Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Empty Nose Syndrome and Doctor Freeman Mayo Clinic

September 24, 2013
A year ago I was hit with a hammer in the head (not literally) doctors found things in my body, too many things and I was not ready to deal with them.  I had a surgery on my nose to fix the broken. I was told the septum was broken caused from septum Chemo. However I have issued with my right nostril since I broke my nose at ate fourteen. I think if anything all chemo did was finally crush it in.  I said no to a biopsy, no regrets. I said no to the ear surgery with the BAJA implant, no regrets.  I  asked my family to respectfully give me the time I needed. Well it seems the time has come.

I was encouraged when I saw Dr. Barr's  told me my ear looked better.  Not as swollen and red, the carcinoma is still in tack.  He asked me questions about proceeding with the Cochlear BAJA procedure for people with SSD (single sided deafness)  While Eric and I were in Tahiti, my right ear started to drain non stop and without going into too many details,  the smell was disgusting. The draining and pain took me back to my childhood. I dealt with this on a daily basis for years.  I was hesitant to see a new ENT.  Dr. Brian Borland had been my doctor since I was three.  The last time I saw him was when I was twenty nine.

I was referred to Dr. Barr's by another doctor at Mayo Clinic.  I love him,  although he works in the ENT department his official title is Otorhinolaryngology.  He is one of 12 doctors in the United States who do what he does.  I again am blessed not only with another great doctor but one who I can tell loves his patients and has been extremely helpful in explaining everything.

Since the last time I saw him my eardrum had broken again. Unfortunately this will require a more involved surgery.  I was waiting on the ear surgery until I was done with having dental surgery with Dr.  Paul Kelly.  This will be my third surgery with him and finish up the dental implant.

My 1st appointment was with Anthony Mendez P.A. He takes care of  all the nose issues for Dr. Barr's.  He very compassionate and kind.   After some idle chit chat he asked me some questions about my ear, then my nose.  Then came the time--here we go--the moment he sticks  2 sprays in each  numbs the nostril and the the throat.  To be quite honest it tastes like crap. It made me choke. I presented this young doctor with question "Do you enjoy looking up the noses of people all day?" he responded perfectly " I love my job" my reply made him laugh "Well I guess its better than other body cavities you could be looking at all day" This created a lot of laughs for him and I. While it was numbing he showed me my x ray--the septum is now in line the way it should be.  However in order to have that happen the doctor had to take great skill in removing the entire turbinate from the right side of my nose then he said "Let's just hope you don't have empty nose syndrome, that is an awful diagnosis" He could see the fear on my face and immediately started to back track, he said "No worries, it's probably nothing let's take a look"  1st he stuck the camera in my ear so I could see the left ear and the right ear--there it was on the big screen in front of my.  Wow, I thought it was a pin hole in my eardrum, Dr. Barr's could go in and fix easily.  NO, my entire eardrum is blown out in perfect circular form.  Now for the nose, he 1st looked in the left nose--looks good no boogers ha ha--then the right nostril--again no embarrassing boogies--but an extreme difference from the left, I could see the carcinoma and the hole.  With that being said, Anthony then gave me the diagnosis we were not wanting to hear.  I have empty nose syndrome. I can literally hold one nostril closed and still have air come out of the other, but the blockage feels like it is between my throat and nasal passage. Turbinatesd are important for the typical person, it sends messages to the brain when something is wrong in your sinus--mine is empty so therefore I cannot control the continual drainage or dryness of my nose--there is no surgery--but he gave me a medication to try daily.

