This trip was combined with a mini vacation up to Washington to visit my sister Michele and her husband Dean. We spent the 4th of July holiday with them (although we were party poopers on the actual 4th) and did a bunch of typical touristy stuff around Seattle. It was a wonderful time and I was so glad to spend some time with my sister. We don't see each other often enough! I did post a blog with more info about our trip and also pictures from our explorations. So check it out!
We left for Denver on Tuesday night directly from Seattle. Arrived fairly late and basically just crashed for the night. The next day we just hung out. Went down and got some fun nailpolish and supplies so I could give myself a little pedicure while sitting out on the patio soaking up the sun. Bright pink and very cute toes if I do say so myself! We went to see Dr. Reed for our regular pre-op check up. Everything looked good and he recommended that I use some antibacterial ointment on my cheek wound for the next four weeks to see if it helped heal up. Otherwise things looked good. We talked about the reduction of the blood flow in my face and how it was difficult to locate the thrill (obvious pulsing blood flow) that we used to be able to locate with barely a touch. We also found out that we had just missed Wendy from Canada! She was in for treatment the same day as me. I hoped we would see her at Swedish the next morning.
After leaving his office, we stopped at the shopping center so I could pick up new little diamond studs after losing one the week before. I'm always so sad when I don't see them sparkling at me in the mirror! We had dinner at Thai Basil, contemplated going to the mall to look for a new watch for Josh but decided just go back to the condo and get a good nights sleep.
I had talked with Sadie before our trip, trying to schedule a little time to talk with Dr. Yakes. I was becoming increasingly more concerned with the "wart hog" (my cheek wound) and why it wasn't healing. It also seemed to possibly be getting bigger as well as now actually looking like there was a "hole" behind the wound/scab/blister/etc. I was imagining the worst but hoping to get more information to have a better idea of what was really happening. In addition to the wound, I noticed a more prominent vein in my neck and what I could only describe as a tightening in that area. While I have been confident that this treatment was working, I couldn't identify or really name some of these newer changes and needed to understand them better. My control freak personality makes it impossible for me to not know! Sadie couldn't get me a consult, but she did fwd to Kelly the new PA, and I replied to that email in typical "high maintenance" form. Poor Kelly hadn't even met me and was having to deal with all of my questions! I ended up getting switched to the morning check in at 6 am (my favorite!) which would allow me a few minutes to talk with Yakes.
So the next morning we were up and out early to make it to the hospital on time. We stopped at Caribou coffee so that Josh could get a mocha with some poop! (I am so easily amused.) We had our regular check in lady and she shared the wonderful news that she was getting married! What a great start to the day. Things were looking good already. All checked in and up to the third floor. Got in quick, changed into my new gown that Michele had helped me make with her Serger (I have since bought one myself so that my gowns will have ALL the fun stuff) and settled in for the regular routine. Had nurse Jenn again, but I totally jinxed her. She is always a super duper IV-er, but she didn't get me on the first poke!!! So the good start of my day had a little road bump, but made for a bad start for Jenn. You would think that with the AVM I would have plenty of blood flowing through these veins. But I'm often a failure at the IV. So we got the IV going, weighed in (I'm starting a diet for real this time cause she actually had to move the big, bottom, chunky weight thing!) and just waited for the treatments to start. I was first in for the day, that never happens.
Got to meet Kelly, the new PA. Very cute girl, my age and actually reminded me a little of Andy one of the first PA's Yakes had when I started almost two years ago. So funny thing...she has a friend named Shalon Rae! I mean seriously, what are the odds?!?!? Based on thinking Kelly was my age, I had to tell her that her Shalon's parents must have watched the same TV show that mine did. There is just no other explanation. We chatted with her for a while and filled her in on everything she needed to know about me. She also was the lucky lady to bring me a gift from Alaska Sordahls!!! New sockies to wear, with a fun moose in a bathrobe and slippers which say "I don't do mornings" on the bottom as the grippy. Very cute a nd very much appreciated. Alaska Jodi is great for sending providing little reasons to smile. I have a picture wearing my new sockies on my glamour gown picture link!
Wendy was my anesthesiologist this time and we chatted with her about the dogsitting she was doing for a family member. Josh even pulled up a picture on his iPhone of the breed so we knew which kind she was watching. She had some good stories to tell about that. Wendy is a great doc and is always very thorough and has a very relaxed and gentle way.
