Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Still here

The kids just stared at him at first. It was probably the most still I have seen them....EVER!

The girls drew some pictures to hang in his room. So cute!

Well, he is still in the hospital. Yuck, I know! He did have his barium swallow test today and it went good, looks like the tear is healed because they didn't find any leaks! The setback is that he has spiked a fever and they think his left chest cavity is infected, ON TOP of finding out today that the reason his right chest has been hurting so bad is because his lung is partially collapsed! That would explain why it has hurt him so bad to even breathe! I feel so bad for him, he has yet to get to the point where he actually has started feeling better. I took the kids up to the hospital last night and we got to visit for about 20 min in the waiting room (no kids aloud on the patients floors). The twins were really funny, asking a million questions about every single tube and wire they could see. Brigham kept telling him "Dad, dad, I like your water. You have water dad, I like it." We were cracking up. Brigg wanted to sit on his lap the whole time Brinley kind of kept her distance at first. Leaving was the hard part; Emberlyn burst into tears and Brinley screamed ALL the way home because she was so mad about leaving. It was good for them to see that he is up and around and somewhat ok. He's a trooper and is keeping a good attitude about everything. We really miss him here though, can't wait for him to come home!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Keep on movin along

Afew frustrations today. Oh, but 1st I just realized that I didn't post yesterday that he is OUT of the ICU!!!! YEAH!!! No more dumb visiting hours thank goodness! I'm starting to get a little overwhelmed......sometimes we don't really realize all the things our spouses do for us until we have to be in charge of EVERYTHING! The bills, the chores, the oil in the car, school work, HIS school work and appointments, the dishwasher breaking, sink being clogged; keeping everything strait is managable but tiring! He didn't look so great today when I got to the hospital, really pale and sweaty. When I told him he felt really warm he said, "oh, yeah they said my white cell count is up so they are running some cultures on the IV's they took out yesterday to see if they find infection" Hmmmmmm, wonder if it could be from the nurses NOT wearing gloves!?!? I haven't been able to spend much time with him yesterday and today because I have several sick kids; serious coughing going on over here. As long as I don't get sick, I can handle it :)

I did get the chance to speak to someone in administration about the nurses wearing gloves, finally. She said she was glad I brought it to her attention and asked me if it would make me feel better if there was a sign at his door asking everyone to put on gloves; I said "yes thank you, that will make me feel much better!" I told her that nurses wearing gloves should be the LAST thing I should have to be worrying about right now. DUH!

Class got canceled last night so I got to spend a couple hours with Devin instead of pretending to pay attention in English. And Mason pulled out yet another of Emberlyns teeth last night. The kid is weird, this is the 4th tooth he has pulled out for her...they are seriously either the best of friends or the worst of enemies. LOL We are doing good though, hangin in there. We are SO SO SO thankful for wonderful friends, family and ward members who are taking such great care of us. Having meals brought in has been SUCH a wonderful stress reliever, I think we would eat corn dogs every night if I had to think about cooking!

Monday, February 15, 2010

And he's up!

Blowing kisses to Dad!

Every day he gets better and better! They have started getting him up and having him walk around the hospital. The 1st two times were horrible to watch, but he is much better now at getting in and out of the bed (still with the help of 4 people) and walks further and further every time. I came in last night after I had been home with the kids and he was snoring!!!! I NEVER in a million years thought I would enjoy the sound of him snoring, but it was so wonderful to see him laying comfortably in the bed snoring away! He seriously had not slept for longer than a 20 min stretch since they woke, him up on Friday, poor thing! He slept really great last night and they are actually moving him OUT of the ICU today!!!! Pure happiness!!! That means no more stupid visiting hours, a bathroom actually IN the room, more privacy and I can even bring the older 2 boys in to see him. I'm so happy he is doing so good. I know this time next week he is going to be dying to get out of here, but I'm happy he is here where he doesn't have little babies climbing on him because they want his attention. We miss him at home, but he can rest and get all the care he needs here, which brings me comfort. Valentines Day was sad for me because I started a new tradition about 5 years ago having a family Valentines dinner. I bust out the candles and wine glasses, the nice GLASS plates, I decorate everything and make a super yummy steak, potatoes, corn, rolls and dessert meal. YUM! I just couldn't bring myself to do it without him there, so that is going to be Daddys welcome home dinner! (I'm not gonna lie.....I might blend up his steak!!)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My blog, I can do what I want

Sweet baby sleeping!
Ok, Devin was really confused when he looked at this, hopefully it's bc he is medicated. The incision goes from his side UP his back towards the middle of his shoulder blades. UGH! It is a LOT bigger than I thought it was going to be!