Now on to see Dr. Freeman, my favorite pain specialist, he makes me laugh every time I see him. He will be injecting my right hip today, and my lower back.  My lower back has become a huge issue and has caused me to faint with pain, or my knees to buckle up and give out on me because of the pain.
As I am waiting in the "complaining" room today more typically known as the "waiting" room all I hear is complaining people, today a lady walked up to the sweet receptionist and demanded someone take her back and show her where her Physical Therapy will be (starting in 2 weeks) "I need someone to show it to me NOW" for some reason she reminded me of Veruca Salt in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory "no daddy I want it now" WHOA lady back it up and settle down a notch was my thought.  Sitting directly behind me I could hear the couple arguing about why Mayo Clinic makes them fill out all these paper works--none of the other doctors do that...blah blah blah....the lady behind them pipes in and says "Oh Mayo Clinic loves to give us all extra work to do while they take up our sweet time in this waiting room waiting for doctors to get back from lunch" I did have to laugh out loud about that statement, I have felt that before too, but I do understand the paper work on pain related issues they need to know what level of pain you are experiencing now, not 3 months ago.
This woman was so sarcastic and rude to her daughter who was trying to help her get the papers done as soon as possible and this woman was being of now help to her at all--she said at one point "just mark all of them, my whole body hurts" the daughter being as patient as she could said "mom lets take this slow, is your pain constant but changes in intensity?"  she still continually belittled here daughter and  it was getting frustrating for me to listen to. I closed my eyes and wondered who of my children will take care of me, or will they send me alone or with a caregiver, have I been good enough and kind enough to them that they would want to help me?  Maybe this lady would feel different if she had no one to help her, I'd give anything to have a relationship with my mom.  I remember all of the prayers in my behalf, all of the kind gifts left anonymously on my doorstep, have I give more than I've taken?  if so I need to work on that one. I hope I never treat anyone like that.
Next is me, as they call my name I see Dr. Freeman in the hall and say "don't make me wait too long" he smiled and said "be with you soon" and soon he was, he asked me if I was writing in my journal I responded "yes, I always do when I come here, there is good things happening in your waiting room, and I want to remember them" he said "I hope you wrote that I am your favorite Doctor, so its worth listening to all the complainers"  I showed him where I did just that, my 1t line was now I get to see my favorite pain specialists.  As he gave me the injections, I told him "I don't like you anymore, this really hurts"--he said "but I will be your favorite in a few days, so I'm not worried"  I went off to recovery until I was stable enough to walk and drove home.  That is the update more to come in the next few weeks.

What it feels like to have a stroke

When you hear of someone having a TIA, this is a mini stroke:
A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a "mini stroke" from a temporary blockage. Although a TIA doesn't cause permanent brain damage, it may cause stroke warning signs, which may last minutes or even hours. Think of this as a warning sign you shouldn't ignore.

