Thursday, February 28, 2008

He's Home!

Check out Rowdystyle for the news release!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!!!

The TPN was just discontinued. That's one of the biggest hurdles Rowdy had to cross to be able to get out of here. Maybe he'll go home today!

Monday, February 25, 2008

The light at the end of the tunnel is probably not a train

Rowdy had a small bowel follow through today. If you've never had one, you drink a delicious fluid that shows up under x-ray, and pictures are taken of your small intestine as the fluid goes through it.

There was actually good news--Rowdy's not obstructed anymore and just has a short area of narrowing where we saw the obstruction 12 days ago. We talked with the surgeon and the gastroenterologist, and they looked at the films. Right now, surgery is still not a good option. His bowel isn't obstructed anymore, things are passing through it, and he only has 20 cm of small bowel to spare before he's really in trouble.

So what that means now is that Rowdy has to keep advancing his diet while the TPN is being weaned away. The steroids will be given orally starting tomorrow. We're looking at a possible discharge of around Thursday or Friday or Saturday, depending on how things go.

I have not completely processed all of the things that I've learned during the last two weeks. My testimony of how Heavenly Father loves all of His children and is concerned about each one of them has been strengthened. I also know that there is a plan for each one of us, and whatever our circumstances are, we can be happy. I have a small increase in understanding of and a greater increase in appreciation for the Atonement and the resurrection of our Savior. Whatever happens in the future, I know that Rowdy and I will get through it together and be stronger for it.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oscar Mania!

To get away from the hospital watch...

Every year at this time, I stop what I'm doing and watch the Oscars, including the red carpet pre-show. Last year, we didn't have cable, so I watched down in our guest bedroom, where the only TV in the house with an antenna resides.

Tonight, I left Rowdy to his own devices for a few hours while I'm watching the festivities and eating popcorn.

Things I love about the Oscars: beautiful dresses, George Clooney, the acceptance speeches, seeing if movies I liked win anything. Things I hate: well, the things I really hate are the stupid production numbers. Cheese-a-rooney!

Anne Hathaway gets my vote for most beautiful dress. That red that so many people are wearing is just gorgeous, but particularly on her with her creamy skin and brown hair and eyes. I wasn't totally keen on Jennifer Hudson's dress. The lines weren't particularly flattering, in my opinion. Tilda Swinton scares me no matter what she's wearing, but I really don't like the one-sleeve-on-one-sleeve-off look anyway. Marion Cotillard's Gaultier dress was actually very pretty on her, I thought. I usually don't like Gaultier. The dress that Kristen Chenoweth wore when she sang "How Do You Know?" looked like someone had dusted the stage with it before the show. Can someone just slap Katherine Heigl very hard across the face for me? Ugh! Diablo Cody--where to start? So wrong on so many levels. But I did like Juno. And her acceptance speech was sweet at the end.

I think it's interesting that Amy Adams sang "Happy Working Song" without any backup folderol. She did a great job. See, that's the way it should be done. I did like "How Do You Know?", though. Enchanted was such a cute little movie. "Falling Slowly" is a beautiful song, beautifully performed. How awesome that they won! That little girl who soloed in "Raise It Up" has an incredible voice. Whoo! Who is that cutie who sang "So Close"?!

Javier Bardem scared the crap out of me in No Country for Old Men. It was a good movie, but tough to watch. The Coen brothers are awesome. I'm glad that Laura Linney didn't win her category, because I can't stand her acting. Daniel Day-Lewis totally captivated me in There Will Be Blood. During the last scene, I just stared at the screen with my mouth open. He was just incredible. It was a difficult choice between No Country and Blood, I'm sure. I liked There Will Be Blood more.

Jon Stewart--very much a class act letting the girl who won for "Falling Slowly" come back and say her thanks. I thought he was a very good host. My favorite line was something about what the people at the Oscars did during the commercial break--they sat around and made catty remarks about what we at home were wearing.

