Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Peace...sweet peace!

Whew...I have so much to tell you, hope I can get it all out. I know some of you know I went back into the hospital this past Thursday evening. (October 4th)

I went to the ER after much prodding from friends. I knew something was wrong but I just couldn't wrap my brain around something else happening.

It all started on Wednesday last week (October 3rd). I went in at 11 for an MRI, I can't drive so my mother in law took me back to her house I could rest there and she wanted to cook dinner for Scott and I. He could just come there when he got off work. I knew something was wrong that evening, I felt like I was running a fever, something just wasn't right. I fell asleep chilling on her couch and woke up out my sleep needing to vomit (sorry TMI). I couldn't eat and she made all my favorites. She couldn't find her thermometer,I got home and my temp was 101.6 I think and I went to lay down and my back just felt strange, it felt like it was swelling and it was hot and tender to the touch on and around the incision. I blew it off that I had been in that MRI for almost 2 hours. But the next morning after my fever broke violently...my hair was wringing from sweat...I looked at the site and it was red. My back was a bit more swollen and hard. I took a shower and after being up like that the swelling increased almost before my eyes (or hands...can't see my butt/back area). SOooooooooo I called my ortho and he said for me to go straight to the ER, I should have called him the night before or at least Wednesday morning. Yes, he yelled at me too.

I was so mad and felt like God had really left me alone, forgotten about me almost.

I didn't think they would keep me so I didn't even pack a bag...much to Scott's chagrin! We get to the ER around 330 and finally went back to a room about 530. I get back there, in so much pain from sitting up that long in the waiting area. I lay there for an hour before the nurse (NOT A GREAT ONE) came in and he asked a few questions and said the ER doc would be in in a few minutes. Another hour later my ER doc comes in. My doctor said if my white count was high to have the ER doc call to get me admitted. Well, the ER doc didn't want to...he thought I had a kidney infection. He barely looked at my back. I made him call my ortho doc and finally he admitted me. About 11 pm I go to a room. My docs PA comes in Friday morning while my ortho doc was in surgery and tells me my dr will be by later. About an hour later the nurse comes in telling me that they are taking me to x-ray for the radiologist to aspirate this pocket of fluid. That was when I talked to Kari, and I called for the nurse and told her that my whole back contours had changed since the MRI. He was the only one to see my back last week and it was completely normal. And now it is hard and swollen to my left hip and almost to my right! I said I will not do it until he sees me...she was a little miffed. It looked like 2 halves of a foot ball on each side...like I had two butts and trust me my one is enough!

My ortho doc comes in and he took one look and said oh my Hope. He stepped out then came back in and said that an aspiration won't do, that he will have to open it back up and remove any infected tissue and then wash it out with saline. He said that an infectious control doctor will come in to speak me and that I will have to have a PIC Line put in (iv put into a big vein that can be in for months) it is put in the upper arm...ugly thing. I will have to have antibiotics for 6 weeks. He told me he had to do it today, it couldn't wait so I had ate breakfast so my surgery was to be around 5...scared me just hearing that it HAD to be done!

I was at the lowest point in my entire life Friday morning. I was alone, Scott had left to go get me some things. I begged God to just take me, that I just couldn't handle all the crap I was putting all my family and friends through...I just couldn't deal with it anymore. I was second guessing my coming to the hospital, that ER doctor ringing in my ears that this was a kidney infection . Then when all the other happened (getting the real diagnosis) that almost sent me over the edge. I was crying when anyone called, came in...heck all alone I was having a pity party for one! I felt sooo alone, even with all the calls and emails and such. Thanks Kari for being silly and making me laugh a little too...you goob!

My dad had an appt to get his blood drawn and then he stopped in, he was so pale but he looked and sounded better. He was so sad for me. No one could hug or kiss me, I was on contact precautions. Scott did anyways, he wouldn't even wear the gowns and gloves and such...men. Dad wanted to hug me so bad, but he did hold my hands...through gloves of course and prayed over me. Ever since I was a little girl, when I was sick he would pray over me...I always call him to come or at least pray with me over the phone. I felt a little better, but still was so depressed about it all.

