I am also going to be seeking the expertise of the heart surgeon. One of the surgeries that I will have to undergo in December is heart surgery because I need to put lines and ports into my heart. I will also need to put a central line into my heart to serve as an emergency access port into me for the massive surgery that I will be having later on that month when I have my colon removed. They also are going to be using those ports for TPN because since I am so weak, fragile, and only weighing in the 60s, they are going to try to make me as strong as possible to recover from this surgery to remove the colon as well because it is massive surgery. In addition, the ports will serve as lines to put medications and take bloods from me because I am constantly being stuck with needles, which can easily cause a massive infection on top of everything else… not to mention the pain I am enduring each time that can be alleviated by having this done.
But I also need to see the heart surgeon as well because it was discovered that I have dense calcium calcifications in my coronary artery. So since I have these blockages now, the doctors have to also take care of this as well because I can easily have a heart attack and/or stroke because of it. Never a dull moment.
I am also going to be seeing one the top specialists in my neurological illness. There are not many doctors in the world who are really knowledgeable and can say that they are a “specialist” in my illness. Yes they might be ‘familiar’ with my illness, but there are only about 3-4 doctors that are really specialists in my illness who have been doing research, writing papers on it, and experimenting with different surgeries, and talking about it at conferences. So the doctor that I am seeing happens to be one of them and in fact he doesn’t even see “new” patients. Fortunately I have seen him in the past and therefore, he will be seeing me again.
It is very important to seek the expertise of this doctor because I have really worsened and need desperate help in this area especially since I can’t get to Mexico right now to get the radical intensive ketamine coma in Mexico, which is the treatment that I ultimately need but costs over $100,000 and we can’t afford it. I have developed severe spasms throughout my entire body that need help as well. I was also told that with everything that is happening, I am also in need of brain surgery.
Yes... you heard right. I am in need for brain surgery. Now on top of everything else I need brain surgery. I feel like a guinea pig and a huge science experiment. Yet, the doctors have discussed it and I need the brain surgery because they think that this is the only way to help my neurological disease besides having the expensive ketamine coma in Mexico, which we can’t afford. Not only will the brain surgery hopefully help my neurological condition, but hopefully it will also help my severe gastroparesis as well.
Since I am in need of brain surgery and brain surgery is one major surgery that you want the ultimate best doctors performing, we are planning to have the surgery also at the Cleveland Clinic because they are known as being one of the best hospitals. During this time, they will be undergoing very rare, risky, and extremely dangerous surgery. They will not only be operating in my brain, but they also are going to be putting a machine in my brain that will hopefully help me deal with the illnesses and alleviate it.
The brain surgery has been saved for the rarest cases. In these cases, it has been successful in the sense where people are able to not be as paralyzed as they was prior to the surgery, the pain is reduced, is able to eat, etc. All of them have experienced some benefit in both pain and mobility from the treatment. They will be operating in my motor cortex area.
As stated before, I am scheduled for surgery in December. I am going to definitely be having the heart surgery to have the ports and lines placed on December 8th. I will then undergo 14 days of TPN to try to make me stronger. On December 23rd, I will then have my colon removed. Depending on how bad it is when the colon is removed, it will determine how long I have until I need to receive multivisceral transplant, which incorporates receiving a new stomach, small and large intestine, spleen and pancreas.
So in the meantime I gotta hang in there. I have been doing so badly that they increased the amount of ketamine comas/infusions that I receive in New York to a higher dose and to a weekly basis. Although I was taking the ketamine at home every night, I was only having the ketamine comas in the hospital every other week. But since it has gotten so badly, the doctors have switched me to every week.
The doctor also increased some of my meds and placed me on Klonopin. It has been doing me the best help at night because it has been “knockin” me out most of the time. This medicine is better than the others because it is also supposed to help with all the anxieties that I am feeling, as it wouldn’t be normal not to feel overwhelmed with all that I am going through. You know? In addition, this medicine is the one medicine that has the least impact on my GI system and the least addicting out of all the other meds that I am on. This is a good thing because I don’t want to be on such addicting medications or medications that will further harm me and further ‘paralyze’ my GI system.
However, my miracle drug still happens to be my ketamine and if I could remain in the ketamine coma 24/7… I would. Even taking the ketamine at home is the best thing out of everything. The only problem is that this ketamine is extremely expensive and we can’t afford it. It is the ONLY medicine that gives me relief throughout the illness. But, like I said before, it is not a drug that is easily affordable. You can’t even get it at a regular drugstore. I have to go to a special pharmacy so that they can especially compound it for me.
So not only are we having difficulty paying for treatments, going to appointments, traveling, etc. we can’t even pay for medications that I desperately need. I desperately need my meds in order just to get by. My medication is extremely expensive and I don’t take a little amount either. In fact, I take over 50 pills daily and the amount of medication that I take is enough to kill a horse. Doctors have already said that a 300-pound man wouldn’t be able to handle the medication that I take on a daily basis.
But my medication is so very expensive and it isn’t even all covered by insurance. For example, a little bottle of ketamine costs me about $200 and it will only last me about 1- 2 weeks (if I am lucky). So… if you can please help me raise money so that I can at least receive the medication that I desperately need to be somewhat comfortable, I would appreciate it.
In addition to all that has been happening, I also recently got into a huge car accident. The car accident was so massive that the air bags went off and I was really hurt badly. This stupid huge Yukon truck hit us in the back and then plowed us into the car in front of us. We really had no place to go because it happened on a roadway that was over water and if we went to the left, we would have hit the cement guardrail and therefore had no place to go, and if we went to the right we would have went off the overpass and into the water. What makes it worse though is that the YUKON truck took off! Despite all the witness seeing the accident and trying to get the license plate number, he got away. In addition, the car that was in front of us that we hit ended up having no license or insurance. What a day that was.
Between all three cars, our car was the worst perhaps because we were the car in the middle of the sandwich. The whole car had to be totaled because the airbags went off, the car is crumbled with the engine being all twisted, and the hood is in the driver’s seat. The frame of the car is even cracked. They even said on the scene of the accident that the car was “totaled!” It is really horrible.
I was also the one that was hurt the worst perhaps because I am the most fragile and weak. However, there was no treatment that could really be done because with my illness, there are very limited things that can be done. What really stinks though is that my disease makes me extremely hypersensitive so a simple needlestick is like someone sticking a knife through me. So the pain that I am receiving from this accident is astronomical because a normal person would be in tons of pain from it… so you can imagine how much worse I am. In fact, as the days go on, I am feeling worse and worse throughout my body instead of actually getting better. I know it is somewhat normal for this to happen, but my disease doesn’t help this. My disease literally spreads through trauma and will cause complete chaos if something occurs in my body… especially a traumatic even like this!
I am in so much pain from the accident despite all the medications that I am already on. I am already on Methadone, morphine, Dilaudid, Motrin, ketamine, etc. … So if I am in this much pain with all these drugs, I don’t want to feel what I would really be feeling without them. I am surprised my stomach hasn’t exploded yet because I have been living on Motrin, which is something that I am not supposed to really have, as the doctors rather me have Tylenol instead. My ribs ache and they think I severely bruised and fractured my sternum and ribs. My heart hurts and my ribs hurt to breathe as well. As I constantly aspirate and can’t breathe, you can imagine how much pain I am in when I have to go and clear the secretions out of my chest. I just hurt all over.
But hopefully today will be better because I am going for another ketamine coma. Like I said before… ketamine is the only thing that really makes a huge difference. It has the power to stop the pain and even reverse the disease if given a high enough dose. However, I need a dose that is so high that only can be given in Mexico because it isn’t FDA approved. But obviously since I can’t get to Mexico because of the insufficient funds, I have to take what I can get and pray that the lesser amount of ketamine will still make a difference.
Finally, it appears another surgery will be needed for my jaw. A couple of weeks ago I had a severe jaw infection and needed to have surgery on my jaw to remove the infection. During that surgery, the doctor removed not only bone but also three teeth as well because of the infection. However, since I suffer from osteonecrosis, I now found out that I have to undergo another surgery in my jaw ASAP because more of my jaw has died. This really stinks too because more surgery on my jaw means more money out of pocket because it isn’t covered under insurance, which is definitely something we can’t afford. I have been having such difficulty with this jaw surgery ever since I have had it, both with the recovery, pain, eating, etc., that I have already told the doctors that if I knew how bad it was going to be… I would never have had it even though it was so desperately needed.
Everything is just dying and giving out on me in my body…. From organs to bones to everything else. My body has always the ENERGIZER BUNNY who has “kept going and going,” but it no longer can do such a thing. My batteries are dying and they aren’t being recharged.
I desperately need help and help soon. In the meantime, all I can do is hope and pray that I will receive the necessary funds and donations so that I can receive the desperate treatment that I need. I just want my life back and just want my suffering to end already. I can’t take this anymore and I can’t do it much longer either.
On a better note, my parents’ anniversary is approaching. On October 19th, my parents will be celebrating their 39th anniversary. I wish I could do something special for them because they certainly deserve it. I am so fortunate to have such loving parents. Some couples are cute together. Others complete one another. But rarely do you have the privilege of seeing two people who seem so perfectly well suited for one another than my parents. I only wish I could make it better for them. For many years, my parents both have always cherished one another with every passing moment (whether they were good or bad). I only hope that this anniversary brings many more, and turn into endless joy of love, laughter, and peace. I cannot begin to describe how blessed I am to have amazing parents in my life. Seeing true love through them makes my heart happy. I love them both in more ways than I can ever tell them.
I am also counting down the days until Tuesday because my favorite author of all times is releasing her newest book. I just love Sophie Kinsella and she is releasing it then. Too bad she only releases one or two at the most a year. She really writes light, funny, and great reads!!
Well… I really must be going because I am leaving for the hospital. It is just another Wednesday, as Wednesdays are filled with ketamine comas. Fridays are always filled with the colon surgery because they need to desperately clean out my colon because my entire GI system is dead and nothing moves. The doctors are afraid of me going into sepsis or something because the medication and whatever food is in me just sits in me and “rots.” So… I have no other choice but to be cleaned out every Friday. In fact, when I go into the OR for the surgery, the doctor always makes me state my name and why I am there and what type of procedure I am having. I always tell him “housekeeping” because that is basically what we are doing!! We are cleaning me up!
Well… thanks again for all your support and encouragement. If it weren’t for your support, I would have never made it this far. Please continue to pray for me. If you have any ideas in how to raise funds, please don’t hesitate to Facebook me or email me at Femirsky@gmail.com.
Thanks again for everything.
October 3, 2014
I just wanted to write an update since I haven’t written in awhile. It is honestly getting harder and harder to write these blogs and that is why I don’t write as frequently as I would have liked. I am really deteriorating fast and trying to hold on, but to be honest… it is getting to be impossible.
Any activity that utilizes energy is getting to be an impossible task. It really scares me and upsets me because I was never like this. I was the person to always push… push…. And push more. But I finally have gotten to the point where my body is just “done” and can’t be pushed anymore. It is as if my body finally ran out of batteries. I always thought I would be the “Energizer Bunny” that kept going and going and going. But unfortunately, my batteries are depleted and I can’t get them to get recharged. I never thought it would get this far.
I never thought I would get to the point where I am too tired and weak to do anything. Even the simplest task of making dinner, which is something that I loved to do is basically impossible to do anymore. Even typing my blogs is getting impossible. I can’t even give my mom her injections anymore for her multiple sclerosis. I was the one who every day gave her an injection to combat her MS, but I am getting to weak to do even that. Everything that I was and did… this disease has taken from me. It is so unfair. Yet, I am still hoping that this will still turnaround and I will be able to be “helped” and be able to resume a normal life. I am still hoping to become that doctor that I was hoping to be since I was a little girl so that I can help others.
I would never think that this disease could have taken so much from me. Once an "A " student who loved school, was involved in many extracurricular activities, was a competitive figure skater and violinist, enjoyed spending time with family and friends, I have spent the last couple of years incapacitated, paralyzed, and unable to sit, walk, or even eat. This disease is excruciatingly painful all throughout my body 24/7. It is like being electrocuted or stabbed, as well as having flaming hot gasoline being poured on me. RSD is characterized by: continuous sharp, stabbing & burning pain; extreme sensitivity to touch; severe headaches; painful skin ulcers; intense muscle spams; softening of bones; dystonia; skin temperature & color changes; hair/nail growth changes; muscle atrophy; vascular & Autonomic dysfunction; sensitivity to lights & sounds and paralysis. The slightest touch, even the caress of a loved one, the kiss from a parent, the touch of the sheet on the foot, the tightness of a sock, sometimes even the very breeze itself blowing over the body, can cause such pain it will bring tears to my eyes.
I also have severe autonomic dysfunction and severe Gastroparesis, as my small and large intestines, stomach, and esophagus are all paralyzed and I cannot swallow. Gastroparesis interferes with digestion, causes nausea and vomiting, and causes problems with blood sugar levels and nutrition; I cannot keep any food or liquids in me, and I vomit constantly. Doctors tried TPN on me and other ways of feeding me, but they all failed. My body is just shutting down. As a result, I have dwindled down to weighing only in the 60 plus pound range and having a BMI of about 10.8. In addition, it is causing me to aspirate into my lungs, which is leading to difficulty breathing and can cause life-threatening pneumonia.
The pain I feel is indescribable and all attempted treatments have not even come close to relieving all my suffering. I have seen many, many doctors, undergone numerous painful tests and procedures, has been prescribed over 50 medications, and has been hospitalized frequently including being intubated and on a ventilator. As a result I now need to have surgery to remove my colon (a complete colectomy), as well as a multivisceral organ transplant, which will encompass receiving a totally new digestive system (new stomach, small and large intestines, pancreas, and liver). Doctors do not know how I am currently living with all that is happening to me, but I am still pushing on and hoping for a day that I am 'cured' and able to live my life to the fullest!
Yet, I still love life and want to get better. I am still hoping that through the efforts of others that I will be able to get well. I don’t want to be sick. But unfortunately, I am deteriorating and getting sicker at a markedly fast rate. I hate knowing that in order to get better, it depends on other people because we can no longer afford the very lifesaving treatment that I need to survive. I wish I were independent and only had to count on myself. But unfortunately, my life depends on the help others. So I am hoping and pleading that you help me. I don’t want to be sick and I have so much to offer the world. I can’t take the suffering anymore. The toll this illness has taken on my physically, medically, psychologically, emotionally, etc. is unimaginable. I desperately need help and in order for that to happen I really need help from everyone to make that happen because unfortunately we cannot afford the very lifesaving treatment that I need.
It’s a shame how money dictates so much of how the world functions. But unfortunately it does. So unless I raise some money through donations and fundraising, I don’t see how I will be able to get the very imperative treatment that I desperately need. If you can please help me in any shape or form, I would really appreciate it. No donation or help is ever too small and all is extremely appreciated. Please help me get the treatment that I need because I am not going to make it much longer. I am literally hanging on by a thread. I would be forever grateful for any contribution that you can make.
Unfortunately, we had to cancel this past trip to Cleveland Clinic that we had scheduled because of lack of funds. It was a very important trip too, but since we were unable to come up with the needed funds and no one is going to do anything for “free,” we had no choice but to cancel the trip.
As a result, we now had to reschedule everything and it is all planned out what is needed to occur. It is very imperative that I get to these appointments because I will literally die without them. The doctors are even afraid that I won’t even make it until then, but they don’t know me… I am going to hold on and make it. (Click SHOW ALL to read more)
We are scheduled to go to Cleveland Clinic during the last week of November, which is also the week of Thanksgiving. Although it is a little while off, I am hoping that it will give us enough time to raise enough money because we are definitely going to need it. The upcoming medical treatments and trips are going to be very expensive and therefore, I am hoping that I will be able to use the next few weeks to raise enough money to help us out so that this all can happen.
I will be seeing so many doctors when I go down that week. Among them includes an endocrinologist because I need a bone infusion that cannot be given to me in New York as well as one of the most knowledgeable specialists in my neurological disease. I am also seeing the cardiologist because my heart is not doing well and I will also be getting all the final clearances done so that I will be able to have all the necessary surgeries that I need in the following weeks.
I need to see the Endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic because my bones are so very weak and I can easily get a life-threatening fracture. I desperately need a specific bone infusion that cannot be done in New York and the specialist in Cleveland can only do it.
I also need to see the specialist in my neurological disease because there are VERY few specialists that are very knowledgeable about my neurological disease. A lot of doctors may claim that they know “something” about it, but there are only about 3 doctors in the world that actually are fully knowledgeable in my neurological disease and actually doing research on it. This rare condition is a mystery to scientists & often is misdiagnosed. Much more research is needed to find the cause of RSD and ways to treat and prevent it. However, the doctor that I am seeing in Cleveland is one of the most knowledgeable doctors in the world, as he has published and spoke about my disease in depth. Since I am one of the worst cases that have ever been seen, it is extremely imperative that I seek his expertise.
In fact, the doctor in Cleveland is actually not seeing patients because he is considered “retired,” but we are very fortunate that he will see me because he continues to see past patients and since I have seen him many years ago, he will see me again. There is not many treatments or stuff known about my illness and not only is it important to seek his expertise because I am suffering from this illness in itself, but I am also going to be undergoing mega surgery and my illness spreads through trauma, which includes surgery. As a result, it is very important to seek his expertise because since this illness does spread through trauma and surgery, we need to know best how to “control” this illness and best how to help me during these upcoming surgeries. After all, this illness spreads like a weed and it is the most painful disease that you can imagine. In fact, it is the most painful disease in medicine, as it ranks higher than Natural Childbirth, Amputation, Cancer, etc. on the McGill Pain Index.
I suffer from pain 24/7 and never get a break from it. The only time that I can say that I am at “peace” from this illness is when I am under ketamine, which is why I really need to get to Mexico so that I can undergo that radical ketamine procedure that will reverse the disease and put the disease officially in remission. During this procedure, patients are put into a ketamine-induced coma-- essentially shutting the body down & giving it time to "reset" the nerves, brain and spinal cord. The Ketamine Coma shows great promise as a treatment for severe RSD. However, even though I do get ketamine here in the United States, the amount of ketamine that I need and is required for this procedure is not FDA approved and can only be attained in Mexico. However, this procedure is extremely costly, as it will cost over $100,000 and we cannot afford it without your help.
In addition, I will also see one of the top cardiologists when I go to Cleveland as well. My heart is not doing well and it was discovered that I have dense calcium calcifications in the coronary artery. I will be undergoing heart surgery to put ports and lines in because the doctors need central and emergency access into me for the surgery to remove the colon as well as because I am doing so poorly, but the doctors are also concerned that I will need further surgeries now because of these dense calcifications in the coronary artery.
The cardiologist that I will be seeing is really supposed to be the best. Fifteen of the top 50 cardiologists are working at Cleveland Clinic and ranking in the top 15 is the cardiologist I will be seeing. I will be seeing the legendary Dr. Irving Franco, who joined and worked at the institution since 1971. He trained under the legendary Sones and subsequently trained two generations of the Clinic’s cardiologists himself. Sones is considered the father of “coronary angiography” and credited with one of the most important discoveries in the history of cardiology, as he discovered a way to form a road map of the heart for medicine and surgery. Sones’ innovation made possible, for the first time, accurate diagnosis of coronary disease and set the stage for the modern era of cardiology and cardiac surgery.
So I am really hoping that Dr. Franco will be able to help me because I am a very difficult case. With my autonomic dysfunction, my poor bloods, etc. my heart is suffering a lot. Not only will I need heart surgery to put the lines and ports in at the very least, but heart disease and every member of my dad’s family has had a heart attack and open heart surgery. Thank goodness my dad has been the only one so far in his family who has not had a heart attack or open-heart surgery, but it does run in his family. In fact, his younger brother just got out of the hospital this past week from a heart attack and quadruple bypass.
I will also be undergoing medical clearances so that we can come back 2 weeks later to have the necessary surgeries that I will be having. However, I am fortunate that the doctors are going to allow me and get me home for Thanksgiving. I was very fearful that I wouldn’t be home for Thanksgiving because I really wanted to spend it with my mom because Thanksgiving is family time. Plus, with the new upcoming surgeries, I will be missing the holidays, which includes Christmas, Chanukah, and the New Year.
So the even though I am going to Cleveland Clinic in November and will have many appointments, the doctors promised that I would be able to go home for Thanksgiving. Therefore, we are scheduled to leave Cleveland to go home on the actual day of Thanksgiving. There is only 1 flight out the entire day and we are on it. So at least we will be home for some turkey dinner. The doctors feel that with everything that I am going through that it would be an excellent idea to have me home for Thanksgiving and be able to celebrate it as a “family!” (Click SHOW ALL to read more)
We will get to stay home for only a little bit because we are scheduled to return to Cleveland on December 7th. I will be undergoing surgery on the very next day to put the ports and lines into my heart. The doctors need to do this because not only do they need central access and emergency access to me when I have the surgery, but they also need a way to give me TPN.
The surgery to remove the colon is very intensive and the recovery will be very hard on me. Therefore, they want me as strong as possible. I am so very ill right now that it is extremely dangerous to undergo any type of surgery let alone a very complicated and dangerous surgery to remove the colon. So the doctors are going to be giving me 14 days of TPN before removing the colon.
Even though TPN hasn’t worked on me before because I am extremely hypersensitive and I can’t take anything “foreign” in my body, they are going to try to keep me as comfortable as possible by giving me pain medication as well as keeping me a ketamine drip. Hopefully through all these medications and the ketamine, I will be able to tolerate it because removing the colon is going to be extremely hard on me.
I am then scheduled to remove the colon on December 23rd. It is going to be a very long day when I have that surgery. My mom won’t be there for the surgery, but my dad will be there. I am very scared, but it is something that desperately has to be done. My colon has to come out because it is ‘dead’ and toxins are spilling into my bloodstream and going into my organs. I am literally becoming intoxicated and poisoned because of this. If the colon is not removed, I will literally die.
I will need a multivisceral transplant, which incorporates getting a new small and large intestine, stomach, pancreas, and liver, but it is all dependent on how bad the small intestine is when they go into me and remove the colon. If the small intestine is very badly affected, it will mean that I will need this transplant faster. It is the most dangerous transplant that you can have and only 6 hospitals in the country actually perform this transplant.
I won’t be able to go home until after the New Year. I am a little upset that I will be missing the holidays and won’t be able to see home for so long, but at least I will be starting the New Year as a “new person!” Helpfully I will be able to start the New Year as a HEALTHY person and brand new person! I just hope that nothing bad happens during any of this time because I don’t want to ruin the holidays for my family.
Well… that appears to be the schedule of what is going to be happening. It is going to be a very difficult time until we see 2015. But hopefully it will all be worth it.
I am just scared because I don’t know how I am going to last all this time though in Cleveland. We are literally going to be in Cleveland at least 5 weeks when we go back after Thanksgiving. I don’t know how we are going to be able to afford this because we dad won’t be able to work because he will be with me and we cant even afford it now with him working. That is why I am hoping that these next few weeks will hopefully bring in some much needed donations and hopefully I will find a way of raising the money that I need so that I can receive this life saving treatment. So like I said before, if you can please help me in any shape or form, I would really appreciate it. Any help would really go a long way!
In the meantime, I really must hang on. I am really not doing well and in fact, the doctors have really increased my meds because they are not helping or holding me anymore. In addition, the amount of times that I have the ketamine comas/infusions is being increased as well. I usually have them every other week in addition to taking ketamine at home. However, now that I am deteriorating and nothing is really working, they are now going to give me the ketamine infusions/coma every week. Thank goodness because at least I don’t suffer when I am under the ketamine.
I am also still continuing the weekly surgeries for my intestines. I have to go for “cleanings” of my intestines because since nothing really passes through my colon, it literally stays in my colon and rots. It can easily perforate my colon and cause me sepsis. Never a dull moment. But not only does it help me medically and help me “buy” time because without these cleanings I can literally die, it also makes me more comfortable as well. I really look forward to Fridays and having this surgery because it really makes a huge difference in how I feel.
I don’t know why but besides getting so weak, I am even having a very difficult time eating… even more difficult than ever. I constantly feel something is stuck in my throat and nothing goes down. Even the littlest things that I used to be able to get down like the ice-pops and egg whites and ice cream are getting to be impossible to get down. To be honest, the only thing that feels somewhat ok or better than other things is gummy worms. I know… sounds weird, right?
I can’t believe that it is already October and the holidays are basically around the corner. I think that I heard that Christmas is less than 100 days away. Gosh… I hope it isn’t going to be a bad winter like it was last year. I can’t take the cold.
This month is Halloween, which used to be one of my favorite holidays. I used to love cutting open the pumpkins, decorating the house, and giving out the candy to the kids. However, as I got sicker and sicker the “fun” of this holiday kinda disappeared. I used to deck my house out with all the decorations and stuff, but nowadays I don’t really decorate. I only cut open the pumpkins because I make the seeds to eat for my family because what would Halloween be without pumpkin seeds? No pumpkin seeds taste the same as when you get them fresh out of the pumpkin. It is like apples… no apple tastes the same as when you freshly pick them from the tree. So I bought a pumpkin that really caught my eye because it has all this stuff all over it. I thought it looked really cool so I bought it. Maybe when I get better next year my love for decorating and celebrating the holidays will come back
So… I guess that sums everything up. I will write more when I know more. My parents’ anniversary is approaching quickly, as their anniversary is October 19th. I only wish I could get them a present or send them out to dinner, but unfortunately with everything happening, I can’t. They deserve so much. They have been married for 39 years. I am glad to call them both my parents and I only wish I have “love” like they do some day. I cannot begin to describe how blessed I am to have such amazing parents in my life.
Well… I am going to get going. Thanks for keeping me in your prayers and for all your encouragement and support.
September 26, 2014
Let me warn you ahead of time that this email is very filled with lots of info because there has been and is so much going on. I am really not doing well and with everything happening, my head is literally spinning. My head is spinning so fast that I am surprised it has spun off my shoulders like a propeller.
I am really deteriorating and need desperate help. Knowing how sick I am, how sick I am getting and how I don’t have very long to go… it really bothers me to know that I should actually be in Cleveland right now getting the help that I need to help get me out of my suffering and to help put me on the track to getting better and living a long, healthy, and normal life. Yet, unfortunately, I am here suffering and hoping that I will make it until my next appointment at the Cleveland Clinic comes.
It really hurts me that I couldn’t go to the Cleveland Clinic this week because I am a ticking time bomb that has officially detonated and it is only a matter of time before I explode. However, unfortunately we didn’t have the funds available to be able to go. It is a sham how the world relies on money and no one does nothing for free. My life is literally at stake, but since we didn’t have the money it was a “no go” for us.
I tried so hard to raise the money so that we could go because I needed to get there so badly. I hated to sound like a “beggar” because I never was. Yet, I don’t want to die and therefore, I am basically out of options. I really had no other choice but to actually plead for help. Yet, despite all my pleading and ‘begging,’ we unfortunately didn’t get the funds needed so that I could get to Cleveland.
We really needed to go because I am getting sicker by the day. The doctors don’t honestly know how much longer I can exist this way and to tell you the truth… I don’t know how much longer either. I am barely hanging on. I am so tired. I am so tired of all the pain and suffering. I am so emotionally, physically, and psychologically exhausted. Sometimes I wish I could just close my eyes and close them forever because I am just so tired… tired of fighting.
