Back home and feeling better after another round with my pancreas! I was admitted on Friday Feb 1st and released Tuesday Feb 5th - so it was much shorter than the stint I did in 2008/2009 - that was 2 full weeks of the worse pain short of child birth! UGGH. Apparently I have some calcium build up in the pancreatic duct but they can't be 100% positive because I can't have the MRI that is required to verify it. As many of you know, I had a brain aneurysm in 1989 and I have a metal clip in my head along with some metal staples to secure the part of the skull they had to take out to fix the aneurysm.....so, no MRI for me because it could cause problems with the clip and staples moving! MENTAL NOTE: - Stay as far away from MRI machines as possible!!!
For the past 2 days I've been doing a ton of research on the pancreas and what triggers these attacks. Alcohol or Gall stones are the main culprits but smoking and certain medications can as well.
Gallbladder - CT Scan and Ultrasound say no visible gall stones but doc says there could be some very tiny ones not showing up - said the same thing last time I had this too. Alcohol - Not gonna lie...I do like to have a few cocktails....I am French Canadian after all.*smile*
But what I didn't know and was never even suggested to me was that STRESS could be the cause of it! I have learned through forums and web sites that a ton of people that have this affliction swear that it's stress that causes it. Many of these people have had their gallbladders removed, don't smoke or drink alcohol yet continue to have pancreatic problems. - That would make perfect sense to me considering what we went through last Wednesday and Thursday (the days before I was admitted to the hospital).
For those of you that don't already know or who are new followers, we live in our own living quarters that are attached to my parents house and business. My parents have their own living quarters as well and there is an additional apartment in the basement which our youngest daughter Shelby is living in - a multi generational home more or less.
Wednesday we woke to a torrential downpour outside- it was REALLY coming down. Even though it was January in NORTHERN Ontario....weird...I know! The week before this thaw we had been getting dumped on with a LOT of snow which was now melting and with the rain coming out of the sky, had no where to go. I'm sure you can all see where this is going... I'll keep it as short as possible and put it in point form.
*My Dad who is 80 years old and on oxygen (and having a really hard time breathing) decided to go downstairs to check on the sump pump in the basement.
*Dad comes up the stairs completely out of breathe - call your brother quick!
*Mom calls my brother Vic and tells him to get out here asap.
*I go out to woodshed to get a hose that will be needed to hook up spare sump pump. Some critter decided it would be a good meal but we did what every other person would do - put duct tape on it!
*Basement is flooding - sump pump can't keep up.
*Spare sump pump doesn't work when plugged in.
*Dad tells me to shut off the hot water tank and furnace breaker - I accidentally shut off main breaker to the house and store!
*Tell Dad proudly..."hot water tank and furnace are off" (at this point I didn't know I shut the main breaker off)
*Run to town to get another pump while hubby, brother, and friend use the shop vac to fill bucket after bucket with water to be hauled up the stairs and outside. They can't keep up but stop it from getting a lot worse.
*Return from town an hour later with new pump. Half hour one way trip so I made good time considering I went into Home Depot and picked out pump and hose and made it back within the hour.
*Hook up new pump and MacGuyver a hole out the basement window to pump water out quickly!
*All of the above was done while standing in ice cold water with wet boots! (I'm buying a good pair of work rubber boots next week!)
*Basement is drained and we're thinking about how to hook up the new pump because the one in place wasn't keeping up. Turns out there is a problem with the hose that it's attached too - probably froze up at the other end where it comes out. We'll work on that in the spring.
*I go upstairs and tell Dad that the basement is drained and he explains to me what should happen when I turn the furnace and hot water tank back on. (There's a whoosh sound when the pilot light lights and then the burner will start)
*I flip the breaker switch for the furnace - NO whoosh NO sound of the burner starting.
*I reluctantly go upstairs to tell Dad. I know he's gonna want to come back down and he just can't do stairs any more! WHY OH WHY DIDN'T I PAY ATTENTION TO ALL THIS HOUSE STUFF BEFORE????????????
