Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Back to "Normal"

This will probably be my last Rubin update for a while and then my blog will be back to my stupid stories. He went to a new doctor today and he really likes him. They took him off of 2 of the medications b/c he was taking 2 steroids and 2 anti-inflammatory drugs and he said there is no reason to be on all of them. He also reduced the dosage of the steroid he is on, which will be tapered off until he isn't taking it anymore. There is one drug they want him to stay on long-term, but he has no long term diet restrictions at all - just low fiber for another week or 2 until he is healed completely.
On another note - Brayden lost a toy car yesterday and when I asked him where it went, he said "Ugh...Cameron took it". How does he know to already blame things on his brother - he's not even born yet!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

He's Home!!!

Rubin was finally released today around 12:30. We just got home after picking Brayden up from his parents and filling his EIGHT prescriptions. He is feeling great. When I got to the hospital to pick him up, he was standing in his room with everything packed up and was practically singing and dancing. I'm pretty sure that if the nurse had taken 5 minutes longer he just would have ripped the IV out of his arm and left on his own. They gave him a copy of all of his medical records so he can take them to a new doctor when he leaves. The only thing we don't have is the biopsy result that confirms that he has Crohn's. I am getting ready to sort through his medications and read the instructions to compile a spreadsheet for him. One has to be taken an hour before he eats, another has to be taken on a full stomach, one can't have any exposure to alcohol (not just drinking but like salad dressings, wine sauces and even aftershave - no exposure at all), and one of the steroids is like 4 pills a day for 2 weeks, then 3 pills for a week, etc until he weans himself off. Thank you for all of your prayers! I am so excited to have my hubby home!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

He just texted me and said they have moved him back to clear liquids because he is experiencing pain since being on full liquids. I just called him and he is getting very frustrated and says that if they don't release him tomorrow he's breaking out. Hopefully the doctor will have better news in the morning. Please pray that he is able to come home. He is very anxious to see a different doctor - we both agree that this guy is not someone we would ever choose to see again, but right now feel that we are stuck with him until he gets out of the hospital. He is going to ask the nurses if there is anyone else there that he can see instead, but at this point we don't know if that will happen.
Things have been going pretty well today. Rubin went for over 12 hours without any pain medication, so the steroids are obviously working. He has progressed to a full liquid diet and has added cream of potato soup and ice cream to the other things he was eating. Since switching to those, he has started to have a little more pain, but the nurses say that is normal because the area is still inflamed - it's getting better but not healed yet. They are still saying that he can probably go home tomorrow. He is determined for that to happen, so I hope they don't change anything and decide he needs one more day. Thank you all so much for the prayers - they are obviously working because we weren't planning on him getting to come home until Monday or Tuesday! It looks like he might even get to have turkey on Thanksgiving now! I will update tomorrow once we know something - they don't have a time frame yet for when the doctor will be by to decide if he gets released or not but we are hoping for late morning/early afternoon.

Good News!

The GI doctor just came in to check on him. He is progressing him to a full liquid diet, and said that he is going to keep him on oral steroids for probably a month to make sure they get all of the inflammation gone. He will be on a low fiber diet for at least 2 weeks once he goes home and will have to follow up with several doctors visits to determine the other ways they will treat the Crohn's. We are not a fan of this doctor, so Rubin is planning to follow up with someone else once he leaves here...which could be TOMORROW!! We were planning on Tuesday, so if he could go home tomorrow that would be wonderful. We still have to talk to the other doctor (who will interpret what this GI doc actually said to us - he is horrible at explaining things) and she should be by anytime. If anyone knows of a good GI specialist please share! It sounds like Rubin will have to become good friends with one from now on...

Friday

So far this morning he is feeling much better. I got here around 8:30 and he was up and on the computer. He said he slept like a baby last night, so they either didn't come in as much throughout the night, or they did and he slept through it. His pain is much better, and he just scarfed down 2 popsicles and some jello. We are watching Oprah now, and when it's over he wants to go take a shower. He is really hoping for the ice cream, and I'm sure they'll let him move up to the full liquids since he is doing so much better today. Hopefully the doctor will come in sometime this morning/early afternoon and give us an update. I'm not sure how they are going to monitor if his inflammation is going down - they are taking his blood daily, so I'm sure they are using that to monitor it, but I don't know if they'll do another set of x-rays in a couple of days to be able to see everything.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday recap

