Monday, May 31, 2010

Vegas: Day One

May 25

I woke up slightly unsure of whether or not I'd be able to make the trip. Well, scratch that. I knew I was going, but I was in some pain/discomfort and wasn't sure if it was wise to push through, even though I knew I was going to.

Luckily, a pain pill later and I was feeling much better.

We got to the airport and realized we parked in the wrong lot and had to walk about 30 gates. Annoying already. Then, we finally got to the check in desk and the power was out. No air conditioning, no self-check in machines, a long line, an irate non-English speaking woman. You get the gist. Ugh. On the plus side, we didn't have to pay to check our bag, because they only managed to get one working computer back up and it would take too long to charge everyone. So there's that.

But then they tell us we have to go about 10 gates back (half way back to where we started, I might add) to go through security and THEN we have to walk allll the way back to our gate at the end of the furthest terminal. YAWN. I forgot to put my body bugg on, but my Dad and I guessed this took at least 3,000 steps to complete.

I grabbed a smoothie and a bottle of water and we went to our gate, expecting a slight delay. Er nope. Most of the plane was already seated. How did everyone get there so quickly? Weird. But glad we made it. Sheesh!

Take off and landing were a bit shaky. I don't do well with shaky flights. But otherwise it was OK. I took one more pain pill, read a few Clean Eating Magazines, took a short nap, and we were there. Hooray.

Once we checked in to the MGM Grand I changed into something a bit more fun.

LOL how I'm standing on my toes since I'm so used to high heels

Actually, I think I wore a grey jacket-thing most of the time, but I guess that escaped the camera.

OK, OK enough of me....

We hit up Mandalay Bay to have a couple appetizers and a drinkie at Rum Jungle. I've wanted to check this place out for YEARS and finally here was my chance.

We ordered the ahi tuna poke appetizer with plaintain chips

(bottom layer consisted of seaweed salad, middle was raw ahi tuna, and top was a mango and avocado salsa. My Dad thought it was weird/just OK, but I enjoyed it)

The coconut shrimp

My Dad preferred this one. I thought it was good too.

& I couldn't decide on a drink, so I went with a plain ole mojito to let the rum speak for itself

Eh. Small for the price $13-16 I want to say, I forget exactly how much. And mediocre at best.

The ambiance/decor and food were worth checking out, but I expected much more from the drinks. Oh well. Still glad I finally made it.

Took a pic with the headless statue at the sister restaurant next door that we had reservations at the following evening:

We walked around a little more and my Dad gambled some. He was up about $30 at first. In fact, he won $20 (only put in $1) on his first slot, but got a little too into the Wheel of Fortune spinning wheel and lost $50 in only 5 spins. Ho Hum. If he went up again we decided we'd check out the Ice Bar, but ended up not gambling anymore that nite. The Bar was closed for a private party anyway, so it was OK.

We did find a couple of sister restaurants with his initials right by the Ice Bar...kinda fun.

Then, we briefly went back to MGM so my Dad could change for dinner. He was still in his casual plane clothes.

Took a pic of our room number to make sure we never forgot it LOL. We only had to consult this pic once ;)

Next up was dinner at the Venetian's trendy asian fusion restaurant, Tao.

Bad pic, but they have pretty rose baths welcoming you as you walk inside:

To start, I ordered a lychee martini

It was OK, just a litttle strong. I didn't finish it. It had an actual lychee fruit inside, which was a nice surprise. My Dad took a sip and wasn't impressed.

My Dad and I later realized (well, I did, my Dad agreed lol) that drinks were probably tasting strong/burny to me because of the breathing tube they have to put down your throat during surgery. We bet it made my throat a little raw. But luckily it wasn't too bad. I was more concerned about being able to digest (or whatever) the alcohol after surgery. Luckily, it seemed just fine. I just didn't want to overdo it, especially not so soon.

For dinner I had the ginger glazed salmon on top of udon noodles mixed with spinach + 1 piece of hamachi (yellowtail) nigiri sushi.

