Friday, February 24, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.
And oh, how He loves us so
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us so " ~ David Crowder Band
Friday, February 17, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
I’m so honored and excited to be a part of Tatiana’s series! The stories here are amazing and beautiful, and really show the vast array of struggles and triumphs that we all go through. With that said, here is my story…
It was 2 AM. I was a senior in a very rigorous Bachelors of Science in Dental Hygiene program. I had one more final left before Christmas break, but something was wrong. Pain seared through every nerve in my body and I jolted awake. My mind tried to catch up with what was happening to my body. For hours that night I lay on the bathroom floor, alternating between vomiting from the pain and rocking back in forth in agony, unable to be still. My father (an ER physician assistant), visiting for Christmas break, showed a face full of concern as he told me I should go to the emergency room. Being the stubborn, “I’m okay, let’s just get through this thing”- kind of person that I am, I waved aside the concerns. Hours passed, and despite my dad’s advice, I somehow managed to drive to the school where I took my final. In twenty minutes, I finished, and by this time, I knew that something was really wrong. At eleven that morning, I finally went to the ER.
It’s hard to describe the nightmare of that day. Everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong. My blood pressure dropped to 60/40 (normal is 120/80), they couldn’t find anything on the ultrasound, they mixed up my CT scan with another patient, and then, when they found it, the ER doc didn’t read it thoroughly. My pain couldn’t be controlled by morphine this point, and I settled into a semi-conscious haze. My body was done. Finally, at around 2AM the next day, I was wheeled into emergency surgery….my CT scan had finally been sent to the radiologist to read, and he told the doctors I had advanced appendicitis and to get me into surgery right away.
To this day, I have a hard time thinking back to that experience and what may well have happened if they had sent me home, like they originally planned. I’ve been told by many medical people that I probably wouldn’t have survived, as my appendix had already started rupturing when they got me to surgery.
Life went on, although not as easily as before. I went right back to school after Christmas break, just hoping to get back into the normal groove of life. But I didn’t feel good at all. By March I finally started to feel like a person again. By April, I was getting excited about the long-awaited prospect of graduation, I was dating someone, and life was good. And then the pain and nausea came.
Because of everything I went through on that scary night with the appendicitis, three years of my own personal nightmare ensued. I went undiagnosed with tremendous pain and nausea for many months. I took a short leave of absence from school to fly cross country to my dad’s hospital to have every test possible done. I was told by many physicians that nothing was wrong, and one even told me straight out that I was “nuts.” Being the farthest thing from a hypochondriac, this really stung. Finally, the summer after graduation (I did somehow manage to graduate on time, much to the surprise of my faculty and family!), I went in for exploratory surgery. They found exactly what I had researched and thought I had: abdominal adhesions. Adhesions are bands of scar tissue that result from trauma and infection (my appendectomy), and can basically bind with nerve endings and “glue” organs together causing tremendous pain. In my case, the adhesions were cementing my colon to my abdominal wall. The doctors who had told me I was nuts and couldn’t possibly have adhesions were now silent.
To make a very long story short, I went through two surgeries to remove the adhesions… my last being a little over a year ago in which they placed a barrier to keep them from coming back. It seems to have worked, so I praise God everyday for that!
My life changed a lot in the last three years. In the midst of so many pain-filled days, I gave up dating relationships, my job, my independence, and my life as I knew it. I couldn’t exercise or move a lot, because this brought on the pain and nausea more easily. Orange medication bottles took over my sink. I moved across country to live with my parents when the adhesions came back for a second time. My days were filled with trying to control the incessant nausea, and wondering if I would end up in the ER again that night. In the last years, I have made more visits to the ER than I can count, been hospitalized several times, and ended up getting a very serious infection after the last surgery. But with much prayer and the love of my fantastic family, today I can tell you that despite having some residual problems from the infection and feeling more fragile, I’m back to living life!
God changed me a lot during this time as well. I went through periods of doubt. I wondered if he had forgotten me. I lamented that all of my friends were getting married, having babies, getting jobs, and living normally. And in the countless days and nights where I was in uncontrollable pain, I whispered to him to help me get through it. But even with those periods of darkness, I can now look back and see that he was changing me into the person he needed me to be for the next stage of life. And that he had also protected me from greater harm.
After wanting to do so for three years, I was finally able to apply and was accepted to my top Physician Assistant school choice, and I start in a couple of months! I hope to do a residency in Emergency Medicine and go on to be the best emergency/trauma PA that I can! I have an interesting perspective from being a patient. I have gained empathy and understanding, and I am so excited for this next phase of life. Thank you for listening, and if any of you have questions about adhesions, please visit www.adhesions.org. I hope to someday finish my story and write a book so that other people can learn about the life-changing problems caused by this. Here’s to life, and finally being able to live it!
PS: If YOU would like to share your story that would inspire, move and help other women, shoot me an email at email@example.com. I would love to have you.