On Friday July21st I got up and told Eric I was getting a migraine headache, went to work at Us Airways,  and the headache got more intense, my speech was slurred, I was quite embarrassed to speak on the phone with passengers because it sounded like I was stuttering, but what it really feels like is, I was trying to get the words out, I knew exactly what I wanted to say but the brain and the mouth were not communicating with each other.  I take great pride in the fact that I have a very good record with Us Airways not calling in sick or never being late since they day I started--to most it's probably no big deal, but for me it's an accomplishment.  Well on this day, July 21st, my headache continued as I spoke with passengers, I took migraine medicine and nothing was working, I simply packed up all my things and left.  On my way home Kaitlyn called and wanted to know if I would like to go to a movie with her and Brian and Blake, I remember that my speech was slurred, but did not think it was as bad as my kids were making it sound.
I drove to the wrong place, by the time I got to where Kailtyn was the right side of my face was completely numb--Blake called Eric and he told him to get me to the closest ER.  I said "no, I'm fine I just have a headache and need to lay down"  Blake then drove me to my primary care doctor who immediately told Blake to get me to the ER asap.  I cannot explain how frustrating it is to want to communicate, but the words are not coming out--I was confused and disoriented--The ER doctor was really upsetting me because he was asking about my thyroid and I was trying to explain it to him, but  he kept on telling me I must be confused, that my thyroid was incapable of going from hyper to hypo or the other way around--he said it was physically impossible--NO IT IS NOT--especially if you have Hoshimotos-- I was diagnosed with it a year ago.  I was sent home that night and told to go see my neurologist at Mayo asap, I did on the following Monday, I took the films from the ER, plus the films from my last MRI and the new one the doctor did at Mayo and it was confirmed a TIA.  The stroke I had was an ischemic stroke caused by a blood clot.  A hemorraghic stroke is caused by bleeding in the brain. Most people die from a hemmoraghic stroke.  Stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. If you think someone is having a stroke have them say a simple sentence for you, raise their hands above their head, and ask them to smile. Call 911 if they have a problem doing any of these.
I have a family history of strokes, from my fathers side of the family.  To be honest I have had the right side of my face go numb so many times, since my late 20's but I never thought anything about it.  Since I've had cancer I am alerted to everything that happens in my body, I'm not paranoid but I do react when something does not go away.  
I now take medicine daily to help with the TIA's, I have had a couple since that day, but nothing serious.  I think the scariest part of all this, is me driving while this was all going on.  I also did not realize I had left an hour early from work, I have never done anything like that in my life, and did not realize I had done it until I returned to work a few days later--My manager, knowing what had happened to me was so great to just erase that little error from my file--I love working for US Airways they have always been really good with me.  
Although it was a scary event, I'm glad I had my family to help take care of me and had previously told them if any of these warnings happened no matter what I said, that they were to get me to the nearest 
ER--now I know that Mayo has a stroke unit and if it happens again I will be heading there.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Mormon Myths and Truths #14

The question I got this week was about the LDS view on abortion:

The LDS position on abortion is very clear: "Members of the church must not submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for an abortion.  The position stems from our belief in the sanctity of life and from our belief that God is the Father of our spirits and that HE has spirit children who desire to come to earth and receive a physical body, be born, and progress through life on earth.
There are, however, some exceptional circumstances that may justify an abortion from an LDS view, including,"when pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to have severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth"
When a child is conceived outside of marriage, the Church policy for what to do, is to do what is best for the child.  The mother and father together should decide what is the best option, if it is a strong relationship the mother and father should marry and work toward establishing an eternal family relationship, their goal should include having that child sealed to them in a Holy Temple to be a family for time and all eternity.  If a successful marriage is unlikely or not an option, they should consider placing the baby up for adoption.

Next question:  How does your church feel about pornography. since it is such a big part of society now?

This is such an obvious answer to me, but I will still give you the word on the "Mormon Street" is Pornography is considered an influence as destructive to the soul as the black plague was to the body.
It is degrading to the human body and undermines the purposes of physical intimacy.  It is also most often degrading to women by objectifying them and demeaning their divine character.
Mormon leadership has spoken out on pornography in its worldwide general conferences more than 140 times since 1986. So obviously it is a worldly problem, and sometimes can be an easy door opener for Satan to do his magic, especially on the youth.  The reason why Mormons take this issue so seriously is because we take the word of God seriously: "Whosoever looketh on a women to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:28) If someone views immoral images, it can create immoral thoughts, which leads to immoral desires, actions, passions and character.


Additionally, pornography can be addicting and can take control of a person's life.  Mormons believe in avoiding all behaviors that can lead to addiction and diminish a person's ability to control their desires and behavior
I personally have seen pornography get into the minds of youth and destroy their ability to think of anything else but getting to a computer so they can view the filth that surrounds our country and many others. When I was a young girl there was no such thing as a computer and if someone had told me back then we would be able to call someone on a cell phone I would of told them they were crazy, we had one phone in the house on the kitchen wall, if you wanted to have a semi private conversation you had to stretch the cord around the corner, and maybe, just maybe it would reach a room where you could shut the door to talk to your friends without anyone listening.  In the world today our children, our husbands and friends have access to the internet 24/7 they can if they choose, access the pornography sites as they wish as much as they want.  I being LDS or not do not want that influence in my life.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bucket lists--are they over rated?

