Here’s the back story:
A few years ago I got really sick. Like, crawling-on-the-floor-near-passing-out-in-pain fluish sick. I thought I had the flu or something but it turned out to be a lot worse. At the time I was living with my parent’s and working full time at the nearby Air Force Base while in my first year of my master’s program. It was a busy time, I wasn’t prepared to get sick. I went to work not feeling well and by the time we had our 9 am staff meeting, my boss sent me home, knowing full-well I wasn’t leaving on my own. I got sick in my car during the 10 minute drive home. This was a Wednesday. I stayed home from work the rest of the week but refused to go to the doctor because I just thought it was some kind of bug I had caught and it’d be gone soon.
Saturday, I remember waking up feeling pretty okay. I was determined to leave the house since I hadn’t been out since Wednesday, and decided I’d go walk around the grocery store or Target – anywhere just to get out. I started to run a bath and remember replying to a friend’s text that I was feeling pretty well. Then, I’m not sure what happened but the pain got i n t e n s e. I laid outside the bathroom on the carpet reeling in pain. I crawled to my parent’s bedside table to use their phone to find out where they were. This was it, I couldn’t stay how I was, I needed medical help. My parents didn’t answer and I had no idea where they were. I rolled around the floor in what I only could assume was the pain one feels during childbirth contractions (honestly, I have no idea, I’ve never had a baby). In perfect timing, my parents walked through the front door down the hallway to see me lying on the floor like a crazy person. My mom called my doctor who told her to take me to the hospital.
To the ER I went, not sure how I’d be able to sit even remotely normal for any extended amount of time. Luckily, when I walked through the door the nurses were frightened by my ghostly pale body and new I needed immediate help. I began to have fluids pumped through my body and warm blanket upon warm blanket put on top of me. They did some tests or something but weren’t sure what was wrong. Soon they were telling me I needed surgery. I cried and panicked and then had some more tests and they told me I’d have to wait, no surgery right now. They thought my appendix may have burst; and then they didn’t; and then I think they had no idea what was wrong. I spent the night without being allowed to eat or drink. My family came back in the morning and then were sent home in the afternoon after no promise of any surgery or any real change in my state.
About 5 minutes after they left they were called back because I was indeed having surgery. I remember laying on the pre-op table doing my best not to cry in fear. The nurse was not apathetic, I don’t think she cared how scared I was.I remember it seeming so cold and so white. Typically cold and white (as in snow) seems peaceful and pure. Not at this time. At this time cold and white seemed frightening and even mocking, laughing at my fear of the unknown.
When surgery was over what I remember most was the people I was told had come to visit. It was dark and I was in and out of sleep/consciousness. But my parents told me such-and-such was here to see me, and so-and-so had stopped by while I was in surgery.
And then I spent a day or two in my hospital room before going home.
Friends, the people who sent flowers, cards, gifts and those who came to see me broke my heart in appreciation. It was beautiful.
But, I was not feeling beautiful. My body felt so weird, so unlike myself. I had these wounds I didn’t know, my body was tired and confused from the anesthesia and the air that had been in my body for the laparoscopic tools to do their job. I was in a strange room, in a hospital gown, unable to do much for myself. I’ll spare you other details. I remember one night, in the late hours I wasn’t able to sleep, I sent a text to a friend who himself was fighting cancer, a friend only a year older than me.
I asked him how he did it. He had it so much worse, but from what I saw he was so positive.
I have no idea how he responded, all I remember was I was giving up. I didn’t feel like myself and was so lost and confused. They took part of my body but didn’t know what caused the problem. I kept praying for peace, strength, and health but felt instead confusion, weakness and more ill than ever before.
My health had definitely failed. My spirit was at it’s weakest.
I’ll tell you more how I learned to keep God the strength of my heart.