Scott's parents came and spent the rest of the night here, knowing that my parents couldn't be here...they sure filled in. John, his dad, always serious and stone faced, was so sweet and he took his gloves off to hold my hand and pray with me too. He cried!!! 5 o'clock was close, 6 came...no surgery yet, 630... I called the nurse and asked if they had forgotten and if so...I wanted a cheeseburger! haha.

They started to take me down about then, and here hobbles in my one legged pastor...well, my dads. He thought I would be done, but boy did I need to feel and hear him praying over me...just touched my soul! I sat down in holding for about another 1 1/2 hours.

I was still pretty down laying in holding, the nurse anesthetist was talking to me and she said, I don't know if this will help or make you feel better but Dr. Maxy is more than a great doctor, he is a great person, man and father...but he is mostly a good Christian man! Now I know some will think this is nuts, but I usually ask if my docs are a Christian...but I never have asked him...not only is he a Christian he was a pastor before becoming a doctor. It was just like my eyes opened, my heart immediately became lighter and I realized that everything was over, everything was going to be fine. She said that not only are his hands skilled by education and experience, but they are led by God. I am telling you girls right now, I thought God had left me I have never in my life felt so alone - looking back today it almost looks like I was in darkness, and in one short conversation I was overwhelmed with his presence and I was immediately OK! I felt him all over me telling me I have put enough on you, I have brought you as far as needed in this valley...mountain peaks are in store. I am here, ALL is well!

I went into the OR, he did the surgery and when I woke up in the recovery room I felt better mentally and spiritually than I have felt in years or maybe ever. My pain is unbelievably relieved. I still have the leg pain and some back pain but the pain that has immobilized me for weeks is gone.

I was told they opened me up and it just started pouring out. They used 6 liters of saline to wash all the infection out...and that he drained off 3 liters - YES 3 liters (like a 3 liter coke) of infection off. I was still draining so it was almost 4 liters by the time they removed the drain. Here is the Miracle (one of many I think)...he expected to have to remove infected tissue/muscle and go all the way to the spine. To his shock the incision acted as a dam, the infection pooled up on either side and just stayed between the skin and muscle! It was unreal to him and the staff. The infection isn't staph either, it was strep...much easier treated. He said all that fluid was causing me all this pain and with it gone, I am feeling so much better.

I know that there are reasons all of this is happening. I don't know what they are, but this all hasn't been for nothing. And I am not revived in my heart and head and body for no reason. I am not saying I won't ever have another pity party but I will tell you this....for this moment, this point in time my faith is over flowing, my happiness is more than it has been in a long time, my outlook on life is so much brighter. Owing all of this first to God, I know He hasn't left me or forsaken me...He promised He wouldn't. Second to Scott, without busting into tears again...he has been my rock and I know that he will always be there, if he can tough it through all of this...he can take anything. Third my family - even when in turmoil they still pull it out for me. Last, but not least by any means my friends. All of your prayers and calls really got me through so much.

I know the journey isn't over, but it is like I can see sky for the first time in a long time...we are coming out of the valley and are finally climbing to the mountain top. I haven't felt so optimistic in a long time. I know that sometimes climbing a mountain can be hard, and maybe the difficulties are not all behind me...but knowing that that mountain peak is soon to be my resting place will make any set backs insignificant!

If friends hadn't pushed me it could have been much worse, he said even waiting one more day could have made a big difference in what he found. You guys potentially saved my life, I can never repay you...ever. *SNIFFLES* I AM NOT GONNA CRY! He told me I could have even have been paralyzed if I had let it go longer.

Last thing I want to say, is - I don't know how I would have made it through without God and His grace and love. As a Christian it astounds me how others get through situations like this without Him. My faith wavered...no doubt, but it was like when HE knew I was too far He made his presence known. Like Kari said, those in your face *I AM HERE* by God are the best! At least for my simple mind. Do you know Him??

Do you? He is MY KING!

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

1 Peter 5:10 (New International Version)
10And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

***Wrote the rest after I got home***

I just got home and all I can say is AHHHHHHHhhhh AHhhhhhh my bed!...ahhhhhh my TV....and ahhhhhhhhh NO ONE ASKING IF I POOPED, PEED, DRANK, ATE!!