So I was reading back on some of my posts I wrote about making a bucket list and I came across this one inparticular, written in July of 2010. I wrote in one of the lines that the list may change....I was absolutely correct...
 This was written in July of 2010
I was going to call it a bucket list but I was thinkin' that makes it sound like I think I might die soon, and I don't. So it is going to just be my 'TO DO" LIST..... things I would like to do before I die ..... someday, they are in no particular order and I realize over the years it may change but for today in 2010 this is it:

1. Go to Paris With Eric ....life long dream he took the girls a few years ago (daddy daughter trip)✓
2. Take my entire family to Nauvoo and back to the sacred grove
3. Serve a mission
4. Visit Savannah Georgia and eat at Paula Deans restaurant✓
5. Run a Marathon
6. Give more than I have been given (not sure if this is even possible)
7. Write a book (another life long dream)
8. Learn to play tennis (I don't even know the rules)
9. Learn to use my camera on manual
10. Attend the Olympics (anywhere)
11. Live long enough to see Recker Get baptized
12. I have always wanted to go to Tahiti ...i think BORA BORA will do✓

The checks next to each thing means we or I have done it since writing this list.  Now it is September 2013 and my perspective is  completely different than it was back then.  I have come to realize, to do lists and bucket lists are fun and interesting to talk about and do, but are most certainly not the most important in my life, none of us know what our Heavenly Father has in store for us.  For me, and this is just my opinion for my life and the experiences I have been through--the very most important things are not necessarily things, they are the people in my life and how I spend my time with them, how I serve and if by chance I get the opportunities to travel I should use each and every moment to enjoy my life, share my knowledge (which really is not much) serve those in need when I can.  I really don't think when I die and get to wherever I am going the Lord is going to say to me "well Miss Monya, lets take a look at your bucket list and see what you got done"  I believe the conversation will be more like "Sister Monya, have you fulfilled all of your callings to the best of your ability, have you listened to the spirit and served others who needed help, did you care for the sick and the needy, did you love your family, forgive those who have offended you, said sorry to those who you have offended,  did you take every opportunity to share the gospel with others, have you kept all of the covenants you made with me in the Temple, and how did you treat and love your husband as he has lead your family in the proper priesthood authority?
Don't get me wrong, I still would like to run a marathon--chances are--I WONT--but it won't keep me from Heaven--my book is this blog--I don't have the time to learn how to use a camera on manual and don't really know if I care anymore--tennis is fun, again won't keep me from heaven. Olympics? really? love to do that, but chances are its a dream--and won't keep me from Heaven--Bora Bora--been there--still not going to heaven because of it.
So do I think lists are good? YES, do I think a bucket list is interesting and fun, YES but not necessary--the most magical trip I ever took was the one I went to Paris with Eric on, nothing will ever beat that--it was all I expected and more--my heart was in a good place at that time, I needed that trip to help me believe in life again--NOW, my priorities and lists are much different.
And just so you know, if I did not work for USAirways we would not be able to do any of these trips we have done, we fly for free and get a tremendous discount on cruises and hotels--I do not take any of those blessings in my life for granted and I am grateful for all of those memories I have created for my children--but sometimes, "things" just don't matter anymore, salvation and being a good person is what I want to attain. 

Day 14 Taha'a and Day 15 Moorea

Wednesday day 14, woke up not feeling well, ate very little breakfast again.  We all took the 1st ferry boat to the Island of TAHA"A.  We toured the entire Island took many memorable pictures--my stomach and head were aching, but I really didn't want to complain they were all having so much fun and after all this is a once in a lifetime journey for me, I want to enjoy it as much as I can.
Taha's was once the center for fire walking ceremonies, but today they are pretty rare.