I'm sure some people will think this is awful to post on a blog, but it's mine, and I'll do it if I want :). Friday night was a VERY long night. I stayed at the hospital which was exausting! Devin moaned for hours and hours and hours. Some because of the pain, but I think mostly because he is so drugged up he didn't even know he was doing it. Finally about 1:00 I had to go lay down in the waiting room and get away from it for a little bit. I slept till about 3:00 then went back to check on him. He kept saying that it hurt so bad, which I don't doubt for one second that he is in a lot of pain, BUT I think his pain was so out of control before he got knocked out Tuesday night that he has so much anxiety about being in pain that he says he is in pain. He is on so much meds.....I'm SURE he isn't comfortable, but I know he is ok bc if he wasn't he couldn't fall asleep in the middle of a sentance. :) The worst is that he is so afraid of the pain getting out of control that he won't sleep bc he is scared that he will fall asleep for a long time and no one will push his button....he isn't getting it that he has a continuous drip going wether the button gets pushed or not. I stayed in the room till about 6 then headed back to the waiting room, where I slept till 9:00. When I went back, there was NO moaning!!! Oh thank goodness...I didn't know how much longer I could take it! He was resting comfortably finally!! The day went much better than the night had. He rested for shorts amounts of time, still being afraid to be asleep for too long. He is pretty loopy so he says really funny stuff, or random stuff, so at least he is entertaining. He probably doesn't appreciate it that everyone that comes to visit I tell them to watch him try and push his button because it is so funny to watch him try and find it. Sometimes takes 5 min, even though he is looking right at it! LOL. I'm just so happy he is awake and talking and on the right path to recovery. They told him he could have ice chips every once in a while, just afew, so he is SO happy! He has been so thirsty and begging for any relief, this makes it just a little eaiser for him.

Friday, February 12, 2010


I got to the hospital at 8:15 this morning and they actually let me in early. I was immediately upset because the dumb jerk Supervisor, who yesterday told me that YES they would wait for me to get here before they tried waking Devin again.....he went ahead and did it anyways. What is wrong with these people?? Do not tell me your going to do something just to appease me for the moment! I would much rather you tell me up front NO then lie to me! GEEZZZ!!!!! It went exactly like the time before....he had to be knocked back out, again. So around 10:00 the lung Dr came in and said that she wanted to wake him up but this time leave all the pain meds on, unlike the last two times. WHAT!?!?!?! Yes, you heard correctly! The other two times they woke him up, AFTER they turned off all his pain meds. I'm not in the medical profession but that doesn't make much sense to me. Of course he is going to be thrashing around in tremendous pain!! Well, it went perfect, imagine that! He was calm, even though he absolutely hated the tube in his throat and kept mouthing "please take it out" to me. They had to watch him breathe on his own for about 10-15 min, which felt like an hour! He remained calm and they made the decision to take out the tube. He immediately starting softly talking to us and cracking jokes. He asked all the questions I thought he would; are the kids ok, how long have I been asleep, what did they do to me. He seemed to take all the answers really well (except the feeding tube....yikes!). He did great for about an hour then the pain hit really bad. He was so miserable and couldn't be still and his breathing was getting more and more shallow. So after about an hour they changed his meds to something different and gave him a button he could push every 10 min for a little boost of the meds. He still wasn't doing any better and kept complaining about how much pain he was in. They made me leave at 1:00 and assured me he would be fine. (did I mention how much I HATE visiting hours?!) When I came back at 4:00 he was resting comfortably and the nurse filled me in. She had to up the medication a little and added Valium to help him calm down. Thank goodness! He was actually resting peacefully! It's been a super long day and I feel bad that he is in so much pain, but I am so happy to see him and know that he is awake.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My new halfway house, sucks!