They have started Rubin on the steroids and so far today he has been able to eat jello, chicken broth, and a popsicle. He has actually had 2 "helpings" of each so that's good. He seems to have an appetite again and is able to eat those without feeling nauseous. Hopefully tomorrow they will progress him to a full liquid diet (he is still currently on clear liquids) and he can add pudding, yogurt, ice cream, and various other things to the mix. He is very ready for that to happen and can't wait for ice cream! I know they are treating him as Crohn's and everyone is pretty certain that's what it is, but I still would like to have the official test results so we know for sure what is going on. It hopefully won't be too much longer before we know.
I'm home tonight with Brayden and will be taking him to daycare in the morning and heading back to the hospital. I feel bad leaving him there alone with no one to talk to and nothing to do, but we need to make sure Brayden has some sort of a normal routine for at least a couple of days. I brought Brayden to see him at the hospital and he did better tonight than he did on Tuesday. He keeps saying "Daddy's too sick" and doesn't seem to really like hanging out in the hospital room, but he stayed for about an hour tonight and did okay. I'll take him back over a few times this weekend. Rubin really misses him.

The "Good" Doctor

Shortly after the GI doctor left, the hospital doctor (the one we really like!) came in to check on him. She had just talked to the GI doc in the hallway to get the update. They have both decided after looking at the barium that it is best to go ahead and start the steroid so the inflammation and pain doesn't get worse. She said that typical steroid treatment includes 5 days in the hospital, and then they send you home with a pill steroid and you slowly wean yourself off. Again, the 5 days is the "typical" time period, so we could be looking at more or less time. She said that he should be able to notice a difference in the way he feels in a day or so, so that's good. It sounds like an actual diagnosis is still days away, but since he is in a monitored setting, they feel comfortable with starting the steroids anyway. The nurse said she will check, but they will probably give him the first dosage at either 12 or 2, and he will get it every 6-8 hours after that.

Doc 2

The GI doc just came back in and said that the barium tests shows severe inflammation in the small intestine, which is exactly what he saw in the colonoscopy. He said there is also another spot in the lower part of the SI that is pretty inflamed. The upper portion looks okay. They are going to start him on the steroid, which should help the inflammation. He just said that they will keep him for a few more days, but when we asked about the 5 days he said that it depends on how well he responds to the steroid treatment. If he responds well to it and it starts to work, he may be able to go home sooner than that. I guess the 5 days is a worst-case scenario and they just wanted to prepare us for that. He said the pain is being caused by the fact that his intestine is so inflamed and swollen, and anytime anything gets near the affected portion, it causes irritation and pain. They still have not confirmed that it is Crohn's because the biopsy and blood test results are not back yet.

Doc

The GI specialist just stopped in to check on him. He still hasn't read the barium test results, so he didn't have any updates. He was just checking in on his pain since they called him about the additional pain medication last night. We asked him about the steroids, and he just said "it depends". I don't think he wants to give us anything definite until he has the test results back. He is going to read the test results and will come back later today.

What day is it again?

I think it's Thursday, right? So far this morning we're just hanging out. Rubin asked the nurse this morning what time they thought the doctor would be here so he will know if he has to be here another 5 days, and they said that it's already been determined that he will be. I guess his charts have already been updated to prepare for that, but without the "official" diagnosis I don't think the doctor wanted to tell us that it's a for sure thing. The GI specialist should be in sometime today late morning/early afternoon and we should get a definite answer from him.
Right now he is comfortable and looks and sounds pretty good. The pain medication they had been giving him was a kind that works immediately, but then wears off after about an hour, but he can only have it every 3 hours. Last night the nurse called the doctor and they are now also giving him Vicodin in between the shots of the other pain meds to keep him comfortable. He has just ordered Jello for breakfast but hasn't tried eating it yet because he's too busy sending emails and working. He is very anxious about missing another 5 days of work, but his boss is awesome and I think she is helping put his mind at ease. I will update again after we see the doctor or if anything else exciting happens.

And I just realized that by posting this, it now takes up more than an entire page of my blog. If you are just now "tuning in", go to the bottom and click "Older Posts" to start from the beginning and work your way up.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Goodnight!

I'm going to sleep. Rubin is watching the Bulls game and I'm sure he will pass out before too much longer. We will see the doctor sometime tomorrow morning. I'll be back to blogging tomorrow...check back for the latest info. Again, thank you all so much for your prayers and support. Goodnight!

