Saturday, September 7, 2019

Saved.


Preston recently turned 2 years old. It seems like I just gave birth to him yesterday. But on the flip side, weeks of suffering has felt like years. 


See, in a lot of ways Prestons birthday is a different kind of birthday for me as well.
That was the day that I was given another chance at life. I was bringing this baby into the world, and at the same time I was saved. Preston is perfect. He is a mellow kid. He’s flexible, he is outgoing, He is happy and he is the reason I am here today talking to you.
When doctors went in to deliver him they found that my small intestine had strangulated and they had to remove the part that was dead. That part was 90% of it. For one year I couldn’t eat anything. Not even a bite. For 20 months I had a semi-permanent IV sticking out of my chest. For 20 months I had a feeding tube that hung out of my stomach.
There have been tender mercies. There has been happiness. There has been many people who have given me life. For 2 years I have been able to find joy through my family.
For 24 months my husband has encouraged me. In the early days of my recovery he hooked up my medicine, helped me bathe and took care of our newborn son. He never left me alone to suffer. He rubbed my back as I threw up repeatedly for 5 months. He came to visit me in the hospital each day often bringing flowers, balloons, pictures the kids had drawn, an iPad with Netflix, my pillow, a hug and a kiss. He saved me.
My 5 year old daughter has run around retrieving numerous things for me, she has ran upstairs to get diapers, toys and medicine for me so I wouldn’t have to climb them. In the early months I tormented myself with worry on how my health would affect her life. I worried that she would grow up resenting time when I couldn’t get out of bed. I felt guilty for the days when I was grumpy because I was in so much pain, had nausea or was too tired to try. The other day I was laying down and she brought me a blanket and wrapped it around me. She has taught me so much about compassion. She saved me.
My 2-year-old son has brought us all hope and joy in a very dark time. We clapped and smiled when he sat up, stood, walked and talked. His progression has brought us so much delight. When I would sit in the hospital bed sick and tired, he fell asleep in my arms giving me strength and courage. He has been patient with me from the very beginning. If they wouldn’t have gone in to deliver him, they never would have seen my dying intestine. He saved me.
My parents have spent so much time in Florida taking care of my family. For months at a time they would stay and cook, clean and tend to my children. My mom would come to the hospital and brush my hair, bring me magazines and she always brought the encouragement. Many times when I was hospitalized my mom would come and take care of us. My dad would weed our yard, take my daughter fishing and to school. My in-laws provided us with support and prayers. They were here to help and feed Preston when he came home from the hospital. My sister came to visit armed with positivity. She curled my hair, fed my baby, and gave me daily pep talks. My best friend Melanie came to visit when I was discharged from the hospital. She helped me bathe, painted my daughters nails, made me chicken broth and pulled a few all nighters with newborn Preston. They saved me.
The surgeon who took on my case from the very beginning. He carefully untangled my intestine, a process that took 4 hours alone. He was careful and diligent. He was conservative and gentle with the alteration. He was thorough when explaining the surgery to my husband. He was optimistic with the process but made sure to explain everything so there were no unnecessary surprises. In my hospitalizations (18 in total) he was there by my side offering sympathy, strength and knowledge. He visited me daily, made changes to my medications, asked me how I was doing, and sat next to me while I cried many tears. He was everything you would hope a surgeon would be. When I would thank him for saving my life, he thanked me for enriching his own. He saved me again and again.
My short bowel specialist/surgeon who performed my revision surgery a year ago in Miami. She gave me hope. She is highly knowledgeable about my condition and she knew right away what needed to happen. She was the one who decided to flip my small intestine backwards to increase absorption. This procedure still blows my mind. She knew it was possible. She gave me my life back. She saved me. 
My friends. The many people that took action when I needed a tribe to succor me. The individuals who prayed for me all over the United States and across the world. After I gave birth to Preston and laid intubated in the ICU, people of faith were fasting in my behalf. They pleaded with the Lord to heal my battered body. Strangers I had never met sent me quilts, blankets, flowers and encouragement. My new friends in Florida took care of my children, brought my family meals and came to the hospital armed with nail polish, board games and gossip. Oh, how I love my friends. They saved me.


All these individuals played a big part in my recovery. But I can't stop there. The person that truly saved me was the Lord. He never left my side. He gave me comfort as I lay alone in the hospital. He was there when I had a colossal panic attack in the ICU. He was there working next to my doctors during all my procedures and surgeries. He guided me to these people who have helped me heal. Christ saved me. 
We celebrated Prestons birthday with cake and ice cream with friends. While we sang Happy birthday to him he looked up at me with a huge smile on his face. I couldn’t help but well up with tears. Two years ago we weren’t sure I’d be here for this celebration. I could’ve missed this whole experience. I am so happy I was present and have been able to see him grow. We did it, son. We’ve been saved.



1 comment:

  1. You have captured the essence of this miracle with your story!! Keep on writing - you still have much to teach us.

    ReplyDelete