Wednesday, July 30, 2008


A BIG thankyou to my sister Jenny for guest blogging while I was in the hospital. She now has her own blog which you can visit...go her some LOVE!:)
It's good to be home, okay so I'm not actually home but I'm out of the hospital and that's all that matters. My dad picked me up on Saturday from Dartmouth and took me down to Massachusetts so that I could be reunited with my kids. It was good to see them again. To sum up that last hospitalization, it was awful! I woke up with a temp on a Friday and was quickly brought to the ER by my husband because my port had been bothering me and so everyone was worried that it might be infected. Because my port is right next to my heart, you can't mess around with it. I was in the ER for 8 hours before being admitted. Antibiotics were started and I felt awful. The surgeon visited me a couple of times that night to observe my port and was not quite sure the fever was a result of an infected port. By morning my white blood cell count was better which made the surgeon feel even more confident that it wasn't my port that was making me sick. Sunday morning my white blood cell count was down even more BUT the surgeon told me that all of a sudden my blood count plummented and my kidneys were in acute renal failure. Throughout the rest of the morning and afternoon, many doctors were consulted to find out why my body was all of a sudden failing. I was transfused with two units of blood in the meantime and by the afternoon I was informed that they were sending me to Dartmouth because they did not have any answers. I arrived at DHMC around 7pm that night by ambulance. To make a long story short the rest of the week was spent testing and testing and re-testing to find out answers to which there were none. I left not ever knowing why but atleast my counts returned to semi-normal which allowed me to leave the hospital. My pancreas is still having some issues but they felt comfortable enough to let me leave. I will now be seeing a high risk OB doctor at DHMC because of all my problems. The scary thing about not knowing why is that they can't say it won't happen to me again??? My gut feeling is that my TPN that I was on had something to do with it. I'll never know. I'm still struggling with nausea and vomiting but things are looking up. I'm returning to NH tomorrow and can't wait to see my husband. My sister Amy will be coming back with me to help me while I'm still ill. I am so grateful to my family members for all their love and support. I have been waited on hand and foot here at my mom's house. Life is good.

Friday, July 25, 2008

REUNITED! (It was YOUR idea, Becky!)

Having a mini family reunion for a day was FUN! So thanks, Becky--YOU wanted it--we missed you! Hugging YOU would have been more fun than hugging a cardboard insert slot, but we WERE thinking of you all day!

You went SWIMMING! You're back in it, baby!

There was food EVERYWHERE!

Eating good food without you was MEAN! But your kind brother-in-law Roger made sure that you got some nourishment... (and some good bean stains) BY THE WAY--he also gave you that beautiful face that you see adding character to that plain cardboard slot.

All the kids let YOU go first!
You did GREAT hitting the pinata! You even helped flip the burgers! ...Just CAN't have a reunion without YOU! (Let it be known that there were others missing who were missed--thank goodness they don't each have individual blog sites and aren't in the hospital, or I'd feel obligated to stick pictures of their cardboard cutouts on, too!)
We love YOU!!

Can't Smile Without YOU!

...can't smile without YOU!
CAN'T smile without you....

FEEL sad when YOU'RE sad

Feel sad when you're (feeling) BAD


Can't SING, findin' it hard to do ANYTHING!

So YOU get better!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hurry Home!

Allow me to guest blog... ME, the sister who has NEVER in her life done this before! I miss YOU, Becky!

Your darling kids are keeping us happy with their silly antics and crazy personalities--allow me to share some with you:

And now if you can decipher the twisted bodies below,

the kids have made you a message using


So Becky is up at Dartmouth... lots of details and I'm sure I won't be able to get them all on this post, but all of you friends of Becky's, know that she's NOT doing so well, but we're hopeful that we will get her back by maybe late in the weekend or early next week. She's had all kinds of things going on, which I'm sure she will document for you very well when she's back at the keyboard. It started with a fever late last week, and she ended up in the ER in Laconia, which turned into being admitted, and then a couple of units of blood through a transfusion and then a transfer to Dartmouth--I could go on, but won't for now. Ben's hanging in there and Becky Billin (BLESS HER!) is the main mom. Steve's at work and The other three Orton-lets are trading spaces with cousins and grandparents in Massachusetts for now. Thank goodness for SUMMER!

Friday, July 11, 2008


Sorry for my long awaited post...I'm sure most of you understand my long inbetween absences. I was admitted to the hospital again this past week, only to return late last night to my wonderful bed. Even though I was being hydrated through my port, my food intake was getting less and less. In the ten days prior to my admission I was losing more and more weight. I had a hard time eating because my stomach was not only nauseous but it was constantly in pain, making eating anything a really big chore. It got to the point where I was eating only a bite of toast in the morning and maybe a bite or two of some scrambled eggs - and then I would end up throwing it up anyway. I could feel my energy level rapidly decrease - to where even getting out of bed to go to the bathroom was really labor intensive. My doctor talked about doing TPN (total nutrition through my port) for the last couple of weeks but I kept saying no. Saturday when my husband again saw how little food I was consuming told me that first thing Monday I was going to the doctor to get started with the TPN. I agreed. That night a friend who had my three older children brought them back and checked in on me to see how I was doing. Seeing me in my very weakened condition she kept asking me if I wanted her to take me to the hospital. I was too tired and too weak to think about getting up so I kept saying "no, I'll go first thing in the morning". She kept asking, "are you sure?" Yes...I'll be fine. She would leave my room only to return a few minutes later to ask me the same question over and over. (I think she was worried) This went on for over half an hour and I was internally annoyed because I just wanted to close my eyes and sleep. Finally because I knew she wasn't going away, I conceded. She took me to the ER where Steve met me. (he was working) They admitted me and there I stayed for the next 6 days. I finally got my TPN and noticed an immediate difference after a few days. My energy level was much better. I actually did not vomit the whole time I was there and gained back 2 of the 10 lbs. that I had lost. I arrived home again last night and because I had to deal with the visiting nurse getting me all set up again for home TPN I ended up throwing up - bummer. I was afraid of that. This morning I woke with a pressure over my eyes which probably means that the rate is too fast on my pump. They will decrease the rate today but hopefully it will still be enough to maintain my fluid needs. It's quite the balance. Through all of this I have been blessed with the love and concern of family and friends. I really enjoy the notes of encouragment that I receive - whether through email or mail, the service that has been rendered to my family by meals or cleaning of my house and the little gifts that have been sent. Last night I came home to a pajama gram from my friend Heather - new pajamas!!! She wrote, "if you have to be in bed all day you might as well look good doing it!" Thanks so much Heather, I can't wait to put them on.