Thank you all for your prayers and for EVERYTHING, I can't tell you how much all of it meant and really there are no words that can say thank you enough.

I am so fortunate that it wasn't staph, it was a strain of strep...didn't, know you could get those anywhere but your throat . All of this could be so much worse, so blessed it wasn't. My friend that is a nurse that I have known a long time called me, she had saw dad at his blood draw and asked me how I was. I told her all about everything, the port the meds...all of it. She said ohh gosh Hope aren't you freaked out...scared to death. I thought about it for a minute...and last week I would have been, I was!

I don't think there is an explanation for perfect peace. I have tried to explain it to people, my words fumble and I just can't pull it all together. I don't know if it is explainable, just it is an experience! I am experiencing it right now. From Friday night I have felt as light as a feather, my heart is over flowing and my spirit is uncontainable. I hope it is a forever feeling! I KNOW without a shadow of doubt that God is in control....there is nothing these doctors or nurses or even me can do that can change that. So why worry?? Peace, that Peace that passes all understanding....that is it! I don't understand it, can't explain it but ohh goodness am I enjoying it.

I know I wrote that I will know why, when I get to heaven all answers will be there....but I was talking to a pastor today and he said the same thing, he will know why God chose to take his leg from him. I heard him say it then I said...you know what Pastor...when I get to Heaven....I just don't think that I will care why! I will be talking to my brother, talking to Jesus and Matthew, Mark, Luke and John....I just don't think I will even care about WHY God let me go through all of this!

Home health comes tomorrow to set me up with a pump and all the instructions and such for this 6 weeks of antibiotics.

Oh another praise....just full of them today! I was really stressed about the cost of the medicine, infusion care...all of that. I haven't worked since January and I already have a hefty monthly medicine bill, couldn't imagine how much this would be. We have had 3 surgeries, TONS of other expenses since I can't cook, Scott has been out a lot, GAS....just so much times have been tight. The home health nurse setting everything up at the hospital came in and I told her my concerns. She said I have options. I could come back every day to the hospital as an outpatient, but I will have to pay a co-pay every day like I would at a doctors. 40 bux a day...hmm, other option please...they would transfer me to a hospital closer to home and have to stay inpatient for 6 weeks She said, let me call the pharmacy have them run your insurance and see how much it will be. She came back and said that the pharmacy said my insurance said I had met my deductible and there won't be any out of pocket charge....ain't God good all the time!

***I went back to read some old posts and found this...and I can't wait to share all this with Pastor Freddie. All in God's time....HIS time, not mine! This is part of the post from August of last year. It was about a meeting with the pastor.

He said he had been burdened for me and that God gave him a verse to give to me...Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. I read it and read it and wow...it started working!!

PERFECT PEACE! It all came full circle in a way. The song that night that I had the stroke was Child of God...Do NOT be afraid! I was, I thought I was in control....took a year, 4 hospitalizations and 3 surgeries to get the hint...HE is in control and I should never be afraid.

Here are the lyrics...

Child of God, do not be afraid.
Child of God, TRUST and obey.
He will walk with you in the way
Child of God do not be afraid.

Lost and wandering in a world of sin,
Why would God EVER take ME in?
A cry rang out...from Calvary's blood stained Hill,

Time will pass and eye will start to fail.
Tired and weary life becomes so frail.
But, I'll not make this final walk alone,
The Lord will lead me to my heavenly home.

Child of God, do not be afraid.
Child of God, TRUST and obey.
He will walk with you in the way
Child of God do not be afraid.

Hold to God's unchanging hand.
Hold to God's unchanging hand.
Keep your hopes in things eternal,
Hold to God's unchanging hand.


I can't wait to see what HE has in store!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Hope! I hadn't realized the extent of it all! But thank God, His mercy endures forever... through whatever may come our way! I'll keep reading your blog, I've enjoyed it thus far. I've also put a link to it on my own blog, which you can check out sometime. God bless you! I'll keep you in my prayers. We miss y'all!