Wednesday, December 31, 2008

He's home again

Rubin is back home, and this time we are determined that it's for good! Tomorrow starts a new year, and our goal is for it to be a healthy one! They have given him better medication to manage his pain this time, and he was on them for 18 hours at the hospital with nothing else before they sent home. He is still going to have some pain and discomfort, but hopefully this time around we can keep it under control and tolerable. We have a long weekend with me home to help take care of him before I have to go back to work on Monday, and hopefully by then he will be feeling a little better. Tonight we are just going to hang out here and watch movies, and probably fall asleep by 10 and miss the ball drop but oh well.
We wish all of you a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Things are going much better today. The surgeon saw him again this morning and explained things much better. Basically he was never ready to go home in the first place, which most of us were skeptical about. They had told him 5-7 days in the hospital after surgery, and then they sent him home after 3 and 1/2 days. He had been on some pretty serious pain medication (dilauded, which is 5x stronger than morphine) the entire time he was there. They had him skip on dose on Sat morning and he did okay so they sent him home on vicodin. The surgeon explained today that the dilauded can stay in your system for up to 24 hours, so as that was working its way out of his system, the pain started to come back and vicodin was nowhere near strong enough to keep it under control. They are trying some different things now - a patch and a different pill that he can go home with, and he is back on the dilauded until things are under control again. He is trying to wean himself off of it, and once he can go 24 hours without it he can go home. He was able to skip a dose this afternoon, but then needed it tonight. He is going to try going the day tomorrow without it and see how things go.
Other than that, they say everything looks like it is healing correctly and he is doing good.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Well, the good news is that the surgeon says it's not an abscess. She said there is a very small pocket of fluid under the incision, which is normal with surgery and nothing to be concerned about. They are still giving him antibiotics to see if it helps, but cannot get the pain under control. Nobdy seems to have an explanation as to why he is hurting so badly. They are consulting a pain specialist to see if they can change the treatment and find something that works, but the nurse told us that it can take 24 hours for someone to actually come see him. Hopefully they can get in here and figure it all out soon.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Neverending Story...

is a great movie, by the way, but unfortunately the saga of Rubin continues. He came home yesterday and was doing really well. He was able to get up and down on his own and was feelng pretty minimal pain. This morning he woke up and was miserable. He was in severe pain and could not get out of bed without screaming. We called the doctor a couple of times but nothing she suggested helped at all, so we came back to the hospital once again. They did a CT scan in the ER and found a pocket of fluid forming under the incision, which usually means an abscess. The surgeon will be in tomorrow to talk to us about what to do next, but it sounds like they will have to go back in there and drain it. He is still in a ton of pain but hopefully they can get it under control enough for him to get some sleep. Will update tomorrow.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rubin gets to come home today!! I just got out of the shower and am heading to the hospital in a few minutes. He still has a long way to go before he is healed, but he is doing good enough to come home and finish his recovery here. He is excited to get to spend some time with my family before they leave tomorrow, and he is soooo glad to get to see Brayden, but we are a little nervous about how we are going to keep Brayden away from his stomach. At least there will be a few extra sets of hands around today to help keep him occupied. It has been a crazy week and a very strange Christmas, but we are focusing on the positives. Although we have had several struggles this year, we have been blessed in so many ways and still have it better than a lot of other people do.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