I read rave reviews about this dish from a fellow blogger. Normally I'd order all sushi, but this sounded too good to pass up (even though I knew I wanted to order salmon the following nite as well). The salmon was slightly disappointing, but still tasty. It was promised to come out medium-rare, but was more like medium to medium well. Despite being a little dry, the flavor was still pretty good. The noodles, however? PHENOM. I loved them. Carbalicious. I almost substituted them for brown rice, but am so so glad I didn't. Delish. I left a couple bites of salmon for my Dad, but I ate every last noodle on that plate (well, I may have given him 1 or 2). I left stuffed, but it was well worth it.

The sushi was a little bit of a waste, as all of the other strong flavors I had already eaten kind of overpowered it. I barely remember eating it at all. But I think it seemed pretty fresh.

My dad ordered the kung pao chicken + a side order of tempura eggplant.

He thought it was amazing as well and was very impressed. I had bites of his vegetables + an eggplant tempura. He offered me 2 pieces of eggplant, but I was too stuffed. Bummer, because it was extremely delicious. The veggies and sauce seemed good too. He said it's a shame I couldn't/didn't want to try the chicken, because it was fab.

So glad he liked it too.

No joke, he couldn't finish it all, so he even used our hotel blow dryer to heat up his leftovers to enjoy a snack at midnite.

My Dad claims he'd never been to the Venetian before. I was shocked! He's been to Vegas a bunch of times (albeit not too recently, but still). I showed him the gondola rides and shops.

My Mom and I are meanies and won't let him get a motorcycle, so instead I just take pics of him in front of other peoples/stores, lol

To finish the evening, we went to the Mirage and tried to pick up our Beatles Love tickets. Unfortunately, the box office was closed for the nite. Oh well, we tried.

We did a ton of walking, but I did and felt pretty good! Pretty proud of myself. I did pass out around 11:30, but hey, that's 1:30 am my time. Not bad for someone almost straight out of surgery.

One last LOL thing. My Dad is a vitamin/mineral/supplement FREAK. He takes over 20 a day, seriously. This was his little supplement table at the hotel....

I bet the maids thought we were nuts!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hello, Goodbye

I survived the surgery. Just barely (literally, kinda). A simple, every day surgery ended up being much more complex and invasive. It was supposed to take an hour or so, and ended up being 3 hours. It also should have been day surgery, but I stayed in the hospital the entire weekend (Fri-Sun). It was pretty horrible.

I still feel crappy and in pain, but my surgeon OK'ed my Vegas trip, so I'm going to troop through and try and have a good time. I overdid the trip prep a bit yesterday and it took a lot out of me, oops.

I'm not going to have my laptop with me, so unless I do a brief cell phone check-in, see you with a big trip update sometime over the weekend.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Tomorrow is D-Day

Tomorrow I'm having the gallbladder surgery :(.

Wish Me Luck.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bad News Bears/Nite From Hell

I'm going to put a hiatus on my regular blog style for an undetermined time period. Probably not long. (Here's hoping....).

I went to the doctor again yesterday and this time she admitted it did seem like my gallbladder since the pain wasn't going away. No shit, I told her that last Friday when she seemed to think I was overreacting. Patients aren't as ignorant as they used to be, but doctors don't seem to grasp that yet. I realize self-diagnosing can be misleading or even dangerous, but 9.9 out of 10 times I'm usually right. I think people know what's going on with their own bodies, if even just a little.

I had an xray taken (just to make sure it wasn't my lungs), blood work (all checked out perfectly normal), and then was sent for an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed 2 gallstones and my doctor recommended emergency surgery. I REALLY do NOT want surgery, but I keep being told it's really my only option. I'm still not really clear if my pain is caused by the gallstones or if I have an actual inflamed/infected gallbladder or what. It seems like everything came back normal except for the gallstones and a "slight thickening" of the gallbladder, whatever that means. So I don't know. The problem is, I've been running a fever for just under a week now, at least. (That's when I first starting taking my temp).

