Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Story: Part 3

Here's my story of a battle with a major illness and surgery. The story that made me, me. The part of my life where God became real in a tangible way. Read Part 1 and Part 2 first in this series. 

After trying what seemed like every medicine available and none coming through, my doctor started talking to me about surgery.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. There was NO WAY they were taking out such a vital body organ from my body. MY COLON! Are you freaking kidding me!?!?! I was 20! How would I even live after that?

I kept refusing that idea right out.  NO! I was NOT DOING THAT! Finally, my doctor basically said there was no other choice. And I reared my little sassy head and said yes, there was and that I was getting a second opinion at DUKE hospital! So there! Take that!

This next part is kind of crazy the way the details fell in place. There was NO WAY I was going to Duke according to my insurance company, which was military insurance at the time. My dad was overseas working while I was in the hospital. There was also a tornado watch from SC to NC the night I was to be moved to Duke via ambulance and it just wasn't happening. No ambulance company was willing to move me with tornado watches and it would have been really expensive if my insurance company hadn't paid for anything. I don't really know how God worked out that I was able to move hospitals in the midst of all that, but He did. Due to the fact that my dad was overseas fighting for our country, I was assigned some higher ups in the Pentagon to watch over my affairs being so sick. All I know is that after one phone call, I was in an ambulance and heading to Duke Hospital and all potential problems were dust in the wind. I knew God's supernatural hand was over all of these affairs. 

Along the way, I remember the ambulance drivers stopped at a Waffle House to let me go to the bathroom and I also got to sneak some food. It was the best food I had ever put in my mouth, seriously! I had been on bowel rest and on a really strict diet at the previous hospital, but the drivers didn't know that and I was HUNGRY! More like STARVING! So, I took advantage of their lack of knowledge and ate a breakfast sandwich! I was a pretty rebel patient if you couldn't tell already!

I got to Duke safely and was amazed at how different of a hospital it was, being a teaching hospital and all. I had TEAMS of doctors, not just one that was making decisions. I was completely impressed. Plus, everyone was so nice! God used even one of the med students to encourage my heart towards Him. It just felt like a real turning point and all the depressing stuff was passing by. I could literally see God working around me and it was great, mostly because I had teams of doctors on my side and I felt supported by others within the hospital. 
One hard thing though, was that I wasn't close enough to have my daily visitor (Hart) or any of my friends come every day to see me AND they didn't have a DVD player in my room! haha! At this point though, I was so sick, so it was nice to be farther away and not have a feeling to "entertain".

Classes at USC started again, so Hart has to go back to school. Exactly one week after being at Duke. Hart came up with my brothers on a Saturday in January. Roughly a month since I had been admitted at the first hospital. Hart had started back at USC without me and I was so sad that I wasn't going back to school that semester. Another thing just stripped away in my life.

Previous to that Saturday, I had been having some terrible fevers on top of everything else and no one could figure out why. They ran the gamuts of tests and one of them revealed extra air in my chest cavity during an X-ray.

That was BAD, if you don't know medical stuff! That meant that my colon had perforated (had a hole in it) and that my body was becoming septic, hence the fevers.

I was RUSHED into EMERGENCY surgery four hours later. I had no choice and it was too much to face so fast. All I remember was being told I would DIE if I didn't sign the papers, then my surgeon drawing some scritch scratch on a piece of paper of what my new insides would look like and something about having a bag on my stomach that I would have to go to the bathroom in.

I was so scared. I remember telling Hart that I loved him, something that I had never done before! And I had no idea what to expect when I woke up. All I heard was "bag" on my stomach.
To be quite honest, I had no idea what to do with the fact that when I woke up, I had an illeostomy.

A part of my small intestine, a stoma, was coming out of my stomach and I had to "GO poop" in a bag. It was unreal. It was gross. It was different and shocking and made me want to vomit all at the same time.

And yet, there is still more to come....I'm sorry that this isn't pretty, but it is real. 

Go on to Part 4