After just a little bit, Dr Yakes came flying by on a rolling chair on his way to see one of the kids in for the day. As he flew by, he pointed and said "Love ya in pink!" in reference to my new gown. Made me smile and reminded me that he is a really great guy! A few minutes later he came in to chat. I told him my concerns about the wart hog and what may be in store. The good news is that he assured me there really was no AVM left under the wound. While he wasn't sure why it wasn't healing, he was absolutely confident that I didn't need to be concerned about any scary movie type bleeding episodes. If the wound bled from the scab tearing or anything, it would bleed like a "normal" person. No big deal. He also said he would coordinate for me to see his Plastics guy, Dr. Snively on the next trip so he could look at the wound and possibly do a biopsy if needed. So that was all a huge relief. The wound shouldn't get worse, and with luck it is already actually working towards getting better. We chatted about my other concerns with my neck and the vein there. Yakes really felt that there was less of a change in the actual AVM in the area, but the changes was more my perception based on the other changes. The reduction in size of the AVM and the loss of those obvious thrills, just meant that I was more aware of some other smaller things that had always been there. And I have to agree that this makes sense. I may have mentioned my control freak tendency...well it also means that I sometimes hyper focus on things. So I think it is possible that I am "looking" for changes, differences, things to be concerned about. And so I may have noticed this vein and just not lost focus on it. Bottom line, don't worry. Things are getting better and there is nothing big to be concerned about. Ok, I can do that...at least I will try.
I know I have mentioned how Yakes doesn't really give progress reports. And how we aren't really supposed to ask, since he will gladly offer the info when there is something concrete to offer. But even Dr. Reed has been encouraging me the last few trips to get one. And I have tried to be tactful and ask very general "how are we doing" types of questions. However that passive approach wasn't working as my answer always was "we are making progress." So after we talked about the wound and changes, Josh totally busted out with the "how far do you think we are in the process?" I did BIG EYES at him and though "You aren't supposed to ask!!!" But Dr. Yakes didn't seem fazed. He took my hand and said sincerely "we are defintely passed the 50% mark." Yeah!!! So my day really was going well. I mean that is great news! He has attacked all the big stuff and is now just going in to fight the little guys. Unfortunately there are a lot of little guys. But that news was great, and hopeful. It just reinforced my belief that I've made the right choice and that this is the path that will work for me.
Not too long after that, we were off to the radiology room. Had the waterfall room instead of the beach room. And of course got the usual compliments on my gown. One of the nurses and I talked about sergers and how I had played with Michele's to get the fun hem on the bottom and how I made my matching bag with it. She went into the other room to grab a bag/purse she had made with her serger to show me! I don't know when I turned into Sally Sewer...but I totally am! So happy juice in and lights out.
Don't remember post op...I really don't know why I even try at this point! I'm no good at that part.
Swelling was typical, but I had a bandage ove my cheek wound. Dr. Yakes used some silver nitrate to cauterize it a little hoping that may aid the healing process. We'll see!
The waiting game started for the 4 hours of laying flat for the angio. I slept a little, chatted with Josh, and generally just hung out. I was still wondering if we would see Wendy, but figured she was in for treatment. Josh had met her and her husband earlier in the day and chatted for a few minutes. Turns out, the person sleeping in the bed across from me was Wendy!!! We didn't know because the lights were out and she wasn't facing us. But when she got up, she came over to say hello for a few minutes but was quickly taken back for her treatment. I didn't even think to get a picture with her. Oh well.
The next two days were fairly uneventful. We did see Herdis, condo Jenn's sister in law on Saturday before we left. She stopped by to pick up some items for Jenn's Hawaii vacation. We chatted for a while and made plans to get together for dinner on one of the next trips.
So we headed off to the airport for a quick flight home. But that turned into delayed flights from the storms, then sitting on the runway for over an hour, a hail shower forced us back to the gate to check for damage to the plane, and finally we were able to fly home. It was a very long delay but we did get to watch a super cool lightning show out of the plane window. The darkness being out on the runway and the vast view...it was actually not that bad considering I just wanted to get home and we had an extra 4 hours delay!!!
Back home, picked up our pup from his grandparents and that's it!
Next trip is August 5-8th!
Denver Trips- >