Saturday, February 12, 2011

Snapshots....and stuff

I dedicate this post to KMS, who informed me that the spacing between my posts is unacceptable. So here is a disjointed & somewhat unorganized update. Even Mark is upset.

I'm not real sure what this post should really I suppose it'll be a little of everything....and therefore also quite feel free to scan through. Where to begin.....A LOT has happened since my last post.....I miss my blog. I don't really like posting sad baby I will equalize it with a happy baby picture. This is Mark taking a bath in his bucket. He loves it!

I have GI malfunctions....lots of them. They have caused me a great deal of on/off pain and discomfort for the past 2 years. My recent flare ups have been awful. Since this past October I have been dealing with bleeding throat ulcers, colon ulcers, food non-digestion (yeah, that's a word) and constant severe upper abdominal pain.....and no real definitive answers. In December, I had that unwelcome extended hospital stay with pancreatitus, ulcerative colitis, & biliary/liver problems.....always comes at the worst time for me.

My chart was labeled "special" and then I was referred to some specialists at Indiana Univeristy in Indianapolis, IN.

I met with a ERCP/bile duct specialist and only dealt with problems regarding my common bile duct. Any questions regarding my ulcers or my liver would need a different specialist. After my consultation with the doctor, the questions we wanted to answer were about the relationship between my common bile duct, the unsuccessful ERCP fixes, & my elevated liver enzymes. He wanted to take a closer look at my common bile duct and see if a blockage near the bottom of it was the reason for my elevated liver enzymes.

I had an MRI, an endoscopic ultrasound, and ERCP #7.

I also look like a recreational drug user....the nurses started having trouble getting IV's in and had the anesthesiologists use the veins in my hand for the last 2 procedures. This picture does not give a good depiction of my gross arms.....barf.

During the ERCP, the doctor removed a large amount of sludge, made larger cuts into the bile duct scar tissue and inserted 3 plastic now "A mac truck can drive through my bile duct." Sweet. And yes, these are actual pictures of my bile duct....barf. (I think I barf a lot)

What Now?

-A liver biopsy in 2008 diagnosed me with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC)

- PSC is a chronic liver disease that produces inflammation which leads to scarring of the bile ducts inside and outside of the liver. As a result, bile builds up in the liver and damages liver cells. Eventually, scar tissue can spread throughout the liver, causing cirrhosis and liver failure.

- 3 of 4 people with PSC also have IBD or ulcerative colitis....the relationship is not understood.

- I will need another liver biopsy and will most likely search out a liver specialist.

- With a diagnosis of PSC & UC, I am considered high risk for colon cancer....which means yearly colonoscopys.....awesome....keep the good news coming! *sigh* *tear*

- I will have to go back to Indy in 4 months to have the stents removed.

- The doctors can't quite decide if I have Ulcerative Colitis (UC) or Crohn's because people with UC don't usually get throat ulcers. I was told that if my ulcers are deeper in my esophagus, then I definitely have Crohns....but if they are only higher up in my pharynx, then it still could be UC. If I want to find out, then I need to get them tested. Whatever. The treatment is the same so I don't care what I they are equally crappy.

- I will most likely start a new regime of meds to address my UC....which include a nice dose of steroids....maybe I'll grow a mustache.

Let's End With Some Good News

- I did not have choledochal cysts....which can be cancerous and require major bile duct surgery.

- My doctor is confident that these stents will work and I will not have common bile duct problems again!!!! He feels that when I get them removed in 4 months, that I won't have another ERCP again.

- I have zero risk for prostate cancer.

A few pictures

So these were the hotel beds in Indy....a little lumpy. We thought they looked weird.

Stella calls these my pretty bracelets.....pretty indeed.

I would argue that Peter and Stella missed me the most.

I love my family

Old Stomping Grounds

Pati and I went to Butler University to look around, take pictures, and feel old.....very old.

Such a beautiful campus!

Good ole' Jordan Hall....ALL of my classes were in this building!

Schwizter Hall (a.k.a. The Virgin Vault)

Go Dawgs!

Other News

This past November and December were absolutely crazy for me with NamHee Designs....lots of Christmas orders....which was fantastic! Here are some of my new color combos.

Christmas parties, shopping, decorating, and celebrating filled every other minute. Check out out super sick Christmas socks from grandma Feyen.

Sofia likes to be silly

See the rat nest that is Stella's hair? Try to ignore the psycho-from-the-movie-The-Ring look she also has going on here.

So I chopped it off

Two little monkeys jumping on the bed.

I love genuine laughter

Stella is not a good sleeper....and I love when she finally settles down and gets some shut eye.

Sofia and Stella both got some super sick pink boots from Papa....and yes, they are bedazzled with rhinestones & silver studs.

This is me playing with my camera from Peter.

I wish I looked so perfect when I sleep. Maybe if you add some drool, a bunch of zits, & a double chin....then we would be daughter-like-mother.

Snow Pictures

We went sledding. It was a blast!

We had so much fun that Peter could randomly throw Sofia in the air and let her land in the snow. I think Peter had more fun with it than Sofia.



Completely sunk into the snow.


Launa said...

What an awesome post... well, except for the whole GI part. That sounds kinda brutal but lets be thankful you don't have prostate cancer (you totally crack me up!!!) Here's hoping and praying that all works out for you and that you have no more (or at least a lot less) problems with your belly!!
Love Stella's hair cut, Sofia is as funny as her mama and Mark is just so darn adorable!!!
Props on the post!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

Sandy said...

Rach, continuing to pray for complete healing for you lady!

Welcome back to blogging! We've missed you in this world! Come back for MORE FREQUENT visits. m, k?

Laanykidsmom said...

Wow, you've been having a lot of fun(NOT). Although you too had me at "zero risk for prostate cancer." I sincerely hope your health improves and the doctors can minimize the amount of invasive visits from long skinny things that wind through your innards.

So nice to catch up on your beautiful children - I think Mark looks like Stella, and no, I am not one of those white people who think all Asians look alike! :)

Kyle said...


LJFredricks said...

Jeez rach, a little boring would be kind of nice wouldn't it? I hope that your issues can find a way to be resolve! Your kids are completely adorable and your camera skills are admirable (read I am so jealous I could spit).
Glad to stay updated!

Rodney said...

The campus is amazing, my wife loves taking photos buildings... thanks for sharing also, fun in the snow best way to deal with winter! :D

Anyways, my wifes name is Annette (pastors wife)and she just opened her blog to public setting as she wants to be an encouragement and blessing to people (she is also hoping to do giveaways). I was trying to be an encouragement to her by asking if you would be willing to swing by and say hi as she does not know many people in the blog world? Thank you for considering. Her blog is

Thank You,
Rodney(Annette's husband)


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