I was so excited about seeing angels and Jesus that I never stopped thinking about it or talking about it. Those moments are what kept me going for a long time.
The surgery I had was to remove all my large intestines, and my appendix, and create a new rectum with small intestines, called a J-pouch. I was only going to have the ileostomy bag for 6-8 weeks while the pouch healed then it would be reversed. I didn't like the bag but since it was such a short time I really didn't give it much thought.
The chest tube was now ready to be removed, but my lung collapsed again as soon as they took it out. It was so painful and I was relieved to have it out, but now they wanted to put it back in. Hahaha Over my dead body, I told them! Well they finally convinced me to put in a smaller chest tube. It wasn't as effective but hopefully would still do the job. Since I was having a hard time breathing, I agreed. The chest tube was a little scary because it was a machine run with water. Most of the nurses had never seen one and were given classes periodically in my room. Every nurse tried to add or remove water. I, obviously, was at every class and soon began teaching the nurses how to use the equipment that was running my body. It was a quite surreal.
Me in ICU after my emergency surgery.
I was finally sent home after almost a month in the hospital. AH I was so homesick! But I wasn't able to keep any food down at all and after only a few days home I returned to Boston. Some more tests were done and the doctor's discovered a kink in my bowels. Since I was so sick and not doing well with the ileostomy, my surgeon decided to reverse the bag early! No problem here! I was all for it. Dustin decided to go back to work until my surgery, we knew the bills would be outrageous.
One morning after the doctor's morning rounds I began crying out in pain. After 5 shots of narcotics he realized something was seriously wrong. My mom says my eyes were rolling back in my head and I was still crying out in pain. A portable x-ray machine was brought to my room and they discovered my intestines had perforated. I had just had a barium test and was told that it saved my life. If I had stool in my intestines it would have killed me. I was rushed to have emergency surgery. Dustin was called at work and told I would probably be dead before he arrived. He says it was the longest 3 hour drive of his life.
Me sitting up in ICU.
I woke up in ICU and patted my side, wondering if the ileostomy was gone. My mom told me no, and tears rolled down my cheek. The prednisone that I had been taking had eaten a hole in my intestines and they were not able to reverse the bag without making the damage worse, so they actually made a second ileostomy with the hole that perforated. I looked down and saw an ileostomy bag on each side of my stomach.They couldn't sew the wound up because they had to let the poison drain out so I had a HUGE wound from my belly button to my groin that was left open and held together with 4 wires. I also had 8 tubes in my body. My recovery was going to be incredibly long.
I went back and forth to Boston so much I kept track on a calender. I was there over 300 days out of 365. I stopped counting at 300 because it got depressing. My mom and Dustin stayed with me most of the time but I was over 3 hours away from the rest of my friends, family and most of all church. I know there were many prayers being said for me back home and I'll never be able to say thank you the appropriate way to everyone, but Thank You!
I didn't know if I would live or die, but I knew one thing for sure, I NEEDED God. I didn't blame Him or get angry. I was just so thankful that He was there for me and I wasn't going through this on my own. I never forgot where I had come from and the peace that he had given me. I was determined if I only lived a day, or lived 100 more years, I never wanted to go back to my old life. And somehow God gave me the strength to make it through! For many months the doctor's didn't know if I would live or die. Dustin and my mom were constantly being told to say goodbye, it was my last day. I clung to my vision of angels, read my bible every moment I could and basically prayed, Jesus help me. What else could I do? This was the beginning of my journey of walking by faith. I still only weighed 78 lbs. I needed help eating, bathing, walking, going to the bathroom and every basic thing in life we take for granted every day. It took all my strength to stand or pour a glass of water. We had to make a chart because I was taking 22 pills a day and it got confusing, and I still had two ileostomy bags. I knew this couldn't last forever. I just had to hold on to Jesus and make it through.
I sang the chorus "I Love Him Too Much To Fail Him Now" over and over:
I love Him too much to fail Him now, too much to break my vow
For I promised the Lord that I would make it somehow
Now I love Him too much to fail Him now.
Here is a version I found on YouTube if you don't know the song.
My mother also gave me the CD Shout To The Lord 2000. This CD saved my life! I played this CD over and over again and just cried as I worshiped God! There's something about worship that brings peace in every situation. I highly recommend you purchasing this CD or giving it as a gift!
~Have you ever had your heart set on a situation only to have complications come along and "ruin" all your plans? Were you able to praise God in the midst of your battle?
~Have you ever been in a situation so dark that all you could do was cry? I've found that playing worship music is the best way to help me through those moments. It's amazing how much peace and joy comes when we worship!
~Have you ever felt separated and alone? I was 150 miles away from friends, family and church. I had to learn to lean on Jesus and build my foundation on him. Although thoses years were very long and very hard I would never wish them away. It was during this time that I developed a true love for Jesus! He really became my best friend!
~Every trial you go through is an opportunity for God to do something amazing in your life. Are you looking for the good, or are you dwelling on the negative?
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