Despite my attempts to get to Cleveland, I was unable to go and therefore, I had to reschedule all my appointments. These appointments were extremely important also because they needed to occur so that I could have the surgeries that I need. I need to have heart surgery to put ports and lines in, which includes a central line so that they can have emergency access into me for the surgeries and so that they can try to give me TPN. I need to have my colon removed because it is causing me to become intoxicated. The colon is literally spilling poisons into the bloodstream, which are intoxicating all my organs and shutting down my entire body. I also finally will need the multivisceral transplant, which includes getting a new stomach, small and large intestine, pancreas, and liver. So it was very important to get to Cleveland this week so that I could get all the necessary appointments out of the way so that I could get all these necessary surgeries done to save my life. I also needed to get a bone infusion because my bones are extremely weak and the doctors are worried about me getting a life-threatening fracture. So it was also important to see the endocrinologist at this time so that I will be able to get this special infusion because I cannot get it in New York. ( Click SHOW ALL to read on)
Yet, now that we were unable to go to Cleveland Clinic, we had to reschedule all my appointments to a later date. I am only praying that this later date will work out. I only hope and pray that by the time the date arises, we will have the necessary funds. After all, we cannot cancel again. The surgeries that I am having are massive surgeries that incorporate a lot of planning, scheduling, and a huge team effort throughout the entire hospital because many specialists are needed to be on my case and scrub in on the surgeries. So essentially, I am taking up a lot time of the doctors there and we aren’t just talking about one doctor either. So, I was already told that if I cancel again that they don’t know if they will be able to follow through and do the surgery because they can’t keep making plans and then canceling them. I can’t blame them for how they are feeling because I am taking up so much time and I am taking up so much space from doctors’ schedules that could be given to other patients, but I really need help too.
I just hate that I don’t have the money to help myself. Now I know how a dog feels when he is shown a bone and how he is salivating and wanting it so much as he watches it being swung back and forth right in front of his nose and then he is tricked and not given it.
I can’t afford to miss these appointments again. The doctors don’t even know how I am going to be make it that long because I am NOT in the ‘greatest’ shape at all. I am literally walking a tight rope and the only way that it is staying up is by hanging on by a thread. Well, that thread is ready to break, and I just hope that it doesn’t break before I get to the off of it and too the other side. I am really running out of time.
Like I said before, I can’t miss these appointments again because not only is it crucial to my health and I can’t survive without them, but the doctors will not continue to care for me and proceed with all the necessary treatments that desperately need in order to save my life. That is why I am ‘begging’ and pleading to please help me raise the money needed to have all this done. I really need so much help from as many people as possible. If you can please help me out in any way possible… please let me know. I can be reached through email at Femirsky@gmail.com or you can even send me a comment through this. Any help whatsoever is much appreciative. Please help me because I don’t want to die and this is basically my last hope!
Well, if all goes according to plan, I have all the new dates for my upcoming surgeries. The task now is just to hold on and make it until then, as well as to raise the money that I will need in order to go through with them. It just stinks because now I am forced to miss all the holidays. It is a shame that I will have to miss the holidays and spend them all in the hospital because I won’t be able to be with my mom during any of them when holiday time means “family” time. Unfortunately we don’t have the finances for my mom to come to Cleveland with us and therefore, my dad is the one who will be taking me while my mom remains at home. After all, she has to watch the business, house, and animals. Just because we will be in Cleveland, my mom will be having her own troubles and struggles because she will be all alone trying to run the business so that it will survive until my dad gets back and so that some money can be made to pay the bills. We don’t have money to board the animals at the vet and my mom has to take care of paying the bills that come into both the house and office.
But I would have really loved to be with my mom during the holidays. Now it appears though that Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, and New Years will all be spent in Cleveland. Thank goodness for Facetime because it appears that will be closest I will get to see my mom for the holidays. I guess my family will also lose out on my famous cooking, which I always do on every holiday.
As of right now, I am scheduled to go to Cleveland November 12th. That is the first available appointment that I can get for the specialist that is known for my neurological disease. My neurological disease and autonomic condition is extremely rare and complex that not many doctors are knowledgeable about it. In fact, there are only about 3 doctors in the country who are really “known” to know about my condition, and the one that I am seeing at the Cleveland Clinic is one of them. They have written papers on my illness and everything. In fact, these doctors are so well known that it is impossible to get an appointment with them. They have like a 2-year wait (no joke). So knowing that I have one of the worst cases in the world for my illness and how badly I am doing and how it is spreading, it is imperative that I seek the expertise of a doctor who is very familiar with my condition. In fact, I actually have seen this doctor before and thank goodness I have because this doctor has since “retired” and will only see “past” patients that he has seen.
I am also scheduled at that time to see the endocrinologist. It is very important to see her because I have to undergo a bone infusion because of how weak my bones are. The doctors are afraid I am going to get a life threatening reaction and unfortunately the infusion that I need cannot be given in New York. I also have to see the cardiologist, as it was discovered that on top of everything else that is happening with me, I now have dense calcium calcifications in my coronary artery. This is extremely dangerous because it can easily cause me a heart attack. If you factor in all the other components that I have such as the bad bloods, arrhythmia, bradycardia, autonomic dysfunction, etc. I am a heart attack waiting to happen.
I will only have to stay there for about 3 days for all these appointments, but I will then have to return back to Cleveland Clinic during the last week of November, which is also the week of Thanksgiving. During that time, I will be undergoing all the necessary and final testing that I will need for the upcoming massive surgery to remove the colon. I will need a lot of final testing, which includes getting a special type of stress test because the doctors need to know how my body will react to everything because this surgery is extremely massive and will be putting a lot of pressure on my entire body. I would have had this stress test done already, but when I went to have it done the last time we were in Cleveland, we had to stop it because I was considered “too small” to undergo the test. I didn’t weigh enough and they thought it would be too dangerous to be injected with all the IV dyes needed to do the test. So we had to reschedule it to a later date, which is now, and it has to be a different kind of test. (Click SHOW ALL to read on)
I am still not counting Thanksgiving out though. I am trying everything to make it home for the holiday… even if it means that I fly on that actual day. There is actually one flight going out that day and I plan on being on it.
Hopefully will be able to make it home for the holiday because I will then have to return to Cleveland then following week to start all the surgeries. I will be having all the lines and ports placed, which includes the central line. A central line can be used to give treatments such as chemotherapy, blood transfusions, antibiotics, intravenous (IV) fluids and liquid food if unable to eat. It can also be used to take samples of blood for testing, which means not having to be continuously stuck each time you need blood drawn.
This surgery will be very intense because not only do I have to have tubes and ports placed in me and they have to work on my heart, but it will also stir up my autonomic dysfunction and disease because any traumatic event that happens to my body will do that. I am extremely hypersensitive and my disease is known to spread through surgeries and trauma. In addition, as I will have the ports and lines coming out of me afterwards, my body will also have to get used to that as well, which will be very difficult considering how hypersensitive I am.
To help deal with the entire surgery and the central line afterwards, they will be giving me lots of medication including ketamine. I was hoping to be able to possibly come home after I had this surgery and before I had the huge surgery to take my colon out because it will be another 14 days until that will take place, but the doctors are very skeptical about that happening. They feel that this won’t be an option because they don’t think I will be able to get off the ketamine and pain meds to be able to leave the hospital. In addition, they are hesitant to let me go home because it is only for a short period of time because no matter what the surgery to remove the colon will be 14 days after and they are scared that I will get sick or catch something with all the traveling and with being around other people. That would be the last thing that we would need at this point.
I still have to decide whether I want the “Hickman,” which is a tube that is inserted into one of the veins of the heart through the neck or under the collar bone, or a line known as a “PICC line” which is a tube that is inserted that into a vein of the heart by going through a peripheral vein such as the upper arm.
This surgery will be very intense for me.
But as I stated before, I am having the colon removed 14 days after the surgery that was done to put in the ports. Therefore, that means that I will be having my colon removed on December 23rd. I could have had the operation the following day, but I wanted to make sure I was up enough to be able to celebrate Christmas and everything. The doctors are not looking for me to per se gain weight on the TPN or reach a certain number before they do the operation. They just want 14 days of the TPN and they are doing the operation no matter what. In fact, the doctors think that gaining weight will be extremely difficult for me because I have to deal with the refeeding syndrome, which is extremely dangerous and they also feel that the chances of me getting even into the 90s is impossible. So they just want to do the TPN for 14 days to try to get me to be a little stronger so that I will be able to make it through the operation and to help me recover especially since it is such a massive and dangerous operation.
Depending on this removal of the colon will determine how fast and urgently I will have the transplant. It all depends on how badly the small intestines are affected. But we won’t know that until we remove the colon.
So I will be in Cleveland for all the holidays including the New Year. From the time I have the surgery to put the ports in to the time I will be allowed home, it will be about 5 weeks. So I will definitely need as much help as possible with raising funds because there is no way that we can afford to go through with all this by ourselves. That is why I am hoping and praying that others will be kind enough to find a way to help me out as much as possible. Like I said before… any help whatsoever would be much appreciated.
It is definitely going to be weird spending all the holidays including Christmas and New Years in the hospital. But the doctors say that hopefully Santa will be bringing me the best gift of them all… a new lease on life. After all, the huge surgery is right before Christmas. So hopefully I will be starting 2015 as a brand new and healthy person. I really hope that all will work out. It would really be amazing if that happens because I have been sick for so long that it would be a dream come true to be “normal” again and to regain a life again.
In the meantime though, I am still not doing so well in regards to the previous surgery that I had on my jaw and teeth. I am still in a ton of pain and still having a harder time than ever eating and drinking. If I thought I couldn’t eat or drink before because of my gastroparesis, it is literally impossible now. Even the very few things that I could have before such as the ice pops and eggs are giving me problems. The only thing that really feels somewhat ok going down are gummy worms. I know it sounds weird but that is basically the ONLY thing that feels good going down.
It really worries me though because I went to the surgeon and it appears that I am not “healing” and recovering like I should be. It really scares me because if I can’t heal or recover from a surgery like this, how am I supposed to heal and recover from a huge and massive surgery like I am having on my colon and with the transplant?
I was thinking about asking the doctors if they think hyperbaric oxygen might be an option that would help me. I know that it helps people “heal” and therefore, I was wondering if possibly they could do that on me and it would help after the surgery. I don’t even know if the Cleveland Clinic does it, but I can’t imagine them not doing it especially since it is so well known for burns and Cleveland Clinic is such a top hospital in the country. So I will ask and find out. Can hurt to ask.
So I have a huge task ahead of me. I really gotta hang in there so that I can be strong enough to undergo these huge surgeries. Hopefully my weekly surgeries to “clean out” my intestines will also buy me time because without that happening, I am a goner. I have to worry about those toxins spilling into my body and shutting down my organs and I also have to worry about my colon rupturing because nothing passes through. I can easily go into sepsis because everything just sits in my colon and rots.
Well… I guess that sums everything up that is taking place. Not to sound repetitious but I would really appreciate it if you can lease help me. Any help whatsoever is much appreciated. Please say a prayer for me in the meantime! Until next time.
September 20, 2014
What a week this has been. I figured that I would write and inform you all that is happening because there is so much happening lately.
I really don’t know honestly how much more my little body can take of this. I am so physically, medically, and psychologically drained. I am just so tired and barely hanging on. I am supposed to be leaving on Tuesday for Cleveland Clinic, but to be honest with you... I really don’t feel strong enough to go. Between this illness really getting worse and taking over, me severely deteriorating, and the recent surgery I had to remove part of my jaw and teeth, I am just so weak and tired to travel. In addition, we don’t have the funds to even go. But, I do know how important it is that I do get to Cleveland Clinic because I am really a time bomb that has been detonated and I am really running out of time. If something isn’t done fast, I am definitely not going to make it much longer. That is why the doctors at Cleveland Clinic want me to come ASAP because they want me to get the show on the road because they know that I am basically hanging on by a thread. After all, my GI tract is paralyzed, I am only weighing in the 60s, I am being intoxicated and poisoned by stuff entering my bloodstream from my colon and GI system, etc. I desperately need help and help now. But like I said before… I need the funds to do this as well and unfortunately, we don’t have the funds at this time to even go. I am hoping though that in the next few days that I will be able to come up with the money through donations because it is so important that I get there. So if you can please spread the word that HELP is needed, I would really appreciate it.
Going to Cleveland is really up in the air for other reasons as well. Not only do we not have the funds, but I am still also suffering from the surgery that I previously had on my jaw and teeth. I am in excruciating pain from it still and to tell you the truth… if I knew it was going to be this bad, I probably wouldn’t have gone through with it even though I really had no other choice because I had a massive infection that had to be taken out.
The pain is so unbearable that I can’t eat or drink anything. The pain is so much worse for me too because of my illness, as it magnifies everything. I am so hypersensitive because of my illness and therefore, a simple needle stick is like someone putting a knife through me. So you can just imagine what having someone cut you feels like and having part of your jaw removed would feel like.
I can’t even eat or drink on one side because I had surgery on both sides. Even the littlest things are impossible. Between my GI system and my mouth… eating and drinking is a big challenge… bigger than you know. I can’t even have the few things that I was living on before like the egg whites and the ice-pops. I need to have the ice-pops especially too because my heart meds are in them and my heart isn’t doing well as it is. I really can’t afford also not to eat because of my weight. I weigh so little already that even losing an ounce is extremely dangerous and life threatening. (Click SHOW ALL to read on)
In addition, dad hasn't been well and therefore, I am also worried about my dad and I don’t know if he is well enough and able to go either. He will have to work so hard when we go there because I get really sick from the traveling and everything and between me and the luggage and everything else… I don’t know if he is “up” to it. I don’t want to get him sicker either. He has had that fever and shakes and everything and that's literally scaring the crap out of me. He never gets sick so for him to be like this for so long it's scaring me. We took him to the urgicenter on Sunday, but they place honestly sucks. I would never recommend that place. They gave him an antibiotic but even I said that med stunk. Luckily when I went for my ketamine my doc gave him something else and since he changed to that he has been making a full recovery. But that has only been the last two days or so. Mind u that he never once slows down or anything when he was sick with fever and all. He still worked harder than ever.
Finally, I don’t know if I should go because it would mean that I would be missing my “cleaning out” surgery on my colon next week and since I didn’t have it today, it would mean that I would be missing 2 weeks of it. To go 3 weeks without having it done, it will really not only be extremely uncomfortable but it will also jeopardize my health.
I am really deteriorating and the one thing that was “buying” me time was canceled on me today. I can’t begin to tell you how upset I am over this because not only was it “buying” me time, but it was also a procedure that was the only thing that made me more comfortable. You can’t believe the suffering that I feel with the paralyzed GI system. Plus, the doctors are so worried that I am going to have Sepsis or something because my colon is going to rupture because nothing passes through. As a result, everything just sits in my GI system and rots… whether it is meds, food, etc. My entire GI system is basically paralyzed and ‘dead!’ That is why I need my colon removed and a multivisceral transplant too, which incorporates receiving a new stomach, small and large intestine, pancreas, and liver. Nothing and I mean nothing is moving through and it is through this procedure only that things actually move out of me. I am literally being poisoned by the stuff that is staying and rotting in my GI system. It is shutting down all my organs and I really need help. However, until I get this operation to remove the colon and the transplant, this “cleaning” that I have is the only thing that is “buying” me time until I have it done. Without this procedure being done, I would definitely not make it much longer.
Yet, I still don’t honestly know what to do now because I was canceled today for my procedure to be “cleaned out.” Not only does it cause problems with making me feel worse and cause problems with jeopardizing my health, but it also causes problems because I don’t know if I should be going to Cleveland now on Tuesday. It was really important to have this procedure today because if I went to Cleveland Clinic next week, I would be more than likely missing the “cleaning” next week. However, now that I haven’t had it done this week, there is really no way that I can go 2 weeks with not having it done. I will not only be suffering like you will never believe but all those toxins building up will really be no good and can really cause HUGE problems. It can also cause my intestines and colon to perorate because the colon and intestines are so distended and nothing moves through unless I have this procedure.
In addition, I also needed to go for this procedure today because I needed to talk to my gastro doc about the upcoming trip. I also have been suffering from some new problems lately and I wanted to see what was going on. But now that I haven’t had the opportunity to go for this procedure, I don’t know what to do.
I honestly can’t believe that the doctor canceled me because he knew how important this procedure was to me and how much I needed it. He knew that I especially needed it because not only was it “buying” me time but it was also needed because I was going to Cleveland in the upcoming week. I am so mad because the doc lied to me too. They called me up yesterday saying how they needed my space because he was overbooked. Meanwhile I needed that cleaning desperately because that's the only thing buying me time and everything. So I explained get all to the girl and how I'm going to Cleveland and everything and she said she would get back to me about putting me back on the schedule. Well they got back and she said that they aren't doing procedures there anymore because they were suspended after what happened with his. Rivers. I had a feeling she was lying because earlier that day I called and made all my appointments for October.
Therefore, I called the office today and found out that I was indeed right. I was cancelled and the doctor is still doing procedures and everything. I am so upset because he knew how important this was too. I then called my doctor later on and left a message with the girl to have him call me back because I wanted to discuss some of what happened with him as well as talk to him about other things such as how I am not feeling well and all those questions regarding Cleveland Clinic. I also wanted to find out perhaps if he could do the procedure on me maybe on Monday since I am supposed to be leaving on Tuesday. But, like always… the doctor never called me back.
So now I don’t know what to do. If I could change GI doctors, I probably would. But unfortunately, even though NY has plenty of GI doctors, there are not many GI doctors who are familiar with my illness and willing to take on my case. So I really don’t a big list to choose from. I think I exhausted every GI doc that can possibly exist. The only good GI doctors honestly are out-of-state and even though I have excellent doctors out-of-state such as in Cleveland Clinic, I still need to have a doctor in New York so that if something happens at home, there is still someone locally to take care of me.
Who even knows if going to Cleveland Clinic and having my colon removed and having the transplant is the right thing to do. It is such a massive operation that is extremely dangerous. I went to have ketamine the other day and when I was in the coma, my dad was talking to the doctor about the upcoming surgery and such. My doctor had told my dad that if I go for this surgery at the Cleveland Clinic that I am going to be committing “medical suicide” because it is so risky and dangerous. He said that I would never survive the surgery. Yet, what other choice do I have? I have to do something because otherwise I am definitely going to die. (Click SHOW ALL to read on)
Ideally I really need to get to Mexico to have that ketamine coma that is not FDA approved in the United States. That would be the BEST option of them all. It is the one thing that has been shown to “cure” the illness. Even though it sounds really scary and it is also risky, it is really the best thing to do. However, there is no way that I can come up with the $100,000 to pay for the coma and therefore, I cannot have it. I have tried many way to come up with the funds for years and all I have been doing is not really getting anywhere while I am deteriorating and dying. But it really stinks because money means more than a person’s life. It is a shame that because I can’t come up with the needed funds, I can’t get the procedure that can save my life. So we can't just sit back and do nothing since I can’t afford to go to Mexico because I'll die literally. The only option I have is to have the colon removed and then the transplant. U know?
I really don’t know honestly if it pays to go at this time to Cleveland Clinic or if I should put it off for a bit considering everything that is happening. I really want to go because I am going to be seeing one doc who is famous for my neurological disease. There are very few docs (like 3) who are extremely knowledgeable about my neurological illness and the pain and everything, and one of them is at the Cleveland Clinic. He is retired, but he still sees past patients once a week and since I saw him years ago, I am fortunate that he will see me again. I really want to see him because not only am I suffering immensely, but also the surgery that I had on the jaw really spread my illness as well and therefore, I really need more help than ever. In addition, since I can’t get to Mexico to get that ketamine coma, I am hoping perhaps he might have some other magic up his sleeve.
However, I also have other appointments scheduled besides seeing him. I am supposed to have a whole week worth of appointments. I have appointments with doctors for pre-surgical testing and such because the transplant team wants that colon out of me ASAP. However, the tests and clearances are only good for 30 days and if the surgery isn’t done within that time, then they are wasted and have to be redone. Since we don’t have the funds now, I don’t know how we are going to be able to have the actual removal of the colon because it would mean that I would have to be there for like 5 weeks and we can’t afford it. So I don’t know if I should waste my time getting all the clearances and everything at this point even though I know that I need this surgery ASAP and they want to do it ASAP.
Ideally, the transplant team wants me to go through the week’s worth of appointments and then have surgery the following week on my heart because I need to have ports and lines placed into me in order to go for the surgery. I also need surgery because of the dense calcium calcifications in my coronary artery. They also want to try to give me TPN to help make me as strong as possible for the surgery because it is a very big surgery and I will need all the help and strength I can have. They then have it planned that 14 days after this surgery, they will then remove the colon. But like I stated before… I don’t have the funds to do all this right now so I don’t know if it is worth seeing all the doctors the week prior.
In addition, I am supposed to be seeing the endocrinologist because I really need a very important bone infusion that they can’t do here. The doctors are extremely afraid that I am going to get a life-threatening fracture. However, due to my jaw surgery and everything, I have to wait about 4 more weeks to have this infusion and therefore, I don’t know if it is worth going to the endocrinologist now or if I should just wait until I can have the bone infusion and do it all at once.
I would do anything to get my life back. This is definitely not the life that I thought that I would have. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my life was going to be like this or turn upside down like it has. I should be independent, a doctor, having a family of my own, etc. However, I am now unable to eat, unable to walk, living with my parents because I can’t really move out and care for myself, unable to work, etc. I live a life that is in constant pain 24/7 and I never get even a brief second of relief. I have no social life and I even have caused so many problems for my entire family, as we are in great financial hardships because of me. We really can’t afford anything. We haven’t been out to dinner or even on a family vacation in years. I can’t even remember when the last time we did because that is how long it has been.
I feel so bad for what I am doing to my parents because they are at the point in their lives that they should be enjoying themselves. Yet, they are stuck taking care of me, have no money to do that ‘enjoyment’, and they are working harder than ever. I am so scared because my dad looks so horrible and is working so hard and everything. Plus with his age... It's freaking me out more because everyone on his side of the family dies early. They have been dying earlier and earlier from heart attacks and my grandpa died when he was 66. My dad is 61 and with him having all this stress and working so hard... He's honestly a heart attack waiting to happen. If something ever happened to him, I would never forgive myself.
So… as you can see so much is happening and everything is chaotic. I don’t know what is happening. All I know is that unless we get some funds… going to Cleveland is definitely not going to be an option. So if you can please help me, I would really appreciate it. Plus… I need help more than ever in receiving the funds because I need to have this operation done ASAP because if I can’t get the “cleaning out” surgery every Friday like I need, I will be intoxicated and end up dying. So… please help me in any way that you can. Any help would be much appreciated… whether it is spreading my website ( www.gofundme.com/FallonMirsky
) or even saying a prayer.
Well… I guess that is about it for now. I am going to rest because I am not doing well. Thanks again for all your wonderful support and encouragement. I will keep you posted as to what happens. Hopefully everything will work out for the better.
September 13, 2014
I just figured that I would write and let you know how the big surgery went and let you know the absolute latest. I don’t know how much I am actually going to be able to say tonight because I am very sick still and not doing well. But I wanted to at least post something on how I am doing.
The surgery itself went very well. However, my body didn’t take it very well and I am having a very difficult time recovering. In fact, the surgery took such an impact on my body that we think that it spread my illness big time, which is definitely something that we were hoping would NOT happen and definitely couldn’t afford to happen. However, it appears our worst fears have come true in the fact that this surgery has actually spread my disease.
I will be honest with you… this surgery was definitely no walk in the park. The surgery was about 6 ½ hours in length and it really was exhausting for not only me but also my entire team. I must say that I did have the best “team” on my case, as my surgeon was absolutely wonderful. He had meetings with everyone in the operating room prior to me being operated on so that everyone was familiar with my case. After all, I am not the ‘typical’ patient and can’t be treated like the ‘typical’ patient. I need special care and I can’t be touched like a regular patient. For example, the doctors have to be extremely careful with the lower portion of my body because my legs are extremely hypersensitive due to my illness. Nothing and I mean nothing can touch them because of the extreme pain.
So the doctor did everything in his power to make sure that I was as comfortable as possible. He posted signs all over my bed that said “don’t touch legs” in order to aware anyone and everyone not to touch my legs because it would really send me through the roof. He also showed everyone my pictures as well because he wanted everyone to understand my illness and I am definitely not an illness that people are familiar with. The doctor made sure that the room was the appropriate temperature since I can’t tolerate extremely cold temperature and the ORs are usually kept at very cold temperatures. He was extremely gentle and caring in everything that was done. Even when the operation was completed, I was taken off the table and placed into a bed that would be brought up to the actual room that I would be in instead of having me transferred into another bed once we got up to the room. I couldn’t have asked for a better surgeon.
But what a surgery it was. It was a very long surgery that was extremely hard on me and now I am having an extremely hard time ‘healing’ and recovering. I was of course put under general anesthesia and since the surgery had to take place on my jaw, mouth, and teeth, I had to be intubated through my nose and down into my lungs that way. So now that I had to be intubated through my nose, I am now continuing to suffer from bloody noses.
The surgery definitely was a long and exhausting surgery. I ended up having part of my jaw removed, 3 teeth extracted, and 11 teeth fixed. However, I had no choice because I was suffering from a massive infection that needed to be taken care of. Besides suffering osteonecrosis, I developed a massive infection due to my entire body shutting down. My colon is completely dead and as a result, it is spilling toxins and poisons into my bloodstream and the poisons are entering my organs and brain and shutting them down. I am being intoxicated and poisoned by these toxins and I really need to have the colon removed ASAP and also to have a multivisceral transplant, which incorporates receiving a new small and large intestine, spleen, pancreas, and liver. However, I first need to have heart surgery to put ports into it so that the surgeons will have emergency access to my body for these operations as well a way to try to give me TPN so that I can try to be made stronger for these operations since they are extremely dangerous and very difficult to heal from. Yet. I ended up developing this infection in the meantime and therefore needed to deal with this massive infection before we could worry about moving further towards the other surgeries. We also learned that I will also most likely need further heart surgery because my coronary artery has dense calcium calcifications in it. So my heart is being blocked as well, which can result in a heart attack or stroke.
But as I stated before, it was first important to deal with this infection because I couldn’t have these other surgeries until this infection was cleared up. We think it developed because of how bad my body is doing in general. It is just an outward appearance and a reflection of what is doing in my heart and body. My body is just shutting down and dying. As the doctors have continuously told me, I definitely need something to happen to me fast because I am at the point where I am rapidly deteriorating and I am going to constantly downfall until we get this problem fixed.
This surgery was torment. When I woke up, I was in such enormous pain. I was put on a IV pain medication of receiving Dilaudid every hour, but even that wasn’t enough. I never felt pain like I was feeling. Little did I know that not only was I feeling so badly, but also I didn’t look like a ‘beauty’ either?
My dad took some pictures of what I looked like after surgery and when I looked at the pictures it looks like I am wearing lipstick and received Botox. There was so much blood on me that it looked like I was wearing lipstick and my lips were so swollen that I looked like I had Botox. It was horrible. (CLICK SHOW ALL TO READ ON)
The hospital had a very hard time managing my case. They had an extremely hard time managing my pain too. For some strange reason, I metabolize drugs so quickly that it’s literally amazing. I take so much drugs (like over 50 pills) that it would easily kill a horse. A grown man weighing 300 pounds probably wouldn’t be ale to tolerate my medication regimen. Yet, I am only weighing in the 60s and I take everything that includes ketamine, dilaudid, methadone, morphine, nucynta, etc. The list goes on and on. Doctors have such a hard time with prescribing medicine for me because by weight, I am so little and should be pediatric size. However, my body metabolizes drugs so fast that it is literally impossible to give me that size dose because it would literally do absolutely nothing for me. Doctors can’t believe how they can’t ‘numb’ me up for surgery and such and that is just one more reason why anything that needs to be done has to be done has to be done under General Anesthesia.