I'm not a crier by any means, but I can't stop crying, at least not off and on. This is a nitemare. And if that's not bad enough, I had the nite from hell at the ER.

We went to what we thought was the nicest hospital in the area. I got there around 5-ish or so and they took tons more blood, which I pretty much sniffled through the whole time. I know I sound like a baby, but if you saw the bruises they left you'd understand. Maybe I just have sensitive veins or something, but it really hurts me. Especially AFTER.

Then, the same guy who took my blood came by and said he had to give me an IV. For what, I still don't know, since (we soon found out) they weren't planning on doing anything for me anyway. SO unnecessary (not to mention painful). I'd never had an IV before and was crying again, while the tech or whatever he was, was being so rude to me. I think he thought he was being funny. He wasn't. And he was foreign and I could barely understand him part of the time. He also kept saying the pain was all in my head. Yeah, tell that to the bruise that he left ALL over my inner arm from the IV and slight broken skin. I thought most IV's go in your hand anyway? Not that I'm an expert, but something wasn't right. It hurt me, or at least bothered me, the whole time I was there.

The doctor came in and at first seemed OK. His name was Dr. Quach, and on the bulletin board it even said Dr. Quack. I should have known right then and there something wasn't right. He said I was perfectly healthy and could theoretically wait for the surgery. I asked him if it was still 100% that I would need it eventually and he said yes. But he couldn't tell me any guess of when the longest it could be without getting to a dangerous waiting period, etc. My parents eventually convinced me just to tell him to have the surgeon come in last nite and get it over with, against my better judgment. Just so I wouldn't have to go through all the blood tests, iv, etc. again.

Only then did he decide to tell me since it wasn't an emergency, the surgeon would only come in if she felt like it. If she was driving by or something. He called her and she said she'd rather do it outpatient and to just contact her in the next 3 days or so to set up a consultation. He said I could stay overnite for pain control, but that's it. I told him a few minutes ago that was not the option he gave me, and why, if I still had a fever and symptoms, was that not considered an emergency? And why couldn't I just get it over with like I was originally told. He had the audacity to make some comment about how things aren't done on the patients time, they're done on the surgeons time. I don't know if I'm making that sound OK, but I was HIGHLY offended by that. Basically he was saying the patient (ME) has no say or rights to what happens to my own body, it's all up the doctors to decide what's convenient ONLY for them.

As soon as he shut the door I yelled out "asshole." I hope he heard.

He suggested I stay overnite, he'd give me pain control, and maybe the surgeon might come assess me in the morning and consider doing the surgery if I had a fever. I'VE HAD A FEVER SINCE AT LEAST LAST THURSDAY. He claimed my temperature read as 97 degrees when I first came in, even after I told him at least 3 times that no one took my temperature! I also told him I wasn't in pain at the moment, while lying down completely still in a hospital bed, so what would be the point of staying overnite? Then, he basically called me a liar, saying I'm telling him I'm not in pain, but then telling him I wanted the surgery (NO I DON'T WANT IT...) because of pain. UGH. I believe I was clear in telling him at least twice that when I was just laying there I felt OK. A little pressure, but no pain. BUT when I walk around, etc. I do have some pain. He clearly didn't get it. Then he asked AGAIN if I wanted to stay overnite (which he still or if I wanted to go home. I said I want to get out of here. He said he was giving me pain pills to take home and he thought I should take them anyway. Fine, just leave me alone.

It took about another hour before they even released me. Probably the number one reason I wanted to especially leave was to get that damn IV out of my arm. I knew there had to be a reason I was so freaked out by those.

I also hadn't been allowed to eat or drink (not even water) in basically 25 hours. I was so thirsty. And then right before they discharged me one of the guys came in and gave me a giant antibiotic. I asked him if it would hurt my stomach if I took it since I hadn't eaten in over a day. He never said yes or no, just said "I'll bring you some crackers." Aside from the fact that I don't eat gluten-filled crackers, he didn't know that. He never brought me the crackers. Then, he had to take a few vital signs, but didn't take my temperature. I requested he take it before I would leave, because I wanted documented proof that they were letting me leave with a fever. Who knows if he really wrote it down, but it was 101.2. My discharge papers for gallbladder say come BACK if your fever is over 100-ish, yet they let me walk out of there with 101. This was after 9 pm, btw. 4+ hours after we got there. And all they did was torture me for nothing.