I don't like being here. I don't like all the 1/2 dead old people everywhere. I don't like Devins nurse today. And I really don't like that Devin is still sleeping! I have been able to have a smile on my face and power through all of this staying positive and looking forward, not backwards. Tonight is the first time I felt despair and frustration. I know everything is fine, but I worked myself up ALL day thinking about how excited I was that they were waking Devin up at 4:00. I know he was going to hate it, and I'm sure would much rather be asleep. I guess it's my one selfish thing in all of this. I hate that he looks like he is dead and I want him to open his eyes and understand what is going on, and be able to squeeze my hand! 4:00 came and the nurse said it would be 4:30; at 4:15 Devin opened his eyes. For about 45 seconds he just looked back and forth between the nurse and myself........Then it started. The pain, the terrible excruciating pain. His eyes got wide with fear and terror trying to understand why he felt this way. I TOLD the nurse to give him some more pain meds so when he woke up it wouldn't be as bad, I TOLD her!!!! No one listens to me! Don't I know and understand him better than anyone? I HATE when dr's and nurses act like its no big deal because they do it everyday AND by the way I would LOVE to know when was the last time they were cut open and had a 4 hour surgery!!! I tried as hard as possible to talk to him calmly, keep him looking at me and trying to convince him to stay calm. Nothing was working and the Respiratory team and the nurse were just watching as he struggled to breathe, tears streaming from his eyes. The nurse actually had the audacity to say "Devin, are you in pain?" WHAT! REALLY? I wanted to hit her....I had been telling her give him something he is serious pain!! UGH! His heart rate continued to climb and his breathes became shorter and shorter. They kicked us out and told us to go to the waiting room and they would come get us. I was sitting in the waiting room thinking "This is stupid! How is it that I am his wife and they can make me leave? I am the only person who is bringing him any sort of reality or comfort!" I had my head in my hands thinking how sad I was and how defeated I felt....then I saw these cute shoes in front of me. MOM!!! It was exactly what I needed at that moment! She hugged me and took me for a walk. I told her how upset I was that no one would listen to me, how the nurse wasn't even putting gloves on when she touched him and how mad I was that I had to leave. She said, were going back in and finding the person in charge. So we marched back in. It had only been 15 min since they kicked us out and when we walked up to his room he was lying there asleep and no one was around. Exactly! I knew they didn't care to come get us! So we stayed with him for a while, talked to the head nurse (which was a waste of time!) who actually chuckled at me when I asked if they could please not try waking him in the morning until I was there @ 8:30 (visiting hours shouldn't apply to the spouse....just my opinion!) Can you believe he actually snickered at me? Was that really too much to ask? He looked at me like "you stupid, silly girl" Oh, so help me, if I show up in the morning and they woke him up!!!! So here I sit, typing on this stupid thing instead of holding my husbands hand.....and him actually squeezing back. Tomorrow will be better, it will.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Just for the record, I do not go around wearing ginormous flowers on my head...
we were at a Halloween party.
So before I literally fall asleep sitting up I wanted to post about Devins surgery. The Dr's worked on him for a little over 4 hours; longest 4 hours of my life! I am SO grateful my parents hung out with me the whole time helping to make the time go quicker. Finally the surgeon came out and filled us in on what is going on. From all of the procedures Devin has had done on his esophagus it has transformed it into a non healthy, abnormal esophagus. At the bottom where it should be very thin and pliable, it is like a piece of leather and very very thick. So think in fact that they think that the tear is in there, but didn't go all the way through. He had lots of air in his chest cavity on both sides, which they removed as well as decompressing his stomach (taking all the fluids out) The cut him open (which the nurse just informed me that it is said that this surgery is a more painful recovery than open heart surgery because of the muscles they have to cut through) and went in through his side to try and repair the tear, but were not able to find it. So here we sit in the ICU, a chest tube on both sides for everything to continue to drain, a huge incision, a feeding tube out his stomach, the ventilator coming out him mouth, another tube out his nose, heart monitors, cuffs on his legs to keep the circulation going and an IV in his wrist and vein in his neck. WOW! A lot to take in that's for sure!
It is all just a waiting game now. He will be here for 2 weeks, no food, no water, to allow everything to heal. The hope is that his body will heal itself and poof, no more tear. They will do some tests in two weeks to find out if that works, if it doesn't work, it will be a really big bad surgery where they will remove his esophagus. So I am trying to stay focused on where all my kids are and pray that he gets better. It's going to be one day at a time. I have been the most sad all day that he has NO IDEA that any of this is going on. The last thing he knows is that they were putting in a tube to help him breathe, he is not going to be a very happy camper tomorrow...rightfully so!