I am really upset that I had to have part of my jaw and teeth taken out. I already feel so ‘ugly’ already. This disease has taken so much from me already. It has taken away my social life, eating, walking, my career, my colon, etc. Now it is even taking away my smile. I already look like an emaciated skeleton and my skin literally sags on my protruding bones because there is no more muscle tone left basically anywhere in my body thanks to this wonderful illness. I can’t believe it is not going after my smile too. I really was fearful I would wake up looking like a Jack O’Lantern. I know that there are implants that can always be done, but when I can’t even afford the medical treatment that I need now, there is no way that I will ever be able to afford implants. Now that I have all this removed from my mouth… my dream and ultimate goal is to have implants done. I would do anything to have my smile back. I feel so inhuman already. I feel like this disease just keeps ripping me apart. What else is it going to take from me?
I really shouldn’t have left the hospital when I did because I honestly wasn’t ready to leave. However, I had surgery in one hospital and I had to leave because I needed to get to another hospital to have surgery today to have my intestines taken care of. After all, I couldn’t miss out on the surgery on my intestines because I needed to have my intestines ‘cleaned out’ because of the poisons that are literally intoxicating my entire body. There really was no question that I had to have this done because since my GI system is dead, I needed to have this procedure, which I have every Friday, as this is the only way I can remove and pass whatever is sitting in my colon. It has to be removed because it is this stuff that is sitting in my intestines that are causing further harm and further spreading the toxins and poisons throughout my body and shutting down my organs and body.
So I spent a few days at the hospital following the surgery on the mouth and jaw, and I was fortunate that my dad stayed with me every minute of it. I was also kept on the same floor that Jennifer Lopez was kept when she gave birth. She rented out the entire floor when she gave birth and now I know why she had that floor. That floor was absolutely gorgeous. It was all carpeted, had a salon, full-length mirrors in the bathroom, and even hair blowers too. I couldn’t honestly believe how nice the floor actually was. It must have been the best floor in the hospital.
Not only was I on the best floor, but also I also really have the absolute best dad in the world. He wouldn’t leave my side for a second. Both my mom and I kept telling him to go downstairs and get something to eat, but he refused to leave my side. He spent literally every minute with me. Who could ask for a better dad?
However, I feel so bad for my dad now because he has gotten sick from spending all that time in the hospital. The room was kept in a frigid condition and he must have gotten sick because of that in addition to the fact that infections are looming big time in hospitals. My dad tried to put towels over the air-conditioner vents to try to warm up the room, but it only did so much. Plus, him sitting over there for the entire time we were up there I am sure didn’t help the situation with him picking up a chill. It was so cold that his ring was basically falling off his hand because his fingers were shrinking because of the cold. Then when he wasn’t eating or drinking anything really to keep his strength up and also not sleeping because he was busy with me… there is no wonder that he got sick.
So now my dad is really sick with a fever and all. He has the chills, his body aches all over, his eyes are bulging, etc. My dad never ever complains that he is sick so for him to do so, it is bad. Yet, he is still not letting any of this get to him because he is still working himself as a horse. He knows that we are leaving hopefully for Cleveland in the week to come (September 23rd) and he knows how desperately we need the money and therefore, he is not even ‘resting’. With being sick and with a fever, he is continuing to work like a horse by working from 4 AM to 7 PM and not even taking a break. I am so scared that something is going to happen to him because it isn’t even where he is ‘well’ now. If anything ever happened to him, I would NEVER forgive myself. He is not only my dad, but also my very best friend. He is my superman. He is everything to me. I definitely would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for him.
But as I was saying before, this operation has not been easy on me. I literally can’t eat or drink anything. I usually can’t eat or drink much anyway except ice cream and egg whites and my medicated ice-pops, but even the very few things that I can usually get “something” down is impossible. I had surgery on both sides of my jaw and therefore, it is impossible to chew or swallow on either side.
We are also having a hard time controlling the bleeding. The incisions just keep bleeding and bleeding. Everytime they stop bleeding, it starts right back up again especially if I eat or drink anything. But I of course can’t afford to lose even an ounce and therefore, I am in a catch 22. I have to eat and drink because of my weight and yet it is so entirely painful and it causes me to bleed even more. Never a dull moment.
I have been in constant touch with the surgeon though about this matter and to control the bleeding the surgeon has me biting on gauze and warm tea bags. It is helping to a point, but then it starts right back up again. I really hope that this gets better soon because it is not only really painful, but I hate seeing the blood that is coming out and it tastes really bad too.
But as I stated before, this surgery was not easy on me and we think that this surgery also spread my illness as well. When I went for surgery today for my intestines, I was getting changed into a hospital gown when I noticed that my legs looked really funny. Last night I noticed my ankles looking a little weird but I didn’t look much into it. However, when I was changing this time, I definitely started to freak out because it was definitely not normal what I was seeing.
I kind of knew instantly what was going on. I knew deep down that it was the disease spreading. But I was hoping that I was wrong. I immediately called in my dad to look at my legs because he was on the other side of the curtain because I was getting ‘undressed’ and into a hospital gown. He didn’t’ like what he saw either. He knew kind of what that meant as well. When we saw the doctor, we showed it to him as well, and he was the third person to confirm the fact that it was the disease spreading, which was something that we couldn’t afford at all to happen. (CLICK SHOW ALL TO READ ON)
I don’t know what we are going to do now that the disease is spreading and getting worse. It is definitely not a good sign that the disease spread the way it did. We instantly called my doctor who takes care of my ‘ketamine’ and he wanted me to come in ASAP. However, with everything happening and with the finances, the earliest that I can see him is Wednesday. Yet, with my illness, every day is crucial and counts. I am only hoping that nothing more disastrous will happen in the next few days. I am only hoping that the ketamine infusion that I will undergo on Wednesday will suppress the illness a bit. I know I can’t expect the ketamine to do miracles and work wonders because the amount that I really need to make an impact can only be attained and done in Mexico because it is not FDA approved, but I am hoping at least it will help and hopefully suppress the spread of whatever amount of the disease happened to spread due to the previous surgery. I have never been so scared because this disease spreads like a weed. Once it gets started, it is so difficult to slow down and stop. It just takes over like you wouldn’t believe and it has taken over my body enough. I literally can’t afford for it to takeover anymore.
So as I was saying, I had surgery today to clean out my intestines today. I was not a very good patient today because they had a difficult time getting an IV in me. I ended up squeezing the doctor’s fingers too tightly and bending them backward because of the pain that was occurring as the anesthesiologist was trying to put the IV in me. Unfortunately, I have had so many IVs already that there is so much scar tissue in the area. Therefore, she had a very hard time putting the IV in and I was not holding still. The doctor had to literally hold my arm while the anesthesiologist tried to get the IV in me. I felt so bad for killing the doctor, but the anesthesiologist was killing me. It was so painful!
I really thought it wasn’t going to be so bad ‘inside’ my intestines especially since I haven’t eaten anything for like 4 days. But apparently I was wrong. The doctor told me that it was just as bad and I was so surprised about this because of the fact that I didn’t eat for 4 of the last 7 days. But he explained to me that in my condition, I can literally not eat for many days and the food can be there because my GI system is so paralyzed and ‘dead’ that nothing goes through no matter what. That is why it was so imperative and important that I have the surgery today because I would have had all these toxins and poisons spilling into my bloodstream and going into my organs if I didn’t.
So… it looks like the next week is going to be extremely hectic. My dad is going to have to get over being sick and hopefully I won’t get it. That is a real big fear of everyone. I have no immune system whatsoever and therefore, I literally catch everyone. In addition, whatever I get is so much worse because everything is magnified for me. So, this illness that my dad has can really have a severe impact on me. Plus, with all that I am going through already, my body most likely can’t handle fighting another thing at this time. So we have to really be cautious that I don’t get sick.
Dad has to really take a “easy” too because he needs to rest out this illness. We are supposed to be leaving for Cleveland in the following week (Tuesday, September 23rd) and therefore we can’t afford for him to be sick. Yet, on the other hand, we need the funds in order to go too, so we can’t afford for him not to work either. So… unfortunately working and relaxing are not compatible so who knows what is going to happen.
If all goes well and according to plan in the sense that we have the funds and no one is sick, we are off to Cleveland Clinic in 10 days. It is more imperative than ever to get there now because that is the place where my neurologist is and he is one of the top specialists in my neurological disease. With the disease now spreading the way it is doing because of the surgery on my jaw, it is really important that we see him ASAP because he will probably be the only one to have insight as to what to do since he is one of the “founding fathers” of my illness.
In addition to seeing my the specialist for my neurological illness, we are scheduled also to see anesthesiology and to get all the pre-surgical clearances so that we can go forth with the surgeries to have the heart surgery to put the ports in and the TPN and then 14 days later to have the colon taken out. Depending on how the small intestine looks and such inside will determine how urgently I will need the multivisceral transplant. We are also going to be seeing the heart specialist because we have to know what to do with the blocked coronary artery now since I can easily have a heart attack or stroke. We are also scheduled to see the endocrinologist too, which is a very important appointment because she is supposed to be giving me a bone infusion that I desperately need since I have extremely weak bones and the doctors are extremely worried that I am going to suffer from a life-threatening fracture. If all goes well, they want to proceed with having the surgery for the ports at that time as well. So it is a very important trip there. I just hope it all works out.
When I think about having to go to Cleveland Clinic in 10 days, I don’t know how I am going to do it. I am in so much pain and I am so mentally and physically exhausted. I also don’t have the funds that are needed. There is just so much to do before we can even go. Yet, knowing that my disease is now spreading and everything, I know I have no other choice but to go. I only hope that we will be able to go and everything will work out.
So that appears to be it. Other then that nothing else is really going on. I have been trying to read Joan Rivers Book called “I Hate Everyone… Starting With Me” and I am also reading “Finding My Prince Charming” by J.S. Cooper. They seem pretty good. I can’t wait for my absolute favorite author to come out with her book, which is in October. I just love Sophie Kinsella and her “Shopaholic” books.
Well… I am going to get going. Thanks again for all your support and encouragement. Please continue to pray for me. Please continue to spread the word of my donation site ( www.gofundme.com/FallonMirsky
) because donations are strongly needed. I need so many lifesaving surgeries, medications, appointments, etc. and unfortunately I cannot receive them without help.
Thanks again for everything. I wouldn’t be where I am today without your wonderful support and encouragement.
September 10, 2014
Just want to give you an update as to what is happening because a lot has happened and in a few hours I will hopefully be under anesthesia and in surgery.
I am writing to let you know the very latest because so much is happening. In a few hours I will hopefully be undergoing another surgery that will hopefully be successful. I have to leave in a few hours for the hospital and since I can’t ‘rest’ because I am so nervous, I figured I would spend this time updating you on all that has been happening.
As I just said, I have surgery in a few hours. I am extremely nervous and scared. But thankfully it is for a change actually “local.” However, even though I am actually having surgery in the area and I will be in a hospital close to home, my dad will be staying right by my side throughout the entire time. I am so thankful for my dad because he is so amazing. I can’t thank my dad enough for all that he has done for me because I definitely would never have made it this long or made it this far without him. He is not only my “dad,” but he is my best friend. He is also my “Superman,” my knight and shining armor, and the person who made me who I am today!! I can never thank him enough. I only hope that he will be around to see the day when I am “cured” and I become a doctor so that I can help others so they don’t have to suffer like I do.
I am heading to the hospital today to have surgery on my jaw and teeth, as I have severe osteonecrosis and a massive infection going on. I am rapidly deteriorating and dying and I really need to get to Cleveland Clinic so that I can have the necessary lifesaving surgeries to save my life. I need to have heart surgery because not only do I need ports placed in my heart because of TPN and because they need central and emergency access to my heart for the upcoming surgeries, but I also need to have my colon taken out and have a multivisceral transplant. Yet, these surgeries in Cleveland cannot happen until this surgery that is taking place today happens because I am suffering with a severe massive infection. The doctors have to try to remove the massive infection before they even try to do these very risky and dangerous surgeries.
It appears that since I am doing so horribly and since my entire GI tract has shut down that I am spilling toxins into my bloodstream, which is poisoning my entire body. The toxins are poisoning my organs and brain and essentially shutting them down. Therefore, I have developed a massive infection in my jaw because I can no longer “fight” anything anymore. What is happening in my jaw is just a reaction to what is actually occurring throughout my body. Therefore, it is imperative that this infection be taken care of as soon as possible because I desperately need the other surgeries at the Cleveland Clinic as soon as possible.
Today’s surgery is going to be one massive surgery. The surgeon is going to have to remove part of my jaw, teeth, and even remove nerves as well. I will also be having metal being placed into me. I am so worried that I am going to wake up looking like a “Jack O’Lantern!” This disease has taken so much from me such as my social life, eating, walking, a career, money, happiness, etc. and I hate to think that this is now going to take away my “smile” too. I don’t know what I will do if I wake up and I look even worse than I do now because I already look horrible. To think… I was one time pretty. Now I just consider myself an “ogre” and I won’t even put up a picture without airbrushing it and fixing it up beforehand. I am nothing but an emaciated skeleton and I have no muscle tone anymore. My skin literally just hangs on my protruding bones because there is no muscle tone anymore. (CLICK SHOW ALL TO READ MORE)
I just hope that everything will go “ok”! My dad will be with me during the entire time. He is even spending the night with me at the hospital because I can’t be treated like a “regular” or typical patient. I am a very complicated person and therefore, I need special attention. For example, during the surgery, it will probably be standing room only. There is going to be at least 2-3 anesthesiologists in the room and other specialists as well. I even can’t get an IV like a normal person. The last time I had surgery, I ended up gaining 8 pounds on one bag of IV because they ‘pushed’ it and it ended up causing further problems because it set off the autonomic dysfunction.
I need this surgery to take place so that I can get to Cleveland Clinic as soon as possible. If all goes according to plan, I have surgery in a few hours. I will of course be admitted and then I will have surgery again on Friday to “clean out” my colon like I always do. We are then supposed to be leaving for Cleveland on Tuesday, September 23rd. However, this is as long as if we have the funds behind us, which as of now we don’t.
That is why it is so important to get all the help that we can get. I have so many upcoming procedures and have to travel to Cleveland and everything that it is going to cost a lot of money. However, we don’t have these funds and unless we do, we will not be able to do all of this needed stuff, which is needed to save my life. So if you can please do anything to help… whether it is to do a fundraiser, spread my website, saying a prayer, etc. I would really appreciate it. I am really rapidly deteriorating and I am basically in “survival” mode. According to doctors, I am not going to make it much longer unless something is done and done soon. I know that I have defied medical odds before and I have existed this long, but I know also that my luck in that area has also ran out. I have been in constant contact with Cleveland Clinic even though I am not there at the current moment. The doctors say that time is running out and I need to get there quickly.
When I went to have pre-surgical testing at the hospital for this upcoming surgery, they saw how bad I really was. Even though the hospital had an idea about my condition because they had a meeting prior to me coming about me and my condition, they even said that they didn’t really think it was this bad or understand it completely until they actually saw it.
The doctors were really shocked when they saw how swollen and bloated my stomach was. It is also hard as a rock. When Cleveland Clinic heard about it, they were not ‘happy’ with this news because they said my body is failing and need to get to them ASAP for surgery because time is running out. It has also been getting even more difficult to eat because nothing is going down anymore. Since my GI system is essentially ‘dead’, it doesn’t push anything down and through anymore. Therefore, it constantly feels like my entire esophagus has something in it.
Well… I just wanted to really alert you that I have surgery in a few hours. I just hope that everything will go ok. I told my parents that I hope the Toothfairy gives me money and bonus bucks too because of all that is happening. My parents laughed over that.
I really hope that everything goes smoothly. It is getting time to leave so I am going to get going. I want to rest up for a bit. I had a busy day today already because I had my dad’s birthday today. He turned the big 61. I only wish I could have made his birthday better for him and got him all the presents that he deserved, but unfortunately it just wasn’t possible. My father is the absolute BEST and deserves to be treated like the ‘king’ of his caste. Yet, instead of sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying his life... he is working harder than ever and trying to do as much as possible to get me well.
I will write again after I know more. Please say a prayer for me and please continue to share my website. Thank you for all your continued support and encouragement.
September 5, 2014
I have wanted to write for a while now, but haven’t been well. Plus, a lot has been happening lately and I didn’t want to write anything until I was sure exactly what was happening. But not that everything seems to have “simmered” down in terms of what exactly is taking place and when, I thought I should inform you all that is happening because there is a great deal that has been occurring since the last time I posted anything.
It seems like the harder I try to overcome this illness… the faster I am deteriorating. I literally can’t catch a break. The doctors have always said that I was a “ticking time bomb waiting to go off” and guess what? The time seems to have come that the bomb is finally going off. I am freefalling basically and there seems to be no stopping this illness. Whereas before we tried “littler procedures, surgeries, and treatments” because they were cheaper, more affordable, and not as invasive… it appears now that unless we do the major treatment, which are the colon being removed and the transplant… I am not going to make it much longer. There is no guarantee that even with the colon being removed and the transplant that I will be able to “beat” this illness, but that is my best option. I need to have the colon removed and this transplant because the toxins that are being produced by the colon and GI system are literally poisoning my entire body and shutting down my organ including my heart and lungs. It is causing massive infections in my body that I can’t even fight anymore. Of course I also need that huge intensive ketamine coma (which will cost $100,000) for my neurological illness and autonomic dysfunction in Mexico because the amount of ketamine in the United States is not FDA approved, it is more important right now to deal with eliminating these massive infections that are raging in my body because they are going to kill me. I am at the point where I can’t fight anything and my body is shutting down because I can’t even absorb nutrients anymore.
My tightrope is basically snapping, and I am plunging to my death. I am basically drowning in debt and yet, I desperately need these surgeries in order to survive. That is why I desperately need your help. Unless something is done quickly and unless I get the colon removed and the transplant at the very least, I will not have to worry about anything else because I am honestly not going to last much longer. Yet, even to get the colon removed, I still need other surgeries prior to it in order to ‘prep’ me for the surgery and to make it successful because they have to make me as strong as possible to survive the surgery since it is one of the most dangerous surgeries a person can have and they also have to manage this massive infection as well because it can easily kill me. (CLICK SHOW ALL TO READ MORE)
Therefore, I am pleading for your help. I desperately need any help that anyone can give me. Even $1 is one less dollar that we have to worry about. If you can please help, it would be much appreciated. I am really suffering and I am really knocking on death’s door right now. If you can please donate, I can’t tell you how much that would mean to me. Also, please say a prayer for me and please spread the word of my website. Perhaps through your prayers and through you spreading the word to others, I will be able to receive the necessary help that I need to get the treatment that I desperately need. Without your help, I will be honest with you… I don’t know how we are going to be able to afford all this. This surgery for the colon and transplant is going to be a long and very expensive road!
As I have stated in past emails, my GI system is basically paralyzed and ‘dead.’ Nothing is passing through and as a result, I am being intoxicated by all the poisons that are leaking into my bloodstream and entering my organs and brain. I am literally going into heart failure and lung failure among other things because of this. As a result, we knew that my colon was going to have to come out and a transplant was going to be needed, which included getting a new small and large intestine, stomach, pancreas, and liver. It is an extremely dangerous surgery and it is the most dangerous transplant that you can have. Only like 6 hospitals in the country actually do this transplant.
However, in order to do this surgery and transplant, the transplant team said that I would need a central line placed in me such as one called a HICKMAN. The HICKMAN would allow the doctors emergency access into me, would give a way to deliver medication and also a way to draw blood from me. It would also take away the need for repeated peripheral IV sticks. Finally, it would be a way to give me TPN so that they can try to feed me because I only weigh the 60s and I can’t afford to lose any weight. In addition, I am extremely malnourished and my body can’t fight any infection whatsoever. I desperately need the TPN because I am not in the state that I can definitely survive even a simple operation because I am so ‘weak.’ I have no reserves and no resistance towards anything. The doctors don’t even know if I will be able to heal and they are scared that I won’t be able to heal especially when I undergo a MAJOR surgery like this.
But just as we were about to leave for Cleveland Clinic to have the port placed in me so that we can get the show on the road so that I can have the colon removed and then the transplant… everything just started to fall apart. That is when the huge downfall that started and now there seems to be no stopping it. When I went for pre-surgical testing it turned out that my heart was doing worse than we originally thought. Not only is my heart failing me, but also it turns out that I have dense calcium calcifications in the coronary artery. This is definitely a big “uh oh” and very dangerous because it can easily cause me a heart attack or even a stroke. The doctors wanted me to go for a “stress test” to further determine how bad it is, but when I went for the test they had to stop it and they couldn’t do it. It turns out that I am too small for the test and they didn’t know how much radioactive stuff to give me because of my weight. So I couldn’t have that test after all. They have to come up with a new way of doing that test now.
In addition, I developed an infection in my mouth and jawbone, as I have osteonecrosis and the left side of my jaw basically was giving me a lot of problems. As a result, the Cleveland Clinic said that I needed to have the surgery to deal with the infection in my jaw and mouth prior to having the port placed in me and then following with the rest of the surgeries. However, with it being the end of the summer and Labor Day, it was difficult to schedule because the doctor was on vacation and everything. So the surgery was finally scheduled for mid-September!
In the meantime though, I ended up developing a massive infection on the right side of my mouth and jaw as well. So now not only do I have an infection on the left side of the jaw that needed surgery on, but also now I developed a massive and I mean massive infection on the right side. The right side is so bad that there is no saving the teeth there or the bone. The doctor said that the infection is so bad that even in a healthy individual that the bone and teeth would have to come out because the infection is just too horrendous. So whereas the surgery was originally scheduled for mid-September, the surgery was just moved to this coming Wednesday, which is like 5 days away.
I just don’t understand it. No one takes better care of his or her mouth than I do. I mean I literally brush my teeth and gums like every time I eat, which is like at least 3 times a day, and I use a special fluoride treatment that is supposed to be really strong. But it seems that the more I try to keep my mouth in tip top shape, the worse it’s getting. My jaw and teeth are literally crumbling.
It turns out that my body is failing me so much and my heart is doing so bad that it is now showing itself in my mouth, jaw, and teeth. When I spoke to Cleveland Clinic, they said that my organs are failing so badly and that is why all this is happening in mouth and jaw. They said that I am extremely sick and desperately need surgery for my colon and transplant ASAP. They said that my body isn’t going to make it much longer. They told me that my body is in “survival mode” right now in that all my veins literally shrunk and even the values that are being shown on the bloods are not the true value because of this shrinkage of the veins. They said that my bloods are really much worse but because of the veins shrinking, the values are elevated since the veins are so small and the values go per ml. But if you took normal size veins and put them in me… you would see exactly how bad it really is. So we already know how horrendous my bloods are now… I can’t imagine how much worse they really truly are. I don’t think I even want to think about it. My veins are shrunk so much and my body is in survival mode and that is why I am so thirsty. I just can’t absorb anything anymore.
So now I scheduled for surgery on Wednesday to take care of this huge massive infection. I am really scared and worried because I am scared that I am going to wake up with no teeth in my mouth. I already know that part of my jaw will be missing, I am going to be losing at least 3 teeth, and I need at least 4 root canals. At least I will be under general anesthesia, so I won’t feel anything. It is going to be one long day though and one really long surgery. I am so scared though what my mouth is going to look like. This disease has taken so much from me already… I don’t want it to take my ‘smile’ as well. This disease is literally stripping me of everything. It is stripping me of my social life, my colon, my intestines, my stomach, the ability to walk, the ability to eat, etc. and now my smile.
I don’t want to wake up and look like a Jack Lantern. I don’t know what I will do if I wake up and you can see all those spaces when I open my mouth. I know that you can always get implants, but implants are expensive and I know for a fact that will NEVER be an available option for me because I will never be able to afford them. I don’t even know how I am going to afford this surgery because even though the hospital is covered by insurance, the surgeon is not and I know that is going to cost us an arm and a leg. Last time I had this surgeon work on me it cost us about $7000 and it wasn’t nearly this bad. I am so scared. (CLICK SHOW ALL TO READ MORE)
So surgery is scheduled for Wednesday at 8 AM, which means that I need to have everything done by Monday in terms of clearances. I need to have clearance from my medical doctor, anesthesia, cardiac, pulmonary, and also have an echo. I really don’t know how on earth I am going to be able to have all that done by Monday especially since I have surgery today (Friday) and then I am sure that I am not going to find a doctor that works on the weekend. Therefore, I will really have to hope that everything can be done on Monday. I have medical clearance and anesthesia clearance definitely on Monday morning. However, I don’t know how I am going to get the other 3 accomplished. I only hope that perhaps the hospital can fit me in to have those as well when I go to see them on Monday for anesthesia clearance. I can’t believe I was just told today that I needed all these clearances and I need to have it done by Monday. I can’t afford to have my surgery postponed and yet, I definitely need these clearances because of how sick I am especially since my heart and lungs are failing me among other things. Never a dull moment, right? So we will see what will happen. As it is the hospital wasn’t going to give me anesthesia on Monday because they said they were all booked up and wanted me to only come today for it. After I had to tell them literally how sick I really am and how I had surgery today to clean how my intestines like I do every Friday, they finally granted me the ability to come on Monday. But what a fight that was to get!
I am really hoping that everything will go ok and the infection will get cleared up. I know already from the doctors that it is a very massive infection… even for a normal and healthy person. I have been on a very strong course of antibiotics, so to be honest with you I am really unsure how it even developed on the other side and even got so huge when I was taking that high dose of antibiotics. The doctors say that due to my GI system being ‘dead’ that I don’t absorb anything. So apparently even though I was taking all these antibiotics, I was just not ‘absorbing’ them. Hopefully though after I have this surgery, I will be able to have the infection clear up quickly because while I am in the hospital I will be given IV antibiotic which will hopefully definitely be absorbed because it bypasses the GI system and goes directly into the bloodstream. I definitely need this to be cleared because doctors have determined that toxins from the bacteria in the infected tooth and jawbone may inhibit the body’s natural ability to suppress tumor development.
Well Wednesday is the big day!! I am scheduled for 8AM surgery. My dad will then spend the entire day and night with me because he can’t leave me alone in the hospital since the surgery is being done here and the nurses and doctors don’t really know how to ‘care’ for me because I can’t be treated like a typical and normal patient. I need special care, as I can’t really be touched especially on my legs. Also, if I need meds, to go to the bathroom, or something, someone has to make sure that I get it right away because I am so hypersensitive that I can’t wait. I am hoping that my mom will be able to come up to the hospital that night to visit me. Usually I never have surgery in the state and therefore, my mom never gets to come to the hospital to visit me. However, now that I am actually having surgery in the area, I am hoping that she will be able to come up to the hospital. But it all depends if I am done with surgery and if I am out of the ICU.
I am so glad and fortunate that my dad will be with me. I really do have the best dad in the entire world. I just feel so bad because I know he really is working so hard to finish all his work, make money, take me to doctors and care for me at the same time. I feel so bad because he is really working like a horse and he is no youngster. There is nothing that he wouldn’t do for me and I am so grateful for that. But I don’t want him to kill himself in the process. If anything ever happened to my dad, I would never ever forgive myself.
So it is really going to be hectic next week. Between all the clearances and surgery, I am really going to be busy. I also have my typical surgery on Friday to get my intestines cleaned out.
