I posted a couple of pics up here! If there is one thing I can say without a doubt that I am thankful for this AVM, it is all of the amazing people that we have met. I know that I will hold them all in a special place and remain close with them for years to come!
Josh was once again my companion on this trip. We got our now regular, super early flight out of Sac at 6:00 in the morning straight through to Denver. No snow when we arrived, much to Josh's disappointment! We arrived at the condo, went to the grocery store to stalk up on a few things, and then just had a little while to relax before heading out to my appt with Dr. Reed.
We actually got in early to see Dr. Reed (this time it was their idea and not me being pushy, I swear!) We had Shana Banana as the PA, and she was super excited to call my name in the lobby since she has finally mastered it!!! The appointment went well. I'm convinced I'm their easiest patient as I really don't have any airway issues! But we chatted about my progress, I told them my diamond earring story, Dr. Reed mentioned he had passed my website along to some other people, and we just kinda hung out for a while talking about AVM stuff. I always enjoy these appointments and the opportunity that Dr. Reed affords me to "drill" him and bounce ideas off of him. He is a great resource for me in this journey! So many times people have doctors that don't give them the opportunity to really discuss their symptoms and just rush in and out. I'm so grateful that Dr. Reed goes above and beyond in the time he gives me and the opportunity to discuss and to learn. He's a great guy!
We had some time to kill before meeting up for our dinner date with Jody & Allison from Alaska. So we headed over to the mall to find a coffee shop and to just stretch our legs a little. And I was totally a good girl and didn't even glance at the big DSW sign as we drove by...ok I glanced, but didn't even mention going in! :) The mall was nice and very "Colorado-ish" and "lodgey." But there was one area in the middle that was a circular courtyard which had beautiful murals painted with the words to "America the Beautiful." It was neat. I liked it!
So off to dinner at a fun Mexican restaurant with Jody & Allison. We had a great time! I email often with Jody and had met Allison and her dad Brad last trip. So it was great to meet Jody this time. We all had the same house special burrito, except for Josh who had to get fajitas instead. Talked for hours and really enjoyed our time with them. Allsion is on the same schedule as me and tries to make it every four weeks as her college schedule allows. And with luck, she is close to being done! We said good night to them, with both Allison and I calling "dibs!" on the waterfall room for the next day.
Last trip in January I was the oldest patient for the day, which meant a late check in and a late treatment time. But this trip there were only four patients and I was scheduled for a 6:00 check in! Yay! We arrived at Swedish and popped our heads into see our favorite admissions lady who let us bypass the actual check in process and just come in to get admitted. Up to the 3rd floor, follow the purple line, and we let them know we were there. Derrek came to get us and take us back to pre-op. A quick hello to Jill as we passed the nurses station, and off to room #10 which has been my home on more trips than not! Allison was already in her snazzy hospital gown and in the bed next to me. We said hello and chatted for a few minutes but it wouldn't be long before she was on her way into treatment.
Boston Mary was shadowing a new nurse (new to Colorado, not new to nursing) Missy and I've decided she is a keeper! She is very outgoing, personable, and just seems to "fit" with our regular crew. I warned her about my IV issues, cause i've learned that pretending I have normal veins just isn't worth it. So two pokes later Mary stepped in and just decided to get it in. Sorry Missy! Chatted with Julie and Rhonda. Dr. Yakes made the rounds before starting for the day. He didn't say much, but did tell us that we were making "big headway," patted my hand, told me not to worry about the little bruise on my cheek, and that was that. Same old routine at this point! Allison was taken off and Jody spent a few more minutes hanging out with Josh and I before going out to the waiting room.
So the surprise for the day was that patient #3 was Sharon, a girl I met through my website and who is also a member of AVM Survivors Network! Her and hubby Ken were in from Arizona for treatment as well. It was nice to meet her in person and get to chat a little. We didn't have much time to talk because we were both getting prepped, and because Josh had to hold my IV bag above his head while I wandered around! That sucker gets heavy after a while!
I have posted pictures with both Allison and Sharon on my picture page. We all look super "glamorous" in our pretty hospital gowns! But I think I got the green light to make my own and wear it in, since I'm not in a real OR where they need it to be all sterile and everything. So I'm gonna work on that, and hopefully next trip will have me all decked out in my new hospital fashion!
Before long I was off to treatment. Josh said goodbye at the door to the hallway cause it sorta freaks him out to actually go in the "room" with all the machines and stuff. No big deal. I know he is a little squeamish! I had the beach room, so I'm guessing that Allison was celebrating her win on "dibs!" with the waterfall room. Always just a quick chat with the anesthesiologist crew cause they give you that happy juice and there is no more room for chatting! I don't think I mention it often enough in my trip reports, but the anesthesiologist group is wonderful and silly as well! They always make me feel comfortable in that freezing room where the mix of the cold and the nerves make me start shaking like a crazy person! They do a great job of keeping me relaxed and joking around. I am grateful to have so many wonderful people caring for me!
Woke up in PACU feeling fine, but swollen of course! Eric was there to make sure I was good and didn't have any questions. Nah, I'm a pro at this point. Josh meanwhile was MIA as nobody could get him on the phone! "Is the last digit a 9 or a 7?" I asked... Ya, he accidentally gave everyone MY cell phone number instead of his!!! Oh well, no big deal. Missy went out to find him in the waiting room and I just slept and hung out. I don't remember much of this trips recovery room stuff. Either there was nothing that happened, or I was just still too drugged up. I do remember that I got one of the spiffy recliners eventually instead of a hospital bed. And I think I hung out chatting with Eric and Josh for a while, but I just can't seem to recall any details! Eventually we were discharged and went back to the condo to sleep!
We stayed in Denver an entire extra day this trip. It worked out better for the flights to have the extra day and fly straight home on Saturday mid day. So Friday we just hung out. I wasn't sure that I felt up to exploring and I was constantly "leaking" from a few holes in my face. Weirdest thing... We were going to meet up with Arie and her parents Jody & Denny, but Jody had caught a bug and plans just didn't work out. It allowed us to have just a day for me to sleep and be lazy before heading home. We eventually made a quick trip down the road to pick up some dinner, but otherwise we just enjoyed the couch!
The next morning we did the usual, got the condo all cleaned up, and headed off to the airport. This was the first trip that even with my preboard pass I did NOT get the front row. I was a little freaked out but tried not to get myself into a panic over having a seat so close to my face. But no big deal. No need for me to turn into a drama queen! The flight went fine of course, and we were back home before I knew it!
Go to Trip #13!
Denver Trips- >