So it's been a crazy couple of days and I haven't even touched a computer until now, so here is the surgery update. They took him in around 4:00 on Tuesday for surgery and everything went well. The doctor seemed encouraged by the way things went and said it was better than he expected. They had to remove 8 inches of his small intestine, which isn't bad - they were predicting possibly a foot or more. He seems to think that this should take care of the problem for a long time, and he said that the majority of the people who have this surgery never have another one. We are hoping Rubin will be part of that group. Tuesday night was pretty rough - he was in a ton of pain after coming back up to the room from recovery and it took them several hours to get the pain under control. He's not a fan of the anesthesiologist who made the decision to switch his pain meds from what the surgeon had ordered but they finally got everything straightened out and everyone was here apologizing on Wed morning. They removed most of his tubes today so he is down to just an IV, and has gotten up a couple of days today to walk around. He looks a lot better today than he did yesterday, and are hoping tomorrow is even better. He should get to start a liquid diet tomorrow - he has had nothing but ice chips for the past 2 days.
My family is in from Arkansas, so I have been splitting time at home with them and here at the hospital with Rubin. He is pretty bummed that he had to miss Christmas and Brayden opening presents, but he also didn't want to make Brayden wait to open them, so I video taped everything and then had Rubin watch it all this morning. We are saving/freezing a lot of his favorite foods for when he is feeling better, and are celebrating Christmas with his family sometime in the next week or 2 so he will get to be around for that which is good.
Things should settle down a little over the next couple of days so I will try to be better about updating. I have a picture of his incision - 15 staples. I won't post it to spare those with weak stomachs...
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Our second home...

So Rush-Copley hospital has become a new hangout for the Chrisman family. Rubin has been in a lot of pain again this weekend (he actually spent all day yesterday curled up in a ball on the couch). He went to his GI doctor today for a follow-up appointment from the last time he was in the hospital (about a week and 1/2 ago) and the doctor sent him straight from his office to the hospital. They have decided to do surgery tomorrow to remove the portion of his small intestine that keeps causing him problems. The good news is that with the majority of patients who have this surgery, the symptoms of Crohn's go away for long periods of time - in some people forever. For others the problem just moves up to a different section and they have to go through the same stuff all over again. We are hoping that this will heal him in the long run and that he can go on living normally and not have to worry about ending up in the hospital every few weeks with severe pain.
The bad news is that he will have to be in the hospital for 5-7 days, which means he will be here through Christmas, and that he will have to be out of work for 4-6 weeks. Please pray for his surgery to go well tomorrow and that he has a speedy recovery!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Back in the Christmas spirit...

My mom called yesterday to let me know that my family is coming up here for Christmas!! My entire family - Mom, Dad, Tara, Kaitlyn, 4 month old Bailee are driving over 12 hours on Tuesday to come see me, and they are flying my brother up (he has to work and can't stay as long as them). My mom is baking and bringing food, and planning to cook us a Christmas dinner on Christmas. She said that if I can't go home for Christmas, they are going to bring Christmas to me. I am so excited and can't wait for them to get here!!
On another note, today is mine and Rubin's 4 year anniversary. He is amazing. We had agreed that we are not buying each other anything since we just got new furniture and that is our anniversary/Christmas/my birthday present. I came home from work today to a completely spotless house, with laundry even done! With everything that has been going on lately, I have definitely been neglecting the housework. Being able to lay here on the couch right now and not feel guilty because I should be doing something else is the most amazing feeling.
I love my husband more and more every day and the past 4 years have been the best 4 years of my life. He is the best husband and father I could ever ask for and I am so blessed to have him by my side every day. I don't brag about him enough and I want everyone to know how much I love him!!

Monday, December 15, 2008


We have just recently found out that we can't go to Arkansas for Christmas this year. We alternate Christmas and Thanksgiving each year between here and Arkansas, and this year was our year to spend Christmas with my family, but life has a way of getting in the way of plans. Rubin has spent 9 of the last 25 days in the hospital, and has had to use several vacation days to do so (sounds like a fun vacation, huh?), so he doesn't have enough time left to go down there. My blood pressure has been elevated at my past few appointments and the doctors are keeping a close eye on me to make sure it doesn't cause any complications. The doctor told me this morning that he doesn't think a 12+ hour drive is a good idea and advised me not to go. I'm having a hard time with it but there's not really anything we can do about it. I'm trying to convince my family to come up here and spend a few days after Christmas but I'm not getting my hopes up. I guess I need to make an attempt to finish decorating the tree and hang up our stockings since we're going to be here now. I'm just having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit.