Monday, April 30, 2012

Life...It is so Precious

The nurse was leaning over me.
Through my foggy brain I saw the concern on her face.
A gentle hand touched my forehead to check
the fever and then her head shook in frustration as 
there was no improvement.
Then I drifted off again.

In my dozing I remember the distinct point of decision.
Would I stay and fight to live 
or would I let myself drift off into eternity?

It only took a second.
But in that moment I knew that I was ready to fight.
Fight for more days with my husband and children.
Ready to continue being my mother's friend and daughter.
I knew that I needed to come back but
to do so would take more strength than I could muster.

It had been something like two weeks since the original surgery.
Just that weekend we had been out of town where I began 
a decline.  There was pain and I was so tired.
I remember laying in the recliner that had been my Dad's and 
just feeling so sick.

By the time we returned home I knew I needed to get to 
the surgeon.  I thought I would be able to drive myself but as soon
as my neighbor heard how I was feeling she insisted on taking me there.
Good thing, too, because the road across town has many bumps on it.
You and I may not feel them in our day to day routines
but when one is in the condition I was in it is excruciating.

By the time we arrived at the doctor's office and took the elevator
upstairs I was in tears and begged the office staff to get help for me quickly.

When the surgeon came into the room all I could do was sob, 
asking him to help me.....just help me, please.
Over and over again I desperately repeated those words.

The next thing I remember is shaking violently from head to toe
and being taken to the CT machine where just moving from the wheelchair
to the machine was like horrible torture.

A mass was discovered and a condition called ileus.
My insides had ceased working.
At all.

I was admitted to the hospital where the next ten days are not much more than 
a blur in my hazy, drugged memory.
I know that my Mom came frantically.
I know that people paced.
I remember the surgeon looking at a loss and very confused.
Then the day that really took the cake,
It was the day that they took me for an ultrasound.
I was on a tiny little bed while two young techs ran the transducer
over my hyper painful torso.
They became excited by something they saw and then 
excused themselves and ran from the room.
The pain continued to grow worse as I lay there, 
in spite of all of the pain medication that had been constantly 
injected into my hips.  
First one, then the other alternating with each dose.

Finally it was so severe that I was once again shaking
and crying.  
I yelled for help.
Screamed for someone to come....
yet, no one came.
I was helpless to move because of the mass 
which caused pain of extraordinary proportions when I 
attempted to move.

After what seemed forever someone finally rescued me.
I don't think it was the same young girls who so rudely left
me alone.....The reason I think this is because I believe
I would have let loose on them.
I was really angry.

The news came back that the mass had grown to 
the size of a grapefruit ....or more.
This was what had so excited the techs who rushed
off to find the Radiologist.
Additional surgery would be required.

I don't remember whether the surgery was done that day 
or early the next....
all I know is that at that point a second doctor became a 
visible part of my treatment.
He was talking to my family.

My next clear memory is of the poor woman who would 
come and take my food order every day.
She offered me the same thing every time.
Jel-lo.
I now despise red Jel-lo.
Other flavors are fine.
I didn't like her very much.
But it wasn't her fault.
She was just following orders.

Gradually the surgery and the three
antibiotics being pumped into my system began doing the 
job of clearing the toxins that were poisoning me.
My thoughts began to clear and then they made me 
begin to walk.  
To build my strength, they said.
I hated that too.
Yep!  There is a theme here.
Not much made me happy during those days in the hospital.
I've left a lot out.
Some by choice and some from lack of memory of the events.
My husband and mother could tell you much more.

But after ten days I convinced the surgeon that I should 
continue my healing at home.
He bought it.
I was most likely wrong.
I still had no strength.
Simply sitting up in bed made me bone weary
and out of breath.
Nevertheless, I came home.
To the loving arms of my children and the care 
of my supportive friends and family.

Our church family and home school friends had been
bringing meals for more than a week.
They continued for some time after.
Again this is all pretty much a blur.
What I remember from that time is that my IV's wouldn't 
stay open and the antibiotics that I was supposed to inject
wouldn't go through.  
I had to call in home nurses nearly every dose until there were 
no more veins.
Every one had collapsed.
I cried and cried.

A decision was made to finish my last two days on oral medication.
Thankfully it was enough.
I slowly regained my strength and my life.

My wonderful life.
With so much to live for.

