. So while I was waiting for her outside, I video taped the cable car conductors turning a cable car around. I will post the video when I know that I have a working internet connection. After waiting for a couple of minutes, I decided to walk up the street to a Walgreen's to get a bottle of water and some "oat-ass bars" (as Rachel calls them). After Annie was done shopping, we walked up to Union Square to look at the many collections of art that multiple art dealers had put on display and for sale. I would have bought this one photograph that I liked very much, but I wanted a smaller version of the large version I saw. But when I found the smaller version, the artist had not exposed the photograph long enough to match the quality, darkness and beauty I saw in the big version, so I passed.

About this time, it was becoming lunch time. Right next to Union Square is Macy's, and located on the top floor is a restaurant called The Cheesecake Factory. This is a place Annie wanted to eat at while we were there. Since I had no objections, this is where we had lunch. It's pretty good food, but I couldn't finish mine. So I placed mine in a to-go container and saved it for dinner later that night.

After lunch, I wanted to check out CompUSA since it was nearby. I wanted to buy a new Pocket PC (PDA) that would allow me to get online while I was stuck in bed after surgery. But the only one they had was one that was on display. Since I wanted one that was brand new and had not been messed up by people playing with it earlier, I so passed on buying it. After leaving CompUSA, we decided there was nothing left for us to do in the downtown area, so we decided to hop on the cable car and head back over to the piers. We hopped on one of the cable cars that drops you off in front of Fisherman's Wharf.

After getting off the cable car, we stopped at a few shops along the way to look for a jacket for Annie. The one she brought from home wasn't cutting it, and she needed something warmer. While looking for a jacket, we went in this one shop that I remember and enjoyed the last time I was in San Francisco. I ended up buying a couple of 'one-sies' that say "San Francisco" for the twins, as well as some chocolate for Rachel. Annie bought a few things too and then we continued on to Fisherman's Wharf. Since there was not a whole lot to do near there, we walked over to Pier 39. We checked out the shops along there, but since everything being sold in each shop had 'airport prices', we really didn't buy anything... Well, we did buy 'linner' (lunch/dinner) at La Salsa.

Since we still had time to venture before it got dusk (not dark, dusk), we were going to head over to the Palace of Fine Arts. But to get over there, we had to hop on the bus that we got off of the day before near Ghirardelli Square. While walking in that direction, we stopped at a few more shops to look for a jacket, but she still didn't see any that she liked. So we then stood on the opposite sidewalk that the Bushman was on and I video taped him scaring a passerby. I'll post this video as well when I have a better internet connection. We continued on to Ghirardelli Square and stopped in the Ghirardelli gift shop. Annie wanted to buy a set of chocolates for someone. We left Ghirardelli and was heading up to the bus stop, when I told Annie that I was exhausted and since it was getting dusk, it would be best to just call it a day. So we walked back over to the cable car near Fisherman's Wharf because Annie decided to buy a jacket that she saw earlier at one of the shops nearby. After buying the jacket, we then hopped on the cable car and headed back to our hotel.

About a block from our hotel, Annie saw a small market and wanted me to see if there was food in there that I would eat while I was laying in bed after the surgery. You know, so when I would want something to eat/drink, she would not have to travel very far to get it and then waste time traveling getting back to the hotel. This place did have a lot of the stuff I will eat since I am a picky eater. This store would do.

We got back at the hotel and since I was hungry, I re-heated my lunch leftovers. After finishing that up, I emptied out my entire backpack and then packed up every that I would need or come in handy while I was at the hospital.

After packing, I decided to take a shower. The hospital gave me, the day before, some anti-bacterial soap to wash myself with so areas near the incision would not get infected after surgery. So I hopped in the shower, poured the soap on a wash cloth because they said this soap was thinner than regular soap. Come to find out that this soap was red, and because I used a white wash cloth, it dyed the towel pink. Lol.

After getting out of the shower and drying off, I called Rachel, told her about my day and I listened to all the excitement she was having with her mom and sister. While I was talking to Rachel, I decided to walk down to the lobby to use the internet. There were two computers, but one of them was broken. Yes, I would have looked at it to fix it, but I didn't want the hotel yelling at me for trying to look at it without asking. Now, since someone else was using the working computer, I kept talking to Rachel. After 20 minutes, I got fed up with waiting and went back upstairs to the room. The reason I got upset was that there was a sign as you walk in the computer room that reads, "Please limit your computer use to 10 minutes when others are waiting." Since this lady that was using the computer was... unaware, of the sign, I ended up planning on using the computer before I went to the hospital in the early morning.

I don't remember anything after coming back to the room, so I must have been so tired that I went straight to bed...

(Updated on June 4, 2007 @ 11:10 MST)