So, those are my Oscar thoughts for this year. It was a good show.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Do Me a Solid

Rowdy has progressed to a low-residue diet. With each meal, he is able to eat faster and get more in. Last night, he ate all of his hamburger, couscous and the chicken noodle soup. No one in their right mind would eat those carrots! He hasn't had any abdominal pain or nausea with it. Unfortunately, we're still waiting for everything to get to the end of his digestive tract. If he can't get real food to go all the way through, then he can't keep eating real food.

If you're wondering what a "low-residue diet" is, it's basically anything without much fiber. Our kids pretty much just eat a low-residue diet. (Which drives me bananas, but that's another subject entirely.) Some vegetables are allowed (including lettuce--go figure), some fruits. He had bacon and sausage and a bagel for breakfast yesterday.

Rowdy has a reputation around 2 North for being that guy who walks the halls alot. One woman called out from her room, "You're my inspiration!" I brought him a five-pound weight, and he'll go on his morning walks with the weight in hand, doing upper body exercises. As you can see from the pictures, he still has his cheerful smile. He is getting to the end of his rope as far as being stuck inside, though. I'm really impressed with how much patience he is demonstrating for this drawn-out process.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Poopsmith

I never thought that I'd actually blog about this, but it's good news--Rowdy pooped this evening! Yay!

He started the Remicade infusion, which is really the only change in the past five days (except for the TPN, but that wouldn't wake his bowel up or diminish the inflammation). So I'm giving Remicade the credit. It's the first Crohn's medication that he hasn't had a horrible reaction to.

The plan for Rowdy changes day to day. This morning's plan was that he'd stay in the hospital another week, maybe two, continuing on TPN. Then he would be discharged to home, but continuing TPN there. Concurrently, he'd get his first three doses of Remicade, which takes six weeks. After that, if things weren't really resolving, he'd go to surgery.

We're not out of the woods yet. I'm sure that Rowd will still go slowly on his oral intake and stay on the TPN for awhile longer. Tomorrow, the plan may change slightly. We'll see. He will have to take things slowly so he won't have a setback.

Thanks everyone for your good wishes, prayers and kind thoughts. I have a real testimony of the power of prayer.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Respite from the Hospital Report

Fettuccine Alfredo from Cooking Light

1 T butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T all-purpose flour
1 1/3 c 1% low-fat milk
1 1/4 c (5 oz) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
2 T 1/3-less fat cream cheese
1/2 t salt
4 C hot cooked fettuccine (8 oz uncooked pasta)
2 t chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in flour. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook 6 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Add 1 c Parmigiano-Reggiano, cream cheese, and salt, stirring with a whisk until cheeses melt. Toss sauce with hot pasta. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 c Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and parsley. Garnish with pepper, if desired. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 c.).

Calories: 399 (30% from fat); Fat: 13.5 g (set 8g mono 3.4 g; poly 1.1g); Protein: 21.3 g; Carb 48.9 g; Fiber 2 g; chol 34 mg; Iron 2.1 mg; Sodium 822 mg; Calcium 451 mg.

Weight Watchers Points: 9 (probably 8 if you use fat-free cream cheese and skim milk. That's what I used, and it turned out just fine.)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Dreaded Complication

Things are not going so well with Rowdy at the hospital. For one thing, he's now on day 4 without eating. He tried clears yesterday and vomited. Today his bowel sounds were very diminished. His doctors have now decided that he'll just be in the hospital for as long as it takes, whether that's a few days, another week, or whatever. He's going to get a PICC line today, which is basically a long IV that can stay in for weeks, so he can get TPN (or total parenteral nutrition) to get his nutritional status up to par.

Oh, and there's another complication. Yes, it's the dreaded tentacalis brachialis, Nemo Disease or

SQUID ARMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008


Rowdy tried to eat clear liquids today, but he vomited them up. Not a great sign that things are opened up yet. He will most likely get a nasogastric tube in the morning to decompress things.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Sickly Valentine

There is positive news today. Rowdy hasn't needed pain meds since midnight. His abdomen isn't distended, and he's not nauseous. He passed gas (those of you who have been around Rowdy when this happens normally don't think of it as a cause for celebration). Dr. Brower came by and said that he might be able to send Rowdy home as early as tomorrow afternoon, if he keeps responding well to the steroids. That's excellent news, as we thought that he might be there a week and a half. Rowdy is skeptical that he'll really be able to tolerate clear liquids as soon as today, but he looks so much better than he has the last couple of days. Even if he comes home over the weekend, it will be great.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Rowdy is in the ER with vomiting, fever and abdominal pain. We hope that it's just a Crohn's flare-up. He'll get a CT later this afternoon, which will give us a better idea of what is going on.