I am grateful that God granted me the will to live
on that fateful night.
I delight in all that God has blessed me with.
A husband who loves and cares for me.
Children who share their hearts and their love with us.
A Mother and Mother-in-law who are a part of our everyday life.
A brother and sister-in-law who are our friends.
A church family who truly cares.
So many more family members and friends who are always there.
Supporting, caring and loving.

I'm so glad I got to see my kids grow up.

Of course Heaven will be wonderful when it is time.
I now have an appreciation for how easy it will be when the time 
comes to just let go.
To rest in His arms as He carries me there.
But, for now, until that day comes
I will treasure this life,
serve my Heavenly Father as well as I can...
And be thankful.

Over the years that I have been blogging, 
Some of you have made comments as if to wonder at 
my thankful spirit and rosy take on life.
It is because of what HE has brought me through.
I know that I have faced death.
I have felt pain that I never knew existed.
Forevermore when they ask for a measure of pain
from 1-10 I have a new measure of what that means.
Internally many scars remain and cause pain nearly daily.
They remind me of those dark and frightening days 
in March 2006.

But I also have joy.
Joy in the knowing that life, this life 
is so very precious and so very fragile.
It is to be treasured.
Truly treasured.

All of this came to my mind tonight 
as I saw a preview for something on television where the 
woman said she remembered distinctly coming to a point 
where she had to decide to fight or live.
I knew precisely what she was speaking of.
I thought it was time to tell you.
And to rejoice!
Life is good.


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16 comments:

Theresa said...

I am happy to hear that you were spared by the GRACE OF GOD:) I sure makes each day special from that day forward! Enjoy your day my friend, HUGS!

SHEILA said...

Becky, I have goosebumps after reading your story. That's all I can say-it really touched me.

Carol said...

Wow, Becky, what a wonderful post! I had no idea you had an experience like this. Reminds me of my septic shock scare in Oct. 2010. The doctors told Bob I was hours away from dying if I hadn't been rushed to the hospital. Life is precious! My experience taught me even more that God is in control no matter what happens.

Hugs,
Carol

Jennifer said...

Thanks for sharing this with us. I'm glad you made the decision to fight. Life is precious and short and a lot of us take that for granted.

Lizzi said...

Wow, what an amazing story. I'm (selfishly) glad that you decided to fight. If only everyone had a "rosy" view of life in that they are thankful for every day in the way that you are. We could learn something from you :-)

Kim said...

Becky, your story brought tears to my eyes! Life IS good and every day is a time to rejoice:) Thank you for sharing this with us!

MYSAVIOR said...

Becky, I am so touched that you chose to share this with us.

I also know that moment of choosing to live.

Thank you, my dear.

♥♥♥
Sue

Susy said...

Wow ~ a beautifully written post of a life-changing ordeal, showing His Strength will see us through. That's precious too. xo

Gayla said...

What a blessing you are okay. Thanks for sharing this post. It helps us know more of your heart... Hugs from Missouri!

Gayla

Vee said...

Becky, my sweet friend, what a compelling story. My eyes are filled with tears so perhaps I need to go and return. Perhaps I am weeping, too, knowing how much my own mother chose this life for as long as she could. Love. It is a powerful keeper. Bless God. *sniff* *snuffle* *wahhhhh*

Elena said...

Thank you for sharing your story! God is so good! What a wonderful testimony and encouragement to others :)

sammysgrammy said...

Thank you for sharing your story, Becky. That experience has left a mark of mercy and compassion, gentleness and encouragement on your life forever. It is wonderful to watch and a blessing to all who know you.

First Christian Church said...

We really don't know the experiences that others have gone through, do we. All these things that God uses to refine us and make us more like Him. Thank you for sharing, Becky!

Cheryl said...

Thank you for sharing this hard story...this time of suffering in your life. Thank you, too, for the encouragement that suffering changes the heart. It is oh-so-hard to endure, and yet we can be joyful as we see His hand in it all.
(I also had a health crisis that changed my life. Though it was a time of agony, twelve years later I am so thankful for the work that He was doing.)

Loretta - Thoughtful Gems said...

Powerful testimony! Thanking God for His faithfulness and your determination to live!!

Melissa G. said...

Wow! Well I for one am glad you chose to stick around! I've been blessed to know you and hear your wisdom through your blog.
Thanks for sharing your story!