lestermom (lestermom) wrote,

The Power of Family

On Monday evening of last week I experienced a relapse of an old condition.... a small bowel obstruction. Twenty years ago, I entered the emergency room with terrible abdominal pain. I ended up with major surgery. Cecal volvulous, or in layman's terms: a twisted intestine. The surgeon removed my colon from my abdominal cavity, untwisted the twist, removed my appendix for no reason other than it was there, put everything back in and "tacked" the intestine in a few places to hold it in its new place, sewed me up and hoped for the best. Unfortunately, it didn't work out too well for me. I was in bad pain for a year and general discomfort for years afterwards. It just wasn't healing well. When I went back to the doc for explanation and help, there was none coming. "I see nothing wrong in the X-ray. Just take some Gas-X." Gas-X did not even touch my pain. So I suffered for years. It didn't help that the doctor warned me that the blockage would likely recur. "Just come back and I'll do it again." Small comfort to me since I had vowed NEVER to have that, or any, surgery again! No more cutting, please.
So I found ways to feel better, and I actually began to thrive and feel quite healthy and happy and fit due to my continuous searching for ways to be healthy and to feel more in control. Anyone who follows my blog will have noticed all the different health practices I've tried over the years. I actually enjoyed the process. But, two weeks ago I lost my sense of control completely.
I started having what I thought was an intense case of stomach flu. I threw up violently for about 5 days. I thought I was getting better, and then it started coming back with a vengence. That's when I knew that something was very wrong. Nathen and Damian stayed up with me that night, massaging and reassuring me for hours while Steve was frantically trying to reach my doctor and get information on the Internet. In the morning, Steve and Nathen took me to urgent care. The X-ray indicated a bowel obstruction. Complete or partial, they didn't know. But, it was time to go to the emergency room. My worst fears had come true. Nathen and I had talked at length over the years about what I would do if this happened again, and I had let Steve know I never wanted surgery OR a tube down my throat again. So when this scenario loomed up real as real, I began to panic. Nathen told me that he would make sure that I was not alone in the hospital and that I would have an advocate by my side to help with: asking questions, making sure I understood what was going on and what the options were, making sure the doctor knew my wishes, watching and listening carefully to all that was said and done, and giving me comfort. I was very happy that everyone did make sure all those things happened, and I had almost constant companions each day, well past visiting hours. Between Steve, Nathen, Reanna, Ely, Damian, and Maya... oh and Jennifer, a new addition to our compound here.... they all ministered to me in every way they could think of. If Gabe had been here (he's in Thailand) he would have most definitely been there too. I will tell more about the treatment plan they gave me there to resolve the blockage another time, but just know that it DID resolve and surgery was avoided. I was sent home after 4 days, and now, 4 days later, I am still resting at home and getting better day by day. I do not feel out of the woods yet. I still have my doctor's warning that this could happen again ringing in my ear. So I'm feeling uneasy, since I have some pain and tenderness in my guts and a tremendous weakness that is slowly dissipating. Two weeks of trauma has taken its toll, and I am reeling, trying to make sense of it all.

The main thing I took away from this experience so far, is that my family really loves me, both fiercely and tenderly, and that they "have my back" more than I ever dreamed. So, so grateful.

More to come.....

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