Besides having the surgery on Wednesday, we are scheduled to leave for Cleveland Clinic about a week after the surgery. But even with going to Cleveland Clinic, there is still so much to do before we even go there. I need to get a updated bone density scan because I am seeing the endocrinologist when I go to Cleveland Clinic. I need to have a bone infusion because my bones are so very fragile and they are scared that I am going to get a life threatening fracture. I also need to go to my pain management doctor and pick up my pain meds because I can only get them in New York and I am due to for them. So there is so much to even do before we even leave for Cleveland. I don’t know how we are going to fit everything in.
So dad and I are off again to Cleveland Clinic. Not only are we seeing the Endocrinologist and hopefully having the infusion at that time as well instead of having to come back for the infusion, but I also have an appointment with all these other doctors to get the necessary clearances for the surgeries that I need there. I also have appointments to further look into my heart. I also have an appointment with the doc who is supposed to be one of the leading doctors in my neurological disease. He is retired, but he still comes back once a week to see his “old” patients.
If all goes according to plan, the Cleveland Clinic wants to do the heart surgery at the end of that week. They want to deal with putting the HICKMAN central line in and they also want to do the heart surgery to deal with the dense calcium calcifications in the coronary artery because it is causing a blockage. They really want to get these surgeries done ASAP because not only do they want to get the show on the road because the sooner I have these surgeries, the sooner I can have the colon removed and transplant, but they want to have a central access into me because I am really not doing well and this is an emergency way to get access into me right away. Also, they want to deal with the heart surgery because I can easily have heart problems such as a heart attack or stroke because of the dense calcium calcifications.
The plan is that I will be able to come home for a bit after these surgeries at the Cleveland Clinic and after I get the TPN going in the central line. After all, they want to give me about 14 days of TPN before I undergo the surgery to remove the colon because this way it will give me some time to get some nourishment and build some reserves up so that I can ‘heal’ from the operation and fight infection. As it is… the doctors are extremely fearful of the operation that I am having this coming Wednesday because they are afraid I won’t heal or that I am going to get even sicker. (CLICK SHOW ALL FOR MORE)
However, they will only allow me home for a little bit until I get the colon removed only if I can tolerate the TPN without the ketamine. I will be getting TPN with ketamine so that I can hopefully get the TPN more comfortably since in the past I wasn’t able to tolerate the TPN. The hope is that the ketamine will keep me as comfortable as possible especially since ketamine is known to “quiet down” my neurological illness, the autonomic dysfunction, and pain. However, if I can’t get off the ketamine, then I will have to remain in the hospital for the entire time I get the TPN and until I get my colon removed, which is for about 14 days. I will then have to stay in the hospital for about 10 days after the colon is removed and then even stay in the hotel in Cleveland for about another week or so after that to make sure that everything is “ok” before heading home. So if I can’t go home before the colon is removed, I will be stuck in Cleveland for about 5 weeks. It will come out to 5 weeks no matter what, but it is just a matter of being able to go home in the middle for a bit or not depending on whether I can stop the ketamine and tolerate the TPN by itself. Depending on how badly the small intestines are when the colon is removed, it will determine how fast I will need the transplant.
I just wish I could close my eyes and it will be over with already. I don’t know how much more I can take of this. It is just too much already. I can’t take it physically or emotionally anymore. I have to say though that I never met a better team of doctors than the Cleveland Clinic. My transplant team is simply amazing. They really take the burden off of me with everything. In New York and every other place I went, I had to make my own appointments and worry about everything. Yet, the transplant team in Cleveland Clinic actually handles everything for me. They are completely on top of me. They wanna know everything about me, they make all my appointments for with any specialist I need (even if it isn’t directly related to the transplant), they get me in with doctors that are booked or don’t even have hours, they call back and spend countless hours on the phone talking to me and explaining things and answering my questions, etc. They are simply the most amazing doctors that I have ever met. I am so glad that I have them as my doctors. I don’t think I have ever been happier.
Well I have my surgery in a few hours to clean out my intestines. It’s just another Friday. I wonder though how it is going to be because my doctor is the same team of doctors and the same place where Joan Rivers went. I hope that there isn’t that much media camped out there and I hope that we will be able to get parking close to the door. I can’t believe honestly that Joan Rivers passed. She was one of my favorite people. I am not one that usually particularly cares for comedians in the sense that I never think that they are “funny” and such, but Joan was different. There was no one else like her. She was hilarious. I loved watching her on TV and everything.
Laughter is an instant mini-vacation. Smiling and laughing can have a positive effect on your well being, as it acts as the body’s natural painkillers and is something I definitely I need. I have also decided since Joan Rivers has made me laugh and smile so much, that I am going to read one of her books because not only will I hopefully enjoy it, but I am hoping that the laughing that I will get from her books will hopefully also better prepare me for surgery and make me stronger since laughing expands the lungs, stretches the muscles in the body. This exercises the body, replenishing the cells from a lungful of oxygen and gaining all the benefits of exercising the body. Also… since I have been in such a rotten mood lately with everything happening, I figured what more appropriate book is there to read than Joan River’s book called “I Hate Everyone… Starting With Me!”
I have also been busy trying to learn how to put on makeup in a “professional” way. I hate the way I look and I will definitely not show my face unless I have makeup on. I am very embarrassed by the way I look because I am so emaciated and I am extremely pale. In fact, my dad always calls me “Snow White” because I am so pale. I hate my face because my skin literally sags on my protruding bones because I basically have lost all my muscle tone everywhere in my body including my face. Therefore, I am very self-conscious on the lines and wrinkles that are made on my face.
I used to be a person that loved to take pictures. However, now I will not even put up a picture unless I ‘airbrush’ it. Even with airbrushing I am not satisfied with it. But at least it is better than without. I also like to dress up as nice as I can be everyday by wearing makeup and nice clothing because not only do I like to feel as “normal” as can be, but I also believe that if you “look good” than you “feel good.” That was something that my grandma always instilled in me and she was right. In fact, I try to conceal how sick I am by dressing up as much as I can with makeup and clothing, and I must say that I do a good job. Most people don’t realize the extent to which I am so sick because of how much I push myself and how “good” I look with the makeup. Yet, who would think that beneath that beautiful façade is a person suffering and literally dying.
So I have been watching how to put on makeup in a more ‘professional’ way so that I can look my ultimate best. I must say that I have improved so much. I have been getting compliments like I have never gotten before. So that must mean something! I even gave my mom a makeover last weekend. It was a surprise to her. I must say that she did look so pretty after I gave her the makeover. What a difference it made!
Well… Yesterday was my dog’s birthday. He turned 9. However, since I didn’t get to really celebrate his birthday because I really wanted to take a birthday picture of him and get him a birthday bone and everything, I told him that we are celebrating his birthday today too. I love those ‘birthday’ bones and since you can only get it once a year because your birthday only comes once a year, I wanna get it for him. I can’t believe he is turning 9.
Speaking of birthdays… Dad’s birthday is next week. Yup… his birthday is September 9th. I really wish I could have made his birthday better. Hopefully next year I will be better and we can celebrate it BIG time. After all, he deserves nothing but the very best because he is the best dad in the world. He is not only my dad, but also my best friend, my superman, and my knight and shining armor. If it wasn’t for him… I definitely wouldn’t be here today. I owe him so much. He is the absolute best. He is one of the MAJOR reasons why I am holding on!!
Thanks again for all your support and encouragement. Again, I want to thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for me to keep me going. It definitely has not been an easy road and I really hope that I will be able to get the necessary treatments that I really need soon because I am seriously not going to make it much longer. If there is anything that you can do… whether it is to donate, spread the word of my website ( www.gofundme.com/FallonMirsky
) or even say a simple prayer… that would be much appreciated. Remember… no donation is ever too small and anything that you do is very much appreciated.
Thanks again for everything!
August 27, 2014
I just wanted to write and let you know the absolute latest because so much has happened in the past few days. I was supposed to be leaving this week for the Cleveland Clinic, as I was scheduled for heart surgery and multiple appointments, but unfortunately due to finances and other events occurring, we had to cancel them and reschedule them. I only hope that I will be able to last long enough to be able to have all the surgeries that I need because now that these surgeries and appointments were delayed, it also delays the entire process. It pushes back getting my colon taken out and the transplant. Therefore, it means that it leaves me more time to get sicker, which is definitely something I can’t afford. Time is definitely not on my side at this point in time.
I am really suffering and really deteriorating, but unfortunately things are not working out like they should. I was really hoping that everything was going to go according to plan and I would be able to receive all the necessary surgeries that I would need and I would be on the road to recovery and getting my life back. But like always, I hit another huge hump in the road.
We are really suffering in the financial area. That is one of the main reasons why it was impossible to go to Cleveland Clinic this week. There is only so much money you can “charge” on a charge card and take out on loans. That is why I always ask for help because without the help of others, it is literally impossible to get well. Everything costs money!! I am surprised that they don’t even charge you for the air that you breathe. Anyway, since my medication, procedures, doctors, traveling expenses, etc. are so expensive; we really can’t afford it anymore on our own. That is why I am hoping that others will help spread the word of my website or help me “fundraise” so that I can receive the much-needed funds so that I can receive all this stuff that I need to survive.
As I am getting sicker and sicker, I have had to travel more and more to Cleveland Clinic. I also have to spend longer times there and I have to have more procedures and surgeries. Therefore, it is more important than ever to try to raise as much money as possible because we had a hard time affording all my medical treatment before. However, now that I am sicker than ever and I need to go to Cleveland more often and such… it is even worse. It even makes it harder because when we go to Cleveland, my family really doesn’t make any income whatsoever to pay the bills. Since my dad is always with me when I go to Cleveland, he is not available to work and bring in a salary. Although my mom stays back in New York to try to keep the business going, she can only keep the “office work” going by answering the calls, but in terms of jobs happening and bringing money in… it just isn’t possible. I am so scared that something is going to also happen to the business because there is only so much that my dad can stay away from the business because customers are not going to want to “wait” for him to return. When they want a service, they want it NOW!! (CLICK SHOW ALL FOR MORE)
So if you can please help me to raise funds so that I can receive the lifesaving treatment that I need, I would extremely appreciate it. Whether it is by spreading word of my website ( www.gofundme.com/FallonMirsky
) or having a fundraiser, it would be much appreciated. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at Femirsky@gmail.com
In addition to the insufficient funds, I also developed a massive infection in my mouth and my jaw ended up caving in due to the osteonecrosis. Therefore, it really made a huge problem for the surgery that was supposed to take place on Monday. But even without the infection occurring and delaying the surgery, there would be no way that I could have the surgery because I wouldn’t be able to stay the length of time needed for the surgery because we didn’t have the money.
I was scheduled to have heart surgery and to have central lines placed this past Monday. This was all being done in preparation for the colon being taken out and then the transplant. The doctors also wanted to have central access to me because I am getting so sick and they wanted an “emergency” way to get stuff into me in case something should happen. They also felt it was a good idea because they were scared that with everything happening, I was going to get an infection or something due to all the multiple needle sticks and everything. Plus, they were hoping that with these lines, it would save me the trouble of having to be stuck all the time with needles because I can’t take the pain anymore and I am suffering enough. They also wanted the lines to give me medication and especially TPN. They were hoping to give me at least 2 weeks of TPN prior to getting the colon taken out so that I will be better nourished, which will have made me stronger for the operations. After all, these operations are extremely dangerous and intensive even for a normal person. So you can just imagine how dangerous and hard they will be for me when I am so fragile and everything is “magnified” for me.
The plan was that I would have the lines placed and then I would spend about a 2 weeks in the hospital getting used to the TPN. Then they said that they would allow me to go home for about 2 weeks while I continued to receive TPN and got a bit stronger for the operations. I would then return for the removal of the colon, which I would have to stay there for 3 weeks at that time. However, that was the plan only if I could tolerate the central lines and the TPN. If I couldn’t… I was stuck there until the surgery to have my colon removed, which was definitely something we couldn’t do because there was no way that we could afford for me to be there all that time. We didn’t even know how we were going to afford just the 2 weeks that we were going to have to stay there initially. There was no way we would be able to stay there longer.
If I wasn’t able to tolerate the lines or TPN, they said that I would have to remain in the hospital to have it done until I got the colon taken out. While I was in the hospital, I would be under Ketamine sedation to try to make me as comfortable as possible and that is why they would have to keep me there while the TPN did its work. Therefore, I would have to basically spend the entire 5 weeks that this entire process is going to take all at once instead of being able to divide it up and come home for a bit in between, which would also be time where my dad could have worked and we could have brought in some money from working.
5 weeks would have been the minimum that I was going to have to stay there. Either way it was going to have to come out to spending at least that amount of time there. It just mattered whether I was going to be allowed to come home in the middle or I had to stay there and it had to be done all at once. In addition, after the colon was taken out, it would determine how urgently I would have to have the transplant. If the small intestine were really badly affected, I would need the transplant sooner than ever. After all, I am being intoxicated and poisoned because of my severe gastroparesis. I am literally having poisons spilling into my bloodstream and entering my organs and brain. It is literally killing me. Something needs to be done and done fast because I am becoming intoxicated.
But even though the operation was cancelled, we were still planning on going to Cleveland tomorrow because we were scheduled to see pain management and endocrinology. However, even this has changed, as we are no longer leaving tomorrow. We are now scheduled to see pain management on September 24th because we are going to see my old doctor who is supposed to be the most ‘knowledgeable’ about my neurological illness.
We decided the trip on me was going to be way too much. The traveling is definitely too much, and it really takes a huge toll on me. In fact not only do I lose weight when I go which is definitely something that I can't afford because I already weigh in the lower 60s and every pound is so crucial. Once I lose it... I can never gain it back. I'm so weak all the time and it is especially worse than ever. So since traveling makes me weaker... they wanted to make sure it was definitely worth it. It takes me over a week at least to bounce back after we come back.
I was originally given an appointment with another doctor because my old doctor was ‘retired’ and not seeing patients anymore. We were supposed to see this one doc in pain management and we decided that we are better off postponing because even though this doc was somewhat knowledgeable in my condition and everything... my old doctor is really the guru in my illness. To be honest, not many doctors know about my neurological illness. A lot of doctors claim that they do, but they really only know the basics. The doctor that I am seeing on the 24th actually is one of the founding fathers of my illness as he has done research in the area, publicized on it, and spoke about it. So we didn’t want to go to Cleveland and see a doctor that wasn’t as knowledgeable as he was and couldn’t really help me. You know? After all… I had more than the “normal” types of treatments that would typically be given for this illness. I need topnotch doctors because of how extreme my case is. So since my old doctor is just seeing patients one day a week and only seeing ‘old’ patients, we decided to cancel the current appointment that we had with the doctor tomorrow and go with him. (CLICK SHOW ALL FOR MORE)
The only thing that I am a bit worried about in not going tomorrow is that I did have an appointment with the endocrinologist and I really honestly needed that appointment. I have that pituitary tumor that needs to be handled and I also need a bone infusion badly because my bones are sooooo bad and basically crumbling. I've had to stop the bone infusion because my endocrinologist here literally got afraid because of the osteonecrosis. The doc said that I still should have it done but since it was the endocrinologist dispensing the infusion and literally bring held responsible... He of course wouldn't do it. The osteonecrosis doc said that the benefits definitely outweigh the risks and told him how desperately I need this infusion but if course the endocrinologist wouldn't do it. What do u expect from an old timer?? He was a chicken. So I had no luck whatsoever having it done here and desperately needed it because the bone infusion actually 'builds' bone and I was even still losing bone with the infusions... So u can just imagine how bad I'm doing these last two years without the infusion. I don't want to even know or guess. They are so afraid that I'm going to get literally a life threatening fracture because of how fragile I am. I desperately need that infusion. All the docs say so but of course there's no one here to do it because the endocrinologist here refuses to do it. So I was going to Cleveland to meet with this top endocrinologist. She was famous for not only the pituitary tumors but also for the infusion.
But we are really on the fence as to what to do about attending that appointment. My dad doesn’t know if it is honestly worth going for this appointment or postponing it until we come back on September 24th. My dad is scared we are going to go all that way and the doctor is not going to do that infusion after all. So he doesn't wanna travel all that way for especially one day because it takes so much out of me and it's not like we have the money to just 'give out' for nothing too. But of course they won't give me an answer whether they will do it not do the infusion until AFTER they see me. So we don't know what to do. I agree that it would suck to go all that way and pay all that money for them not to do it. But then again I desperately need it and they aren't doing it here. They are 'supposed' to b doing it there but who knows once they see me and goes over everything. U know what they say ahead of time and then what they say when you actually see them are two different things.
So like I said… we are thinking of postponing the appointment to when we come back for the pain management appointment because this way we kill two birds at the same time and don't just make a trip for one day. But what stinks is that if we meet with the doc and she wants certain testing prior to the infusion... I won't b able to really get it. At least if I went this time and I needed testing or something... I could get all that is needed and then also have the infusion completed when I come for the appointment on the 24th instead of then having to wait and come back AGAIN.
I already think she's going to want another DEXA SCAN before proceeding because she said to bring all records including DEXA SCANS within 2 years. However, I did have one, but I think it was actually 2 years ago. So I bet she's going to want an updates one especially with my condition and everything before proceeding. So I doubt that even if I went this week to Cleveland that she would do it because she would need updated records, but at least I would be able to then know the plan and have the necessary testing done. And then when I come back on the 24th at least I can have it then.
So it appears that we are going to be putting off both appointments until September 24th. However, it is also contingent on when I have the surgery for my osteonecrosis and infection in mouth and teeth because that takes priority. Not only am I really suffering with this as it is difficult to eat and drink besides it hurting just in general, but it is holding up all the other crucial surgeries that I desperately need such as the heart surgery, placing of the lines, the colon coming out, and the transplant. However, I wont know the exact date of that surgery until Tuesday because my surgeon is on vacation.
I am still suffering with my right arm being "dead"! I guess it is getting better, but it is definitely still annoying and not the same. I am just hoping that it will still continue to improve and hoping it will disappear. It never happened in the right arm before. Usually it only happened in the left arm and thank goodness it always improved. We don't know exactly what causes it, but we think it has to do with compression of the nerves or something since I don't have any "muscle" or anything protecting it. My arm and hand literally go completely numb like when it "falls asleep." However, it never really 'wakes up.' Usually in the past when it happened in the left hand, it was completely numb and dead. At least in the right hand it wasn't as numb and it is basically the feeling of when it 'starts' to wake up and has the tingly and soughta week feeling going through it. It is just so annoying.
Isn’t it amazing that things always happen around holidays and weekends? I find that so much always takes place during that time because there isn’t anyone around!! Nothing ever happens on like a Monday when you have a whole week to work things out. That would be too simple!!
So I guess in the meantime I just gotta hang in there. I just hope that these surgeries come soon and that they work because I am suffering so much. I am deteriorating like crazy and I don’t know honestly how much longer I can hold on. I really want my life back already. I am tired of being sick.
On a side note, I was contacted by the “Dr. Oz” show to possibly be on it. It isn’t a definite yet, but it is a possibility. They took down all my information and I am waiting to hear from them. I am not counting my chickens before they hatch because I have been disappointed too many times in the past. But I will definitely keep you posted.
Well… I guess I will be going. If you have any suggestions about raising money or can help out in any way, I would really appreciate it. Please continue to pray for me. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all the encouragement and support. I wouldn’t have made it this far without you. Doctors are so impressed that I am still alive because by medical standards there should be no way that it is possible. However, I am the energizer bunny rabbit and therefore I “keep going and going and going.” Plus it is through people like you that get me over the humps and keep me going as well! Thanks for traveling this journey with me and standing by my side.
August 20, 2014
Well… I know it has been awhile, but I figured that I would write a bit and say what has been happening and what is in the mix. Gosh… there is so much happening lately that my head is literally spinning! I don’t know if I am coming or going… and I mean that literally. Everything is so up in the air.
Things are continuing to worsen. I don’t know honestly what is going to happen. I just know one thing… I am definitely running out of time and I desperately need help ASAP. I am rapidly deteriorating and it is getting to the point where my deteriorating is starting to snowball out of control. We really need to stop it or if nothing else… at least slows it down!!
The doctors honestly don’t know how I am still living. To tell you the truth, they don’t even know how I made it this far. I don’t even know the answer to that. The doctors literally call me a medical miracle because there is really no possible way that I should be “living” right now. I am literally less than 70 pounds, my bloods are horrible, I have poisons running through my blood stream, my organs are failing, I can’t eat or drink, etc. Yet, I am still alive! I tell the doctors that I defying all odds because I have an excellent support system. It is people like you that help me get through this. If it weren’t for people like you, I definitely wouldn’t have made it this far and have been able to keep going. Thank you for helping to keep going and to pushing onward.
But the truth is that I really don’t know how much longer I can hold on. I am really sick and deteriorating faster than ever. I desperately need help but unfortunately it is dependent on so many factors. The ability to get better goes way beyond just being in my own hands. I desperately need the help of others. Unfortunately so much of getting better depends on money because I need surgeries, treatments, procedures, medications, etc. that we just can’t pay for on our own. I desperately need funds donated or fundraisers held to help me raise the much-needed money so that I can get these lifesaving measures before it is too late. Therefore, if you can please help me in any way possible… whether it is by spreading the word of my website to donate ( www.gofundme.com/FallonMirsky
), fundraise, etc. I would really appreciate. If you have any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at Femirsky@gmail.com.
I have been thinking of all different ways to find ways to raise money, but unfortunately I am all out of ideas. If only I could have something go “viral” like the fundraiser for ALS is doing with the “icewater” challenge. I only wish I could have something like that happen to me. To be honest, I am feeling a little down about that fundraiser for ALS too. I would have loved to be part of it, but unfortunately due to my illness, I am not able to partake in the icewater challenge even if someone “challenges” me. I am too hypersensitive and I wouldn’t be able to tolerate water (especially coldwater) being poured over me. I only wish I was normal like other people. (CLICK SHOW ALL FOR MORE)
As I told you in previous messages, I was going to the Cleveland Clinic to have my colon taken out and to have a multivisceral transplant. My GI system is completely “dead” and unfortunately, I have no other choice but to have my colon taken out and to have the transplant. Not only is nothing passing through my system, but I have all these toxins also pouring out of my GI system and entering my bloodstream. I am literally being intoxicated and poisoned, as it is going into all my organs and even my brain. I really need to handle this because not only is it causing me not to eat because there is no movement in my GI system and therefore I look like an emaciated skeleton, but it is literally poisoning my entire body.
There, the colon has to be removed as soon as possible and then once it is removed, it will determine how FAST and urgent the transplant will have to occur. If the toxins and poisons are mainly just coming from the colon, then I will have more time because that affected organ will have been removed. Yet, if they find that the small intestines are badly affected, they will have to jump on it immediately go for the transplant sooner rather than later. This is very major and dangerous surgery. In fact these surgeries are basically the most dangerous that a person can have. It is the most dangerous transplant by far, as I will need a new stomach, small and large intestine, pancreas, liver and spleen. Only 6 hospitals in the country perform this crucial and life-threatening operation… Cleveland Clinic being one of them! However, since I will need to have so many surgeries procedures and since I will need to have to have them take place in Cleveland, Ohio, I will need all the help I can get from others in getting funds to pay for all this. After all, if I don’t have the funds, I won’t be able to get these procedures because no one is going to do any of this stuff for ‘free’ and I still have to worry about traveling and living expenses while I am there especially since I will be there for awhile and my father will not be able to work since he will have to be my caretaker while I am there. So we will have no money being made and brought into the family.
I was all set to start my journey into having these surgeries this upcoming week. The doctors also wanted to work with my lungs because I am literally aspirating and drowning in my fluids and they want to make them strong and clean for surgery. I literally just got back from Cleveland Clinic a few days ago and it was decided that it was urgent that all this stuff was needed immediately. Yet, I still needed to have one more operation before I could have the colon taken out. I would need to have heart surgery and surgery to put central lines and ports in. This way they would have central access to me during the operation as well as when I am not in the operation.
The doctors know how “sick” I am and they really want to get some central lines into me. They want to put these central lines in me not only to provide central access for during the operation, but I desperately need it because they want to use it to give me nutrients, give and draw blood, give meds, etc. The doctors don’t want to keep sticking me with needles anymore because not only am I super sensitive and it is extremely painful, but they are scared that with all the needlesticks that I am going to get an infection and that is the last thing that we need right now. If I were to get an infection, it would be a disaster because my body is so depleted and knocked down that I would easily die. I am glad though that they will be able to give me meds though through the line because I take so many pills daily that I can barely swallow them. I take over 50 pills daily and it is literally impossible to swallow them. In fact, they are always getting stuck in my throat because I don’t even have the “swallowing” mechanism in my esophagus. There are so many times that doctors have literally had to go in and actually remove the pills because they have just stayed in the esophagus. In addition, pills don’t even get dissolved anymore. I can literally take pills and then 12 hours later when I throw up, I can throw them up whole, which means they were not absorbed!! So at least by having these lines I will be able to have an easier time taking them and my body will definitely be able to absorb them.
The doctors honestly don’t know how I am still living. To tell you the truth, they don’t even know how I made it this far. I don’t even know the answer to that. The doctors literally call me a medical miracle because there is really no possible way that I should be “living” right now. I am literally less than 70 pounds, my bloods are horrible, I have poisons running through my blood stream, my organs are failing, I can’t eat or drink, etc. My blood pressure is basically also nonexistent as it only reads like 70/40 and I have severe bradycardia with a heart rate of in the 40s. Yet, I am still alive! I tell the doctors that I defying all odds because I have an excellent support system. It is people like you that help me get through this. If it weren’t for people like you, I definitely wouldn’t have made it this far and have been able to keep going. Thank you for helping to keep going and to pushing onward.
As of right now, the doctors feel that the only way to “buy” time is through TPN. The doctors feel that I will never be able to gain weight or ever become normal weight again… even with the colon coming out. They said that I am so far behind that it will literally be impossible to ever weigh “normal” again. They would love for me to weigh in the 90s and even 100 lbs. But they doubt that is ever going to happen unless I get that transplant. But in the meantime, they say that TPN is my only lifeline that will buy me time. Yet, it is only temporary and therefore, I only have a short amount of time to have it and therefore, we have to have the colon ready to come out and the transplant ready to happen so that whatever the TPN helps I won’t lose when we have to stop it. After all, central lines are really dangerous because each year 80,000 central line bloodstream infections occur.
I have a choice of which type of line I want. I still haven’t made my decision which one I prefer because I want one that will not only work well, but I want one that will “look good” as well. I know I shouldn’t be worried about the “looks” of something, but it is important to me. I still want to look as “normal” as possible and I don’t want to look sick. No matter how sick I am, I still wake up every day and get dressed as if I am not sick. I get fully dressed with makeup and nice clothing just as a normal person would because I truly believe that if you “look good” then you will “feel good.” That is why when I go out, people don’t necessarily realize how truly sick I am because I mask it. I mask it both physically and emotionally. Yet behind that façade is a person who is dying inside and who desperately needs help. I am crying in the inside, but I won’t let others see my tears. (CLICK SHOW ALL FOR MORE)
I have a choice between 3 lines. The first line is the one that goes into the jugular vein and extends to the heart (specifically the superior or inferior vena cavas). The second line is called a “Hickman” line. This line goes into the subclavicle and goes into the heart that way. Those two lines are much more intensive than the third. The third line is in the arm, which is called a PICC line. It is placed into a vein and travels into the heart and into the vena cava until it reaches the right atrium. All these central lines are risky, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that the prevalence of central line-associated bloodstream infections results in about 62,000 deaths per year.