Please remember him in your prayers. Thanks.

UPDATE: He does have a severe inflammation in his bowel that is causing an obstruction. Dr. Brower, his gastroenterologist, is admitting him and giving him steroids. Brower is pretty confident that once the inflammation is relieved, the bowel will open right up again. Let's hope so!

Thursday, February 7, 2008


I've moved two links to the bottom of my list. UltraRowdy is relegated because it's been replaced by RowdyStyle. There are still good posts on it, so check it out if you haven't already.

The second demotee is Battle Royale With Cheese. The premise was that my sister, Karen, and several of her friends would sample the best burgers in NYC and blog about their experiences. Karen recorded a memorable trip to Peter Luger, and then the blog just sat there. Such promise, not yet fulfilled.

New Year, Old Me, But In a Good Way

Last fall, several women I work with decided to start a Weight Watchers group at the hospital. Moving to a more car-centric city, having a more sedentary job, getting married and eating catered lunches at least twice a week had taken their toll, and I wanted to join with these women in losing weight. My whole thing was that, as I have aged, the weight has crept up and been harder to get rid of. I didn't want to wake up on my 50th birthday and go, "Oh, crap! I'm 30 pounds overweight!" Also, I needed to reign in my portion sizes and reset my thinking as far as food choices in general. So I mentioned to some of the women who were in the group that I'd like to be a part of the program.

You know what? They were actually quite snotty to me when I mentioned it. "You're so skinny!" "Why do you want to lose weight?" Those were the things that were said to my face. The words weren't defensive, but the tone and the body language said it all: We don't want you here!! I'm aware that they were less-kind behind my back.

Well, fortunately, the majority of them have done very well during the first twelve weeks of the Weight Watchers program, and weren't as territorial when I asked if I could join them when they started up again in January.

At first, I thought that I would be stubborn and keep eating the way that I had been eating. After all, I thought, I'm not really doing that badly. I know how to eat healthily, and Rowdy and I cook sensibly. However, once I started counting points and keeping track of my intake, I realized how out of control my portion sizes had been, how much I was really eating at those lunches, and how much I was grazing at work.

Today was my third weigh in, and I have lost 5.8 pounds!! Yay! I haven't felt deprived at all. I've gotten a better sense of what a reasonable portion size is and have been more deliberate in my food choices. My clothes fit comfortably again, and I think that I look younger. Actually, I look younger because I look like I did three years ago, the last time I was at this weight.

Along with eating more healthily, I have also been exercising three times a week. I have wanted to get back into running, but my snail-like pace has always made it discouraging and difficult to maintain. My parents gave me a nice Amazon gift certificate for Christmas, and with it I bought new running shoes; a runner's journal; and Run Less, Run Faster, by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr and Ray Moss.

Run Less, Run Faster is a program developed by three exercise physiologists at Furman University. Their plan is also called "3plus2", meaning that you do three quality runs during the week, interspersed with two aerobic cross-training workouts. Since I hadn't been running regularly, I started with their beginner program, in which you combine walking and running for twelve weeks, gradually increasing the running intervals and decreasing the walking intervals.

I have to say that I feel like I'm not shuffling as much when I run. The GPS watch Rowdy gave me for Christmas has been a great tool in my training. Instead of my usual 12-minute-miles, I am running usually 9:30 miles comfortably. And it feels much easier to keep up with. I start with 10 minutes of walking, so even when I kind of don't feel like running, I do feel like walking. After that, I'm ready and even excited to run.

So, yeah, I totally recommend Weight Watchers to anyone who wants to lose any amount of weight. And I recommend the "3plus2" if you're wanting to get back to running or increase speed.

And I'm back to being me!!!
My Rad Life!