How did we get here??

I will try to make this as short as possible, but lets face it, you know I'm long winded! So last night I am sitting in class and Devin calls 3 times in a row, so I text him to see whats up. His response was 911. So I book it into the hall with my phone and dial his number only to hear him completely distraught on the other end. "Kristina, I choked and I'm coughing up blood, I called an ambulance" So of course I run in to let my professor know that I gotta go (hope I can retake the quiz we had) and I race home. I get there just as the paramedics are going into the house and I find Devin hunched over spitting blood into a bowl. He tells all of us that he was eating rice, choked, tried to clear it with water and it felt like something exploded and he started coughing up blood. Now let me back up a min, Devin has had problems with his esophagus for over 10 years. He has been treated off and on over the past 10 years, going in for several procedures where they actually stretch it open; lasts about a year and then they stretch it again. When it starts getting bad, choking on food, we go back to the Dr and he has it done again. I have been telling him for MONTHS to go to the Dr.....why couldn't he just listen? So that brings us back to last night. We get to the ER and they don't really pay much attention to him, they just put him in a room and give him a bag to puke the blood into. The pain continues to get worse and worse despite their efforts to control it. Since the pain is getting completely out of control he is becoming more and more out of control and not being able to keep calm. They do a chest x-ray, and it's clear. And they still leave him to sit in horrible pain. Finally at midnight they take us to endoscopy to stick a camera down his throat to take a look. After about 10 min the Dr comes back and lets me know that before he got very far he ran into a lot of blood and clots and didn't feel good about continuing the procedure. The decision was made to send Devin to the ICU and put him on a ventilator and sedate him. It was for the best; he could barely take a breath and was in tremendous pain, and being in that condition was not going to allow the Dr's to run tests to find out what they need to. At 1:00 he was peaceful, finally, a little too peaceful if you ask me! This is probably one of the most horrible visuals I will have with me the rest of my life.....seeing my husband completely passed out hooked up to a ventilator. I am used to being able to give him a kiss on his forehead while he is sleeping and have him respond in some way, whether it be a smile or a touch, but always a response. It is awful to touch and kiss him with not even a twitch. I hope things go by fast!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I love this boy!!

I was just going through some pictures and found so many cute ones of Ryker I just figured I would put them all together in a post about this cute boy I'm in love with!!

Ryker has been climbing out of his crib for probably 4 months now. It is really funny to find him in all sorts of places and in all sorts of positions after he falls asleep. This was by far my favorite!

Emmy helping Ryker brush his teeth. So cute that she was having him say AW (mouth open) and EEEEE (mouth closed) just like I do!

My poor baby got really sick in December and we had to give him breathing treatments three times a day. He fought like crazy the 1st few times, but after a while he would just sit and watch TV with us while he had his mask on. How cute is he?!?!

Rykers 1st head injury...OW! We found out later that Brigham picked up a tire iron and swung it at him, mean big brother!! He was such a trooper!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I love hanging out with my girls! We went to the mall about a month ago with Tiffany Kayla & Korryn. I'm pretty sure that the employees of Tillys were not to thrilled with us! The girls were trying on glasses, hats, necklaces and whatever else they could get their hands on. They are such cute girls and I hope they want to hang out with me FOREVER!!

Pinewood Derby 2010

I just downloaded all the pictures from my phone so I am going to just post away and try to get caught up; I'm not even going to worry about going in order! So the pinewood derby this year was SO awesome!! Our stake did some really cool stuff that made it really great for the kids. It was Masons 1st year which he was so so so excited about, and Hunters last year, so it was bitersweet. They both did great, and both placed 3rd in their pack. (they had awards per pack and overall) It was short, sweet and had yummy treats....what more could you ask for!

Great day!

