*Dan - is my family physician, but he goes to church with us and instead of calling him Dr. O'Brien, he seems to prefer us call him by his name at church. So that who I'm refering too in this.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011 was just a normal day for me. It was just a normal day for God to use for a “small” awakening in me and my family. Tuesday started out with morning chores at our house, school work to be completed, lunch, quiet time, my sister came by, just the usual. Tuesday, this time of year, is soccer day for us. So I started preparing soccer uniforms, shin guards, water bottles, and packing the car. I’m Lindsay’s soccer co-coach this year, which consists of standing by agreeing with the “real” coach”. So after I got the kids ready I went to my room to get my shirt on and change clothes. The skirt that I wear to the games is a little loose, so I always wear a belt with it. When I came back in the kitchen, I had a little pain in my stomach, so I just thought I’d gotten the belt a little tight and went on. By the time that we were ready to leave I’d decided maybe, I just needed to use the bathroom. Went, no luck. So we loaded up and headed out. Throughout the game, my stomach just continued to cramp. So when we were finished, I ask Ronnie if we could eat supper at Taco Bell. That would solve my problem!! Haha….bad mistake!
I spent the night throwing up. Our friend Angela, had seemed to have the same problem, the earlier Saturday, and said she threw up and felt better. So felt confident, I’d feel much better by morning. Ronnie had called and Megan and left her message that I was sick and could not watch Leigha tomorrow. As the night drug on, the cramps got much worse and the throwing up seemed to pick up. By morning, Ronnie ask if we should stay home and take me to the doctor. Well, let me stop here and interject, that it’s not Dan that I hate, but that I hate going to the office to see him! It has to be really, really bad for me to go see him! Not to mention, I don’t ever take medicine, ever! I have to be absolutely miserable to take medicine. And Ronnie tends to think I’m a little overdramatic, which I really don’t get ;) (Another topic, another day). And the rule in our house is you’re not allowed to complain unless you want to go to the doctor or take some medicine! So I guess he was thinking, I’d suck it up and drive on if he threaten going and seeing Dan.
Nope, I tricked him! I was miserable enough to go in!! So we all 5 arrived in the office early the next morning. Dan felt bad enough for me and didn’t like what he saw, so he sent us to the ER for an IV and some tests. So, we stopped for some gas, had to jump the car (don’t you love how it always finds the just the opportune time?), dropped the kids off at my Grandma’s and finally arrived at the ER. They hooked me up, gave me some good meds, ran some tests, and decided I still just needed to go to the bathroom awfully bad. Finally by the afternoon, I was feeling a little better and not throwing up, so we were sent home. I threw up on the way out, but we just chalked it up to all the pain meds and went on. We stopped by Wal-Mart to grab some meds and apple juice (because you know that makes normal people go to the bathroom.) Got back out to the car, and of course you know, it wouldn’t start again. So I climbed in the back seat and lay down while Ronnie went back in, bought a battery, and changed it in the parking lot. Finally, we picked up the kids, went home and I went back to bed. The next two days were not any better at all. Ronnie called in on Thursday and checked in with Dan and took me back again on Friday for a shot.
All this time, Ronnie is receiving an offer from River Farms with benefits and is battling the idea with selling our semi, which is his dream. All he wanted to do was talk it over with me and I couldn’t fathom talking and being sick at the same time. I felt like a horrible wife, this was a really big issue for my husband, and I couldn’t help him. It was a decision that we really needed to be making together and he had to make it on his own. Which was extra hard when, I’m the one that takes care of the finances in our house.
The kids had a field trip on Friday, and I was determine they wouldn’t miss it, so after the doctor’s visit, Ronnie took me to my Grandma’s to be tended after while he and my sister took the kids on the field trip. I just kept throwing up and was throwing up the pain medicine for the cramps. By now my mother had been called and summoned to be by my side. So, her and my step-father made the 3 hour trek down and when she arrived, I just lay in her lap and cried for awhile. When Ronnie got back, I decided it was time to go back to the ER. So mom, Ronnie, and I loaded up. I don’t remember a lot about the next couple of days, because of all the pain meds. I just know, we ended up doing a CT scan and finding that it did have to do with my bowel and it could be and an adhesion or just temporarily blocked. I know I had lots of visitors during this time, and I’m told I said some quite funny things. Sorry, if I don’t remember you coming to see me, but I really did appreciate it. And, I know, Ronnie definitely needed it!
They came in and finally told me that I’d have to have to have an NG tube. Now, NG tubes on the same list as Barney and candy corn for me, I’m just not scared of the latter. I absolutely refused at first. I said there had to be other things we could try first. I had watched them put one in Hannah and there was no way I was going through that! The pain finally caught up with me and God broke me down enough, I surrendered. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t a walk in the park, but it definitely wasn’t the worst pain I’ve encounter in my life. And the nurses worked with me very well and didn’t just shove it down my nose.