So I am supposed to head to Cleveland on Sunday to have the heart surgery and to have one of the above central lines placed in me. The doctors wanted to have this done ASAP because like I said before, I am really deteriorating and they wanted to make sure that they had central access to me in case of an emergency. They also wanted to build me up for the surgery to have the colon taken out, which needed to happen ASAP because the colon was literally poisoning me and causing me to become intoxicated! The colon removal is scheduled for September 17th. The doctors already said I will have to be there for 14 days prior to prepare me for the surgery, then I will be hospitalized for about 10 days after the surgery, and then I will have to remain in Cleveland for another week at least to make sure that everything is ok before they send me home. Then I will have to worry about the transplant afterwards. So we don’t know how on earth we are going to do this as well because not only are we having a difficult time paying for the actual procedures and traveling expenses, but my dad won’t be working all this time and we won’t be having an income. I am so worried that the business that my dad owns will have to end up being close down and something will happen to our house at home because there will be no money coming in to pay the pills. That is why I am pleading for help. I know I sound like a “broken record,” but it is so important!
However, we don’t know what is going to happen now with the surgery on Monday to have the lines placed at the Cleveland Clinic because I have a massive infection in my jaw and teeth that needs to be taken care of. We knew that I had a problem on the right side of my mouth, but unfortunately, the other day the left side of my mouth caved in as well. I have severe osteonecrosis and therefore, the bone is dying. So, I desperately need to have surgery done ASAP to take care of this infection and also to repair the teeth and bone that has caved in.
I knew that the other side of my mouth was going to cave. I felt something really strange happening the day before. Then when the bones and the teeth fell out, it was all black and that proved it was all ‘dead’!
So we are not sure exactly what is going to happen. I am waiting to hear when the surgery will be scheduled for my mouth. The surgery for my mouth will be done here and I am really scared because I don’t know how we are going to afford it. The last time this happened, it ended up costing us nearly $7,000. Even though the hospital was covered by the insurance, the surgeon was not and the only ones that perform this kind of surgery are not covered. So I have no choice but to pay out-of-pocket for this surgery because there aren’t other surgeons that are “covered” that do this surgery. To think now that it is so much worse too. I hate to think how much this is going to cost me.
I am hoping to hear sometime tomorrow about when the surgery for my mouth will be. I will then know then what will be happening with the upcoming surgeries at the Cleveland Clinic. After all, these surgeries at the Clinic are really crucial and really important that it happens ASAP.
However, even if the surgery is cancelled in Cleveland next week to do the heart surgery and put the ports in, I will still be heading there on Wednesday because we have a meeting with docs on Thursday. We had this appointments scheduled for 2 months and there is no way that we are going to miss it. It is crucial also that we see this doctor because this is the doctor who will be helping to manage my neurological condition and the pain that I am having from it. After all, I suffer 24/7 from the most severe pain that you can imagine. So it appears either way that I will be in Cleveland next week. It just depends when we are going and how long we will be down there for.
So…. As you can see there is so much happening. I am still going for surgery every Friday to be ‘cleaned’ out for my intestines. I desperately need this because not only does it make me more comfortable, but it also is removing the toxins and poisons that are spreading throughout my body and killing me. It is sad that I look forward to Fridays because of this surgery. But, it really does help because otherwise I walk around feeling and looking like I am 9 months pregnant and ready to give birth.
At least I have a ketamine coma in the morning. With everything that is happening, I am so relieved that I have it because at least I will be out of my misery for a bit. If I could live in a ketamine coma forever until I was fixed, I probably would. But unfortunately that isn’t possible. I desperately need to get to Mexico so that I can get the amount of ketamine that I need that can actually potentially “cure” me. Even though I can get ketamine in the US, I can’t get the amount that I really need because it is not FDA approved. But like always… everything comes with a cost and therefore I can’t have it done because it costs way too much money, as it costs over $100,000. To think… there is a treatment out there that can potentially “Cure” me and I can’t get it because I can’t afford it. It really hurts to know that. It is like having holding a bone in front of a dog and not letting him have it.
So that appears all that is happening. I will let you know more when I know more. Just wanted to write and let you know all that is happening so far. I can’t believe that the summer is basically over. It really hasn’t been a warm summer. I hope that doesn’t mean that it is going to be a bad winter. I can’t stand a cold winter. As it is the winter basically just left a little whole ago; it was the longest winter ever.
So many upcoming plans are going to be happening besides the surgeries. I have my dad’s birthday coming up as well as my dog’s birthday. My dog will be turning 9 and my dad will be 61. I really want to make my dad’s birthday as special as can be because he deserves it. He is the ultimate dad!! He is not only my dad, but my “best friend,” superman, and knight and shining armor!! I definitely would not have made it this far without him.
Thanks again for all your support. Until next time!
Well… I am officially home!! It has been a long two days, but I am officially home. However, I am having to go back to Cleveland on Sunday, August 24th, so honestly I don’t know why I should even bother unpacking. I am just going to enjoy this week at home. I am going to especially enjoy it because who knows what is going to happen when I go back to Cleveland. A lot has changed in plans! I just hope my body holds up for everything now!
Tomorrow is my usual Friday surgery. Going to get my intestines cleaned out because my entire GI system is paralyzed and therefore, nothing moves through it. I am getting intoxicated as a result of this and it is very likely that I can die from all these poisons spilling over into my bloodstream, as it is poisoning my blood, organs and even my brain. However, usually I am excited to go for this surgery and say “TGIF” because not only is it saving my life by trying to remove as much toxins as possible, but it is also making me more comfortable. Since nothing really moves in my GI system, I get so bloated and my abdomen gets so distended. I literally look like I am 9 months pregnant. I walk around the house waiting to either “give birth” or for someone to pop me!
In addition to the cleaning out of my intestines though, I also have to have the surgeons go down my esophagus and go into my stomach to do some biopsies. It’s all needed for the upcoming surgeries that are taking place in Cleveland. Hopefully everything will go ok, but I am scared because it is a double whammy tomorrow and my body is weakened already and has just taken a beating from this trip to Cleveland. Traveling is really hard on me and I literally just got home. I didn’t even have to time to rest and gain my strength.
Well… as I was saying, there has been a change of plans!! I was originally scheduled to have my colon taken out on August 25th, but due to how sick I am, there has been a change of plans. It just isn’t possible to do the surgery right now before some other surgeries take place first. It turns out that when I do have the colon removed, I will have to be hospitalized 14 days prior because of how sick I am. I can’t believe how long I will have to be in the hospital for… just to have my colon out. It will be at least 14 days prior, at least a 10 days in the hospital, and then I have to remain in Cleveland for at least another week to make sure that everything is OK and I am able to go home. However, after going for some more tests and meeting with the team, it was decided that I might be better going about it a different way instead of just jumping in and having the colon surgery. They thought I should have some other surgeries and procedures prior and then have it. So that is what we are doing.
This also scares me that I will have to spend so much time there because we don’t have the funds to do that. I know I sound like a broken record already and I know I am begging and pleading, but please help. We desperately are in need of help. We desperately need donations because we can’t afford treatment to save my life without your help. As it is, I already received a phone call from the Cleveland Clinic asking me to pay for the copayments and everything to the upcoming surgeries that I will be having and I didn’t even have them. They said that since I didn’t have the money today, I will have to pay it the day of surgery. Can you imagine?
I hate knowing that my life literally rests in the hands of others, but I am hoping that people will do what is right and help me! Just remember that I am appreciative of any donation and no donation is ever too small. I only wish there was a way to get on television or in the paper because this way I can maybe get more awareness to my story which will bring in more funds.
It turns out that when we go down on August 24th, it will be for other surgeries and procedures that are very important. To begin with, I will need to have ports and lines put into me. Not only do I need them for the actual surgeries for the transplant and for the removal of the colon, but also I need it to actually buy me time!
I will be having surgery on my heart, veins, and arteries to put these lines and ports in. However, I have to make a decision by tomorrow as to which type of port and line I want to use because I have an option of 3 different ways to go. They are going to use these lines to have emergency access to my heart, give me fluids, give me blood, take my bloods, give me medications, give me food, etc. With having these lines, I won’t have to worry about being poked all the time to get blood anymore. I also won’t have to worry about swallowing pills so much because they can be given through the lines, which will make it easier on me as well. It also means that I can be given more potent meds because intravenous meds are always stronger since they go straight into the bloodstream. But a big plus and hope is that these lines will be able to supply nourishment to me.
I always thought that when the colon came out that I would be able to gain weight and hopefully be able to get back to a somewhat normal weight. However, I was told that the chances of that happening is basically nil. The doctors said that I am so far behind that I probably won’t ever be “normal” weight again. The point of the colon coming out is to make me “more comfortable” and to help buy me time until I have the actual transplant.
The real cure to this entire puzzle is to have the transplant. If I had the transplant, then I would be able to most likely gain the missing weight that I am missing and be more of a normal weight. I was kind of upset about this because I was hoping that the colon coming out would help me be able to eat again and able to gain the missing weight. After all, I hate the way I look and wish that I would be more normal looking. I look like an emaciated skeleton.
The doctors did say that the key to the puzzle and to keeping me alive is TPN. They said that I desperately need this in order to keep me alive and to hopefully buy me the most time. TPN is “total parenteral nutrition” and it is dripped through those lines and ports that they are placing into my heart. However, TPN is extremely dangerous and you can’t be on it for long. Therefore, it is really important that I get the transplant as soon as possible so that I can get off the TPN. (CLICK SHOW ALL TO READ ON)
TPN is very risky. You can have mechanical complications from the catheters that will result in pneumothorax, vascular injury with hemothorax, brachial plexus injury or cardiac arrhythmia. However, venous thrombosis is one of the two most common problems that occur after central venous access is established. The other is infection. Venous thrombosis is associated with significant morbidity rates.
Having TPN is not a cure. It is only a “band aid” to help buy my some time until they figure something to work. Yet, I have had TPN before a couple of times and I have failed it. So we are not sure if it is even going to work this time around. We are hoping that it will though.
I have to decide which type of line I want to place into me. We are hoping that the TPN will work through these lines, but even if it doesn’t we still need it for other reasons. There are 3 choices that I have. I have a choice of a line that goes through the heart and jugular vein, one that goes through the sub clavicle and the vena cava, and then one that is called the PICC and that goes through the arm and then into the heart through the vena cava. Each comes with their own plus and minus. I am really tending to think I am leaning towards the PICC because it comes out of the arm and looks nicer, but if I go with the PICC, it will mean that I will have to have another line put into me such as a line that goes through the jugular and into the heart because this PICC line won’t be sufficient. But that is ok because it will only be there for the time I am having the surgery.
In addition to this surgery, I am also going to have surgery to “clean” me out. I have lots of toxins in my system since my colon and GI system is paralyzed and even though I go every Friday for the surgery to “clean” it out, they are going to do a more invasive job because they are going to do it under general anesthesia.
Another surgery that will also be having is a surgery to deal with the infection and such that is lurking in my mouth. I have been on antibiotics and I have been continuing to suffer. I desperately need to have lots of surgery in my mouth and this way they will do it then.
Finally, I had a CT scan during this past trip to the Cleveland clinic and it appeared that I am drowning in my fluids. So I will also be having my lungs cleaned out as well.
At least when I met with the doctors and the anesthesiology team when I went to Cleveland, I got to meet with the actual “team” that would be in the room during the operation. Usually they don’t know the anesthesiologist who will be on the case until the last minute. However, I was fortunate enough to have the anesthesiologist say that he was going to take the case because of how difficult I am and how he met with me and knows the case and such. So I am really glad because I really liked him and felt comfortable with him being there.
So that appears all that is going on. Not to cut it short, but I am not really feeling well and I am having to get ready to leave for the surgery today. My right arm still hasn’t officially “woken” up and so I am still battling a sought of sleeping arm. Never a dull moment.
Thanks again for all your continued support and encouragement. I would definitely have not made it this far without you.
August 14, 2014
Well I am officially in Cleveland! I finally made it here! What a day it has been. I can’t believe all that has happened today because my life is like a soap opera… never a dull moment. From the moment we left the house to start this trip… nothing went right!
I should have realized that today was going to be a bad day from when we first began our trip. Right from the beginning it seemed like this trip was doomed. We basically just made our plane and we are so lucky that we did because we couldn’t afford to miss it. We had appointments scheduled in Cleveland today and therefore, it was imperative that we made the plane because the next flight afterwards would have made us miss all our appointments. We hit absolutely no traffic whatsoever to the airport. However, just as we were approaching the airport, there was so much traffic because not only were there was emergency vehicles blocking off lanes so that they could take care of a car breaking down, but of course everyone passing in their cars had to stop and look! The way that there were emergency vehicles blinking and people were stopping and looking… you would think there was a huge accident or something. But guess what? There was really nothing going on. It just appeared that a car broke down or something. In fact, when we were at the skycap checking in our suitcases, everyone was even talking about what on earth that “hold up” was. But you know “New Yorkers”… everyone has to look if they see blinking lights! But thankfully we made the plane!!
What a trip we had though. Between the traveling, the massive infection that I am currently suffering from, and then my overall condition… I didn’t handle this trip to Cleveland very well. My disease really stirred up and my body really was shutting down on me. Even when we got to Cleveland, the impact that the traveling took on me was enormous. My dad could barely keep me awake. When we spoke to the doctors, the doctor said that it is because I am getting so much worse and I have all those poisons and toxins in my bloodstream and organs that are further complicating things. All those poisons and toxins are literally killing me and that is why I am in such need of having my colon taken out and of the transplant. I am weakening so much and I can’t tolerate anything stressing out my body… even a trip on a plane to Cleveland.
When we got to Cleveland, I really didn’t have time to rest. I couldn’t even open the two boxes that the front desk said that I had delivered for me earlier. Had to get straight over to the hospital. Thank goodness though that the hospital is only literally next-door to the hotel. In fact, if you think of the letter “I” the top and bottom of the “I” is actually the main hospital and all doctors’ offices. The middle part, which is the part that connects the two hospitals together, is the hotel. If you don’t want to walk outside to the different buildings, they are interconnected by skywalks.
So even though I am not technically “admitted” into the hospital, I am still really in the hospital. The Cleveland Clinic is one of the BEST hospitals in the United States and they really don’t keep patients in the hospital. They really try to minimize the stay of each patient in the actual hospital. They much rather treat you on the outside. In addition, with my disease, the doctors rather keep me out of the main hospital and being officially admitted as much as possible. That is why even when I am “home” … doctors try to keep me out of the hospital as much as possible. They are afraid that I am going to catch an infection or something because I have no immune system and so susceptible everything. They also are afraid of how I will be treated because I can’t be treated like a typical patient. The slightest wrong move can cause havoc on me.
I really came this week to Cleveland to have the final tests performed, to have the pre-surgical testing, and to meet with the team to make the final preparations. I have to meet with anesthesiology and internal medicine to not only be ‘cleared’ for surgery, but they have to see how they are going to put the Central Line in me because I can’t have this massive surgery without it. It is way too risky of an operation in order not to have it in me because it is the Central Line that used to give medicines, fluids, nutrients, or bloods.
I had so many appointments today including a CT scan of my lungs and a stress test of my heart because the doctors needed to know how my heart would function during this operation. After all, this operation is extremely dangerous and will take a huge toll on my body. It is the most dangerous of all transplants and is so rare and dangerous that only 6 hospitals really do it in the United States. So they really needed to see how my heart would do.
However, like I said before I was really ill from the trip and from everything I was suffering from. No matter where I went, I had a difficult time staying awake and therefore, my dad was literally carrying me everywhere. I slept before each test, during each test, and after each test. It was horrible.
One test that to definitely go for was the Stress Test. However, they had to stop it right before they gave me the intravenous drug because they said it was too “dangerous” for me. They said that they couldn’t perform this particular stress test because they didn’t know the exact amount to give me since I am so underweight and ‘small.’ They didn’t want to ‘kill’ me and they told me that the slightest amount that went over the amount that was needed could do me great harm. So they said that I wouldn’t be able to have this particular test and a different one would be needed to be used.
However, the problem is that I am supposed to be leaving tomorrow afternoon to go home after I have my other appointments. Therefore, I really don’t have time to have any time extra to fit in any other tests. So I don’t know what is going to happen. I really can’t afford to stay longer than tomorrow because we aren’t prepared to stay longer, as we don’t have the funds, medication, clothes, etc. and therefore we cant miss our flight. But then again I don’t want to postpone the surgery either, which is supposed to taken place august 25th because we definitely cant afford for that to happen with all the poisons running through my body and the way it is shutting down. So I don’t know what is going to happen. I guess I will have to leave it up to the “team” tomorrow when I see them! (CLICK SHOW ALL TO READ MORE)
It really stunk not being able to have the stress test especially because not only did I really need this test for the upcoming surgery, but also I couldn’t eat or drink all day because of it. So I went the whole day without eating or drinking for nothing!! I really wanted something too… especially since I was on the plane and everything, but I couldn’t have anything. To think… all that suffering for nothing! When I was done with the stress test, the doctors felt so bad for making me starve for no reason that they were willing to get me anything and everything to eat.
Like I just said, I have an appointment in the morning with my “head” doc and I also have an appt with interventional radiology. So we will see what will happen at this point.
To complicate matters more, my right hand is kind of “dead” and won’t wake up. I have gotten this before but it has always been occurring to my left arm and hand. The doctors don’t know what causes it and therefore, I get really scared because I don’t know how long it is going to last or if it is even going to get better. Fortunately the other times it has all improved, but you never know. All the times that this has occurred, I have woken up and it has felt like my hand has fallen asleep. Then I can’t wake it up and it is so numb and hard to move because it had fallen ‘asleep.’ It is almost like having a ‘dead’ hand. Then I get this tingly all throughout my hand like it is starting to wake up, but it just stays there like that… never getting better. In the past it has lasted a couple of days, but you never know if it will always be that way. I get so scared from it happening not to mention how debilitating it is because you can’t really use it like I need to.
In addition, we also don’t know if I am having a reaction to the antibiotic that I was given to combat the infection that I have. I noticed some red marks on my neck and shoulders this morning, but I thought it was just the way I was laying or maybe from rubbing it. However, when I looked in the mirror later on today, I saw that there was actually a rash going on. We don’t know how I got it or if it is actually related to the antibiotic. So we really don’t know what to do. We already know that this antibiotic makes me feel nauseous and such especially since it is such a high dose because the infection is so bad. They really have to knock this infection out because not only do I need to get rid of it for the upcoming surgery, but it can really severely cause a lot of problems and even potentially ‘kill’ me because I already have all those toxins, poisons, and bacteria running through my body from my failed GI system. So it is just making my body further weakened.
So I really had some day today!! It was really a tiring day and things were just not going well. Of course when I got back to the hotel, I still continued to ‘sleep’ and if it wasn’t for my dad waking me up at 7:30, I probably would have slept through the nite. However, my dad said that we had to go eat dinner and I had no choice. I pleaded with him to miss dinner tonight because I wasn’t feeling well, but of course I lost the battle because he insisted that I couldn’t afford to lose an ounce. So I was dragged to the restaurant to eat.
Just to finish up the wonderful day, we couldn’t even watch TV tonight. We ended up having a storm here in Cleveland that knocked out the satellites. My dad said to me “Better watch out that the power doesn’t go out too.” But I was like “Did you ever hear of backup generators?” So you know what he said? He was like “Maybe they don’t have!” I was like “I am sure that they do especially since they are a top-of-the-line hospital.
Oh yeah… just as expected when I got here my packages were here waiting for me. Dad couldn’t believe that I didn’t have them shipped to the house instead. But they are sooo cute. I keep cuddling with them. What a way to make my belly feel better.
Wanna hear something hilarious? We needed ice for our sodas and my oranges. So you know what my dad did? He went to the ice machine with a bag of ice on top of just filling up the regular ice bucket. He brought back so much ice that he emptied the entire machine. So me being my stupid self said to him “you better call the front desk and alert them to the fact that they have to refill the machine because its empty.” I was thinking that he should do that so that I could have my ice later because I knew I would need it. However, little did I know that all you had to do was ‘wait’ for the machine to make more? My dad was like “You don’t have to call… you just have to wait for the machine to make more!” I am so naïve!
To top everything off, there is a lot of press going on here since Robin Williams died. Apparently Robin Williams had 2 heart valves replaced here at the Cleveland Clinic and therefore, they are saying that this could have caused his death. They are saying it because according to the Clinic, “major heart surgery often leaves patients with depression, which can sometimes prevent you from leading a normal life."
So that appears to be all that is happening. It’s going to be a busy day tomorrow (Wednesday). I just wanted to write a bit and let you know all that has occurred so far. I wonder what will be the outcome of the upcoming surgery because we are so close to having it done and yet we have all these complications. I know they won’t do the surgery unless the infection is definitely cleared up, but I am hoping that the scan won’t hold things up further. I also hope that they won’t have me make an additional trip here just for this scan because besides there is no time, I can’t afford it and it takes too much out of me. I get too sick from the traveling and I really can’t do it. I hope that the next time I come back here it is for the surgery.
Well… Thanks again for all your continued support and encouragement. Please continue to pray for me and I will let you know what happens! Thanks again for everything. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all that everyone is doing!! Knowing that I have a “support team” really makes a HUGE difference in fighting this.
August 12, 2014
Well… I am writing to let you know that in a few hours I am off to Cleveland Clinic. I am only hoping and wishing that all goes well because I know that I have a long road ahead of me especially now. There is never a dull moment in my life. As if my life isn’t hectic enough, I was just thrown another bump in the road today that might have to result in the transplant being delayed. I am only hoping that it doesn’t though because I am literally running out of time. But you know MURPHY’S LAW? Well… it should be renamed to be FALLON’S LAW because anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
I can’t believe all that is happening! Never a dull moment in the life of “Fallon!” I am supposed to be leaving in a few hours and I am really not feeling well. I am sicker than ever because besides my usual illness, I just had emergency surgery today because I have a massive infection going on in my mouth and jaw.
I have been having some pain in my mouth, jaw, and teeth lately, but these past two days have really been horrible. It got to the point this morning that the pain was unbearable. For me to say that the pain was unbearable while on all my potent pain medications such as ketamine, dilaudid, methadone, morphine, etc., I wonder exactly how bad this pain actually is. This infection has to be MEGA if it was hurting me the way it was with all these meds. I really don’t complain that much when I am in pain because I suffer with pain 24/7. However, the pain that I was in this morning was so bad that I was hysterical. I knew that I needed help.
Thank goodness I went to the oral surgeon when I did. It turns out that I have a massive infection in my tooth and jaw. However, we had such a day dealing with it. Usually when I have to be worked on with something like this, I have to be under general anesthesia. Yet, we really didn’t have that as an option and all we could use was nitrous oxide and lots of novocaine. However, due to my condition, it was not helping me at all. They turned the gas all the way up and they gave me shot after shot. Even after 6 shots, they couldn’t get me numb. I was screaming while they tried to work on me. I felt so bad for my mom because she was the one trying to hold me down. I was in so much pain that I was literally holding her hands so tight that I was drawing blood. Her hands are all swollen now because of all that happened.
But like I said before thank goodness we went to the surgeon when I did because if I didn’t I probably would have died. The surgeon was on the phone constantly with the Cleveland Clinic because he of course needed their input since they are in charge of my condition and I am going to be undergoing massive surgery with them. The Cleveland Clinic said that with all the toxins and poisons going through my body because of my failed GI system and such, I am lucky that I am alive still.
Due to my failed GI system, I have all these toxins and bacteria leaking from my GI system (especially my colon) into my bloodstream and it is spreading to all my organs including my brain. As a result, it is literally poisoning my body and causing me to die. That is why I need the transplant surgery at the Cleveland Clinic as soon as possible. We have to stop these toxins from poisoning my body because it will end up killing me. That is the reason why my brain is “foggy” and why I am sleeping a lot.
So to have this active infection on top of being poisoned by this bacteria and toxins that were already occurring, I am in really bad shape. They immediately wanted to put me on high dose meds in order to help contain the infection. Yet, with all the meds that I am already taking, it was extremely difficult to do. I take over 50 pills daily and it was very difficult to find a drug that wouldn’t interact with the others. They also needed to give me pain meds as well, as the current pain meds that I was already taking weren’t cutting it. So the surgeon has been talking to all my doctors trying to figure everything out. What a problem!!
A bigger problem though is this infection and how close we are to transplant, as I am supposed to be going in the morning to Cleveland Clinic for pre-surgical testing and to finish meeting with everyone so that I can be prepped for the upcoming massive surgery on August 25th. At that date, they will be removing my colon. It is a massive operation, which will take over at least 10 hours to complete. However, after the colon is removed, all bets are off as to what will end up happening. They don’t know if the colon is the bulk of the reasons why my body is being poisoned or if it is another part of the GI system that is causing it. Depending which organ it is… it will determine how soon I will have to undergo the huge multivisceral transplant. But they were hoping that I would be able to get my colon removed and they would be able to wait a bit to have the transplant so that they can try to get me a bit stronger for the transplant because it is a very dangerous transplant to have. They are also hoping to be able to wait a bit so that they can ‘learn’ all that they can about their ‘enemy,’ which is my neurological disease and autonomic dysfunction.
Like I stated in the previous message, my doctor wants to know his ‘enemy’ before he transplants. He is an excellent surgeon and wants to be prepared for anything that could happen. Therefore, has sent out other doctors to do research on my illness and he is even calling other doctors who are knowledgeable out of retirement. Doctors say that he is like a ‘terrier’ in the sense that once he gets his teeth into something, he doesn’t let go or stop until he gets what he wants.
It is really important to know all that he can about my illness because this transplant is so very dangerous. In fact, it is the most dangerous transplant to have and only 6 hospitals in the country do it. I need a new stomach, small and large intestine, pancreas, and spleen. However, if they find that the toxins and poisons are coming from something else after the colon is removed, I will have to transplant immediately.
After speaking with the Cleveland Clinic, they said that I would not be able to have the transplant or even the massive operation that I am scheduled for to remove the colon at the end of August. This surgery is extremely dangerous as it is and they expect to have lots of complications already as well as an extremely difficult time recovering from it as it is… they don’t need further complications. So the surgery might be cancelled unless I can overcome this infection. (Please click NEXT to continue)
This infection is very serious that I have in my mouth. The problem is also that I don’t absorb medications like a normal person. So despite being on a high dose, we don’t know how much I am actually absorbing. I can literally take pills and then 12 hours later when I vomit, I can throw up the entire pill in its “whole” form so it isn’t dissolved. In addition, I am extremely hypertensive so that any “minor” problem is a “huge” problem. I am not like a regular patient, as everything in my life is so much magnified.
So we are keeping our fingers crossed that this infection will go away and not stand in the way of the surgery. It is just another bump that is added in the road along with the funding bump that we have to get over. But in the meantime, we are heading in the morning to Cleveland Clinic to finish everything so that we are all prepared for the upcoming surgery that will hopefully be taking place the last week of August… providing that there is no infection and we have the funds.
So our flight leaves in the morning and it will be a busy 48 hours. We have so many doctors to still meet because since my case is so complicated, it takes an entire team in the operating room to handle it. They literally are going to have a doctor in every specialty in the room. I am also going to be meeting interventional radiologists because even they will be needed to put a central line in me for this surgery.
Besides meeting with the docs, I am also having some final tests performed so that they are fully prepared. Besides the usual tests such as the CT scans and x-rays, I am also going to undergo a stress test so they can really test my heart out. They already told me that I am going to hate this test because it is probably going to cause the autonomic dysfunction to stir up. Gosh… sometimes I think the autonomic dysfunction is the worst part of the entire disease.
