Thursday, February 15, 2007

Amazing Surprise

I had a very cool ending to the bumpy week I posted about in my last update. Saturday morning started out as a normal weekend but that changed in a quick hurry. I was planning on Dustin's family coming for the afternoon to visit, so imagine my surprise when my mom came into my bedroom. Then our friend Jeri and my sister made their way into the house too. I was pretty speechless, which many of you know is pretty rare for me :-) Everybody managed to keep this secret well and it made for a special moment.

After the intitial shock wore off, I dressed and got up for the day. I needed to head in to the hospital for my blood draw and my surprise company thought they would drive me in for it. We went to Wendy's afterward and did a bit of catching up with each other. They dropped me off back at the house so we could get ready for dinner. We all drove out to the Nine Mile House for a nice dinner with Dustin's family. Was great for everybody to meet Dustin's grandma, aunt, cousins, and of course little baby Trent. Trent was so cute and Dustin was pretty excited to see him. Dinner was real good and we all had lots of fun.

Some of the things we wanted to visit were closed Sunday, so we decided to visit Southgate mall and take a bit of a drive. We had some great gyros for lunch and it was nice browsing through the mall. We left the mall and decided to drive south and see some of the Bitterroot valley. It was kinda foggy and rainy but it was awesome to see the snow capped mountains of southwestern Montana. On the way back to the house, we stopped into the Iron Horse pub for a few drinks. The Iron Horse is a cool place and one of my favorite stops in downtown Missoula. We ended the night with some great Mexican food at ElCazador. Theresa's son Doug came along and it was nice for everyone to meet him.

Monday was the last day of their visit and we packed alot of stops in. We started the day by driving out to the Missoula Harley Davidson dealership. The store they have is huge and full of the newest cycles and Harley merchandise. We next headed over to Big Sky Brewing to check their place out. Big Sky Brewing is famous for making Moose Drool ale and other assorted brews. It was great fun hanging out there and chatting with the bartender/beer guide. The next stop on our journey was the Lolo Peak Winery for a little wine tasting. Lolo Peak only makes their wine from fruit grown here in western Montana. Their wines were excellent and I especially liked the apple and plum wines. The gal at Lolo Peak was informative and we learned lots about the winemaking process. The last stop of the afternoon was to Missoula's Bayern Brewery. Bayern Brewing makes a variety of German lagers and they have a very nice tasting room and lounge area. We also had to order some of their pretzels and mustard. It was a fitting end to a relaxing afternoon.

We ended the evening by celebrating Dustin's birthday at Shadow's Keep. Shadow's Keep is a unique dining experience and it overlooks the city lights of the Missoula valley. The food was outstanding and we had a good time talking and laughing the evening away. My mom, sister and Jeri had to depart for the hotel to get some sleep for their early morning flight home. We said our goodbyes on a very high note and I was so happy they had fun out here in Missoula. Their time here was brief but they will be back for another visit very soon. My dad wasn't able to make the trip this time because of the busy tax season but there's always next time around. This surprise visit was an incredible experience and one that I won't ever forget.

We are heading upto Helena Friday to testify on some legislation that Dustin had introduced for this session. The bill deals with institutional funding following people with developmental disabilities into the community. I look forward to giving my testimony and making a difference in the progress of this bill.

Take care and I'll be back soon with another edition of my blog.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

A bumpy week

I was planning to have posted an update earlier this week but it's been a wild week for me.

Last Friday, I experienced a burning pain on the left side of my chest. I went into my cardiologist and my heart checked out fine but my lungs were inflamed. He prescribed some steroids and sent me home. The weekend went fine but the pain didn't subside. We called the pulmonologist Monday morning and he got me in right away for a CT scan.

We arrived at Community Hospital after lunch and were taken back to the Radiology Dept. They got me onto a gurney and placed me on a special mat called a HoverMat. They inflate the HoverMat to basically glide me over to the CT table and they can do it with a couple fingers. It was so cool and it made things much easier on me.

The problems started when they tried to start an IV for the dye used in the scan. They needed to use a large gauge needle and they couldn't find a good vein. The flight paramedic was called in and she was eventually able to get it started. They put me in the CT and tried to administer to the dye but my vein couldn't handle the dose.

We discussed our options and all they could do is put in a central line into my femoral vein. They wheeled me back to the emergency room and prepped me for the procedure. The doctor came in and began putting in my central line. It was pretty uncomfortable and he had troubles getting it in. On the third try they used an ultrasound and finally they had success. I was taken back to the CT and we got some really great images.

To make a long story short, they found three small blood clots in my left lung. The doctor started me on blood thinners and put me in ICU for overnight observation. Tuesday afternoon they removed my central line and discharged me. I was sent home on Coumadin and there will be pretty frequent blood draws until my levels become stable.

I'm feeling pretty good today and thank god this week is over :-) Things could always be worse they say and I am so blessed to have had awesome medical care through this episode. Next week things should be back to normal and we will be back in Helena for more legislative testimony. That's all for now and I'll back next week with some pictures.