A year ago today, I woke up after just having been released from the hospital the night before. It had been a whirlwind, crazy two weeks of ER trips, being admitted to the hospital, having surgery, being released again, going back to the ER, being re-admitted, more surgeries, etc… I was finally home, and hopefully, everything was in working order and my life as I knew it, would resume.
I was really weak as I walked down the stairs that morning. I just figured that since I’d had 3 surgeries and been living on Dilaudin for two weeks, that the weakness was to be expected. I ate a little breakfast (the first in two weeks), watched a little TV, got on my laptop and caught up on some of the work I’d missed in the past two weeks. By mid-day, I was still feeling a little week, so ate some homemade soup from a friend and headed upstairs for a much needed nap.
After a couple of hours of naptime, I went back downstairs to see what my girls were up to. They were fixing dinner. Mashed potatoes for me-yum! I had a small bowl of them, then headed back to bed. After about an hour, I started feeling REALLY BAD! My stomach was a little distended and I wondered if I had eaten too much. I called the doctor to ask if maybe something was wrong. I got an on-call doctor who said he didn’t know my case so couldn’t say for sure, but if I didn’t start feeling better, I might want to go to the ER again. I took some medication for pain and laid down. By about 8pm (I think–I lost track of the time), I had to use the restroom, but could barely lift my head off the pillow, let alone walk to the bathroom. I had my cell phone lying next to me and all I could do was type “Em help” and send a text message to my daughter, who was downstairs washing the dishes. She came running up and helped me to the bathroom. I won’t go into detail but there was an awful lot of blood involved! I knew things were heading south pretty quickly, so I told her I needed help. I knew that once I stood up, I would pass out because of the blood loss. As I thought, as soon as I stood up, I passed out and Em caught me and gently laid me on the ground. She called 911.
I actually remember quite a lot of the events that evening for almost dying.
Trying to crawl into my bedroom because I thought the paramedics wouldn’t fit into the bathroom. (they couldn’t!)
Emily leaning over my mouth, listening for my breathing
Trying to calm Natalie down by telling her I’d be all right (even though panic was setting into my heart)
My bedroom full of men trying to stabilize me for transport
Passing out while being carried down the stairs
Seeing the brightest light I had ever seen (while being passed out), and thinking “Lord, I’m not ready to die! I still have children to raise. Please don’t take me home!”
Waking back up as they were carrying me out the front door
An Australian male voice telling me that everything was going to be OK
Being in the ambulance and having a strange man telling me they had to drill a hole in my shin! I remember saying NO! I also remember him telling me that if they didn’t do it, I would die right in the ambulance.
The sound of the drill as they started it, and the subsequent scream that came from my mouth as they drilled the hole in my shin
The cold air as they rushed my gurney into the ER doors
The rush of doctors and nurses to start taking care of me
The pain of the nurse shoving a tube up my nose and down my throat to evacuate my stomach
More bleeding, and hearing the nurse say “That’s an awful lot of blood”
The look on Ashley’s face as she stood next to me, quoting Bible scriptures
The nurse asking me if he could cut off my nightgown because it was impeding progress (I still think my children paid them to cut it so I would no longer be able to wear it!)
A nurse named Lorenzo poking me all over, trying to get an IV in me
Lorenzo telling me he was so sorry that he couldn’t get an IV in
Another nurse telling me they’d have to put a central line into my neck because they couldn’t find a vein anywhere else
The doctor telling me that I had to hold really still or he might puncture my jugular vein (yikes!)
Thinking that “I wish they’d close that curtain because every person that walks through that door outside my room is looking right up my gown!”
Finally being taken down to the Critical Care Unit at something like 4:30am to wait for the surgeon to come in and take me to the operating room to find the cause of the bleeding
Having a discussion with Ashley that now was the time to call my parents and let them know that I was back in the hospital
Laying there by myself, half asleep and then feeling the cold hand of my pastor, resting on my head
I felt peace
Being taken out of my room for surgery, and telling my pastor that I didn’t think I’d be at church the next day (Somehow, I retained my sense of humor)
My mom crying as I was wheeled to the surgical unit
Talking to the anesthesiologist and telling him “we had to quit meeting like this” (this was the 3rd time he would be my anesthesiologist!)
Being wheeled into the operating room for the 4th time in two weeks, and hearing my guy saying the happy juice was coming.
Waking up in Recovery, hearing the doctors at the end of my bed, talking about “calling legal on this one”
Being told they could not find anything, but the x-rays had shown a nick on my liver, but no evidence once they went in!
I remember thinking “God healed me! That’s why you can’t find anything now!”
A year ago today, I almost died. I was 10 minutes from going into Eternity. I wasn’t scared. I just had this fear of leaving my children without me to be there to see them grown up, getting married, holding grandchildren, etc… For me, dying was not an option. I am so glad that I serve and believe in, a God that heals. I believe that God healed my body sometime between the ER and the surgical unit. I’ve often thought “Lord, why did I even have to go through it all?” The answer? I don’t know. I just know that on this Earth, we will face things that the devil tries to throw in our way. We will face unpleasant things, but we will face them with a Savior that loves us. We all take life for granted. I know I did. Every morning that I wake up, and I’m alive and breathing, I just thank God for this life. A year ago today, I was given a second chance at life…and I’m so very grateful.