What stinks is that I can’t eat or drink absolutely anything before these tests and I will be flying on a plane! I don’t know how I am going to manage especially not drinking when I am going to be in the air. The tests aren’t until 2 PM and therefore, I am literally going the entire day without eating or drinking especially since I am going to be leaving for the airport at 4 AM. Gosh… I am going to be dying of thirst and hunger. Some might think it is no big deal because I can’t really ‘eat’ or ‘drink’ anyway. But it is a big deal for me because even though I really can’t eat or drink because swallowing is extremely difficult and I also vomit it back up, at least I get something into me. Now I can’t get ANYTHING into me. I always find that when you are told you can’t have something, you are always more thirsty and hungry than if you weren’t told you couldn’t have it.
So we are off. Just wanted to let you know the latest! At least I know when I get there, my SNUFFLES will be there waiting for me. There is a white SNUFFLES being sent there thanks to my mom. Even though she can’t be there in person… she is sending me a bear so that I can always have something to hug. This way whenever I need a ‘hug’ from her, I can hug the bear.
I am in love with GUND bears and I am in the process of collecting all the different GUND SNUFFLES. I love the SNUFFLES because besides them being extra cute, they make such great “cuddlers”. With my stomach beign the way it is… they are in the perfect shape and are made in the perfect way to hold so that it helps with the stomach pain. I only wish I still had my original SNUFFLES. The SNUFFLES today is celebrating the 30 year anniversary.
In addition, I wonder if I am going to see another one of those “waterbugs!” Gosh… I will never forget how I was walking out of the hotel when we were leaving for the airport and one of those things ran right in front of me. It scared me so much. I never saw a bug that big! Of course I had to take a picture of it and show my dad. My dad being the expert that he is in pest control told me immediately what it was!
I can just imagine how much this trip is going to cost this time. With all these doctor appointments and tests… I don’t know how we are going to afford it and then be able to come back about week later for the huge surgery, which will entail us being in Cleveland for at least 3 weeks. That is why it is imperative that I get as many donations as possible because we cannot afford it by ourselves. So please continue to spread the word of my website at www.gofundme.com/FallonMirsky
so that I can receive as many donations as possible. Remember... no donation is ever too small.
Please continue to pray for me because I am going to need all the prayers and support to overcome this. I need to be stronger than ever because I have to beat this infection now too!
Thanks again for everything.
August 9, 2014
I just figured I would write and let you know the absolute latest because I officially received notification from Cleveland that part one of the transplant is ready. Yup!! I received the call tonight!! I am so very nervous and I to be honest, I really don’t know what is going to happen because of course this means I need to get there ASAP and we don’t have the funds on hand. My head is literally spinning so fast around that I don’t know how to stop it. I am so scared. I am scared to have the surgery because I know how ‘massive’ this surgery is and scared not to have it done because I know that without it I will die.
I can’t believe the phone call finally came in tonight to come out to Cleveland for the first part of the transplant. I knew that it was ultimately going to happen, but I honestly didn’t think it was going to happen so fast. I mean, I didn’t expect it to happen so soon especially since I literally just got home from the Cleveland Clinic a few days ago. I guess this is what the doctors at the Cleveland Clinic meant when they said that what I was going through and having was “life threatening” and a very HUGE “emergency.”
When I had went to the Cleveland Clinic this past week, I had found out so much information… more information than I had ever known. I knew that I was sick before I went to the Clinic, but I never realized how ‘sick’ I really was until I went. When they explained everything to me, I finally understood everything that was happening in my body. There were even a lot of misunderstandings that were occurring in my disease and body because I went to doctors that were not as knowledgeable as the doctors that I am going to now in the Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic is absolutely one of the BEST hospitals in the country. From actually attending the hospital, there is no question in my mind why that is the case. The entire team of the hospital from the nurses to the staff to the doctors is completely unbelievable. They are so nice and knowledgeable. They don’t just treat you like another patient. They actually are about each and every patient. They know things about illnesses and such that no other places know about. Therefore, they take on cases that no other places will. No wonder it is the Cleveland Clinic that is known for ultimately saving people with life-threatening diseases. I only hope that I will be as fortunate.
When I went to see them a few days ago, I finally learned that it wasn’t the medicine that was making me so ‘tired.’ Besides all the pain that I have been suffering from that has been unbearable, I have been really tired lately and been sleeping a lot. I have also been having a feeling of my brain feeling a bit “cloudy” as I didn’t feel like I was thinking as clearly. A lot of doctors have been attributing all that to the medications that I have been taking, as I do take more medicine than anyone can believe. I take over 50 pills daily and it would certainly kill a horse. Doctors are even amazed that someone the size of me could withstand taking so much. But even taking this amount of drugs, it doesn’t even really have any affect on me. Therefore, I did find it strange that the meds were supposedly causing all this ‘tiredness’ and ‘cloudiness’ all of a sudden when I have been on them for such a long time. It just didn’t make sense. It wasn’t like we really changed anything. You know?
Well… it appears that due to my illness and severe gastroparesis, my organs have basically ‘died.’ My GI system doesn’t function any longer and in fact, I am being intoxicated and poisoned by it. It turns out that my colon is especially toxic and all the toxins are pouring over into my bloodstream and spreading to the rest of my body, which is causing my body to shut down and fail. The toxins are causing me to have cirrhosis of the liver and it is even going to my brain. That is why I am so tired and feeling so cloudy. As it is getting worse and worse, I am feeling worse and worse. The more it continues, the worse it will get and it will ultimately end in coma and in death. Therefore, I desperately need a transplant to get rid of these toxins before it is too late because they are poisoning me and will kill me. Yet, a transplant of the GI system is extremely dangerous. In fact, it is the most dangerous transplant you can have. Only like 6 hospitals in the country perform this operation. I need a new stomach, small and large intestine, spleen, liver, pancreas, etc.
However, since I have this autonomic dysfunction and also this neurological disease, we don’t really know how my body is going to function to the transplant either. Therefore, the surgeon is kind of hesitant to transplant me because he doesn’t really know and understand completely the “enemy.” Yet, he has told my dad and me “if I was his daughter, he would transplant me immediately.” Yet, he said, “since he doesn’t know the enemy completely, he wants to take it slow and do it in steps, as he learns as much as he can about how my body will react to the transplant and what exactly to do in terms of precautions because of how ‘sensitive’ and reactive my body is to everything that is done. “ As a result, he is going to be taking the colon out first because that appears to be the most toxic organ of the body at this time while he learns as much as he can about my illness.
Therefore, the first part of the transplant will be removal of the colon. I will just be missing the colon while we wait for the FULL transplant, which I will then receive the other organs. He will also be learning all that he can about my illness during this time. The doctor is doing tons of research. In fact, he is actually sending out other doctors to do research as well on my disease. He is calling all the top doctors in the world regarding my illness and even calling doctors that are in “retirement” out of retirement that might be familiar about my illness. The doctors all him a ‘terrier’ in the sense that once he gets his teeth into something, he doesn’t give up. I am only hoping that he doesn’t give up on me because I am so very sick. (Keep reading for more… click NEXT)
The doctor is especially awaiting for one particular doctor to get back to him. I gave him a few doctors to contact that might be able to help him, but the doctor is particularly waiting for Dr. Schwartzman to call him. We are only hoping that my doctor, whose name is Dr. Kareem, will be able to contact him because he has retired this year. Dr. Schwartzman is supposed to be one of the top doctors in my neurological disease and was practicing at Hahnemann University in Pennsylvania. When you wanted to see him, you had to literally wait at least 2 years to see him because that was how long the waiting list was to see him. I had seen him, as he was my doctor as well and Dr. Schwartzman also confirmed when he had seen me that I was one of the worst cases that he has ever seen in his life. As he was also doing research in my illness, he also took my blood so that he can use me in his research. He had told me that “we may not necessarily be able to help you, but you may be able to help others in the future.” So… of course I had no objection of giving him my blood to study because I would do anything to help others and so that others wouldn’t have to have the same misfortune of suffering from the same miserable fate as me.
It turns out that Dr. Schwartzman had just retired this past summer. However, it turns out that it is essential that Dr. Kareem talk to Dr. Schwartzman because even though I have given him other doctors who might be able to help him, it is Dr. Schwartzman who actually did research and found a clear link to what is happening in my GI system to my neurological disease and autonomic dysfunction. He actually saw a linkage between the toxins and the intoxication that is occurring in my body to the neurological illness and autonomic dysfunction and therefore Dr. Kareem wants to know about this and ultimately what will happen when I am transplanted and everything. I knew that Dr. Schwartzman did research in my illness, but I never knew that he actually found a linkage in this. So I am only hoping and praying that Dr. Kareem will be able to speak with him because he can be a very important piece to the puzzle.
Dr. Schwartzman also knows and understands how my disease spreads. Abnormal signals cause change in neurons and causes the loss of magnesium blocks. This causes calcium to enter the cells. When this occurs, very bad stuff happens and the disease manifests and spreads. Dr. Schwartzman is a crucial piece to my illness because he discovered how important Ketamine is to be given during the surgery because it is the only medicine that will help keep the neurological disease and autonomic dysfunction at bay. It is an NMDA receptor that will block the disease from spreading.
But in the meantime, I need to definitely have the colon taken out, which is the first part of the transplant because I am literally dying. I am literally being poisoned and if it doesn’t come out, I will soon die because it is literally poisoning my entire system. However, we don’t know how my body will react. We don’t know if all the toxins and poisons are just coming mainly from the colon or if it is really coming from the other organs as well. If they take out the colon and they find that the toxins are coming from the other organs as well, they will have to then transplant immediately. So all bets are off between how much time they will have after they remove the colon and how much time they have for the rest of the transplant to occur. The doctors really have no idea how my body is going to react or what is going to happen after the colon is removed.
So I knew that the colon had to come out as soon as possible because I would die otherwise, but to be honest… I wasn’t expecting it to be so soon. I literally just got back from Cleveland a few days ago… not even a week and I am already getting the call to come back for the surgery. I am so scared. I am scared because I don’t know how on earth we are going to afford this. It is so very expensive and we don’t even have the funds to go back to Cleveland let alone stay in Cleveland for the surgery and have it. Even though the surgery is somewhat covered by the insurance plan, we still have copayments, deductibles, living expenses while we are there, traveling expenses, etc. I don’t know how we are going to do this especially since it isn’t just a matter of being there one day. Instead, we got the phone call that they want us back on Tuesday for appointments for pre-surgical testing, which will be taking place that day and on Wednesday. They will then allow me to go home and I will then return on Sunday, August 24th to have the massive operation. When I come for the operation, they want me there for about 3 weeks about. I don’t know how on earth we are going to afford it especially since my dad won’t be working during that entire time, which means no income at all.
Gosh… when I got the call today, they told me that they needed me the 12th for testing for the upcoming surgery. When they said that, I automatically thought that they meant September 12th. Little did I know that they meant August 12th, which is only literally in a few days. How on earth am I going to come up with the necessary funds, make the traveling arrangements, and get there in such a short amount of time. I hate Fridays because it always seems like all the big stuff happens on Fridays because you can’t do anything really on the weekends. I really can’t contact doctors or make plans or do anything until Monday and by then… it is literally too late because I have to really have all arrangements made by then since I have my first appointment on Tuesday afternoon. I have no idea what we are going to do. I am so scared but all I know is that we have to find a way of getting funds. That is the priority at this point because we need plane tickets, hotel arrangements, etc. Obviously they aren’t going to give me those for ‘free’ or because my name is “Fallon!”
So we are really scrambling looking for funds and hoping that we will receive some donations. They are so desperately needed. If you can please spread the word that I need to get to Cleveland for part one of this massive transplant surgery, I would really appreciate it. Of course my fundraising website is www.gofundme.com/FallonMirsky.
NO donation is ever too small and all donations will be MUCH APPRECIATED!!
Speaking about this massive surgery, I am really really nervous. I spoke with the doctors today and I told them how nervous I am. I told them that I don’t doubt their credentials or their ‘ability’ but I am really scared about how my body is going to react and such especially since my body is so ‘sensitive’ and reacts to literally everything. I am especially scared because I know how dangerous this surgery is and how it is really life threatening. All I hear from all my other doctors and other doctors who my dad speaks to is how “massive” this surgery is. In fact, my dad’s cardiologist even told my dad “to prepare just in case things go in the other direction and things don’t turn out so good.”
It is so dangerous that they are putting lines in me everywhere. I told the doctors that I have had surgeries before and I never had to have lines put in me like they are doing now. But the doctors said that this has to be done because I never had surgery like I am having now. They keep saying how “This is the most ‘massive’ surgery I have ever had!” I keep saying that if I hear the word “massive” one more time I think I am going to go through the wall. I can’t hear it anymore. Therefore, they are going to be putting in central lines and everything. Thank goodness I will be technically ‘asleep’ when they do this because this is not the most pleasant thing to occur. (Keep reading for more… click NEXT)
A central line is a long, thin, flexible tube used to give medicines, fluids, nutrients, or blood over a long period of time, usually several weeks or more. They are hopefully going to be able to use just a catheter in the arm that will be threaded into a vein and go until it reaches a large vein near the heart. They are definitely going to need it for ‘access’ for medicines and fluids, but they are also going to try to give me TPN as well through this. I have had TPN multiple times in the past, but I have failed it. However, I never had TPN done at the Cleveland Clinic and I am not working with Dr. Steiger, who happens to be the founding father of TPN. So, we are going to try it again since he happens to be the most knowledgeable and best doctor in getting TPN to work. The worst thing that could occur is that it doesn’t work, but at least we will give it a shot.
The doctors would love to be able to have the TPN work because of how small and fragile I am. They would love to give me nutrients before the surgery and afterwards because it would help give me strength and help me recover. This is huge surgery and I will need all the strength that I can have. I will definitely have a huge road ahead of me with this surgery.
This surgery is hard on anyone, but it is especially going to be hard on me considering the fact that I have the neurological disease and autonomic dysfunction. Due to my neurological disease, I have a hard time taking a deep breath, as I have Dystonia of the chest wall muscles.
I am only hoping that while this first part of the transplant is just to remove the colon, I am only hoping that I won’t have to have a colostomy bag. I am deathly afraid of having a bag. When I told the doctor how I really didn’t want a bag, the doctor said to my dad and me “he is not a bag guy!” Of course my dad got the joke immediately, but I was a little delayed on the joke. The doctor said that I have a 99.9% chance of not having a bag because he really would hate for me to have a bag because it would most likely only complicate things. It would lead to another surgery and could lead to another potential complication and can lead to more chance of infection and other things. But nothing is 100% and he said that even though he doesn’t foresee it happening and hoping it won’t, if it did have to happen… it would only be temporary. So at least that is a good thing because I really didn’t want one. At least I also know that the worst-case scenario of getting one is that it is only ‘temporary’ and it will go away. That is another reason how I know the Cleveland Clinic is so amazing. They are the only people who are willing to do this surgery on me. Also, they are going to be doing it without a bag.
I also asked the doctors how they are going to ‘prep’ me for surgery because obviously they can’t clean my bowels and such. Usually when people go for GI surgery, they do a whole bowel-cleansing regimen. Yet, in my case, it won’t work because my GI system is essentially dead.
So the doctors said that they really don’t even want to do anything that is going to ‘stress’ my body out any further than it is going to be during the surgery. They know it is going to need all its strength and everything for the surgery and therefore, they don’t want to waste trying to empty by bowels and everything by having me drink stuff or through enemas or anything like that. Therefore, they rather manually do it during the operation. It is a bit more risky because I will have all that other stuff (i.e. food, meds, etc.) to deal with and it could harbor additional bacteria, but this is the best way to go.
I am really keeping my fingers crossed that things go according to plan and things will go as ‘smoothly’ as possible. The operation is over a 6-hour operation. Yet the doctors have even said that they don’t know exactly what will happen after the colon is removed because it will change everything. I am putting all my trust into them because these doctors and the hospital seem like the best place to be. When I have spoken to other patients, they have said how “great” this hospital and doctors are. They have even said that it is only this hospital and doctors that have SAVED their lives. If it wasn’t for this hospital, these patients claim that they wouldn’t be living. I only hope that I am as fortunate. After all, this hospital takes on cases that no other hospital will. They are known for doing famous surgeries that no other hospital has done such as the face transplant surgeries and others. They do things there that you would never imagine or ever hear of. So I am really trusting them with my life.
When I spoke to the other patients, they have nothing but praise for the Cleveland Clinic. They said that the hospital and staff is simply amazing. Of course I will be kept in the ICU. The ICU is supposed to have a ratio of 2 patients per patient. Each patient is also supposed to have his or her own room and there is a pullout sofa for their caretaker. I am really glad about that because I am hoping that my dad will stay with me in the hospital because I am really petrified to stay alone. The patients say that the rooms and the care of the hospital is like being in the hotel. They said that the nurses are very attentive and they don’t make you wait for anything. They even go around massaging you so that you don’t get stiff and everything. They said that they do whatever they can to make you as comfortable as possible.
When I go for the surgery, unfortunately both my parents can’t be there together. We don’t have the money to have both parents to be there and therefore, my dad will be with me while my mom stays home. I am scared for both. I am scared for my dad because he will be there alone and if something should happen, I don’t want him to be alone. I am also scared for my mom because she is left at home and not knowing what will be taking place. She will be blinded and only left to knowing what is known by the telephone ringing. I only wish I could have both my parents there especially since it is so dangerous and everything, but I know that it is not going to be possible. But I know that even though both my mom and dad won’t be there together, I will be in constant contact with my mom.
Not only will I miss my mom, but I will miss my pets as well. I literally have to pick up my life and go to Cleveland. I will have no comforts from home except for my dad. But thank goodness I will have my dad. My dad is not only my “dad,” but he is my best friend. I know that he won’t let anything happen to me. Thank goodness for SKYPE though because at least I will be able to be only a video chat away from the comforts of home. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why Cleveland Clinic is so nice. They know that patients come from all over the world to this famous place and they leave their comforts of being at home. Therefore, they want the hospital to be as “comfortable” as possible for each patient and to feel like “home” as well!! (Keep reading for more…click NEXT)
So like I said before… I am supposed to be heading there this week, as I am going to have to meet with interventional radiology and anesthesiology this week to go over everything. I will also have to have all my pre-surgical testing as well. However, like I said before, it is of course contingent on the fact that I have the funds because as of right now there is no funds available especially since we just back from Cleveland a few days ago and we have had no time to “regroup” our funds together. My dad hasn’t really been able to work much since we gotten back and we haven’t really made up for him missing the work that he missed when we were gone last week. To make matters worse, this is also his “busy” time of the year and I feel really bad making him miss work. This is the time when he makes the most of his money and if he isn’t here to work, then obviously the money isn’t going to be made. I know how desperately we need the money too because we literally can’t afford any of our bills. The bills have snowballed out of control and we can’t pay for my treatments anymore. We can’t even pay our mortgage and even have difficulty putting food on the table. So, we know how important this time of year is for us because of how much money can be made. If he misses it, it is missed until next year. So I don’t know what is going to happen. I just feel really bad because I don’t want anything to happen to my family because of me. They have suffered enough because of me.
So the schedule is supposed to go like this if all goes according to plan… we are supposed to be leaving Monday or Tuesday at the very latest to go to Cleveland. We have appointments scheduled at 2 PM on Tuesday and therefore, we have to be at the hospital by 1PM. Therefore, it is really best if we leave Monday, but that also means that it is a day sooner and we don’t know if we can afford it or that we will be able to arrange it since every day technically counts since it is so soon and we need to make so many arrangements. I don’t even know how we are going to make all these arrangements by Tuesday especially since we know how expensive hotel and plane arrangements are when you do it last minute. We are even hoping that they have openings because of how last minute it is.
So we are meeting with the team Tuesday and Wednesday. I will be having various final testing, meeting with interventional radiology because they will be putting in the central lines and will need to be on hand for various other procedures, meeting with anesthesiology, and meeting with the team, which includes my doctors and surgeons. I will then hopefully be able to go home first thing Thursday morning. I need to get home because I have my usual surgery scheduled for Friday at Mount Sinai. I will then finally return on Sunday, August 24th, which will be when I will be admitted for the huge surgery. I will then have to be hospitalized after the surgery for 1-2 weeks and then I will have to remain in Cleveland for about 1 week afterwards to make sure that I am well enough to go home. Of course this is if all goes according to plan. However, if they find out that the toxins are coming a lot from other organs, I will have to undergo the transplant as soon as possible, and I don’t know if I will be kept there or allowed to go home and they will wait a bit. They won’t know until they see how I do with the colon out.
I have to go for my weekly surgery at Mount Sinai because I not only need to have my intestines cleaned out because of the toxins, but I am also scheduled for an EGD. If I don’t go for it on Friday, it would mean that I would have to have it done in Cleveland as well, which would mean staying another day. So the doctors have allowed me to do it at home so that I don’t have to stay another day.
It is going to be a long two weeks. But hopefully everything will be ok. In the meantime, I have my mom’s birthday today. I am going to try to be as happy as I can be under the circumstances. I bought her a cake and I am going to try to make it as special as I can. I would love to be able to take her out to a restaurant for dinner or buy her something really special, but unfortunately I don’t have the funds to do that. I also can’t really eat at a restaurant and that really makes going out to dinner to celebrate her special day an impossibility. I feel so bad because she hasn’t gone out for dinner in the longest time. It would be great to go out to a restaurant to eat especially to celebrate such a wonderful day. But hopefully I will get well soon and when I come back from the Cleveland Clinic I will be able to go out all I want to dinner because I will be able to eat again. Hopefully this is the start of my miracle.
So… this is the latest news. I am extremely nervous… I am not going to lie, but I know that this has to be done because otherwise I am going to die. They always say that time changes things, but in actuality… you have to change them yourself!! That is why I need to get to the Cleveland Clinic and help myself ASAP. Life is like an ocean. You got to keep swimming.
Life is like a swimming pool. You dive into the water, but you can’t see how deep it is. But I know that you just have to keep swimming no matter what and as long as you do that… everything will be ok. However, unfortunately, me staying afloat and able to swim is all contingent on receiving help from others.
Like I said before, all this is contingent on the availability of funds. Please help me. Please pray for me. Please help me raise as much funds as possible because I desperately need this surgery as soon as possible. Please spread my link at www.gofundme.com/FallonMirsky
and help me raise as much money as possible so that I can get to the Cleveland Clinic to have this operation.
Thanks again for all your encouragement and support.
August 5, 2014
Well… here I am at the Cleveland Clinic and I have news to share. In fact, I am so glad and fortunate that we came here because this hospital and doctor are so amazing. I really think that after crisscrossing the country and being poked and prodded like a guinea pig, I finally landed in a hospital and doctor that is going to save my life! I really think this doctor is not only knowledgeable in his field, but he is not going to be like so many other doctors that have promised me so many things and then got scared and backed out. I just hope that I get the treatment that I need in enough time because I am really running out of time!
Well… we finally made it to Cleveland. This place is huge and there is other stuff to do on campus other than just go for medical treatment at the hospital. So yesterday we went to the Museum of Natural History to kill some time. Well… it definitely wasn’t like the one in New York. In fact, it was so small and childish that we really did wonder why we went there. The biggest attraction that we saw was some live animals, which included a deer, some owls, and a turkey. But, at least it did kill the time.
The campus of the Cleveland Clinic is amazing. We keep seeing transplant helicopters, which makes me hopeful that I will get better here.
What a day I had today though. My head is still spinning after all that has happened. I found out so much news… news that I never knew. I mean… I knew that I was sick, but I never understood how sick. I also never quite understood what was happening to me when I was feeling “tired” all the time or when my brain was feeling “foggy” at times either. I always blamed it on lack of sleep or my medications, but apparently it goes far beyond that.
The team in Cleveland Clinic is simply amazing. The doctor came into the room and the first thing he did was give me a hug. He sat right next to me on the table and gave me the nicest hug you can imagine. Never before did a doctor do that to me before. It really made me feel good and it made me feel like there was a doctor who cared.
The doctor then asked me a few questions, as if he knew how “good” he was and how he wanted to show me how I am in such great hands. He asked me “Do you know who I am?” Of course I knew who he was. I only researched him thoroughly and knew everything about him from his picture to his curriculum vitae. He then asked me, “How did you find me?” He also finally told me that I am in “good” hands and he is not going to give up on me.
I never met such a caring and knowledgeable doctor. It turns out that I need surgery as soon as possible because I am so very sick. However, this doctor isn’t going to stall us out or chicken out like the others. He said this has to be done now.
I also learned why I am sleeping more than ever and why my brain is so foggy and such. It turns out that since my GI track is gone… especially my colon, all the toxins are building up and pouring into my bloodstream. Therefore, I am becoming totally intoxicated and poisoned. It is poisoning all my organs including my brain. This is leading to cirrhosis of the liver and it is also poisoning my brain. If something isn’t done fast, it will continue to intoxicate my body and I will end up in a coma and die.
At least now I know what is happening. I knew something wasn't right. Some of the doctors kept saying that it was my medications that were making me so "sleepy" and "cloudy." But I knew that couldn't have been the answer because I have been on these meds for a very long time and if so, why all of a sudden is all this occurring? I knew that it had to be something else. It is getting harder and harder to stay awake and as I am continuing to be intoxicated by the toxins, it is only going to get worse. That is why it is imperative and urgent to get this taken care of right away because if it isn't, I will end up going into a coma and dying. My whole entire body is being poisoned.
So the question is whether I should have a transplant or just remove my colon. The doctor said to my dad, “If she was my daughter, I would transplant her immediately.” However, he didn’t want to do that because he said he didn’t know the “enemy,” which is the neurological disease known as the RSD. He isn’t too familiar about it and since I am documented as the worst case that exists with it, he didn’t want to do a major transplant until he knew all that he could about the RSD and how it would react to the transplant. So he is doing all the research that he can and also sending out all these other doctors and staff to do research on my illness as well. He is even calling out doctors from retirement to see if they can help. The doctors said that Dr. Kareem, which is my head doctor, is like a terrier. Once he sinks his teeth into something, he don’t let go until he finds out all he needs to know about something. That really made me feel good when I heard that because I knew that he wouldn’t give up on me.
In the meantime, something has to be done because my whole entire body is becoming intoxicated and I am going to die. Therefore, he is going to take out my colon as soon as possible. I told him that I really didn’t want a “bag” and he said that he is not a “bag guy!” I didn’t quite get the joke, but my dad did and they laughed at my expense. But then when I caught on, I figured it out.
The doctor told me that he isn’t looking to giving me a “bag” when I go for the surgery. However, nothing is a guarantee. But he did say that he is 99% sure that I won’t need a bag and if it should happen, then it would only be temporary. That made me feel so much better because I definitely didn’t want one. At least I also know that if it did come down to it and I had no other choice, at least it will only be temporary.
So the plan is all set for me to have my colon taken out in the meantime. However, there are some tests that need to be performed before they can do the surgery. Therefore, I will be coming back a few days before surgery so that I can have these tests done and then I will go right into the surgery. I need tests such as a heart stress test and others.
The surgery has to be done as soon as possible because of how bad I am doing and how quickly the toxins are spreading and I am deteriorating. The surgery will be about 10 hours long. He said that I would have to stay here at least 2 weeks. I don’t know how we are going to manage paying for all this especially when dad won’t be able to work during this time. So… if you can please help me raise some funds… It would be much appreciated.
I also met with the TPN doctor named Dr. Steiger. He is supposed to be the “founding father of TPN.” He is also going to be working on the team to see if he can try to get some TPN into me so that I can gain some weight and it will help me heal and everything. I have had TPN before, but unfortunately, I failed it all those times.
So… that appears all that is happening. My head is so overwhelmed with what is happening. I can’t believe that I am being poisoned. I can’t believe that there are toxins being built up and that it is going to my organs and even my brain. At least there is not an answer why I am so sleepy all the time and why I am having trouble thinking and concentrating.
