Thursday, April 13, 2017

Back Again!

Hi, all!  I can't believe so many months have gone by since I posted last.  The blogging break was nice, though.  Each new year I choose a word to try to define the upcoming year, something to work on and actively implement into my life.  Some words in the past have been compassion, hospitality and humility.  Each year I pray over my choices before deciding.  This year I prayerfully chose the word, Brave.  Let me tell you, I had NO IDEA what the Lord would have in mind for me in the first three months of my new word! 

In January I drove to Delaware by myself, in a Nor'easter, to be with my dad who was having back surgery.  The drive itself was scary, not having driven there in a few years, but there were times when the visibility was nil, and going across the Bay Bridge was nothing I'd want to do again.  There was complete fog, and everyone was just pretty much driving blindly.  I could only see the hood of my vehicle, and we all crept along the bridge at about 20-30 mph.  That trip was basically a 3-hour prayer for me, as I prayed the ENTIRE way.  Then I had to find my way to the hospital, where I had never gone before.  But it all ended very well.  Dad was and is doing great, and my sister flew from Florida to overlap my stay to be with him after I went home, so seeing her was a bonus, too.  My brother picked her up from the airport, so I was able to see him also. 

This next brave adventure might be a little TMI, and I apologize in advance, but it was quite the adventure.  On 03/01 I had my standard routine colonoscopy which I have been having since 2009.  If you look back in my posts, I have written about it before.  Anyway, as usual, there were polyps that needed to be removed.  There was one large one that the doctor removed part of, and scheduled me to come back to have complete removal of the rest of it, as it was large and needed to be done in stages.  I planned this second procedure for the third week in April, after our trip to Florida, which we had been planning since February.  

Back in February I bought plane tickets for all of us to go visit my sister in Florida for a week, like I did last April.  Our trip was supposed to be 04/05 through 04/12, and all of us were going; Jerry, myself, Tom, Lucy and Andy.  We have never had a total family vacation before, and we were going to celebrate that and the fact that Jerry and I had our 35th anniversary on 02/20. 

But on 03/26 I started bleeding.  Jerry took me to the emergency room where it just became worse.  It was thought that it might be from the polyp site.  Folks, this wasn't just a little bleeding, either.  In the course of four hours in the emergency room I lost a little over a gallon of blood (they measured), and my hemoglobin dropped from 13 to 8.  They got me ready for a blood transfusion and were waiting for an ICU bed which was not available yet.  But, praise God, I am apparently really healthy otherwise, and despite the massive blood loss, my heart stayed strong and my blood pressure never changed, so they decided to wait on the transfusion and hold off on the ICU bed. 

By the next morning the bleeding was slowing down and then came to a stop.  The doctor scheduled me for a sigmoidoscopy to put clips in the area to stop it from happening again.  I had the sigmoidoscopy and clipping and shortly afterwards went home.  I was only home for three hours when the bleeding started again.  And again, it was not just a little bleeding.  Back to the emergency room.  This time it was determined that I would need surgery to excise the whole area to stop the bleeding, but I had to be transferred to another hospital to have it done by a surgeon who specializes in this sort of thing, and he did not practice at my local hospital.

I was transferred to the other hospital and the following morning, 03/31, had the surgery.  It went well, and they kept me another day to observe, and on 04/01 I was able to come home.  I am getting stronger every day, and as of yesterday I was cleared to eat real food again!  The emphasis had to be on healing the surgical site for the first couple of weeks, so I couldn't really have foods that would help boost my blood back up, like greens and iron-rich foods, only soft, bland, liquid things. 

It is great being home.  That was a scary week, for myself and my family.  I honestly was afraid I might die.  God was my constant companion throughout it all, and although I told Him that I wanted His will to be done and not mine, and though I was still trying very hard to be brave and not afraid, it wasn't always so.   

I realize that I have written a novel here, and if you all are still reading up to this point, I'm surprised!  In my next post I want to share the things that God did for me and show you the upside of my medical adventure.  Oh, yeah, and in the middle of my medical adventure I had two cookie orders to get out, and I firmly believe the Lord helped me with those!  I had the cookies done and packaged before the first episode, and the day I came home from the clipping I labeled the boxes and took them to the post office.  One hour later I was back in the ER.  But the cookies got out in time!

So, until next time, it's good to be back - home, and here on the blog.  Happy Thursday to all of you!


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