*Side note - Hubby is a very intelligent TECHNICAL man - he's a software engineer who can do things with a computer that baffle most minds, but in all honesty, I'm the handy man woman of the house.
*Dad comes downstairs. Tells me to try the switch on the hot water heater - which works. YAY!
*Mom yells from upstairs that there's no water...cold or hot.
*Dad realizes what's happened and shows me the correct switch for the furnace and explains that I shut off the main breaker.
*Main breaker back on. Furnace still doesn't work. Cold water tank not holding pressure.
*We try everything my Dad tells us to but still can't get the furnace to stay lit or the water tank to hold pressure. I know my Dad could have got all this going by himself in a few minutes but God Bless the man, he just can't do it any more and just knowing that, is hard enough on him.
*Meanwhile one of our customers Rick, who used to work here with my Dad in the garage, comes into the store while Mom is just getting off the phone with a repairman.
*He comes downstairs to take a look and tries to bleed the furnace - whatever that means. At this point I'm more worried about my Dad than anything else and am trying to stay out of the way in the basement.
*He not only got the furnace running again but got the water tank to hold pressure. THANK YOU RICK!
*Mom makes call to cancel repairman.
*House has heat and water now and basement is drying out!
*Now time to deal with the 5 inches of ice that's built up on the slope of our roof before it starts leaking in the house again. Another story for another day but let's just say this has happened before.
*Still wearing soaking wet boots, hubby and I trek out to the back yard to get ladder to put calcium blocks on roof to melt ice build up.
*Sink to top of boots walking through the slush in yard. Pouring rain. Wet to the bone we get the pucks on the roof. I forgot to mention that I'm sicker than a dog with the worse cold I've had all winter and am positive it will be pneumonia in the morning....THANK GOD it wasn't :)
*Once inside I sit down for first time since driving to town for pump.
*Oldest daughter Santana calls.....she's dealing with a leaky ceiling and basement in her town-house.
*Clothes in dryer. Dry clothes on.
*Check on Mom and Dad...been a hell of a day for them and I'm worried about them.
*Santana calls back....her ceiling has collapsed and is dealing with landlord and insurance man. Bed and TV ruined and now ceiling in baby Evelynn's room is leaking. They have to stay in a hotel for the night. They will be dry and safe...GOOD.
*Dad flushes toilet at some point and notices it's not flushing good and making that lovely noise that we've all come to know as a full septic tank....you know...the gurgling rumbling sound that warns you it's about to blow? That's the one!
*Call the septic guy...but because of the flooding, they're backed up (pun intended) too. Can't get here til Friday.
READY TO CRY AT THIS POINT! - REALLY!
*Decide to have a drink to calm my nerves....then another, then one more before bed. That's 3 very mild drinks. I was too tired to have more even if I wanted to.
*Wake up the next morning (Thursday) to a flash freeze and more snow. Dad has Dr. appointment in town and Santana needs a ride back from insurance appt. she had that morning. Drive to town on a rink....literally! The roads are GLARE ice - not salted or sanded yet. Highways are closed due to multiple accidents. Slowest trip to town I think I've ever made but we made it back safe and sound - Thank you GOD!
*Something else happened that day too but I can't for the life of me remember what it was. Guess I started blocking things out from that point on.
*Had 2 or 3 mild drinks that night.
*Woke up Friday morning in agony. Called ambulance. Admitted to hospital.
Morphine helped the pain- a bit. No water. No food. And all I did was lay in bed worrying about every one and every thing at home the whole time I was there.
I'm home. Can't eat or drink much yet, but I'm home and hopefully on the mend :)
New report out here about the effects of Pepsi on your pancreas. If you drink a lot of soda you need to read this.
I was drinking 3-4 cans a day.
I don't drink pepsi, alcohol or smoke cigarettes any more. It's been seven days and it's hard but I'm taking it one craving at a time. Can't decide what I want more a pepsi or a smoke!