I came here prepared to write a specific opening sentence, and instead, I went back and read the last post I wrote before May happened. Bravery in the Aftermath. It’s almost comical now. I actually talked about how I felt like I was resonating with Job. I don’t remember writing that. It’s almost as if that entire post was prophesying what was about to happen in my life, while already sitting in the pit. My jaw hung open and tears streamed down my face as the weight of what was next slammed into my heart as I read this morning.
I recommend skimming it again if you’ve been following along on Facebook with my current ‘aftermath.’ Then pick up your jaw and head back here.
You see, the last 4 months have been plagued by disaster in my life. I barely remember feeling like Job in April, but the last four months I have pretty much been camped out in the ash heap with him (I’m even doing a Bible study on the book of Job), struggling through the most difficult time of my life to date. In fact, the hashtag I’ve been using on my social media posts is #talesfrommyashheap
This is the first time that I am going to open up and share publicly about what happened. I’ve shared in detail the aftermath on Facebook, but I don’t believe I’ve said a word about what actually went down. I’ve been putting off writing about it for a number of reasons.
For one, I just couldn’t do it. It’s extremely painful to recount, and my wounds are fresh, both physically and emotionally.
Second, as vulnerable as I am on these pages, this was a situation that I was not ready to invite you into. This story holds in it a level of weakness that I am not excited about divulging. There are images in my head and on my phone that I never want anyone to see. I have never been more broken than in the last four months.
Lastly, I knew that writing about it would be a marker of healing for me, and I have been identifying deeply with being broken. I have been walking through this with a proverbial and visible limp, and I don’t want anyone to think that I am healed and whole, because I’m not healed, and I am not whole. I am broken and I’m not ready to dive back into everything I was a part of before, and I have to discover who I am now, in light of these scars and stories.
I’ve heard two things in the last 24 hours that have jolted me into readiness to move forward with this post, to open up and share with you what happened to me on May 10th, 2017.
At church last night, our pastor talked about Jesus’ resurrection for just a moment and said, “Jesus didn’t walk around saying ‘Hey guys, hashtag hurting, (in a super devastated tone)’ after he was resurrected.” I can’t tell you a whole lot else of what was said last night, but that one sentence took me on a tangent that led me straight to this moment.
Hashtag Hurting is where I have been living. Hashtag Hurting is my new best friend. Hashtag Hurting is trying to kill me.
Jesus was broken. Torn apart and he died. But then he was restored. I have been broken, and literally sliced apart, multiple times. I have scars that will make you cringe. I’ve been torn apart and while I still have a healing journey to walk through, it’s time to start reaching not just for healing but for restoration.
The other statement came from a TV show: “People learn to love their chains.”
It’s as if I have trusted the pain I’m experiencing more than anything else because it is always there, I can touch it and I can feel it. I’m never without it. The reality of my experiences stares me in the face daily, and I can not get away from it. I fear that without following through with the writing of this story, I will begin to love my chains, and I will hold tightly to pain rather than reaching for the healing that is promised me.
If you had a leg broken so badly that every doctor told you that you could never walk on it again and someone came out of nowhere and said they could heal it, would you choose to stay broken, or choose to receive healing? Today I’m choosing healing.
Longest intro ever. Sorry. This is going to be a series of posts because there is so much to tell and describe, and it’s going to take time for me to offer up my trauma, but this is the start.
I’m not sure anyone in the world has ever been quite so excited to have surgery as I was. I’ve been wanting this particular surgery for years. Finally, it became medically necessary for me to have a hysterectomy. My prayers had been answered! I remember looking at Rocky on the hour long drive to Plano from Fort Worth the morning of the surgery and he looked worried. “What are you afraid of? Nothing’s going to happen!” I assured him. And at first, it really seemed like it was true.
I don’t remember much from recovery, and unfortunately, I don’t remember much from this entire debacle, but I do remember a bit of pain, sucking 2500 on the spirometer with ease, and being released to go home the next day by some extremely kind and caring nurses, and my favorite lady-parts doctor. He was the reason I chose to have the surgery in Plano. He’d delivered both of my kids and one of my ovaries already.
I spent most of Thursday in bed recovering, and I was amazed by how good I felt, up until probably 4 pm when I had an extremely painful moment in the bathroom, then I began throwing up and the agony started. We figured out that I had been feeling so well that I’d forgotten to take my pain meds, so I quickly downed them and prayed for the pain to stop. I threw them up just a few minutes later, and the pain never stopped. All night long, even after I’d finally gotten the meds to stay down with the help of some Zofran, I groaned with every breath I took, and shuddered with pain. The meds eventually took the edge off, but not to the point where I could sleep peacefully. I didn’t sleep at all. Rocky sat in a chair beside the bed for a good portion of that night, trying to help, but being at a loss for what to do until things seemed to subside and he thought I was sleeping.
The next day, the pain was a bit better, I think. I can’t remember. What I remember is that it was hard to breathe. Not impossible, but something didn’t feel right when I struggled to fill my lungs. I tried a few things suggested by my doctor, but by dinner time, I knew something was really wrong and we headed to the ER on the doctor’s advice.
I felt awful. I don’t remember how or what, but I felt terrible and I was scared. I know I had pain in my chest, because that’s what got me behind the locked doors before any of the people that had checked in before me. Chest pain and shortness of breath is no joke.
My dear friend is an ICU nurse at the hospital closest to our house and she just happened to be getting off work when we got to the ER. She arrived in the triage room shortly after I did, and I burst into tears when she came in. I was so scared.
My heart rate was in the 130’s, my blood pressure was next to nothing (more details that I don’t remember the exacts of), and they sent me off to get a CT to look for the cause. We were there for hours and no one could find the reason for my symptoms. Because my surgery had been done at a different hospital, I was transported via ambulance back to the hospital in Plano. Apparently there is a code amongst surgeons, and no other doctor would take me on so soon after another doctor had cut into me. My ICU nurse-friend had left to pick up my boys and take them to her house for an impromptu sleep over. The first of countless acts of friendship and love that saved our family through this ordeal.
The ambulance ride was awful. I felt every bump and jolt, every turn and stop. I’ve always had a very high tolerance to pain medicine, so the morphine that was pumped into me did little to ease my comfort, and breathing was still a challenge.
I arrived back at the hospital in Plano at around 12:30 am and was taken back to the floor I’d just been discharged from on Thursday. I don’t remember much else but lots of discomfort from that point until Mother’s Day. And Mother’s Day was the day that everything fell apart.
To be continued . . .