Doctor Update

The general doctor came by and gave him a TB test. She said that they will have the preliminary results by tomorrow to determine if it is Crohn's. She said he has a lot of ulcers and they are really bad. "If" it is Crohn's, he is in the middle of a pretty major flare-up, which will need to be treated with steroids. She said they should know by tomorrow if they can start steroid treatment or not. If they do, he will need to be on an IV steroid for 5 days, which means he will be here in the hospital for another 5 days. He was pretty bummed to hear that and is worried about missing that much work, but understands that he has to get better. This doctor seemed pretty confident that that is what will happen. We will see what the GI doctor says tomorrow.

He's Back again...

He had the barium test and chest x-ray. He said it was a little frustrating, because he had just gotten back from the colonoscopy and they told him he shouldn't get up and try to walk on his own b/c he was still under the effects of the anesthesia. Then he got downstairs for the barium test and they made him drink more junk and walk around for 15 mins, which was still uncomfortable and painful. He was gone for over 2 1/2 hours getting those tests done and we should have the results of them tomorrow. They have started him on medication for Crohn's and on an antibiotic for the infection. The doctor (not the GI specialist, but just the regular hospital dr) came by to see him while he was gone so she should be back any minute now. He has finally had the chance to lay back down and rest, but they have told him there is more bloodwork to be done so not to get too comfortable. The doctor will also do a TB test to rule that out. The nurse said that it's possible he could go home tomorrow, but he will have to make some very major improvements between now and then for that to happen. My guess is he will still be here tomorrow night but let's hope and pray for a quick recovery! I'll update again after the doctor comes in.

2:45 pm - He's Back!

He's back and the doctor just came in. His colon looks good, but his small intestine is very inflamed and swollen to the point that nothing can get through. They won't have the biopsy results for another 2-3 days. He will be here again definitely overnight tonight and will be on a liquid only diet. They are going to start him on medication to reduce the inflammation and are going to do more tests to rule out other possibilities. They are still pretty sure it's Crohn's. They just came up to get him to take him down for a chest x-ray and a barium test. The barium test will hopefully show the inside of his small intestine better - they could not get the scope through in the colonoscopy b/c of the swelling. The chest x-ray is just a precaution to make sure he doesn't have pneumonia or some other infection. Once he gets back from there, they will do blood work. If the antibiotic does not reduce the swelling and relieve his pain, then they will try a steroid to see if that helps. He will be in the hospital until he is able to keep down food and his pain is under control. The doctor will be back in the morning to talk about the results of these other tests. I guess at this point it's still a waiting game. They kind of threw a lot of information at us all at once, so I'm sure I'm leaving something out. I will update as I remember things, and feel free to ask questions - I will answer them the best I can.

Update 1:45pm

They just came and got him and said he should be back in 30-45 minutes. I'm going to eat while he's gone - the poor guy is hungry and wants a cheeseburger/chicken fingers (although I'm sure that's the last thing they would advise him to eat at this point) so I don't want to eat in front of him. Will update with fun stories of the crazy things he says while drugged up!

Update 12:30pm

The nurse just gave him another dose of pain meds and said that it will probaly be another 1/2 hour before they come get him. So I guess now we're looking at him being out sometime around 2:00 and will hopefully see the doctor shortly after that with the results.

Rubin

Most of you already know, and some don't, that Rubin is in the hospital. I have been trying to follow up with everyone's emails and phone calls but I don't remember who I have told what to. I will try to update here anytime we hear something new so you can all look to one place for the latest. First, I will start this one from the beginning so everyone can be caught up:

Monday: Rubin woke up that morning and was sick and throwing up. We thought it was just a stomach bug and went on about our day - I went to work and he actually even went to a meeting. I had a meeting scheduled for Mon night but stopped by on my way home to check on him. He was still throwing up, had a fever and chills, and had a very sharp pain in his stomach. It was mostly on the right side so I was concerned about his appendix and we decided to come to the ER. We came to Rush Copley and they did an ultrasound to check his gall bladder and it came back fine, so they did a cat scan to check his kidney and appendix, and both of them were also fine, but they noticed some inflammation in his small intestine and wanted to do more testing. He said that they could send him home and do outpatient tests, but since he was in so much pain they wanted to keep him overnight so he could stay comfortable. I think we finally got this news sometime after midnight. I finally went home to sleep for a few hours (we live across the street from the hospital).