I'm a little pissed my doctor made me go to an ER if it wasn't a real emergency, but I'm more pissed the ER would treat me like such. I still don't really know what to do about the fever. The pain is managable, but I'm scared to continue to go around with a fever. My pain pills have a little tylenol, but that's not doing anything.

I still don't feel like I'm fully expressing how rude the (quack) doctor really was, but it was more of a tone/facial thing too, you know? Plus, I could never get over him saying what happens to me isn't up to me or my time. NO bedside manner, I'm telling you. None of the employees really had any. There were a couple of people that I said were kind of nice, but looking back they really weren't, they just weren't complete dicks like him (+ sort of the blood/IV guy). Nobody had ANY empathy whatsoever.

My Mom called the surgeon today for a consultation, but her office said they couldn't work me in until NEXT TUESDAY. That's when I'm supposed to leave for Las Vegas, so I'm REALLY worked up about that too. You don't even know how long I've been looking forward to the trip, all of the money we've invested not only in travel, but shows, etc. And I don't know if we can get any money back if we can't go those dates. And not that this isn't irreversible, but I've made reservations for restaurants, etc. Ones that I spent hours upon hours researching and was REALLY looking forward to trying :(. My Mom told the surgeon's assistant that next week is unacceptable, so they're supposedly seeing what they can do. But it seems like I'm pretty screwed at this point.

Did I mention I REALLY DON'T want surgery? But I also can't live like this. Fuck.

:( :( :(


Monday, May 17, 2010

No Better x 2

May 15

Back to being not hungry at all, but I slept 'til after 1 pm and needed to take an antibiotic. Ugh.

-ezekiel sprouted english muffin...half with earth balance vegan butter and half with white choc peanut butter...both with superfruit jam & topped with sliced strawberry
-simply apple juice

-handful of krunchers kettle chips (used to be my faaaaves, but these weren't that great, hmm)
-portabello wrap with guac and spinach
-fruit cup

Again, mostly just to take meds, not really hungry. Then I found out the wrap has 46 grams of fat...72% of your daily needs. WHAT? Never again.

-handful of grapes

Kitty Bath

Gosh Mom, how embarrassing. Some things are better left private!

May 16

-1 coconut-banana pancake with a drizzle of syrup
-about 1/2 of a small green monster smoothie

why I wanted to go, but it was gross-ish and much smaller than usual (not that I minded this time, but for $4...)

Went to my FAVE coffee breakfast place and couldn't have even one cup. *pout* They have a make-it-yourself coffee bar with various delicious flavors. Oh well, it's not going anywhere.

I also ran a few errands. Probably a bad idea. I ended up taking a nap for most of the afternoon/early evening.

-handful of krunchers kettle chips
handful of grapes
-last few sips of guava kombucha
-simply apple juice

Still barely eating and eating all randomly. And still feeling horrible.



Sunday, May 16, 2010

Doctor + Party

May 14

I went to the doctor and answers. I like my doctor a lot as a person, but she didn't seem very concerned about my pain. She (mostly) dismissed my gallbladder concerns, saying it's probably just a pulled muscle. DESPITE eventually agreeing that where it hurts is exactly where the gallbladder is. Of course I WANT it to be nothing, but it just seems like more should be done to rule it out than a simple hunch?? She was more concerned about my lungs, which is good, but I don't really think there's anything wrong with them now? I mean maybe. But she couldn't hear any wheezing or anything going on, I'm not coughing, etc. But she gave me an antibiotic anyway, just in case. I hate taking medicine if I don't absolutely HAVE to, so I'm extra weary of taking it, but I will. Only because of my upcoming trip. If it *is* something, I need to be finished with the meds asap. Argh.

