Chris and I found ourselves back in the hospital Monday night. Just to let everyone know, there was a minor complication with his surgery and the doctors found an 8x5 cm abscess sitting on top of his bladder. On Tuesday a drainage tube was put inside him and it will continue to drain for the next two weeks. We wanted to give an update, but didn't want anyone to lose their lunch so we won't post a picture.
So after we moved across the country, we put our unregistered, white SUV aside to use our registered, white SUV. Well, tonight the Explorer has been reawakened. We had our first big snowfall of the year (I know, late). And Chris, who was told by the surgeon that it takes 3 months for muscle to heal and he shouldn't be lifting anything heavy, decided that we MUST put the plow on the car. Needless to say, I did some heavy lifting. Turns out the intimidating plow isn't so back-breaking after all, and Chris finally felt like he's accomplished something since his surgery.
Here he is, in all his "i'm-wearing-pj's-because-i'm-recovering-from-surgery" glory. And no worries, he opted out of shoveling. So after two hours of mild activity, the little bugger was wiped out and spent the rest of the night on the couch.
On Sunday afternoon, Chris and I were out on one of our laps around the floor when Dan (his oldest brother) arrived to visit. We said, "Walk with us." But he replied that he had something in the room for Chris; it was obvious he wanted us to cut our stroll short. So we turned around to redirect our course and from behind the wall enters Deg. What?! Deg?! But he's in Utah!!
Dan was the mastermind behind bringing our faraway brother to the East Coast. He didn't even tell his parents! Chris was so thrilled to have him here. Thanks Dan!
The next day, Chris was told he was ready to leave. We jumped for joy, but delayed our departure.
Because Chris, being a Valentine, had to do a good deed before he said goodbye. His second roommate, Steve - who broke both legs, his back, his pelvis, and his tongue while plummeting from the top of a tree, was in dire need of a haircut. Upon hearing that the man's friend who was meant to cut his hair continued to ditch him, Chris decided that he could do it. And so he did.
We arrived home Monday evening to find a quiet house, an inviting bed, and a roommate who wanted nothing more than to cuddle (Dexter).
A couple days ago, we said goodbye to our first roommate, Jonathan. He was a really nice guy with a really tough life. There are some people you meet that you just won't forget, and he was one of them.
Our day: I arrive sometime around 9 am. Chris gets up and takes a few laps around the floor (it's really good for him to walk). He gets his vitals checked, they bring him a lunch of broth and juice that he doesn't drink, we walk again. I eat lunch with my brother Derek. Chris tries to sleep, I try to read, he gets up and walks again. Chris writhes in pain because he's extremely bloated and it's difficult to think, the nurse changes his IV bag, we walk again. We watch TV, we walk again. I leave at 11 pm - we get up and do it all over.
After 6 days of this, we're getting pretty comfortable here in the hospital, but we're also getting irritable and ready to go.
Yesterday afternoon Chris ate food for the first time since last Monday night (5 1/2 days without eating!) Thank goodness for PB & J and tapioca pudding!
Want to see Chris' battle wounds? This one's for you, Ropers:
Okay, so here's how it works. The two smaller incisions are where the doctor put her tools inside of him. The larger incision (which really isn't that large at all) is where she pulled his small intestine out of his body. At this point she made the cuts she needed to and sewed him back up. She also needed to cauterize the wound to stop the bleeding before she put him all back together. Sorry if that's gross, but I find it super interesting! http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q64/alliebrownie/129copy.jpg
The surgery on Tuesday went well! Dr. Bourdianou took a foot of small intestine out of Chris through a small incision at his belly button. But first, she took care of a microperforation (a tiny leak) that had stuck itself to his large intestine because of some pus (sorry for the mental image). The doctor said that if he waited much longer he would have lost part of his large intestine as well.
We are so blessed that Chris was able to get into surgery as quickly as he did. We know it was an answer to prayer. Now, it's time for the recovery - he is able to walk around (the nurse actually said last night that he's walked around the most that she's ever seen after surgery like this) and he's feeling "better". He'll be in a lot of pain for awhile, but he's going to feel really great pretty soon. http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q64/alliebrownie/129copy.jpg
Over the past year or so, Chris has been having Crohn's Disease symptoms on and off. Crohn's Disease is a form of IBD which presents itself as inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Basically, whenever Chris eats too much or too fast, especially when he's eating foods high in starch, he gets an incredible amount of pain in his stomach (or more accurately, his small intestine). He was diagnosed with the condition about 7 years ago, and it hasn't been an issue until now. A couple of weeks ago, the symptoms became quite severe. It got to the point where he was unable to digest the food he was eating and could barely drink water without feeling like he gorged himself. Naturally, we went to see the doctor. We found that a portion of his small intestine had become inflamed so often that scar tissue formed in his intestinal wall, allowing little food to pass through. This was causing the healthy intestine above to dilate (stretch out) and collect a build-up of half-digested food. Since medication can only reduce swelling and not fix scarring, Chris is heading into surgery Tuesday the 17th to either remove or repair the scarred area. Here's a little diagram of what his insides look like right now:
Chris should be in the hospital for about 4-6 days, depending on how fast he recovers. And then he'll be lying around for several weeks while he heals. Looks like Thanksgiving will be a little weak this year.
There was a Trunk or Treat at church last night and we had such a great time. Chris was a bug catcher and I was a bug.
After a fabulous dinner and a costume parade (in which Harry Potter/Logan, Hermione/Lana and a Giraffe/Laci participated) all of the kids "trunk or treated" the cars in the parking lot. We dressed the back of the car with flying bats and this jack-o'lantern we carved a couple nights ago. Chris had so much fun laying in the back seat and jumping out at the kids as they reached their little hands inside to pick a piece of candy. Would it be Halloween without a few screams??