Tuesday: A GI specialist came to see him early in the morning, and I missed him b/c I was home showering and getting ready to come back over for the day. They scheduled a colonoscopy for Wed. He said it could just be an infection that can be treated with antibiotics, but they have to rule out anything more serious. He mentioned Crohn's disease as a possibility. Later Tues afternoon the general hospital doctor came in to see him. She said that from looking at the cat scan, it looks like Crohn's to her. She said there is a partial blockage of his small intestine, and that is most likely what is causing him so much pain. The other problems she said look like they have been there for a long time and he has just never recognized that he has had symptoms. Most of the day Tues was just spent sitting and waiting. He is on pain and nausea medication and an IV. He hasn't had anything to eat since Sunday and tried to eat a little italian ice yesterday (one of the approved "clear liquid diet" items) and he felt sick after just a couple of bites, so he hasn't tried anything else. He had to drink a gallon of the fun colon cleansing stuff last night as prep for the colonoscopy today.

Wednesday: So far this morning we are just waiting for the procedure. He is scheduled to go in at 12:30 for the prep and they said it shouldn't take more than an hour. They will do a colonoscopy and several biopsies, and this should tell them anything they need to know. They have said that he could possibly go home today, but it doesn't sound like he will be able to. Since he hasn't had anything to eat in 3 days, they are going to have to start him off with a clear liquid diet and gradually progress to solid foods, and he can't go home until he is able to keep them down. He is also still in severe pain so that is still a concern.

I will update more after we hear the results of the procedure - probably sometime this afternoon. If you are like everyone else I have talked to and are saying "What is Crohn's disease? I've heard of it but don't know what it is", check out this website. http://mayoclinic.com/health/crohns-disease/DS00104
I have obviously been reading a lot about it the past few days and I think this is the best website to give the basic info and isn't so scientific that you can't understand it.

I have my laptop and they have free wi-fi, so feel free to email etc. I'll be here all day. We appreciate all of your prayers and are just very anxious to find an answer and know what the next step will be.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Layouts

Why do I lose my thingy on the side every time I change my layout/background? I save the blogs I read there for a reason - because I don't know the websites individually. I changed my background today, going for a more "fall" look, and had to go find everyone's blogs again and set up the list. I am going to want to change it again in a couple of weeks for Christmas - how do I keep this from happening next time?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Survey Results

It was super close, and over 75 people voted, which is crazy! Thank you to everyone who voted and we are really excited with the winning name! We have both always really liked the name Tyler, and it has been one of our top choices as a first name with both kids. Since Rubin says we aren't having any more kids, I'm glad we are going to use it now.

1. Which name do you like best? Think of all 3 names together, and please vote only once!! :)

Cameron Tyler Chrisman 27.6% 21
Cameron Carter Chrisman 17.1% 13 (We still really think this one is cute)
Cameron Evan Chrisman 5.3% 4
Cameron Jordan Chrisman 7.9% 6
Cameron Ryan Chrisman 26.3% 20 (Soooo close!)
Cameron Richard Chrisman 18.4% 14 (Sorry Daddy, but you got a lot of votes!!)

answered question 76

Big Boy Party

Today we had a "Big Boy Party" for Brayden. Yes, our 3 and 1/2 year old has still been sleeping (note, sleeping only) with a pacifier. He was really having a hard time giving it up, so we decided to make it a big production. Anytime he gets a balloon, he wants to let it go and watch it fly, so we decided to tie the paci to a balloon and send it flying. We have been talking about it for a couple of weeks to get him ready for it and he was really excited. We decided that today would be the day so we have all weekend to deal with the crankiness before he has to go back to daycare and we have to go to work. We made a big deal out of him being a big boy and had a little party to celebrate. He got a cake and a new toy. Now we're praying that it goes over well. I know that he will still ask for it when he goes to bed, but we're hoping that instead of telling him "No, you can't have it anymore" or "We threw it away", the explanation that it flew away with the balloons and is up in the clouds now will go over a little better, especially since he watched it disappear. Pray that I get some sleep these next few nights - I'm already having a hard enough time sleeping as it is...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm on a mission....

to find the perfect diaper bag this time around. I absolutely hated the one we had with Brayden, and we ended up using a backpack. Rubin loves the backpack and wants to use it again, and I'm fine with him doing that, but I want something a little bit cuter and easier for me to carry around. I know what I'm looking for but can't find anything. I'm having a little more luck online, but I can't tell how big they are when I'm looking at a picture. I am starting my search now so that if I end up ordering one online and don't like it, I will have time to send it back and get another one. I'm afraid I may end up doing this more than once, but we'll se how it goes. I want 2 straps (like a purse or tote), no flap over the top (just a zipper, tie, magnet, anything), and plenty of pockets for bottles, diapers, my keys, wallet, etc. I don't want to have to carry a diaper bag and a purse - I want it all in one. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know! I've become obsessed.