The Slide Continues

Olivia and Ella fighting for the mic

Olivia and Ella fighting for the mic

September 2013

We celebrated Audrey’s birthday on 8/31.  Carmen had been preparing all week long with pictures, frames, candies, and other minor decorations.  The morning of the party she had a major episode.  She took some over the counter medication but nothing seemed to work.  The spikes were alleviated only through time.  She came down from the spike just long enough for her to get ready and get in the car.  When we got there she had another one so she had to stay in the restroom to relax her belly.

The rest of the day was really good.  She had lots of energy and the pain was minimal.  Little did we know that things were about to get bad.

Sunday and Monday seemed normal enough, but the spikes had returned.  This time it was elevated and more extreme.  This week was also when our good friends the Smiths from our Raleigh days would come to visit us.  They had no plans except to hang out with us.  They have 3 daughters all similar ages to ours so it was really fun for the girls.  By this time Carmen’s condition took a nose dive.  I told them that they had come at the best time and worst time because they spent the weekend helping us.

Friday 9/6/2013

They were staying at a local hotel that had a pool.  Carmen had been in bed for about 2 days now not eating much or doing much of anything.  It was eerily similar to her first week of Oxali where all her energy was zapped and nausea was out of control.  I told her she should just stay at home while I take the girls swimming at the hotel with the Smith girls.  She insisted so I relented and off we went.  By the time we got there she was in a lot of pain.  So I told her to stay in the car while I go drop off the girls.  I would be right back.

As I approached the car, I saw movement in the passenger seat which was where Carmen was sitting.  Immediately alarm bells began sounding in my head so I rushed over to see if everything was alright.  Well, they weren’t.  She was in a lot of pain.  She motioned for me to take her to the back of the minivan so she could lie down.  I removed both car seats and took her there.  The pain was beyond intense.  It wasn’t moaning and groaning type of pain.  It was writhing in misery type of pain.  There was nothing I could do except hold her hand and pray to God for comfort.  Her hands began to get cold and feeling as if she was unable to move her arms.  This was probably a pre-cursor to going into shock.  After about 45 minutes it slowly began to subside.  My church friend (Gene) surmised it might’ve been twisting of the small bowel, or bowel obstruction.  He said pain from this is extreme.  Based on what just transpired, this was probably a good guess.  He suggested Kefir and Pepto as a temporary relief measure.  Great call.  Kefir was probably the only thing that she was able to handle for those few days.  By the way she was also throwing up.  Not too much, but enough to cause further alarm.

The decision was clear.  She needed surgery.  Whether Protocel was working or not was now secondary to physical removal of these tumors.  They were out of control and were probably pushing on everything else.  Relentless was this thing.

So on Monday I called the surgeon we’d met a few times at Cedars Sinai to schedule surgery to remove these 2 large masses.  The purpose of this surgery was never curative.  It was to alleviate symptoms.  I would venture to say that she is now symptomatic.

Carmen wasn’t “snapping” out of this funk which looked like coincided with her monthly cycles.  Somehow the onset of her cycles completely exacerbated her symptoms.  It happened in July and now in August with August being by far tougher and longer than July.  I can’t imagine what September’s cycle would bring.  I didn’t want to find out so we decided she can’t have any more cycles.  Doing the surgery would guarantee her cycles would stop.

The surgery was initially scheduled for 9/24, but I called and after explaining to the surgeon what I saw, she asked if Carmen could come in for a quick examination.  I was glad to take her.  After seeing her she agreed that Carmen would probably need to be moved up.  So they found an opening on Tuesday, 9/17/2013.  This day was to be a long one.  The appointment was at 10:00.  It took us over an hour to get there.  They wanted to do some pre-op blood tests, EKG, and chest X-ray.  This took a long time.  We finally left Cedars at 1:30.  Carmen had her foot therapy appointment in Buena Park at 3:00 (alternative treatments we’re trying).  We get there exactly at 3:00 and she receives her treatment until 4:30.  This day was the first of 2 days of the Woman’s conference in Anaheim.  A few church ladies had planned to go for a while.  We weren’t sure if Carmen was able to attend.  The prior day 2 church friends Anna and Esther had come over to help.  They saw the condition Carmen was in and thought it would be unlikely she would be able to attend.  I feel God had other plans.  After such a long day, she had enough to attend.  Also she ate and said she was hungry which was the first time she said she was hungry in about a week. 

This was such a great night for Carmen and her friends.  They felt that she was meant to be there to hear God’s message through the guest speaker.  It was as if he was speaking to her.  They all cried and had a great time.  This burst of energy was surely God given. 

So it’s set.  Time to hit the reset button on this and start over.

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