-salad (spinach, mixed greens, chick peas, carrots, mushrooms, a couple random strawberries, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, peas, a few pieces of asparagus, etc. with an olive oil & balsamic drizzle)
-3/4 of a bottle of guava Kombucha (my preccccccious)

FINALLY got to eat. I was hungry and hadn't eaten since 7:30 the nite before. I fasted for my dr appt thinking I'd have to have blood drawn. I actually was supposed to (not for today's concerns, but just as a general wellness check up), but I don't have my new insurance card yet and without it they'd have charged thousands of dollars. No thanks, I can wait a couple of weeks. Or at least until Monday when my Dad calls the insurance company to make sure everything is in order.

Then, I FINALLY got to see my massage therapist. Usually I see her twice a week, but it had been about 9 days. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to comfortably get a massage, since I do the chair ones and it might have hurt my ribs to bend over like that. Luckily I was OK. She told me my below rib pain of course could be gallbladder, but it could also be strained intercostal muscles (basically, the muscles in between your ribs) from the acid reflux irritating it. She also said my rib was slightly out of place (which I asked my doctor about the possibility, since I'm prone to that, but she wasn't concerned about that either). She tried to coax it back into place, but since she's not a chiropractor she can't guarantee it would stick. Not to mention, we don't know if that has any cause of my pain anyway. Ho Hum.

-4 starbursts
-1 gummy fish

My Mom found a box of only red (well, red and pink) starbursts at Central Market. Sweet! I stole one of each flavor and one of the gummy candies I got my brother. Yum. My first processed sugar in awhile :-P.

-1.5 mini muffins
-amazeballs salad with mixed greens, a few blue cheese crumbles, pears, and walnuts...and half way thru I added some of their soso good homemade croutons (scrummmmmmmptious)
-rainbow trout with slivered almonds
-extremely good mashed potatoes, a few bites of really good fried okra, 2 pieces of a cheesey squash with the cheese removed, 3 pieces of steamed broccoli
-half of a small piece of cake
-2 vodka sodas with lime

want this again ASAP
wouldn't turn this down either

Delicious. This restaurant, Celebration, is usually super tasty and this time was no exception. However, last time we ate there a few months ago it SUCKED. Glad to know it was just an off nite. Phew.

And this was the first time in awhile I felt semi-normal. I was still in pain, but not much when I sat still and I was able to eat a regular meal, etc.

The reason we went was for my cousin's college graduation! Congrats, Caurie!

Genie's new haircut. I swear she looks JUST like my Mom, lol

My new cell wallpaper. Awwwwwww.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Evil Doctor Internetz

May 13

-barbara's cereals (original shredded + vanilla almond) mixed with strawberries and almond milk

I finally slept through the nite. 'Til 2:30 pm, actually. But now I'm concerned that maybe my lungs are infected. Greeeat. Could still be an acid reflux thing, but feels more lung-y. Shortness of breath, 99.6 fever, and all that. Remember last week, exactly a week ago, I said I couldn't tell if it was AR or lungs? Maybe it was both :(.

I also vaguely remember waking up in the middle of the nite for about 5 seconds with a cramp in my calf muscle. Could anything else go wrong? At least it went away within seconds and I passed right back out. I would have forgotten completely had my calf not felt a little sore this afternoon.

-another 1/3 of chinese veggies and rice w/ low sodium soy
-cherry flavored aloe vera juice

-glass of apple cider vinegar mixed with water

Or maybe it's not my lungs. Or maybe it is AMONG other things. I guess it really can get worse. Now doctor internetz has me FREAKING that it's REALLY my gallbladder. I'm having pains under my right ribcage area, among other telltale signs, so...shit. Freaking. Out.

I have a doctor's appointment for tomorrow morning, so don't worry I won't trust everything I read online to be certain. But I'm so anxious. I do NOT want surgery. At all. We'll see what it really is and what my options are.

*sad face*