I really feel like this is the place that is going to get me better. The Cleveland Clinic is such an amazing place to be. We kept seeing the transplant hospitals come to the hospital and I really felt hopeful that one day that helicopter will have my transplant organs on them. Since 2003, Cleveland Clinic has been ranked #2 in Digestive Diseases. The doctor that I am seeing, Dr. Kareem, is absolutely the best, as he has done the most GI transplants than any other doctor in the world. So fingers are crossed that this is the beginning of my journey of getting well. This is the beginning to my MIRACLE!!
My dad is really too funny! It just so happened that there were workers on top of the main hospital at the Cleveland Clinic working and my dad wanted to see exactly what they were doing. The building was extremely high and my dad was being inquisitive and nosy. We were in the doctor’s pavilion, which was located directly across from the main hospital, but there was quite a distance of more than the length of a football field between the two. Therefore, he took my camera and zoomed in on them to see what they were doing. He is really too funny.
I felt just like a little kid again with my dad pushing me in the wheelchair. After going to the doctor, I wanted to go to the Gift Shop to see if I could get a sweatshirt that said Cleveland Clinic. However, I was too weak and tired to walk and therefore, I really needed a wheelchair in order to make it there. I felt just like a little kid with my dad pushing me because when I was little, my dad used to push me in a wheelchair every time we went to visit my great-grandma. We used to run up and down the corridors with him pushing me in the wheelchair and I loved it. I almost wanted him to do it again in the hospital to bring back old times.
So… we are on our way home tomorrow to get things organized for our return trip here. We don’t want to waste money here while things get organized for the big surgery. We figured that we would go home and when things get set up and situated, we would then return back. This way everything would be in place and we would only have to spend when needed. The doctors are hoping to have us bad by the end of the month because of how badly I am doing, but of course it is contingent on the hospital schedule, which is always so busy because this is like the top hospital in the country, as well as on the funds that we have because if we don’t have money… then there is no way that we can come back and have this surgery of course.
We were really worried about the water when we came here because Ohio was in a state of emergency and was told not to drink the water. However, we found out that it was safe to drink the water here because where the hospital is located, the water is running too fast to actually carry the toxins that is poisoning the water that the other parts of Ohio cannot drink.
Well… I guess that is it. I guess I shared all the info that happened. I guess I just have to start preparing for the huge operation. Please continue to pray for me! Please continue to spread the word that funds are desperately needed because without them, I don’t know how we are going to afford this operation. Thanks so much for all your support!
August 2, 2014
Just wanted to write tonight because there is stuff to be known and tomorrow we are hopefully off to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Yup… dad and I are off on another adventure!! So I just wanted to write and let you know all that is happening, as well as let you know about the upcoming trip!
To begin with, I want to announce that unfortunately the walk that was scheduled to bring awareness for my illness and to hopefully bring the much-needed funds for the lifesaving treatment that I need has been cancelled for this weekend and has been rescheduled. Due to the weather and an offer to have it “recorded” and made into a full-length (90 min) documentary, we thought it was best to have it postponed for about 2 weeks. I am so fortunately for this lovely lady to be willing to do this WALK for me across Fire Island. She is definitely an angel.
The walk across Fire Island will be about 35 miles long and will take over 2 days. The lovely lady willing to do this walk is a lady who I never met, but we have a lot in common. She is finding it in her heart to do this walk and trying everything in her powers to help to bring me the much-needed funds that I need in order to receive the lifesaving treatment that I desperately need. She has even started a group page on Facebook that you can join and follow known as FEET FOR FALLON 2014. Please go to it and “like” it and follow it so that you can know all that is happening.
Besides the walk that was supposed to take place this weekend, I am leaving for Cleveland Clinic on Sunday. Unfortunately though we don’t have the funds that we need to stay the amount of time that we really need to stay. The doctor really wanted to admit me as well when I see him on Monday, but unfortunately we are short on funds and therefore, it is really impossible to stay there an extended amount of time this time.
When we go to Cleveland this time, we are going to be meeting a ton of people. We are going to Cleveland Clinic because the transplant team wants to see me because I am soooo very sick. In fact, I have such severe gastroparesis and so very sick that they are thinking about giving me a multivisceral transplant. Originally, all that the surgeons wanted to really do was take out my colon even though my entire GI system was affected. Yet, the transplant team feels I am too sick and just taking out the colon will not be enough. They feel that it will go far beyond that and will include transplanting the colon, small intestine, stomach, pancreas, and liver. It is a massive transplant that is supposed to be extremely dangerous. In fact, it is the most dangerous transplant you can have. Any transplant that deals with the intestines is considered the most dangerous because it deals with the circulatory system and all different veins and such instead of nerves and such. Only 6 hospitals in the country really do this surgery because of how rare and risky it really is.
It is such a rare and risky surgery that only very few surgeons do it. Fortunately, I am scheduled to see Dr. Kareem Abu (I call him Dr. Kareem and so does everyone else because no one can pronounce his last name) and he is supposed to be the best surgeon out there. He has done the most transplants ever and there is supposed to not be a complication that he hasn’t seen. Well… I wonder what he will think of me because I am such a complicated condition. After all… I tend to stomp all physicians because there is really no physician that has seen anything that is happening with me. After all, I usually have doctors running all over the hospital with their feet not even touching the ground because they are scared and don’t know what to do because they see things with me that they never have seen before. So I am only hoping that this doc will really be able to help me.
However, I am still crossing my fingers that I will be able to see Dr. Kareem even though we are scheduled to see him first thing Monday morning. The reason I say this is because since he is the best surgeon and the head honcho there, I was told that if an organ becomes available while I am there, he will have to miss my appointment and go to the operating room instead to do the transplant. I can’t blame him because I would definitely want the same respect if the shoe were on the other foot. You can’t control when a transplant comes available and if a transplant does become available, you always want the best of the best doing the transplant. So hopefully I am not going to be making this trip all for nothing.
Not only will we be seeing Dr. Kareem, we will be seeing other doctors as well. We are also scheduled to see another doctor who is supposed to be the “father” of TPN. I have had TPN in the past and unfortunately, it has failed me multiple times. Yet, I only weigh in the 60s and my BMI is like 10.8, which is extremely dangerous. I desperately need to gain weight and losing even an ounce is extremely crucial. With the weight that I am, it makes any surgery (especially a transplant) extremely dangerous. Therefore, they want to try to make gain some weight. I can’t eat or anything by mouth because my entire GI system is gone. It is completely paralyzed. All my organs from my stomach to intestines are basically ‘dead’! Even my esophagus doesn’t work. I can’t even swallow anything thicker than water and even with water, I basically have no ‘swallowing.’
I barely can tolerate eating or drinking anything as it is. I am so limited to what I can eat and drink. I only really can eat egg whites and ice cream … and even that is extremely difficult. I also have to be careful with eating and even taking my 50 pills daily because they keep getting stuck in my esophagus because my esophagus doesn’t work. There are so many times that the doctors literally have to go into my esophagus and remove it because it is stuck. My esophagus is so bad that one shrimp or something takes up my entire esophagus.
I can’t even drink anything because I keep bloating up. If I want to drink anything, it has to be made into a slushy. I can definitely forget about drinking water because that is the absolute worst. I have learned though how to make soda slushies in like 3 hours. It stinks though because if I forget to put a drink in the freezer, I have nothing to drink because I have to then wait for it to “freeze” and become a slushy. I have to be so careful of what I drink nothing quenches my thirst no matter how thirsty I am. Then I have to worry about how much I drink because the slightest amount that is considered “too much” for my body (i.e. a cup that my body considers too much) will trigger off my autonomic dysfunction and really bloat me. I also have to be careful because every time I drink, it is also spilling into my lungs and making me ‘drown’ in my own fluids. I am aspirating like crazy as it is, and when I drink… it is making it even worse.
Therefore, the doctors have tried various ways of feeding me to try to build me up and give me nourishment. They have tried TPN multiple times, but it has been unsuccessful because it has burned up my veins and I have not been able to tolerate it. I have also tried J-tubes and G-tubes, because some individuals have difficulty digesting nutrients in their upper GI tracts, but their lower GI tracts function very well. But since the organs are already ‘failed’ and giving me problems, those tubes don’t really work on me either.
So I am going to be meeting with this doctor who is supposed to be one of the “founding fathers” of TPN. He really must be good and know what he is doing because he graduated medical school in 1966. So he probably has seen it all. When I spoke to the transplant team, they said that he is the absolute “best!” After all, he is the one who developed Cleveland Clinic’s Home Parenteral Nutrition Team.
However, there is so much to be done at the Cleveland Clinic and unfortunately there isn’t enough money to stay there for the duration that is needed. They really wanted to admit me and do some procedures on me as well there. Additional testing and procedures will be needed because of the transplant that is needed and they don’t know what is going to be needed before they see me. Therefore, they can’t set anything up without seeing me first and by the time they see me and everything, it will most likely mean that it will cause me to remain there longer than if everything was scheduled before I arrived because so many people go to the Cleveland Clinic and they are already scheduled with previous appointments. So I will have to wait my turn. However, since we are lacking funds, I don’t have the money to wait around there.
Therefore, since we are lacking the funds, we are planning on now going and getting everything together and then we will return at a later date to do everything. The group will have a meeting and this way when I return, we will be able to do everything that is needed. Yet, it is so important to have these funds as soon as possible because I am really deteriorating and I am not going to make it much longer. The sooner I have these funds, the faster they will be able to have me return. So if you can please spread the link to my fundraising website ( www.gofundme.com/FallonMirsky
) or think of a way to fundraise and email me at email@example.com, I would really appreciate it. All donations are welcome, as no donation is ever too small!
To make matters worse, I had surgery today like I always do every Friday to get my intestines cleaned out. I am starting to get a new appreciation for Fridays. I am starting to understand really why they say “TGIF!” It is the only day that I actually get relief. I look forward all week to this day. I think it is pretty sad this is what my life has come to looking forward to. Yet, you can’t imagine how much better I feel when I have this procedure performed. It really makes a difference. Not only does it make me physically feel better, but also it is a necessity because if it is not done, nothing passes out. Therefore, whatever are in my intestines remains in there and it literally ‘rots’ and ferments. The doctors are so worried that it will result in me going into sepsis or that it will rupture or perforate my colon. If that should happen, I will easily die.
However, it is getting harder and harder to pay for this procedure because even though the insurance company is paying for this weekly surgery for right now even though it is not completely covered. We are running quickly out of the funds on hand to pay the difference and copayments that are needed. Therefore, unless we come across some donations, I don’t know how we are going to continue to pay for this treatment… which is something that I desperately need.
In addition, we all know that they are not going to be paying forever, as it is extremely costly. I only fear the day when they tell me that they won’t cover me anymore. I don’t know what I will do because I desperately need this procedure. I need this more than they know because it is the ONLY thing that helps.
Well, today we had a little emergency when I went to have the surgery. I was getting undressed and the alcohol sanitizer that the hospitals have hanging on the wall happened to squirt on me. For some strange reason it started giving me such an allergic reaction that I started turning all red and itchy and in pain. It really triggered off the autonomic dysfunction and everything.
When the nurses saw what was happening, they were shocked. I was shocked too because all that squirted me was the hand sanitizer that they have hanging on the wall. Who would have thought that would do anything? They tried various things to try to calm it down but nothing worked. The allergic reaction was so bad that not only did it stir up the autonomic dysfunction, but also my blood pressure skyrocketed. Instead of my blood pressure being the usual 80/60, which is usually what it is at the max, my blood pressure was actually reading like 130/90. They knew something was wrong.
So the doctor brought me into the OR quickly to try to give me meds by IV to stop the reaction. I guess it worked because when I woke up, I was better. But with everything going on… I never got to give my dad a kiss like I usually do.
So… I guess that is about it. This is going to be a very busy week for me. Today is George’s birthday. I can’t believe he is 19 years old. Thank goodness turtles can live for 50 years because this way I still have many more years to come with him.
Speaking of birthdays, my mom’s 61st birthday is quickly approaching, as her birthday is August 9th. I really hope to make her birthday special. She is such a special mom who doesn’t deserve this life that she is living. She has given up so much in order to help me and to care for me. She is not well herself, as she suffers from multiple sclerosis. Yet, she handles her illness, my dad’s business, the house, and me! My mom is simply the best. She is WONDERWOMAN!! She is the type of mom I hope I become if ever become a mom. She is absolutely the BEST!
I only wish I could make my mom’s life better!! She hasn’t been out to eat at a restaurant because I can’t go out or on vacation in the longest time. All her life consists really of is going to work and coming home and taking care of me. She doesn’t even buy herself anything to enjoy, as she would love to buy new clothes, furniture, etc. It really is no life that anyone should be living… let alone someone as wonderful as my mom. All she does is remain in the house looking literally at the 4 walls. Her only source of ‘fun’ is playing the games and apps on her iPhone and Kindle. Even when we go “away” to appointments, everything at home is left on my mom’s shoulders to handle.
Well... I guess I will be going. Have so much to do in preparation for tomorrow’s trip and not feeling well. Thanks again for all your encouragement and support. I would definitely have not made it this far without you. Wish me luck in Cleveland. We all know I am going to need it. Of course I will keep you posted with all new info.
July 27, 2014
I figured that I would take this opportunity to write and let you know that is happening because not only are we about a week away from leaving to go to the hospital, but we also have a lot of news to share, and something really bad has recently happened. So… I figured that I would write now and let you know what has been happening because things have not been going well and we did recently have a little emergency.
I really have not been doing well. I know I always keep saying that, but that is really the truth. I always keep thinking that it really can’t possibly get any worse. But somehow… it continues to always get worse and worse. I honestly don’t know how much more body can take.
Sometimes I wonder how my body is doing this. I know for one thing that I am not the only one wondering this. The doctors have said that they would have thought by now that I would have been dead. No one expected me to live this long. In fact, the doctors have even stated that they don’t even know how I am even living this long. My body is like a marvel. It is defying all odds. It just keeps on taking a beating and yet it keeps on ticking.
I am on so much medicine to try to make me as comfortable as possible and yet… it doesn’t do anything for me whatsoever. Yet, the amount of medicine that I am on is enough to kill a horse. I am serious in that. Anyone else would never be able to tolerate the amount of medication that I take. I take so much and yet… you can’t even see it making a mark on me. Even when I go for surgery or anything… the anesthesia has to be so high because I am so tolerant of it because of all the drugs I am already on. Even when I go to the dentist, the dentist even has to be careful because novocaine and laughing gas doesn’t even have an effect on me.
Sometimes I wish that my body would just let go. I am tired of fighting. I really honestly don’t know how much more of this I can possibly take because I am so tired of fighting… both physically and psychologically. The pain and suffering is just getting to be way too much. It is unbearable. Sometimes I call my body “stupid” because it just doesn’t want to give in. No matter what happens to it or how much is done to it… it keeps on going.
However, strange things keep happening. I know I am getting worse and such because not only am I suffering in pain worse than before, but other things are happening as well. My sense of smell has changed and so has my taste. Nothing tastes right or smells right. In fact, everything that I eat makes me nauseous and sick.
In addition, I have also been going to the “other” side a lot. I know I sound crazy, but believe me… it is something that only the dying can really understand. People say that when they die that they see a bright light or other stuff. They are not lying. I have been going to these most peaceful places. There are even bright lights and everything. I know my time is coming to an end and I know that when I do go that it will be to a very peaceful place because when I am there, I really don’t want to leave.
I have been not only suffering in pain worse than ever, but I have been having such a difficult time breathing. I am aspirating like crazy and it is basically getting impossible to breathe. I literally feel like I am drowning in my fluids in my lungs. It is really hard on me too because I am so very thirst and the more I drink, the worse I feel. Yet, it is even at the point now that I am choking and having a hard time breathing even without drinking. Due to my GI system not working, I can’t absorb anything and as a result, I am dehydrating like crazy. I am so thirsty and the more I drink, the worse of course I feel. But no mater what I drink… I just can’t quench my thirst. It really stinks. Then when I drink that one glass too much… I have to suffer with the aftereffects such as the autonomic dysfunction because I will literally heat up and becoming all “prickly” all over, I will become all distended and look pregnant, and I will feel like I am having trouble breathing even more. It just plainly stinks.
I have also developed a lump in the back of my knee. We are unsure what it is, but it is extremely tender. I had a lump in the same leg, but it was lower down in my calf. It was also tender. This is the leg that has the disease worse than the rest of my body. We were very worried that it was a blood clot or something, but the doctors were not sure what it was. At any rate, the lump that was in the calf has since disappeared, but when I went for the ketamine infusion the other day, I got up and felt this pain behind my knee. It turns out that I now have basically that same kind of tender and swollen lump that I had in that calf behind my knee. We really have no idea what it is. We really don’t even know if possibly it is the same one as the one that was in my calf and it possibly moved. I am such a medical wonder.
I have also been feeling worse in my intestines. I am becoming more bloated than ever and my intestines are becoming more dilated than ever. I keep filling up with air and the only way things will pass through is if I have the weekly surgery that I have on Fridays or if I am lucky enough to be able to manage to manipulate it through with my hands. But it is getting harder and harder to manipulate the air through my intestines and get it out with my hands. I am so uncomfortable and keep walking around like I am 9 months pregnant and ready to give birth. I keep wishing that someone would just “pop” me already!
It is pretty sad that I always look forward to Fridays. You know the saying “TGIF”? Well I couldn’t agree more with that saying. It is pretty sad that the highlight of my week is going for my weekly surgery on Fridays to get “vacuumed” and suctioned out. I just can’t take it anymore. It is unbearable. The doctor has remarked though that I am worse than ever in that aspect too. He said that I am filling up more than ever with mucous and my intestines have been more dilated than ever. I desperately need help.
To make matters worse, I have recently also been coughing up blood. So the last time I went for the weekly “housekeeping”, he also not only vacuumed out my intestines, but he did an endoscopy as well to see what was happening down the esophagus as well. My esophagus is getting worse now as well because the pills are getting stuck worse than ever. The doctor literally had to go in and remove the pills because they were just “sitting” in the esophagus and wouldn’t go anywhere. After all, my esophagus is basically paralyzed as well. That is why I get no peristalsis in that as well and I get no swallowing with anything thicker than water… even baby food. Even when I had water, it showed no “swallowing.” Something really needs to be done!
Wanna hear something funny though? When I had surgery this past week, the anesthesiologist actually let me push my own meds. They brought me into the OR and of course they let my dad come with us as well. My dad has special permission to come with us and stays with us too until I fall asleep, which is something that is normally not allowed. Yet, they all know me there and since I am so sick and there every week and such, they let my dad come in with me.
Anyway… the anesthesiologist was giving me certain drugs through the IV to prepare me to go to sleepy land and he let me push them into my own line. I was literally pushing in my own Lidocaine, Fentanyl, flush, etc. My doc couldn't believe it. He looked up and saw what I was doing and he said to the anesthesiologist, “you’re letting her push her own meds?” He was totally in disbelief. I was in disbelief too but the anesthesiologist said that this way I would be able to do it at the rate I wanted because I can’t tolerate IVs. I am extremely hypersensitive and can feel the littlest amount going through the IV. It is like shards of glass going through my veins so the anesthesiologist thought it would be better if I did it and this way I could do it as slow as I wanted.
But to make matters worse, we ran into a HUGE problem when we went for surgery this time. We had a real big emergency this time. My blood pressure is normally really low, but apparently it really dropped into the danger zone. They got my dad and told him but wouldn't tell him numbers or how bad it really was. They just said to him that I'm in 'danger' as my blood pressure is really dangerously low. They had to give me fluids and meds to try to bring it up. When I was waking up they were still trying to work on me. I tried telling them that I normally have low pressure but they said that it was so dangerously low that of I got up I would pass out. They wouldn't let me even move because of how low it was. They wouldn't even tell me how know the numbers were but I know the top number was one time in the 40s. I heard them say one time 40 over 20. My body just keeps having autonomic dysfunction.
But at least we are hopefully supposed to be leaving on Sunday for the Cleveland Clinic. Yup… Dad and I are off again! So dad better rest up for another adventure. I love going with my dad. I love being with him. Not only is he my dad, but he is my best friend. He takes such great care of me when we are together and it really hurts him that no matter what he does, he can’t get me well. It hurts him even more that he can’t even afford the treatment that I desperately need to save my life.
I was supposed to be going to the clinic this week to see one surgeon, but the transplant team contacted me and said that I “belong” with them and I am too sick to see just an ordinary surgeon. They said that they felt that just having that one surgery to have the colon removed would not be sufficient enough and I would need a whole transplant of my small and large intestine, stomach, pancreas and liver. It is a major operation and extremely risky. Not many hospitals do this operation. In fact, only like 6 hospitals do this multivisceral transplant and it is deemed as the most dangerous transplant to have. Any transplant that involves the intestines is dangerous because of all the vessels that are involved. It is basically all circulatory and it makes it incredibly dangerous. Plus you are dealing with all that bacteria down there and everything so an infection can easily set in.
So since the transplant team called and said that I was so sick and belonged with them, I had to postpone my trip one week to see them. I am supposed to be seeing the top surgeon in the nation. He did the most transplants than any other surgeon. He is from the Intestinal Rehabilitation and Transplant Center at the University of Pittsburgh (UPMC) since its establishment in 1999 and has earned an international reputation for clinical and technical contributions to the field of transplantation. He has authored more than 300 original publications and 40 book chapters. He is an active member of 13 prominent professional and scientific societies.
I just hope that I am making the right decision. I know I have to do something to “buy” time because ideally I really should be going to Mexico, but unfortunately we can’t afford it. I really need to go to Mexico and have that Ketamine Coma. However, going to Mexico would cost me $100,000 at the very least and we can’t afford it. So, I am literally wasting and deteriorating because I need that very special treatment. We are trying to buy time while we find a way to get that money. Yet, since my body is shutting down and failing me, we are trying to save as much as we can and do as much as we can in the meantime. So in a way you can say we are just putting “Band-Aids” on the problem until I hopefully can get to Mexico.
However, having this transplant is really scary because it is even more risky than usual because I am so very sick. Yet, we really don’t have a choice because if I don’t have the transplant, I will die because my body is shutting down and we can’t get to Mexico right now. I am so afraid of dying with tubes coming out from everywhere because the doctors have already said how there will be so many tubes because the transplant is so intense. This transplant is no easy business. However, I am fortunate that I have the best surgeon on my case because Dr. Kareem’s reported overall patient survival rates of 61 percent at five years, 42 percent at 10 years and 35 percent at 15 years.1 Notably, the best survival rates, 70 percent at five years, were achieved more recently because surgical techniques and immunosuppression have improved.
I really feel comfortable though going to the Cleveland Clinic because they are making this trip as “easy” as it can be for me. They are trying to help me out in any way possible. Instead of telling me things and leaving it for me to do like get a hotel, make appointments, etc., they are doing everything.
I also feel comfortable because I am having a whole “team” on my side. I am seeing a whole set of top rated doctors. Dr. Kareem, which is the transplant surgeon, is the world’s most experienced surgeon in intestinal transplantation. He has dealt with almost every possible complication, and he knows how to work the immune system — that’s the hardest par t of intestinal transplants, which pose a greater immunologic challenge than do other transplant types. I will also be meeting with the doctor who basically invented TPN. I have had the worst times with TPN but maybe the guy who has the most experience with it will be able to help me with it. Finally, I need help with my autonomic dysfunction and neurological disease too. It just so happens that this center is familiar with it as well. Very few hospitals are familiar with my neurological and autonomic dysfunction so that is definitely a plus. In fact, the doctor most familiar with it happens to be “retired” and therefore, they are even trying to pull him out of retirement to see me. What a center! Maybe by going to this center I will be able to have everything accomplished and I won’t have to go to Mexico after all. Maybe between my entire team, they can cure me entirely. I can hope, right?
I just hope we will have the funds to do this. We are really suffering in the financial area and as a result, it can really make a difference as to whether all this will be possible. We are still not 100% sure if we will be able to even go next week because of the funds available. It is going to be close. It is getting harder and harder to scrap around for the money to pay for my treatment, medications, appointments, medical expenses, traveling expenses, etc. We desperately need help. Any help that anyone can give is much appreciated. NO donation is ever too small. If you have any ideas to fundraise or how to raise the money, I would really appreciate it. After all, we will even have to probably relocate if and when I have the transplant for a bit and that will take additional money as well, which is definitely something we can’t afford. My health is really deteriorating and I need help more than ever. Please continue to spread the word of my website, which is www.gofundme.com/FallonMirsky
because we desperately need help. The bills are just snowballing out of proportion.
I am fortunate enough for one lady to really take it upon herself to try to help me out in any way that she can. She is determined to help me get the funds that I need to live. In fact, she has set up a website on Facebook in case you want to take a look at it. I really invite you all to look at it and hope that you will because she really is truly a fantastic woman to have done this for me. I have never met her before in my life and yet, she is willing to do all that she can to help me raise the funds that I need to save my life. She has tried contacting media, posting stuff on Facebook, etc. The website is “Feet For Fallon 2014” on Facebook.
On August 3rd, I will not only be hopefully leaving for Cleveland, but this lady will be doing a walk across the entire length of Fire Island in hopes that she can raise funds and awareness for me. I was hoping to be able to meet her at her finish line, which was going to be at the lighthouse, but unfortunately I will be in Cleveland at the time.
Well… I guess that is about all that is happening. I have been trying to do some reading lately with all that has been happening. I am trying to read “If I Stay” by Gail Forman. It is a book that was turned into a movie, which is supposed to be coming out in the latter part of August. I saw the commercial for the movie and since it looked good, I decided to read the book. Speaking about movies, I saw the trailer for the movie called “Into the Storm.” I really can’t wait to see that movie. However, I will have to wait a bit longer than the normal person because I will have to wait until the movie comes out on DVD because I can’t go to the movies.
I can’t believe it is August already basically. That means Fall and the cold weather is basically around the corner. I hate the cold and I am hoping that this month doesn’t go as quick. It seems like it finally just warmed up and we finally got rid of Winter. This was the longest winter ever.
Speaking of August, my turtle’s birthday is on Friday. I can’t believe that George is going to be 19. I had him for 19 years, but when I took him to the vet, he is actually like 28. Turtles can live for like 50-100 years… so I will hopefully have him for a long time. I love this turtle. He is really something else. There is no other turtle like him. He is more like a dog than anything else. He actually runs around my house and he is no slow moving turtle either. Instead of him being afraid of the dog and cat, he actually chases them and they are afraid of him. My cat Missy loves to baby-sit him.
George is my little escapee. I actually got him because he was smuggled in from China. I was wanting a turtle for the longest time, but unfortunately there was a band on turtles and they weren’t bringing them in. However, I did receive a call one day from the aquarium telling me that they got one smuggled in. I went down to them and it was love at first site because there was something about George that got to me.
George is by far definitely not like any other turtle. He runs faster than any of the others, he is such a messy eater, and he has such a wonderful personality. In fact, when we take George to the vet, he has his own carrying case and everything. He also loves to play with the ducks and everything when we go. My dad laughs because he spends the entire night in the corner by my bed watching me and watching TV because I am up all night long watching. My dad says that he is learning “English!” He also loves to be sung to. He is so funny because if he sees someone coming into my room, he definitely wants to come out. He will literally knock on the glass and ransack his cage until he gets what he wants. You can tell he is pissed because he literally spits. He gets himself so worked up that he actually blows bubbles out of his nose. He is such a funny little guy. Even when he eats, he is so spoiled. He has to have premium cut dog food that is sliced. He also has to have it in a “hill” so he doesn’t have to bend down. He is such a character. The best part though is that even though reptiles could have diseases and carriers of diseases, I know George is completely clean of diseases because he has been thoroughly checked out by the vet and has had so many tests.