We didn't have a lot of time on this Island, these local Police officers assisted us in finding a driver to take us up the mountain

some of the local scenery

the black pearl farm

this woman seriously impressed me, she chops coconuts all day

150 chopped coconuts are in this bag ready to go to the local industries for processing

this is the Island where Tahitian Vanilla is grown

they bud into a flower, then the pod appears the smell is heavenly

our drivers home

there are 3 of these buildings in a row, it is where our driver and his extended family have dinner

this is typical Eric--he loves the local imagery

Jesus, loved the coconut milk

Anthony, a quiet gentle man

Conchi and Maria, beautiful women

the driver stopped by a local market where we could pick up a cold drink and Eric came back with this beauty to share

Our group and the driver saying goodbye

The Paul Gauguin Private Moto was beautiful

I think I could sit here all day too
This was a motu filled with tropical spaces, the cruise served us a traditional Polynesian lunch
a view from the motu to the Paul Gauguin
I went to the motu with our group, but seriously took a couple of pictures, turned around and went back to the ship on the next tender.  Eric stayed and really enjoyed the time on that private Island, I wish I could of spent more time there, but I was really just not feeling well, went back and slept until Eric got back at 5 or 6 and we got ready for dinner.  I asked Eric if we could get off the ship tomorrow and go home--I know it is a couple of days early, but I just really want to go home, I miss my children and grand-kids too much.  This is too long to be away.  He said "yes", but he had one more excursion he wanted to do on Moorea with the rest of our group.
Day 15 Moorea--my favorite Island of all of them--I stayed on the ship while Eric took the rest of them on a 4x4 ride up the mountain to the fruit farm and some other amazing areas we had not explored in the 1st 5 days we stayed there on the Island.  I packed both my bag and Eric's bag, made preparations with the crew to disembark when Eric arrived back.  I didn't really get to say goodbye to Maria, Antonio, Jesus and Conchi--Eric and I were able to get off the ship safely to the peer, took the next ferry boat to Papeete, and made it on the next flight to LAX and then home....finally home sweet home--I could not wait to see my kids, grandkids and share our experiences with them.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Monday Day 12 Fakarava Tuesday Sea Day 13

Got myself in an awkward place a few times trying to pronounce this Island, try saying it, for that matter try saying it 3 times in a row--it's a challenge.
I woke up, said my little prayer for the day, no scriptures, I ate very little breakfast, not feeling too well today.  The Island is really flat, not any mountains, we took the tender to the Island and were met with singing Polynesian music by 4 women. Dressed in traditional Tahitian clothing and so happy, I tried to give them a tip, and graciously they refused, how many times does that happen? I still insisted and got a kiss on each cheek, well worth the money.
Jesus, Antonio and Eric were off to find either a boat to take us out snorkeling, or a car to drive around the Island.  NOTHING--Jesus and Antonio came back to tell us there was nothing available, I said "where is Eric?" they looked around and, well I guess the only way I can explain Eric is he is a salesman and does not take NO for an answer....he went door to door literally, he found a young girl said something to her in French and off she was on her bike.  I walked out to the beach to take a look and some pictures, soon the girl came back and Eric said "let's go"  He found Fernando--a young man who was willing to take us all in his truck on a trip around Fakarava.  As a new set of people arrived off the tender to the Island, a husband and wife asked if they could go with us, and they were willing to sit in the back of the truck, Fernando said "WeeWee" and off we went.  Fernando comes from a family of 17 children, he is number 10.  Born and raised on this Island, I wondered if he ever thought about leaving or exploring other places in the world.
This Island has been protected and preserved, not much has probably changed here from the beginning of time. This Island is literally  filled with unexplored beaches and villages.  The pink beaches, shaded by coconut trees and crystal clear waters.  Fernando took us and showed us where he lives and helps with his grandmother, then we went to one of his uncles land and fernando picked green coconuts for each of us, chopped them at the top and gave us a taste of the sweetest coconut milk I've ever had--I don't like the mushy insides of the green coconuts so I went and picked a brown one, shook it up to see if it had any juice in it, he chopped it up and we ate the meat from this coconut--I love the raw, natural taste of organic coconut--I actually ate the whole thing--no sharing.
While we were exploring the ocean waters, just a few feet from me was a shark--ummm---I was running out of that water faster than I ever did in any race I've ever done, it totally freaked me out.  Fernando laughed, I looked over at him and he was making everyone hats out of palm leaves--it was so sweet.  Then he surprised us by putting his hands down these holes in the sand where crabs were living, after several holes were dug into viola' he pulled out a crab, crustaceans are just one of the things the people from Fakarava are proud of.  In the village of Tetamanu stands the oldest Catholic church in Polynesia.  This is also an amazing place for divers, drift diving is very popular here, the coral colors were beautiful.  This Island only has a population of under 1000 people, I told Fernando "no wonder you can't find a wife, you may end up marrying a cousin"  Eric had to translate it in French, I was glad he laughed, I wasn't sure how he would take it.
He drove us to places and showed us amazing scenery that I know for a fact no one else on that ship got to see--although this was a short day and we had to be back on the ship by 5 it was really fun.