Today Austin was set apart as the 2nd counselor in his deacons quorum. As I sat waiting for his turn, I reflected on the Sunday he was ordained, and actually realized that I had not blogged about it yet and what a great opportunity it would be to do it today. It was a great day when my 1st son was ordained to the office of the Aaronic priesthood. I remember thinking that this would be the 1st of many great days in our lives with our boys. Many priesthood ordinations, callings, responsibilities, all would open a new chapter in our lives and bring great blessings to our family. Today I sat and thought how incredibly grateful I am for my boys. I always want to have a boy first and was so thrilled when we started out with 3!! I am so blessed that I get to see the priesthood through the eyes of my boys. I think every time things in my life change I learn more and appreciate more the amazing things that come hand in hand with the priesthood. First as a girl, experiencing Fathers blessings whenever I needed, watching my Dad in his callings. Then as a wife, having a husband to give me blessings, take me to the temple, serve in callings and participate in several amazing priesthood callings. Now as a mother, to watch my boys learn about it, embrace it, and take it into their own lives. I was overcome with gratitude that my family will not only be blessed for and by the priesthood that my husband holds, but I have 5 boys that will bring blessings into our family through their own priesthood. What an amazing blessing!!!
(looking for the pictures from his ordination)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

So I was introduced to a blog today that tugged at my heart in such a tremendous way. This sweet family has been struck with incredible tragedy and despite the horror they are going through at this time, this wonderful woman is sharing her experience. I am so grateful for her sharing, so I can remember how important life is! I think most mothers (including myself!), in some way or another, are guilty of doing things that take precious time away from our children. I am grateful to remember, through her terror instead of my own, that there is nothing in this life that is more important than our children we have been given stewardship over; not a book, not homework, not our favorite TV show, not a blog, or facebook, or ANYTHING, that is more important than our kids. Believe me, I am not preaching to anyone, I am taking a major look at my own mistakes and realizing how many times I think "just 2 more min, then I will check on them, or it's just a sec, they will be ok" or any other thoughts that are quite frankly, not worth it! We don't have to be paranoid and keep our kids under our arms every minute of the day, I am just one of the lucky ones that my "just a minute" has never ended in tragedy. I hope her story will help each of us to love our kids a little more and hug them just a little longer.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New adventures for the Tietjens!

(sorry about the silly pics; my mom called my kids and told them to make sure they took pictures of mom on her 1st day of school! LOL)
So a new year has to bring new adventures right?? Well, we are definitely headed into some uncharted territory for us, and only time will tell how this will turn out. I think the events over the past year of loosing everything due to this wonderful economy, has caused me to reflect on how things could have turned out different; my solution was a college degree. I felt like if Devin or I would have had a college degree then we would have definitely had more options and definitely Devin would have had many more doors to open to try and look for work. (not that he would have necessarily found it; I know its really hard right now for even those with amazing education resumes!) I reflected on what I could do to try and help our family if times like this rear their ugly head again. (not that we are through the woods yet!) So school kept coming back to my mind and I tried to talk Devin into it. Telling him that I felt that we have been given an opportunity to get an education and we should jump on it. We don't have a mortgage, or car payments, so why not? (not too sure how much more poor we could be, so why not be poor college students and get something out of it haha!) Despite my best efforts Devin wasn't thrilled about school, but I decided that I could at least take a few classes. So I got all set up, which was SUCH headache, and started classes the 1st week of January. It took a week & a half of me being in school for Devin to catch the bug! He actually came to ME and said, "I'm kinda jealous, I want to go to school..." I laughed so hard while I listened to him tell me all the great reasons he should go, and how fun it would be to go to some classes together! (guess how many of the things he said were the exact words I used to try and convince him of this 6 months ago?!?!) So last week we spent scanning all the classes that were open for Spring late start, got all the financial aid stuff figured out and TADA!!! Devin and I are BOTH students! We are actually only taking one class together, but mostly due to the fact that that there were very few choices for him. So I am taking 3 classes, English 101 (LOVE LOVE LOVE), Computers (with Devin), and Food & Culture (online, just started, looks very promising!) Devin is a crazy person and decided a FULL schedule was the way to start off! He went from not wanting to do school, to deciding to just be a full time student? How does that happen LOL! So he is taking weight training, English, Macroeconomics, History, & Computers. We are both really excited, but ask me around finals & we will see how fun this is. Not sure how everything will work out, 8 kids and two parents in school, BUT I know this is right for us.....crazy, but definitely right!