A long time ago, in a distant land, there lived two sisters. These sisters were more like friends, really; they spent almost everyday together. Their lives changed somewhat, however, when the older sister, Meagan, went off to college.
After studying for awhile at her first choice, Meagan realized that she was not happy at her school. She was convinced to transfer to BYU-Idaho and was so happy with her decision.
Meagan fell madly in love with her boyfriend, Chris (who lived not too far away in a place called Blackwill). After dating long enough, Chris finally proposed.
Meagan was ecstatic to have a beautiful diamond sitting on her ring finger - and of course, to be marrying the man of her dreams.
There was a lot to do while planning for their upcoming wedding. Meagan and Chris took their engagement pictures beneath a rugged willow tree.
They bought a cute red jetta that fit their price and their needs.
Meagan felt so lucky to be marrying a man who came from such a great family. She knew Linda would be a great Mother-in-Law.
Meagan and Chris were married in the Boston Temple on a bright, beautiful day and could barely control their joy!
Only three years after her older sister graduated from high school, the younger sister, Malley, followed in her footsteps and went off to college too.
After studying for awhile at her first choice, Malley realized that she was not happy at her school. She was convinced to transfer to BYU-Idaho and was so happy with her decision.
Malley fell madly in love with her boyfriend, Chris (who lived not too far away in a place called Blackwill). After dating long enough, Chris finally proposed.
Malley was ecstatic to have a beautiful diamond sitting on her ring finger - and of course, to be marrying the man of her dreams.
There was a lot to do while planning for their upcoming wedding. Malley and Chris took their engagement pictures beneath a rugged willow tree.
They bought a cute red jetta that fit their price and their needs.
Malley felt so lucky to be marrying a man who came from such a great family. She knew Linda would be a great Mother-in-Law.
Malley and Chris were married in the Boston Temple on a bright, beautiful day and could barely control their joy!
Meagan and Chris, and Malley and Chris lived happily ever after.
Moral of the story: a good life deserves to be lived twice.
Last week the whole Nisula family flew to Michigan for Derek and Geena's wedding.
In our hotel, we so enjoyed the pool and the hot tub - here we are with the newly betrothed :)
After the rehearsal, we ate dinner at a really nice Italian place that had two Bocce Ball courts in the middle of the party room. Malley and Chris kicked our butts, but then again we never really finished our game, so who knows?
The night before the wedding we prettied up our faces with a Mint Julep Mask. That's right, even the boys indulged their skin (and Derek did too, but he won't admit to it, so keep it hush hush). Since Geena's family is from India, all of the bridesmaids wore Saris. Her aunts wrapped us up real good in the most beautiful fabric that her mother bought in India.
We brought our portable hair salon with us - we were fortunate that Danielle came to the wedding and helped us with our do's that morning.
We all felt so pretty in our saris and the boys looked so dashing in their tuxedos.
During the reception, Geena changed from her gown into a sari as well. Doesn't she look like a goddess? I don't know what Derek did to deserve her ;)
The wedding was certainly the event of the year. Everything was so beautiful and we all had the night of our lives dancing at the reception. We're so excited to get such an awesome sister-in-law!
I had no idea that when we took this picture in April, Malley and Chris Black would be engaged 5 1/2 months later. So get this, Malley's husband's name is going to be Chris. Malley's mother-in-law's name is going to be Linda. Sound familiar to anyone?? Anyway, we're super excited. Next week we'll be adding a sister to our family and pretty soon we'll add a new brother. Man, the Nisula's are growing.
Chris was offered a position with Rocket Software last night. Today was his first day. This whole being a "real" adult and going to work everyday, doing the same thing day in and day out, is going to take some getting used to. Such is life, right? Anyways, yay for making money!
After the great swim, we stayed on Fire Island for the better part of the day. At a little place called Sailor's Haven, we walked through Sunken Forest to make our way to the other side of the island.
The boardwalk led us through the trees and dumped us into the beach.
There were HUGE clams shells everywhere.
So Chris figured he should make out with one.
We even braved the waves; and the water was beautiful!
The following day, on our way back home we stopped by New York City to see if we could catch a show. It was raining and there were no matinees, so we left almost as soon as we got there. NYC is great - a wonderful reminder that we never want to live in a big city. After frustrating ourselves trying to find our way out, the should-be 3 1/2 hour drive home turned into a 6 hour bumper to bumper ride. Awesome.
Moral of the story: Never drive north of NYC on a friday afternoon.
For Chris' dad's birthday, he treated himself to a 4 1/2 mile swim. I know, isn't it crazy? He swam across the Great South Bay, starting in Patchogue, NY and finishing on Fire Island.
His mother had trained for this same swim when she was young, but was never able to accomplish her goal because she got sick. He wanted to make this goal in her name and do it on his 60th birthday, which so happens to be her birthday too. Cool, huh?
That morning, we woke up real early and got on the boat to ride over to the starting line.
Once there, Dad suited up, kissed his honey goodbye, and dove into the salty, murky waters.
We on the boat (me, chris, dan, lisa, and mom) had a fantastic morning cheering the little fish on and watching the sunrise.
When the sun was finally up, its rays began peaking their way through the clouds.
Halfway through, Chris decided he'd go for a swim too. So he suited up, kissed his honey goodbye, and lunged in.
Father and son finished the last two miles together.
Touching the dock at Davis Park Marina, he finished his goal in only 3 hours. We are all so proud!