The Fakarava School Bus

flat land coconut trees everywhere

She chopped open a coconut and we drank

white sand beaches, full of seashells, and beautiful coral

driveway to the beach

Thinking of Vi

These rocks were stacked all along the beach

put a rock on top for goof luck--mine is on the top

how'd you like this to be your backyard view?

I'm actually in the water, and a shark is within a few feet

beautiful beach views

the crab Fernando dug up

The home Fernando shares with his Grandmother

can you see the shark?---I didn't realize it until it swam just behind me

what can I say?

Mr. CocoNUT

He thinks if he holds a machete and 3 coconuts I'm impressed.....

I just loved this abandoned little port

I loved this homemade picnic table they made on the beach for the kids

Fernando's truck and the guys in the back

Fernando showing off the crab and the hats he made for everyone

I could sit here, in this place all day under a coconut tree

Tuesday SEA DAY--more like SEASICK day for me by day 13, I was physically exhausted and really missing home, my children and grandchildren.  I stayed in my room a lot of this day, not feeling well, not because of being seasick, I had a migraine, and was fearing another mini stroke.  I looked out my window and saw a half rainbow--it reminded me of Haleigh and when she and I went to Hawaii just a week before I was diagnosed with cancer, and then the day I finished chemo, the most beautiful full rainbow appeared out of the window where I was sitting--Rainbows are always a sign to me that something good is coming--
What a beautiful sight
This evening I got ready for dinner with  our new friends Antonio and Maria, Jesus and Conchi & we were invited to sit at a special table with the cruise directors on the staff.  We wondered why they invited us and we soon found out, it was because they wondered "why and how, people from Spain, Canary Islands, and the United States could all communicate and have so much fun together?"  They also wondered if something was wrong with Eric,  both of the cruise directors spoke perfect English, Russian, Spanish and French, they asked me "what language does your husband speak?" when I asked them why they said "it sounds like he puts Spanish, French, English, and Filipino all together in sentences" I laughed and responded, "nothing is wrong with him, he speaks fluent English and French, knows a tiny bit of Spanish, and any Filipino he has learned has been on this ship from the workers, he just wants to speak all of them fluent so he throws a few words of each language in here and there. it drives me crazy"  They then understood Mr. Eric.  As far as the question they had about our instant friendship with Antonio Maria, Jesus and Conchi, I told them that normally I would stick to myself, for fear of offending someone when trying to speak with them and help them understand, but they all wanted to know English so badly, they would ask us about everything, soon we were able to communicate--not sure the translations all were exactly correct, but I really fell in love with all of them.  We are hoping to see Jesus and Conchi in New York in November.  After dinner tonight I went off to bed while Eric went with the rest of them to the top of the ship to see a spectacular view of the stars.
Jesus and Conchi Antonio and Maria Eric and I