Well… I guess that is about it. Please continue to pray for me and please continue to spread word of www.gofundme.com/FallonMirsky.
I desperately need help in order to be able to receive the necessary treatment and to continue to be able to receive my medications and everything that are needed to save my life. If you have any suggestions on fundraising or anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact me at Femirsky@gmail.com. Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement.
July 18, 2014
I just wanted to write because I got HUGE news to share. I am actually writing today because for once, I actually feel like I have some “hope” and a light at the end of the tunnel. I really feel like things might be turning around and providing all goes well, I really feel that this could be the start of my miracle.
It really seems weird though that all this is happening now. I have not only got HUGE news to share, but my actual feelings have changed too inside. I wonder if it has something to do with the day. Today is July 18th,which isn’t just any ordinary day. It is the day that my grandpa passed away 20 years ago. Even though it has been so many years since his passing, there still isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him and wish that he was still here.
Gosh… I can’t believe that it has been 20 years. I only wish that I could roll back the hands of time because I would do anything to be with my grandpa again! But unfortunately that can’t happen and time marches on. But I know that even though he hasn’t been here physically on earth, he has been watching over me and guiding me and protecting me. I know that he only wants the best for me and I know that he would do anything to make sure that I get better. Perhaps that is why all this is coming together now… so to show me that he is still there for me and that he is looking out for me! He and I had such a special bond that no one could break. RIP Grandpa!!
The biggest news that I just found out that I wanted to share is that we just received a call from the Cleveland Clinic, which was very unexpected. We already had made plans to go see a colorectal surgeon next week at the Cleveland Clinic because I needed to have my colon removed. Everything was scheduled with the doctor and therefore when the phone rang tonight, we had no idea why the hospital was calling especially when it was like 9:30 at night. Who knew that this phone call was going to be the call that was probably going to change my life? This news couldn’t come at a better time because I have been doing really horrible lately… even worse than before. I am really suffering immensely and breathing is getting harder than ever. I am having a really hard time clearing the secretions from my lungs, as I am aspirating worse than ever. I constantly feel like I am drowning in my fluids.
I was really baffled that the hospital was calling me when the appointment was scheduled for the following week and it was also 9:30 at night. I wasn’t expecting to hear from the hospital, so it really was a wonder why they were calling. When I picked up the phone though, it wasn’t the doctor’s office that I was going to see on the line. Instead, it was the transplant team!
It turns out that my case really got the attention of the entire hospital including the transplant team. I am so sick according to them that I was referred to the transplant team, which is supposed to have the best of the best surgeons in the hospital and the ultimate care. The doctors had felt that having just my colon taken out was not going to be sufficient in the long run due to how “ill” I was and my condition, and therefore, they thought that a transplant would be the best decision.
The transplant team had read through all my records, which is a volume in itself and they said that I really “belong” with them. I told them that I was hesitant to come to them and scared that I was going to be “turned away” because of how complicated I was. The transplant team assured me though that I shouldn’t be feeling that way. They said that the biggest hurdle I need to get over is the past because I need to let go of how past doctors treated me. They said that they were the “best of the best” and they know how sickly that I am. They said that they are used to getting the biggest and toughest cases and they are not afraid of “cases that are complicated” or cases that you have to “work” for. They said that I was in the RIGHT place.
The transplant team at Cleveland Clinic is a department for the sickest people. When I was talking to them, I actually felt for a change that they cared about me. I finally felt like there was a “team” helping me out because they were trying to help me out in every which way possible… trying to make things as easy as possible for me. For once, I felt like there was someone that understood me as well as everything I was going through. They knew how difficult everything was that I was going through and therefore, they did everything that they could to help me out. They said they were doing everything from helping me set up a hotel to scheduling all my appointments and more. I didn’t have to rack my brain anymore fitting everything in like a jigsaw puzzle or doing everything anymore. What a relief!
The intestinal transplant team knows how risky a transplant is and therefore, they really took extra special care of me. I never felt so comfortable with a set of doctors. After all, an intestinal transplant is the hardest transplant and the most dangerous that you can have. The doctors said that I would need my intestines removed, along with my stomach at the very least. They are also looking to remove my esophagus, pancreas, and spleen. It is one complicated surgery and you really need to have the best surgeons in the business to do this operation because it is so dangerous. After all, I am not in the best state to be operated on either. I am a huge medical risk with all the complications that I have such as with my autonomic dysfunction and other health abnormalities.
Only a few transplant centers in the world offer intestinal transplantation (also referred to as small bowel transplantation) as a treatment option for intestinal failure and complications related to parenteral nutrition (PN). I am really happy going to Cleveland because I am really going to get the best care. In 2011, the Center for Gut Rehabilitation and Transplantation completed three intestinal transplants for a total of 20 transplants since the program’s inception in June 2008. The program received CMS certification for Adult Intestinal/Multi-visceral transplantation, effective Dec. 15, 2010.
Currently, Cleveland Clinic is the only hospital in Ohio to perform adult intestinal transplants and is among only a few in the United States to do so. Cleveland Clinic consistently ranks as one of the top two hospitals in gastroenterology in U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. In the 2011 survey, it was the top-ranked hospital in the gastroenterology category that offers intestinal transplant. Additionally, the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition recognizes Cleveland Clinic as a program of excellence in nutrition support. The Center is comprised of surgeons, physicians, coordinators, nurses, dietitians, nutritionists, social workers and a vast network of people and resources to make the intestinal rehabilitation and transplant process as smooth as possible. So I really feel like I have a whole “team” on my side!!
The person that called me tonight spent an entire hour on the phone with me explaining everything in detail. She let me ask any question I wanted and really made me feel extremely comfortable. I am so glad that I am going to this new facility. I just hope that I will be able to raise enough funds to go because of course it will mean that I will have to travel frequently to Ohio, which is a plane ride away. It will mean staying at a hotel and everything else. It will also require medical expenses that the insurance won’t cover. In fact, when it comes time for the transplant, I will have to relocate temporarily to Cleveland and therefore I will need funds to do that as well. So… I only hope that I will be able to afford this whole treatment because I really feel that this could be my “miracle.” I just hope it isn’t taken away from me.
The transplant team wants to see me as soon as possible, but unfortunately the doctor will not be available until August 4th, as he is out of the office. However, this doctor is the best of the best. My surgeon that I am seeing is not just any ordinary surgeon, but the program director and surgical director. He has earned an international reputation for clinical and technical contributions to the field of transplantation. He has authored more than 300 original publications and 40 book chapters. He is an active member of 13 prominent professional and scientific societies.
In addition, I will also be meeting with Dr. Steiger, who happens to be the “father” of TPN. I only weigh in the 60s and therefore, I am very malnourished. It makes any surgery extremely dangerous and even living at that weight is dangerous. In 1975, Dr. Ezra Steiger, a General Surgeon and member of the original Philadelphia research group, was recruited to Cleveland Clinic to organize a formal Nutrition Support Team with multidisciplinary expertise in nutrition, vascular access, and nutrient pharmacology. So even though I have failed TPN in the past, I am hoping that he will be able to help me!
In addition, I will be meeting with another doctor that deals with my autonomic dysfunction and neurological disease. Even though he is “retired”, they are going to bring him back to see me because of how complicated that I am.
So… perhaps there might be a light at the end of the tunnel opening up! I just hope everything works out. I just can’t get over how they called me out of the “clear blue sky!” They claimed that they aren’t like any of my other doctors and I need to let go of all the things that happened in the past because they are not like them. I guess time will only tell.
As stated though, I desperately need funds to be raised for my medical expenses. My medical costs are extremely expensive and therefore, my family cannot afford the treatments, the traveling, the medications, the appointments, etc. without the help of others through donations. My health is literally on the line and I am really desperate for as many donations as possible because I don’t want to die and without the donations, there is no way that I will be able to receive the lifesaving treatments that I need or anything else to make me better and keep me alive.
I am fortunately though and extremely lucky that a woman that I have never met has decided to do a “walk” for me. The “walk” can be found on Facebook under the link “Feet For Fallon”. She is going to be walking the length of Fire Island to bring awareness to my condition in hopes to raise the funds that I need to hopefully reach that light at the end of the tunnel and to finally be able to live my life. It is an extremely touching thing that this woman is doing for me and I can’t thank her enough for it. Please check out her Facebook site and please spread the word.
In addition, the lovely and caring woman also set up a Youcaring.com page in my honor to help raise funds for the “walk” as well. The website can be found at http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/feet-for-fallon-2014/205751.
Please spread the word to as many people as possible and please check back frequently on the page, as updates will be frequently made. After all, donations are desperately needed and no donation is ever too small. ALL donations are MUCH appreciated.
Time is really precious for me. I am not doing well at all and there’s no such thing as “time” or 5 minutes anymore. For me… every minute counts. I am really running out of time fast and that is why I am trying to raise as much funds as possible so that I can get the much-needed treatment before it is too late. I also want to do all that I can and experience as much that I can because I don’t have the pleasure to “wait” and do it later. It is important to me to experience all that I can before it is too late.
Well… I better be going. I gotta go rest because I have my usual Friday surgery in a few hours. Got my special x-ray socks ready to go. In fact, when the kind lady called to confirm my appointment, she saved me for last because this way she can have a real “conversation” with me instead of just asking the usual questions that she has to ask every patient and then hanging up with them. She talks to me every week and therefore, we really have gotten to know each other. I guess what other person can say that they have to go for surgery every week like this, right? Hopefully though this will not have to be for much longer because I will be on the road to good health. After all, the person I spoke to on the phone tonight at the Cleveland Clinic said that the goal is to get me healthy and back to a “normal” life. I just hope it works.
Thanks again for all your continued support. I really appreciate all the prayers and encouragement. Please spread the links below. www.gofundme.com/FallonMirsky
July 12, 2014
Just wanted to update you on all that has been happening because since the last time I wrote… a lot has happened. It seems that things have definitely made a complete turnaround and there have definitely been a huge change of plans…especially with the surgery for the removal of my colon. So I wanted to share them with you since so much has happened.
I guess before I tell you about the change of plans, I will tell you what happened today. As always, I went for my usual Friday surgery, which entails going to get suctioned and vacuumed out! I need to have my colon cleaned out because my GI system is essentially paralyzed and dead and as a result, nothing passes through. Therefore, I have so much mucous and stuff inside and I am not only very distended and uncomfortable because I cannot pass this, but it can also cause me further problems because all this stuff is literally “rotting” and “fermenting.” Even though I basically vomit everything I take in, whatever I don’t vomit and even my pills that don’t come back up just end up sitting in my GI system rotting and fermenting until they are removed. The doctors are worried that my colon is going to perforate or rupture, and they are very worried that I will go into sepsis because of “rotting” and fermenting of all that is happening inside. So it is really imperative to have my GI tract cleaned out as much as possible… not to just make me more comfortable, but to also make sure that things are removed. In addition, my colon and intestines are so dilated that they are putting extreme pressure on all my other internal organs including my heart and as a result, it is also shutting them down. So by having my GI system “cleaned out,” it is relieving some of the pressure. I like to call it that I am going for my weekly “housekeeping!”
I really need this treatment because without it I will not be able to pass anything through and I can die. I literally become all distended and look pregnant because of the extreme gastroparesis. In fact, I even had to wait over a week from the last time I had this procedure due to the 4th of July and boy did I feel it. It really made a difference that I had to wait an extra 2 days to have this done. I was so uncomfortable because I felt so blocked up that I was literally counting down the minutes until I had this procedure today.
This has become my way of life! I desperately need to have this treatment because without it I will suffer way beyond belief and it can also kill me by not having it because my intestines will perforate and all that stuff that is just sitting and rotting will kill me. Without this treatment, I will surely eventually go into sepsis and die. However, the doctors are afraid that even though the insurance is covering this treatment to a point now, they are afraid that they are going to stop paying. We all know that the insurance company isn’t going to continually pay every week for me to go for this surgical procedure because it is so expensive. It entails me going under anesthesia, going to the hospital, having a team of doctors, etc…. so it is quite expensive. We don’t know what we are going to do when the insurance officially stops paying. That is why I need to get HELP as soon as possible. I really need to get as many donations as possible so that I can afford the necessary lifesaving treatment that I require such as to have my colon removed so that I won’t have to undergo this procedure anymore. I also need the funds because if the insurance does cut me off, I will need some way of paying for the treatments until I get my colon removed. But of course if I would just have the surgery already to remove my colon, it would really be the answer because not only would it help me, but also I won’t have to worry about the cost of these surgeries that I have every Friday. In the meantime though, I just continue to pray that the insurance company continues to pay as much as they are doing because I desperately need this surgery every week. I am in so much pain and agony as it is… and this surgery really does help. It is also saving my life in the meantime while I wait to have the bigger surgery performed.
What a day though I had when I went for surgery though. By having surgery every Friday, the entire staff knows me there from the receptionists to the nurses to the doctors. I really feel comfortable there because they know how to treat me, as I can’t be treated like a typical patient since I am so hypersensitive and the slightest touch brings about the most painful feeling you can imagine as well as stir up the autonomic dysfunction. I am also a very big surgical risk and they have to be careful with me because I am medically unstable. For example, my blood pressure is extremely low (it is like 70/40), my heart rate is very low (43 beats per minute), etc. So they really have to be careful with me. I also can’t get IVs in the same way a normal patient can get it. I need to have it done right before I get sedated and I cannot have any liquid run through the IV until I am under anesthesia because I can literally feel the most minuscule amount of liquid in my veins and it will feel like shards of glass going through my entire body. The littlest stick of a needle is like someone sticking a knife through me. In addition, I get special accommodations that normal patients don’t usually get, as they allow my dad to come into the OR with me and stay with me until I am officially “knocked out!”
What a time I had though today with this surgery. This time when I was given the propofol to go to sleep it caused me sooooo much pain. It is known to do that and they usually give me lidocaine prior so that the pain isn't that bad. I call that milky what substance the 'lethal" stuff because it's like glass running through your veins and tearing it to shreds.
Anyway, when I was given the propofol this time, it really hurt so badly that I was screaming my head off. I was screaming so much that another doc came into the OR and my doc was like "it's not me... I didn't even touch her yet!!" They literally had to close the door because I was making such a ruckus. I was in so much pain that I was screaming so much. I was telling them to cut my damn arm off because it hurt so badly. The doctor was like telling my dad "don't worry... She'll be out in a minute!" Well... That minute felt forever. That was the longest minute of my life.
Thank goodness though I had the surgery though today because I couldn’t make it much longer. I was definitely overdue because I wasn’t able to have it last week on my usual Friday due to the holiday and as a result I had to have it 3 days before (Tuesday). I was so bad that now I am suffering with all this air in my intestines and it won’t come out because like I said before, nothing moves through the intestines. I have to literally try to manipulate the air bubble out of me by pushing and such on my abdomen. The doctor tries to take out all the air that he puts in me to blow up my colon, but nothing is 100%. He must have had to blow the colon up a lot because when we saw him after the surgery, he said that it was really ‘bad’ inside and he said that he could definitely see a difference that I was ‘overdue.’ So it wasn’t just that I felt it… there actually was a physical difference.
I gave all the nurses and doctors a great surprise today as I wore my “x-ray” socks. Due to the hypersensitivity, I can’t wear the socks that the hospital usually gives you to wear. In fact, I can only even wear a sock on the right foot because the disease and hypersensitivity is so much worse in the left foot . The only thing that is tolerable to wear on the left foot is a stretched out stockinette. Since I get to wear my own sock, I thought it would be cute to get x-ray socks especially since I am going into the hospital and OR. Well… when the doctors and nurses saw the sock, they loved it!! Too bad I can’t use the other sock. My dad said that I should save the other sock to wear when this sock gets old. But I told my dad that it is literally impossible to wear this sock on the right foot because the bones will be backwards.
Well…here comes the BIG news that I really wanted to share. There has been a BIG change of plans. It turns out that I am now going to be headed to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. The surgeon that was supposed to be doing the surgery to remove my colon is backing out of the operation unfortunately. Therefore, it gives us no choice but to go to another surgeon, which will be at the Cleveland Clinic.
After the surgeon was thinking about the case and going through my records in detail, he decided not to do the surgery. Doctors don’t realize how complicated I am or what they are getting themselves into until they physically see me. That is why doctors always say that they will do a surgery or something until they see me. Then there is always a change of heart.
The surgeon that we saw feels that I am too medically complicated for him. He feels that there are better surgeons that are equipped to handle me and as a result, he rather them operate on me. He also feels that he wouldn’t be able to do this operation without putting a bag in me. Even though I would only have the bag for about 6-8 weeks, he thinks that it would really cause me a lot of problems. He said that “This is a rather extreme case and I am afraid that there would be likely problems or issues with the anastomosis.” So he would rather me go to a surgeon who can handle me and do it without living me a permanent or temporary ileostomy.
Even though I was really upset that the doctor backed out, I understood where the doctor was coming from and to tell you the truth… I rather go to a doctor who will definitely be able to do the surgery without having to have the bag at all. After all… even though the bag is only planned to be “temporary,” anything is possible and I don’t want to have it permanent. Even having it for 1 day though would be too much because I really don’t want the bag. So I am glad that I will be going to a doctor that will hopefully be able to do it without having the chance of this occurring.
The surgeon didn’t leave me in the lurch completely though. He did give me some direction, as he told me some names to see. He really wanted me to see a top surgeon in the Cleveland Clinic and therefore, I called over there and we are heading over to the Clinic at the end of the month. So we will see what this surgeon has to say. Hopefully this surgeon will be willing to do it.
I had 2 ways of possibly going. I could either go with having my colon completely removed or I can also have a transplant. However, after speaking to the surgeon, the surgeon said that even though having a colon is ideally better because it does provide a function to your life, it really would be better in my situation to have it just removed instead of having the transplant. He said that the anti-rejection drugs that I would have to take for the rest of my life would have too many downsides and therefore, it would not be a good idea to go that route. After all, the anti-rejection drugs could cause so many problems and even cause me to die because they are so powerful. So it is just better not to open another can of worms and just have the colon removed.
We now have to decide though what to do about California, as it plays a role as to when we will be heading to the Cleveland Clinic. We are supposed to be going back to California for the last test before I was supposed to have the surgery. I was supposed to have an exploratory surgery that entails having a colonic manometry and colonic transit study. During this time there will also be a catheter placement in the cecum.
We are scheduled to go to Cleveland Clinic either July 29th or the following week, August 5th. However, it is all dependent on California because California is scheduled for the 29th and therefore if we end up going there, of course that means that we will have to go to Cleveland on the later date. However, we don’t know what to do and when we asked the doctor’s office in Cleveland what to do, the response was that they can’t give us an answer without first meeting with us. They did say though that “The more information the better we are!” However, I do have a lot of information as my records are so thick with office notes, tests, procedure notes, etc. It is like a textbook in itself. So I don’t know what to do because it is a huge trip to undergo if unneeded. We don’t know if the surgeons are going to need it before proceeding with the operation and we don’t know if possibly it can even be done at Cleveland Clinic, which will also eliminate the need to go to Cali. Not only is it a huge trip and hard on my body because it is across the country, but it is hard financially too. We can barely afford anything as it is. We don’t even know how we are going to afford one of these trips…let alone both. I would hate to not have the test and then be told that it is necessary and have to go back for it. It would only waste time… time we don’t have.
So that appears to be the big news. Just wanted to let you know the big change of plans. I am not feeling well so I am going to try to rest. But before I go, I wanna share something funny! A good friend of mine always comes over my house and always wants ice. Since we never have any ice in the house, guess what he did? He went out and bought us ice trays so that there can be no excuse not to have ice. I think of course he did it more for himself than for us so that he would have ice when he came over, but we are very thankful and appreciative that he did this. I had a feeling that he bought us this when he asked me what my favorite color was and told me that he bought me a “gift!” What a great friend!
Like always I want to thank you all for all your support and encouragement. Please continue to pray and spread the word that donations are much needed and greatly appreciated. No donation is ever too little!
July 10, 2014
I know I just wrote yesterday, but I went to the doctor today and I just wanted to share some very important information that happened today. I knew that I needed treatment desperately and it was urgent, but when I went to the doctor today, he really made sure that we knew how important it was that I got the treatment that I needed like NOW! He made it known how I was I going to die without the treatment and how I am so sick that I am basically at the point where I can die at any moment. He said that he “never saw anyone as sick as I was!” I have been told this for a while, but for some reason, today was different. Never before did I have a doctor make it known of his thoughts and he wanted to make sure that both my dad and I thoroughly understood exactly what was going on and how we both knew how serious this situation was. It was as if this doctor thought that we were not taking this matter seriously.
We know how serious this matter is and my dad and I are quite aware of the fact that I am going to die without treatment. We know how sick I am and we know that treatment is very important and desperately need. But unfortunately, nothing is “free” in this world and therefore, we have been not able to receive the treatment that I desperately need to save my life. We have tried so many different ways, but every method that we have tried to raise money, it just hasn’t been as successful as we would have liked.
I want to get better more than anything in the world. I have so much to give to the world and I really want my life back. I have so many plans for when I get better such as to go back to being a doctor so that I can help others. Doctors don’t realize what it is like to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel but it is unable to be reached. Everytime I try to get out of this dark and never-ending tunnel, I always end up hitting brick walls. I hate how if I ever come across something that can potentially help me, I can never get it because it costs too much money or there is another reason that is standing in the way. It is like holding a dog bone in front of a dog and watching the dog salivate. You keep teasing the dog with it and telling the dog that she can have it, but then you won't give it to her. You know?
Doctors have been telling my dad and me that I am "dying" and not going to make it much longer for a while. It has been said that I am a "time bomb and now I am officially detonating." However, no matter how many times we have been told this... there really isn't anything that has been done or can be done because what needs to be done of course costs money, which is something that we are lacking. I desperately need treatment and I am really weakening and deteriorating. However, when I went to the doctor today... it all hit home.
The doctor told us that he is going to be quite frank with us. He said that he never saw anyone as "sick" as I am and that I desperately need help like NOW or I am going to die. He said that I don't have a lot of time left and he also wanted to know if any of my other doctors ever told my dad and me that I am doing so badly and going to die. He thought maybe we were just not aware of this stupid little fact, but how could we not be? Of course we are aware of it. So we told him that we have been told numerous times that I am very sick and that I am going to die and such, but of course this doc went much further in his thinking. He actually told my dad and me exactly what was on his mind.
The doctor told us that I really need to get treatment NOW or I am going to die. When we tried to tell him about how we have been trying to do that and we have been trying to get the treatment to save my life, but there isn't any money, the doctor said, "there has to be another way because you don't have the time to wait around anymore." He told us how basically the medical field has failed me and how I desperately need to find a way to save my life because I am no easy case. Of course it is easier for him to say because he doesn't have to foot the bill over at the end of the day. You know? But he said that I am so sick and not only do I need help, but I need rapid detox off some of my meds because it is also further contributing to the decline of my health and shutting down my organs. He said that I desperately need this rapid detox to get off some of these meds because I can't get off of them any other way. The only problem though is that of course it is illegal in New York and of course it isn't covered by insurance.
It turns out that some of the meds that I am on are really causing me a lot of problems and further causing my organs to shut down. We have known this for a while, but we can't really come off the drugs because I am so dependent on them and I also suffer from severe autonomic dysfunction. If I were to come off any of the drugs, it would really kill me... and I am not joking about that. There is no way that my body would be able to handle that. My body would go into severe withdrawal and it wouldn't be able to handle it with the autonomic dysfunction. I would have severe seizures, other problems, go into comas, and even die. We have even tried to lower the meds in the past, so I know for a fact that this isn't just words. I know that my body will literally go into chaos if this were to happen. We even tried to lower just one of my meds 30 mg and it caused such severe problems that I almost died from at one time. I also have to be extremely careful when taking my meds because if I miss a dose, I can easily feel it and it also causes my body to go into extreme autonomic dysfunction, which can also cause me to go into seizures, comas, and death. It is something that is really uncomfortable, scary, and something that I can't afford to happen. Sometimes I think that this autonomic dysfunction is the worst part of my entire illness.
The doctor said to us that he never saw someone that was on so many meds. Well... what did he expect? I am sick. I take more medication that can kill a horse. That is why doctors are surprised that my body can handle all the pills that I take because I take over 50 pills daily. A grown man that weighs 200 pills probably wouldn't be able to handle the amount of medication that I take. I take so much medication because my illness is so severe. They say that I am one of the worst cases to exist and that is why treatment is so imperative and that is why I am going to be hopefully the 38th patient to undergo that Ketamine coma in Mexico, which is reserved for the very worst cases. However, I also take a lot of medications because I have severe gastroparesis and therefore, not all the meds are even absorbed. There are plenty of times that I take my meds in the morning and then I throw up over 12 hours later and I can literally bring my pills to my father in a cup not dissolved because of the extreme gastroparesis. So essentially they aren't working if they aren't dissolved. So even though I am taking all those pills, who actually knows what is working and what is not. You know? Plus, the doctors think that I have a liver that metabolizes the mediation extremely fast and therefore I am able to tolerate the high doses.
But in either case... I am on a lot of medication and it isn't good. I take a lot of potent medication such as ketamine, dilaudid, methadone, morphine, etc. So they really want me to get off of it or at least come off a lot of it because they are also not good for my body and are also contributing to shutting my body and organs down. So not only is my illness killing me, but so are these meds. I also need treatment of course for my illness like the ketamine coma and the removal of the colon and the transplant, which will all work better when I am off the medications. They also don't want to ruin all the stuff that these treatments are going to correct by taking these meds. So they are really hoping that I would be able to come off some of these meds so that it won't occur in that way. You know?
But like I said before, it isn't an easy answer. I can't just come off of them or "wean" myself off. It just isn't possible. So the only way possible is to have rapid detox, which is not only expensive, but it is also illegal in New York. It is legal in so many other states, but of course it is not legal in New York. You would think that it would be legal in New York especially with New York having such top name hospitals and such. But of course that isn’t the case. So not only do we have to find a place to do it, but also we have to find a way of affording it. Luckily, it can be done at the time I go for the coma in Mexico or it can also be done in California. So thankfully I do have places to go to. However, that doesn't eliminate the cost of this treatment though.
This rapid detox is extremely expensive. Of course the insurance doesn't pay for it. Insurance stinks. You can't live with it and you can't live without it. So... I don't know how on earth I am going to even be able to afford this treatment because I can't even raise enough money to pay for the other treatments, medications, medical expenses, etc. You know? But this is really urgent and extremely important that I do it. I really need this to happen or I am going to die. However, it isn't cheap. It is like over $20,000.
I love how doctors tell you that you need certain stuff done and then they are no help in giving it to you. Not only can't they give it to you because it is not 'allowed' in the state, but they have to deliver the bad news that it is so expensive and not covered by insurance. Why can't all doctors be like Patch Adams? Remember that movie? Why can't people do things out of the goodness of their heart? Why does money have to play such a crucial role? Sometimes I wonder what this world would really be like if money wasn't to exist.
I have to admit though that I am really fascinated with this procedure. Even though it is extremely critical and risky because it entails putting me into a deep coma for a few days, intubating me, and taking me off all those drugs that my body is so dependent on... I am really fascinated with it. It is amazing how this procedure can literally make me technically all better. It can make it so that I don't feel any of the withdrawal affects. It will make it so that I won't have risk dying by coming off the medications because my body won't go haywire.