I have alcohol running through my veins!!!!

Literally...well, ok not really. But I do get alcohol injections about once a month (and not the "fun" kind!)

I have a facial Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) and am receiving ethyl alcohol embolizations with Dr. Wayne Yakes in Denver.

So while the alcohol isn't actually running through my veins (that would be really bad) it is being injected into them to destroy the AVM vessels and eventually provide a cure!

Check out my website to read my story about life with a facial AVM, meet my doctors, and stay up to date on my treatments through my "Denver Trip" reports!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Why is the sun out???

We spent the 4th of July holiday with my sister Michele just outside of Seattle. Josh was soooo excited to escape the heat of Sacramento and get up to the dreary skies that are stereotypical of Seattle. Unfortunately the day we arrived it was sunny and near 90 degrees. What the heck?!?!? Josh was so sad. But over the next few days the overcast skies returned and he was much happier. Meanwhile I was searching through Michele's closet for another jacket to layer.

We did the typical tourist activites. After dropping off our luggage, we headed up to Mt. Rainier to explore the mountain, lakes, and all the beautiful scenery. My nephew, Little Josh (he hates that!) had to suffer with the old people all day and was most likely bored out of his 13 year old mind! It was sunny and hot! Back at the house, my niece Jessica and her family came over to celebrate the 4th with a BBQ out back. We played frisbee with the dogs and let little Jasmine entertain in the way that only a one year old can. But after getting up at 4:00 in the morning, flying in, a trip to the mountain...Josh and I were total party poopers and headed off to bed about 10:30. Saw a couple fire works out the window while getting ready for bed and figured that totally counted!

The next day we were off to Seattle and the Market. After lathering up with sunscreen (ya, it was still sunny and hot) we found our way to Pikes Place and the famous fish throwers. Took all the necessary pictures, wandered around the farmers market and watched some street performers. Bought some raspberries, a peach, and some cheese. The flowers vendors had great bunches for sale, but we couldn't take any with us as we had a whole day planned out. But they were fun to look at. Next we found our way down to the waterfront to do a little shopping before grabbing the ferry over to Bainbridge Island. It was fun to ride across Puget Sound and to see all the very cool houses up on the hillsides with what must be great views of the city. We wandered around the island and had dinner at Casa Rojas. The weather had finally cooled down to a more typical Seattle temperature and since we opted to eat out on the deck, I had to pull out my trusty sweater. Josh was glad to see the clouds rolling in a little! Back across by ferry, to the car, and home for the night.

Monday morning we slept in a little and Dean's daughters came over for a quick visit. Josh had made plans to stop by to visit with his high school friend Rhett in Tacoma. We had a great little visit and hope to see him again to celebrate the opening of his brewery later this year. Fun! After leaving Rhett's, we took the short drive to Gig Harbor for dinner at The Tides. A nice little restaurant that seemed very established, old and cozy. We had a good view of the docks, boats, and some nice houses across the water. After dinner we took a little stroll through downtown (even the ice cream shop was closed!) and decided to take a drive up the hill to see some of the views from where everyone actually lives. We played the "take me" game and grabbed all of the real estate flyers outside the houses for sale. Picked out our favorites to pretend we were all moving to Gig Harbor!

Later that night Michele helped me make Glamour Gown #4 for my treatment this week. She has ALL the fun sewing supplies (she works at a sewing store) and my new favorite toy was her Surger. I have to get one for sure as it made everything sooooo much easier. We brainstormed on the annoying "tie problem" for my gowns, as I have changed those for each one and still wasn't happy. Michele came up with the brilliant idea to use shoe laces and it worked perfectly. It may just be the keeper!

Tuesday was our last day in Washington. Michele had to go back to work, and we packed up all of our stuff to get ready for Denver. We really only had two souvenier T-shirts, and a new pair of shoes for me (my tennis shoes were lost in the black hole back in Sac) so we had no problem getting everything back in the suitcases. After hanging out with Dean and playing with Levi, he took us back to Sea-Tac and we flew out to Denver.

Treatment #17 is tomorrow. Appt with Dr. Reed later tonight, and probably sushi for dinner at Mikuni's. I have the early 6:00 checkin tomorrow (score!) and hopefully will get a chance to talk with Dr. Yakes for a while. I have been stressing out about my Wart Hog (the wound on my cheek) with some bleeding episodes and general tightening of vessels in my neck. Changes are expected of course, but my control freak personality just needs to "know" what these changes are, what they mean, and wether I should be concerned. We'll see how that goes... I also should get to meet the new PA Kelly tomorrow. Unfortunately she has already experienced my high maintenance-ness through email. Sorry! But I do have my new gown, cap, AND a matching bag (to replace the white plastic "property of" ones) so I'm totally ready to strut my stuff down the cat walk (aka the pre-op hallway) to show off!

See you all on the other side!


~Jill said...

Hi, I read that you have facial AVM. I would like to know your story, such as when you found out you had AVM, what symptoms you had, etc.

I had a stroke due to AVM lastt year and am currently hemiplegic; I can only use the right side of my body effectively. Please feel free to reply by commenting my blog or by e-mailing me at jillian_rhea@yahoo.com. Thanks in advance!

~Jill said...

Also, I would like to know what facial AVM is..haha.

The Mid-Cart Parentals said...

I love Seattle - sounds like you had a great time.

Dulce said...

HI Shalon!

You really took some beautiful photos! Glad you posted them on your site! Saw your latest creation as far as your gown - cute! Take Care!