Good Friday and Easter Sunday are perhaps the most significant days of the church calendar, and yet, in a real sense, we live our lives on Saturday, the day in between. Philip Yancey

Monday, April 2, 2012

How Amelia Met Her Deductible

Amelia's new GI has ordered a series of tests on her colon (lower GI, rectal biopsies and colonoscopy). The later revealed that the child has the uncanny ability to remain "constipated on watery poop", a discovery after a bowel prep including four day of clear diet and loads of laxatives. It hardly fazed me that Amelia had gone on to the movies and church during this process. That's how colon cleanses go on the only two gals I've worked with. Amelia's mention of the "clear" blue slushy while watching the Lorax prompted the doctor's first pause that day. He looked at me and said basically Houston we have a problem here.

The standard of care upon originally learning about Amelia's impressive stool reserves was adding a softener. Most constipation is the result of a diet poor in water and water-carrying fiber or a lifestyle deficient in exercise. Both leave the waste in the colon so long that too much water is absorbed and it gets hard. In my mind, this never added up for Amelia because regularity and stool consistency weren't problematic. The first GI just patted me on the back and said I was over reacting, don't worry. After what I'd seen in a genetically similar daughter with non-typical constipation I couldn't swallow that approach. 

The second GI said, let me try the obvious first and if it doesn't work, I won't stop until we figure this out. That I could live with. Please prove my concerns invalid; just don't ignore our family history. The tests confirmed that even when so much water is present in the colon that most couldn't hold it in if they HAD to, Amelia's doesn't contract enough to expel it. Sadly this is the familiar can of worms I had been anticipating. Amelia's B6 diagnosis preserved Lydia's life another 7 years. Lydia's death is informing Amelia's medical care now as we step past the easy answers and start processing long term management.

Revisiting the endeared staff and familiar places of Lydia's stellar care from her last months was hard. Pregnancy hormones didn't dilute the emotions. Who knew the smell of skin prep for an IV could trigger so much? The full day at the surgery center started early on daylight savings Monday. Yawn! Amelia's diagnostic process went extremely well and the GI, surgeon and I have come out on the same page. Still we left feeling like we'd been run over.

Amelia kept us engaged.

There was no reading a book or putting her in front of cartoons. She was an especially funny character as the oral Versed started to kick in just before going to the OR. 

Can you decipher Sophie's new nickname in the word scramble?

Answer: 'Barnacle Sophie'-The girl likes to physically cling/hang!

Jason was a great sport even though he admitted that his skin was thinner than it used to be. There was an undercurrent of tension even though no actual concern about the procedures.

It was two years almost to the day, hanging out in the same waiting room, anticipating report from the same surgeon regarding Lydia's bowel obstruction which began her final decline. These pics are actually after the second surgery the next week. 

I can almost smell her sweaty hair and clenched hands, uncomfortable from the pain.

Do you blame her?

Amazingly, Lydia still was beautiful and polished-looking with a good hair washing, enough meds on board and her gown down.

Physical exhaustion, emotional intensity and fluxes, sensory sensitivity (no tags left in any recently worn article of clothing) and poor-focus are all overlaps in pregnancy and grief. Both hit your immune system too. Jan and Feb were cough-laden for me. I would have posted this yesterday but I was in bed with what I was afraid was the flu. Today it seems to be just a cold, on its way out, yeah! 

I was just getting to the point in grief where I was physically recovering. Pregnancy certainly has a more defined goal and end date but it has been a different mindset looking to my recent past as the symptoms all returned. I was disappointed that the second trimester didn't immediately usher in a new/old me. Maybe I'll still soon get to familiarize myself with that person again for a little while. 

The best aspect of pregnancy in my opinion has just begun, to balance things out and foster anticipation. As of this weekend baby is big enough to frequently make its movements felt. Two more weeks and we'll learn gender too. Jason has refused to talk names until then because "half of the dual-gender-discussion would be wasted" prior. He's such a Math guy but he does like to play. Last night he asked how we'd mess with the kids in regards to gender reveal. They really are so invested that much fun could be had with it. Any ideas?

Two more installments of this update to come, unless one of them proves too long like this one did before I halved it at the last minute. You're welcome.


  1. Hang in there, you have our love and prayers.
    To God Be the Glory "anyhow".
    Our God is the Same Yesterday,Today and Forever.

  2. Call me if you need help!