I was put on ice chips only, which by now was great because in the ER, they wouldn’t let me have anything. But after a day or to, ice chips become old and Satan started working at my spirit. I started thinking about how good something would taste even if I had to throw it up again. And then I thought of all the starving families around the world who would give anything for nice clean ice chips! Or all the people around here that are sick and cannot eat for very long periods of time. I prayed that I try to have the best attitude possible, which is a lot for me when I miserable (remember something about I’m a little over dramatic). The eating issue was Satan’s best tool, the entire time I was in the hospital. Just when I’d think I’d get to eat, I was told no again, and I’d feel myself start to get really angry at the nurses or hospital. And I’d just have to remember that it wasn’t them at all.
I just have to throw this in there, because it’s just too funny to leave out. About this time, Robin, being the kind and wonderful friend that she is, brought this brightly colored bag full of goodies, while I was NPO. She had packed ginger snaps (which I couldn’t eat), a couple of magazines full of home recipes to look at (which are magazines I LOVE, but made me hungry), lotion and chap stick. She felt really bad, but I assured her it was great and I used the chap stick the entire time I was there! The other things I very much enjoyed at the end of my visit at times when I was bored. The timing was just hilarious.
By this point, Dan has decided to call in a surgeon and we set a surgery date to go in and look around. But on Monday night, I spiked a fever and my stomach had become so distended that they decided to just open me up instead of exploratory. I prayed fervently Monday night, while Ronnie lay sleeping on the bed next to me. I replayed Jesus in the Garden while the disciples kept falling asleep. I have had 4 c-sections, so surgery is not huge thing for me. But this was different, I didn’t know what to expect. What if they couldn’t find it? What if they couldn’t repair it? What if I had to have a colostomy? Oh, my gosh! What if I didn’t’ make it? I just about made myself sick. Then God began to work on my heart. What if I didn’t make it? Is he still not the creator of heaven and earth? Is he not big enough to take care of my 3 small children and husband? We’d already been overflowed with phone calls and offers to help with the children. I most certainly would not have been the first mother to leave behind a family. And I definitely needed to quit thinking that I would be. And besides that, was my God not big enough to save me and heal me? Why was I even thinking these thoughts? So what if I had to have colostomy? Why did I think that the world revolved around me and would end if something worse happened? While, I had become miserable with the NG tube, I suddenly realized there were people that have to live with an NG tube for much longer periods of time. When had I become so blind and selfish? I was almost mortified with myself. I thought of Lanie and Nancy and Tony and Jamie. I was in no way near any shape like they were or are!! And is God still not Alpha and Omega and has he not blessed them?!?! He had used their sicknesses or accidents to mold them into the beautiful, strong women that they are. Could he not use this for me? I slowly drifted to sleep in the comfort of my heavenly Father’s arms that night (and maybe with a little help of morphine).
I awoke the next morning ready for surgery and ready to feel better. I was so blessed so see Anthony and my old preacher from Bethel. Who both talked and prayed with me before surgery, which really helped calm my spirit. Grandma reported no trouble in dropping the kids off at Crystal’s, which I was really worried about Leah. So I was peacefully wheeled into the OR. Satan, of course, would have none of this, and starting making me think about the breathing tube and scaring me with that and if I was going to hurt before I fell asleep with the anesthesia. I remembered back to my emergency c-section with Derek and right before Dr. Borhan put the mask on my face, ask me “You are saved, right?” I just kept repeating that over in my head, “I am saved, I am saved, I am saved” until I fell asleep.
When I awoke from surgery, it was painful and I won’t go into detail, but I made it through and was wheeled back into my room. I was told my bowel was repaired and they had taken out my appendix. PRAISE GOD!!!!
The next 4 days was a constant spiritual battle, (due to lack of food). Ronnie and I definitely struggled as a couple and finding our way with me being in the hospital. I’m a bit of a control freak and struggled knowing that things were running smoothly back home. He, however, was wonderful!!! And managed great! God, definitely used this experience for me to see that I don’t have to be in charge of every little detail and that I should be very, very thankful for the husband that he has provided me. I thank God for all of our wonderful friends and family. At one point, my mom said teary eyed to me, “I wish we had a church like yours!” Everyone has been great by helping out with the kids or bringing me flowers or calling. And I don’t think anyone can possibly understand how much that means until something happens to them.
I know that my little medical excursion is nothing compared to those battling cancer or long term illnesses. But I felt a very strong pull to testify about how God worked through this with me so intricately. So once, again, thank you everyone for everything!!!! And especially the ginger snaps, Robin!! I love you all!!!