9/5/2018 What’s that scar on your leg from? Is it new ? Oh wait what is that scar on your other leg? the emergency room nurse asks. “Uhh . . . you should have seen the other guy,” I say, which is ridiculous, really, because I despise when people say that. I despise that phrase in particular and I despise clichéd cover-ups in general, but I say it anyway. I’m not going to tell this nurse the hour long story of my 43 years and my 13 surgeries. I am in too much pain. But I had to tell her my story. I pull out my phone it sadly holds a note on all my surgeries and all my medications.
When I became twentysomething with an array of medical issues (umbilical hernia repair, incisional hernia repair, kidney stones – days before my sister’s wedding, hysterectomy , MRSA, torn ligaments and ruptured Achilles) to name a few – an improbable series of health crises that swiftly changed my idea of youth. And because my father, who’d had muscular dystrophy,emphysema, lung infections, asbestosis and more, I became even more aware of the ways that different people react to their bodies. Unlike my father, though, I want very much to live.
What ended being a one week stay this time found that the MRSA has returned from five years ago. The mesh in my abdominal cavity has attached to my small bowel and there is a possibility of a fistula. It was determined through Infectious disease and my general surgeon I could be released after a drain was placed in my pelvis and I’d be on massive antibiotics for three months to kill this nasty bug. Just another note in my medical history to be entered into my phone.
I’m back – waking up from a nap with a 101.8 fever and an abdominal cavity that felt like a balloon ready to pop, off I went back to the emergency room. My sister in law Suzanne drove me and stayed with me as I cried and cried and cried. Why me? What’s next? The pain is unbearable, my poor husband, my kids are worried, here we go again. I want my MOMMY!!! My job – my multiple jobs, the loss of my income from my side business, my husband loosing days of work without pay, my life yet again came abruptly to a stop. She rubbed my legs and cleared the tears from my cheeks. She really had no words, nobody does. Nobody understands, nobody knows what to say or do anymore. Donald came after he finished cooking dinner and making sure all homework was done. He and his sister had no words to each-other we all just can’t believe this. Suzanne and Laura did a switch and Laura came in and Suzanne went home where my wonderful Mother in Law holds down the fort. These girls now have their own babies to care for, they both have spent many years caring for me and my children during my many sicknesses. They know the routine. I continued to cry and with each sob the pain in my belly got worse and they tried to calm me down as none of this was going to make the pain go away. As I write the tears run down my face I miss my brother he is so far away and besides my Mother he is the only one who truly knows how to calm my soul. God blessed me with wonderful siblings, my own and Donald’s we have all grown up together. They have all given me my greatest joys my nieces and nephews and nothing makes me happier then to be with them. Stephen and Kim’s daughter Ava texted me yesterday checking on me. The smile on my face forced my nurse to ask what just happened she hadn’t seen me smile. A reminder of what’s most important in life is to be surrounded by the ones you love. When trouble comes it’s the ones you love that will support you.
I wake to a thunderstorm and soaking wet sheets from my bodies attempt to get rid of a fever last night. I’m attached at both arms to machines at the moment one is a pain management pump and the other is dripping a heavy duty antibiotic Vancomyocine to rid my body of the MRSA. I am also secured to a tube allowing me to use the bathroom from bed along with a wound vacuum that works to constantly clear the infection. There are drains and drawings all over my belly. It’s all so amazing that here I am 5 years later doing this again. I was able to walk to my chair yesterday and the bathroom and did a few laps around my room. A huge accomplishment being only 24 hours after my abdominal cavity was cut open for the 7th time in my 43 years.
Another painful night full of fevers and gas pains. When they open up your abdominal cavity one of the biggest issues patients have is the inability to get rid of gas. On top of this I had to have part of my bowel removed and put together again so we need to make sure it’s working again. I haven’t eaten in days I am not even one bit hungry.
It’s been 9 days. NINE long painful anxious days.
9/28/18 day 10 at the St. Francis hotel. While the room service is superb and the under 25 year old super cute nurses occupy my husband. I really want out. I was seen by surgery and infectious disease this morning and I’m one bowl movement away from breaking outta here. The wound vac was removed and the last dose of vancomycin is invading my central line at this moment. Tonight I should be home. Fighting for the boys to help me and kissing my puppy. It’s just where I want to be. I hope and pray that this truly is the end of a long road for me over the last 10 years and most specifically this past year. Thank you for the phone calls, texts FB messages, meals and love. My life is blessed with the best.