This blog was inspired by 31 for 21 & is about my wonderful family.

"As a mother, my job is to take care of what is possible & trust God with the impossible." ~Ruth Bell Graham

"Never look down on someone, unless you're helping them up!"

Monday, January 7, 2013

On this day, 7 years ago, my life stood still!

     On this day, 7 years ago, my life stood still.  I had been VERY sick for months, spent 5 weeks in the hospital, but was told that I was now healthy...but it sure didn't feel that way.  I couldn't eat, drink, or even swallow my own saliva without vomiting.  I was so weak & couldn't get out of bed.  But I didn't reach my breaking point until I realized that I couldn't attend my son's first basketball game of the season.  My husband took him to the game without me & it broke my heart.  I had NEVER missed any of my son's games...EVER!  My mama stayed with me & she tried to convince me that I needed to go to the hospital.  I prayed for God to intervene.  I asked Him to tell me what to do.  After all, my doctor said I was fine.  God answered my prayer.  He told me to go to the E.R. where my uncle worked.  But that hospital was in another county, nearly an hour away.  I didn't care, that's where God was leading me to go.   

     My mama helped me brush my teeth & put on some clothes.  We called my husband & told him to meet us at Joan Glancy Memorial Hospital when the game was over.  I didn't want Chancey to be any more upset than he was & I didn't want his game interrupted.

     We arrived at the hospital.  My entire family was there...my husband & son, my in-laws, & my parents.  They got me back to the treatment area pretty quick & started running tests.  My uncle wouldn't treat me, which was fine with me.  I knew he'd make sure that I was in the best hands.  

    They gave me some IV medications to help with the extreme pain & vomiting, along with fluids to help hydrate me.  I was still vomiting & miserable, though.  We were all praying for some answers.

    It wasn't long after I came back from my CT scan when the doctor came in.  He said, "I know what's wrong with you."  I grabbed my husband's hand & started to cry.  I said, "Hallelujah!"  The doctor said, "I do have answers, but you're not going to like them."  I told him that I had been through months of agony & as long as he had an answer, I was happy.  He began to explain to me that I have what's know as chronic pancreatitis.  I had a pseudo cyst that was very, very large.  It originated in my pancreas & went to my right hip.  He said that the contents of this pseudo cyst were fatal.  If it were to rupture, my organs would liquefy before they could get me to an O.R.  I'd be admitted to the hospital & the surgeon would come see me with a plan of care.

     They gave me A LOT of medication, so I don't remember much after that.  I do remember that the next day or the day after that, I had a drain placed into the pseudo cyst to help drain it.  Before I reached my room following the procedure, my drain bag had to be emptied.  If I'm not mistaken, it had drained 2 liters of fluid within 5 minutes.  This drain would remain until the pseudo cyst "matured" enough to be removed.  I was on Lasix to keep fluid from building up & was not allowed to eat or drink anything.  I'd be receiving my nutrients intravenously.

     I spent the next month & a half waiting on the pseudo cyst to "mature."  I finally had my surgery on February 13th.  During the surgery, I had more drains inserted, this time they were attached to pumps.  I had been cut from my sternum to my pelvis.  Getting out of bed was DIFFICULT to say the least.  For the next month, I had a Foley catheter because I was still on Lasix.  I developed Sepsis 5 times, had to have 2 blood transfusions, & one of drains popped out twice.

     I spent a total of 9 months in the hospital for this.  I wasn't allowed to eat or drink the entire time.  When I left the hospital, I left with a Hickman catheter (central line IV) in my chest.  I was hopitalized several times after this for complications due to my chronic pancreatitis & once for pneumonia.  That Hickman catheter remained in my chest until April 2008. 

     Those 3 years were beyond tough for me & my family.  My son had to live with my parents while I was hospitalized because my husband worked 10 hours a day, then came to be by my side every day after leaving work.  He spent every weekend with me, too.  The hospital was 40 minutes or so away from home, so I didn't see my son every day...that was the hardest part for me.  And when I did come home, I still wasn't healed.  I could just receive the care I needed by home health nurses & I gave myself the medications I needed through my IV.  I still couldn't eat or drink very much without being sick.  I lived in the bed...my body was just too weak.  So I watched as my husband & son mourned my life & tried to live their own lives.  Talk about heart breaking!!
     I am now restricted on what I can & can't eat.  I can not consume ANY alcohol, PERIOD.  Which means I have to watch really closely what medications I take.  I still have flare ups quite frequently.  This is something that I will live the rest of my life with.  But, GLORY TO GOD, I am still alive!  Since then, I've been blessed with 2 more children.  Proof that my faith in God, my persistence, all paid off.  

     My illness is not something you hear much about.  It's mainly something that chronic alcoholics develop.  Some people do develop it like I did.  I know of 3 people who developed it, but theirs was fatal.  Talk about being humbled!  Mine wouldn't have gotten as bad as it did if my first doctor would've done his job, but I can't dwell on that.  I have to thank God for telling me to go to THAT E.R. 7 years ago today.  I am so thankful, so grateful, that I didn't act before asking The Great Physician what He wanted me to do.  I firmly believe that is why I'm still alive today, because I was obedient to God's plan.  I listened to Him when He answered my question on what to do.  I never gave up.  I never felt sorry for myself.  I never, EVER questioned Him or His will, I still don't.  As a matter of fact, now I know why He had me endure all of that.  It was to get me to where I am today.




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