Mar 30, 2010

Family Summer Pics

Aunt Jan's Backyard
Aunt Jan's Front Porch
Another one on her porch
In front of the Shed
At the gas pump behind the Art City Trolley

Mar 24, 2010

Life Update LOL

Well it's been a good week! I went and saw the surgeon yesterday and we talked for about an hour. I have been to the GI doctor's and have had tons of tests and blah blah blah. Same old story, but yesterday I got somewhere. We scheduled my surgery for April 14, 2010. I'm so excited. He drew a picture of exactly what he is going to be doing and taking out and reconstructing etc. It was really great. Dave got to ask questions too, which was really good. He hasn't been able to go to any of the appointments because of his school schedule, so it was great that he got to go with me this time. Dr. McKinlay said that he truly believes that this is the best option, the last option, and that it will give me a fresh start. I'll have a completely new gastric bypass surgery and new connections, and fresh intestine to work with (even though they will be removing 4 feet of it), and a new connection at the "Y" connection of my previous surgery.

This is not a cure all because of course he can't guarantee that this is going to fix everything, but we both feel like this is the best option. Dr. McKinlay and his partners are going to be performing the surgery together since it is a complete revision. It's kind of scary because the Doctor's that are performing the surgery have never done a complete revision before. They don't really know anyone that have and they don't know of any studies on it or anything. History in the making! LOL I have total faith though because of the research I have done on Doctor's. I have a group of the op Gastric Bypass surgeons in the nation. I know they will do a good job and will take good care of me.

It's going to be done at St. Marks which will be different because I have never been to any other hospital than an IHC hospital. I've heard that St. Marks is incredible though and I know I'll be treated well. I had to do St. Marks because our insurance recently told us goodbye because of all that was going on with me. They haven't covered anything since May of 2009 anyway, so it's not that big of a deal.It's pretty incredible to feel hope again. I have gone for so long feeling like I was never going to figure out what was wrong and that I was going to have to live like this forever. I have gone through feeling like everything is in my head and that I'm crazy and not really sick. I have gone through doctor's judging me and telling me that nothing is wrong and that I need to stop seeing other doctors. I have been through 8,000 different medications that never work, and on and on, but I don't even care right now. The only thing I care about is that there is a good chance that I will feel like me again. I have a chance of having my life back, living normally, not throwing up daily, no more hospital visits, not having to take anymore medications, and not having to see a doctor every week. I am seriously thrilled. I can't wait to be "well" again!!

Thank you so much to all of you for your love, support, prayers, thoughts, concern, and friendship through all of this. I have the most amazing family and friends any person could ever ask for. I am so grateful to all of you. Dave and I are truly blessed to have you in our lives. Thank you for not giving up hope on me and sticking with me through this. I know this isn't the end and I know I have a long road of recovery like I did the first time I had the gastric bypass, but I can see the end and I can do this.Other than all of my health, my sister was here for a week and it was so much fun! I loved having my niece's and nephew's here to see me. My sister took such good care of me and made sure I was okay. I loved having her here. She came for Dave and my 1 year anniversary which was so great! I can't believe it's been a year and what a year it has been. We have a lot more great years to come! We are going to have so much fun in our life to come. Right now I am just so grateful that he is my husband and my best friend and my eternal partner. I couldn't imagine being more happy. He is the most amazing man I have ever met and I'm so lucky that he is mine.
I'll keep you all updated on the months to come. Thanks again for everything. I love you all!

Thank you Dave for all your love and support and staying by my side. Thank you for being my strength and holding my hand every step of the way for the last year. I can't thank Heavenly Father enough for giving me you. You are the most amazing husband and best friend anyone could ask for. Thank you for doing all you do for us and taking such great care of me!Also, thanks to my Mom and Dad for all they do for me. This would not be possible without them. I would not be alive or getting the care I am without them. I'm so lucky to have you as parents. I love you with all my heart! Dave and I appreciate you so much and all you do!

Mar 9, 2010

Gastric Bypass Revision Surgery

To all my friends and family,

I wanted to let you all know what is going on with my health. They have finally, after 10 months figured out what is going on with my body. I hope I can explain this well enough so you understand what I am saying.

Last Wednesday I had a colonoscpopy and endoscopy done. During it the Doctor found a bacterial infection that was pretty bad in my small intestine. He started me on a really strong antibiotic that has just made me very sick and tired. I am almost done with taking it, so thank goodness! I'm hoping I won't ever have to take them again. During the scope's he also found some other really bad problems. He found that where my gastric bypass was originally done 5 years ago is leaking into the bypassed small intestine and old stomach. It has caused an extreme bacterial build up of bile and that is causing the nausea, pain, and vomiting. It is slowly killing me to be honest. He basically said that if we don't do something about it, I would just have a slow death. It would soon take over my immune system and my organs would start shutting down. He found that I was extremely anemic as well. So he found quite a few bad things to say the least, but they also know how to fix it (or we hope so).

I met with Doctor Mckinley (my surgeon) today and he explained to me what he believes the best option would is, and what would hopefully relieve all the symptoms. He's about 85% sure that this option would fix all the symptoms and illness that I am having.

It is major surgery; a gastric bypass revision. What does that mean? I will basically go through a gastric bypass again. My old gastric bypass was not done very well and that is what is causing all of this. He would go in and remove about 3 feet of my small intestine that is full of scar tissue, blocking me up, and overall too ruined to work. He would also do an entire new gastric pouch.

They would take a pouch from the stomach I have and make an entire new stomach pouch. He would do everything that was done the first time, but do it correctly. He would undo the current closure and close it again. He would then with my new stomach take fresh intestine that has not been damaged with surgery and reconnect it to my stomach. So I would basically get an entire new digestion system. A new intestine without any scarring and a new pouch that doesn't leak. I know this sounds drastic, but he said that it is really my last option. There is nothing else he can do for me that we haven't already tried. Since my first gastric bypass was done so poorly he has to go in and fix it, or I die a slow death at 25. :P

I know if I go through this that I will be watched over and protected. Dave and I trust this doctor with my life, and we know that he will do an amazing job. He truly does have my best interest at heart.

So if this is all good news where is the bad? Here it is going to cost a little over $25,000 which I have to pay up front in cash. Insurance will not cover this procedure even though I have to have it to save my life, so this will have to come from somewhere else. I am telling you this because Dave and I really need some help and guidance about what to do.

If you would please continue to pray for us specifically that something will come along where we can get money to help me, we would appreciate it. We just can't do this alone and we need a little extra help. We know I will be taken care of and that Heavenly Father will help us through this, but if you could just keep me in your thoughts and prayers I would appreciate it.

Thanks for all your love and support! You all mean the world to me and I love each of you so much! Thank you again for all you do for me!

Love always,
Jilly Roberts Strasburg