" Today I checked into the hospital. I was greeted by my team of physicians. They all seem very nice. Tonight will be my first official night in the hospital, luckily my room is not too bad. I have a nice enough view from my window of the front entrance of the hospital and a small garden, which is littered with flowers....but I still don't want to stay.... the food is gross, I have to share a shower with the entire unit, and it SMELLS like a hospital! I pray for strength and an open mind to help me make it through....."
My first hospital room
February 23, 2000- Wednesday
" Today was a crazy day! At 2pm I left for a nerve block procedure. First they wheeled me to the OR at Stanford hospital, then back to the OR at Children's hospital. When I finally got back to my room it was 6pm- with the medication I received before the procedure though, I didn't care what was going on...."
After a nerve block procedure- I actually feel okay in this picture, but my dad and I thought it would be funny if I pretended to look very sick.... (I still was a little out of from the anesthesia)
March 21, 2000- Tuesday
" ....During physical therapy today we set some very hard goals (well more like the physical therapist): 1. To walk heel-toe all of the time 2. Range of Motion goal of 5 degree dorsiflexion 3. While walking on the treadmill reach the speed of 3 mph in 1 minute 4. Walk up and down stairs alternating feet....."
My second hospital room- Spring Break when Melissa and Bryan came out for a visit. Bryan immediately climbed right up in bed with me.
April 3, 2000- Monday
" Today is my first day to be outpatient. They still want me to meet at the hospital at 8 am to begin a full day of activities including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and of course school. I took the courtesy van from the McDonald house to the hospital this morning, but they informed me that they want me to start walking to the hospital in the morning as part of my physical therapy..... I am not sure how I feel about this...."
The Ronald McDonald House
Lucile Packard Children's Hospital
For those of you who don't know, it will be 10 years ago in November that I was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or CPRS (http://www.rsds.org/). It is a chronic debilitating painful nerve disorder resulting from a previous injury causing nerves to misfire and send constant pain signals to the brain. The sympathetic nerves become overactive causing intense burning pain along with swelling, changes in skin color and temperature. I was diagnosed November 7, 1999 and was given a poor prognosis. Although RSD usually begins in an extremity, eventually it will spread throughout the body. I was told that I would be crippled and in pain the rest of my life and there was nothing that could be done. My mom did not care for that answer and began doing intensive research to find a place that has had success in treating children with RSD. She found Stanford Medical Center. In February 2000, after multiple treatments in Oklahoma City, we headed to Palo Alto, California. What I thought would be a two week stay ended up being a ten week stay. Although this was not an easy road I am very thankful for the path that was taken and the support I received along the way, as I have been in remission for a little over 8 years! In a few days I will be returning to this hospital for a clinical rotation for school, to work with the same medical staff who took care of me nine years ago. I am excited to return and learn as a provider and not as a patient. My hope is that I will be to come away with the ability to provide hope to those in pain as they provided hope to me so many years ago.....