Today is a bittersweet day for me. It is a day of rebirth but it is also a day of awakening. Four years ago yesterday I was released from the hospital after having a c-section. My child was perfect in so many ways and I was feeling a love I had never felt before. I was also having a hard time breathing. I told my husband, my mom, the nurses, and the doctor that my chest felt tight. The dr. dismissed it as anxiety even after I explained that I am not an anxious person. I had to be weighed before I left the hospital and I pointed out to the dr. that I hadn't lost any weight since giving birth and shouldn't I have at least lost the weight of my son? The dr. dismissed it as fluid retention and that I would be ok after a few days.
So I went home, I still felt weird and I still kept telling people. I took a shower, I laid around with my son and then went to bed. As soon as my head hit the pillow I felt like I was drowning. I tried to go to the bathroom but couldn't. I told my husband that I needed to go to the hospital but he took me outside to talk me out of my anxiety. I knew something wasn't right. I finally looked at him and said "NO! You need to take me to the hospital now. I can't breathe".
In the 10 minutes that it took to get dressed and get me to the hospital, I was coughing up foam and felt like I couldn't exhale. I was begging him to run stop lights b/c I just knew I was dying. We got to the hospital, I jumped out, and ran into the emergency room. I told the woman at the desk that I couldn't breathe and she tries to tell me to "fill out these forms". I slam my hand down on the desk and say "No! I can't breathe!" My husband came in and told her that I just had a baby and that I was released from the hospital earlier that day. Well she hit some button and people came running. I was thrown into a wheelchair and a kid's oxygen mask was put on my face. For some odd reason I had it in my brain that this tiny mask was the reason I couldn't breathe and I kept trying to pull it off. Someone was in my ear telling me that I had to keep it on and that I needed to calm down. Last thing I remember is being thrown onto a gurney, my clothes are being cut off me, I'm bargaining with the nurse that I will calm down if she will take the oxygen mask off, and I saw my husband holding my purse as they shut the door. That was June 3, 2006. I woke up June 5, 2006.
I lost an entire day, which has its anniversary today. I remember nothing about it except I know that my mom told me my older brother was there and I remember thinking "Oh God it must be bad if he is here" so I opened my eyes, looked at him, and passed back out.
(Now I must interject here to let you know that I have always been a sassy "told you so" kind of woman. I used to love to be right.)
Next thing I remember is that I woke up and I couldn't talk b/c I had a tube in my throat. I asked for a pen and I wrote "what happened?" I listened and then I said "I told you I didn't feel good." Then I passed back out. Everyone that I know that was there for this says that this was the moment when they knew I was going to be ok. I woke up a second time and did the same thing. I don't remember waking up the first time but my mom kept the paper that I wrote on and that is the only way I know that I did. I was in the ICU for a week after that while my husband's family took care of my newborn. I would get to see him for about 30 minutes a day but that 30 minutes was the best part of my day and gave me the strength and will to get better.
I remember barely being able to walk up and down the halls of the cardiac unit. I was the youngest person there and all the nurses fawned over me b/c I had a newborn. When I got home I couldn't walk up the stairs without getting winded. I had to force myself to walk around the block and I would have to stop several times before I could make it home. I would push the stroller while someone walked next to us. I was and still am determined to get healthy for my child.
Apparently what had been going on behind my back was that the doctors were telling my family that I may have to have a transplant. I may end up at another hospital if the medicine didn't work. They were preparing my family for the worst. There was a whole lot of praying going on. My guess is that some 10,000 people were praying for me. My uncle knew of someone hosting a 5,000 person revival and they were going to pray for me and I figure that if each of those people just told one person then that was easily 10,000 praying for me. This does not count family and friends that actually know me.
So this now explains why I get so excited when I can do a 13, 14 , or 15 minute mile on the elliptical. I started out not being able to walk around the block. I had over 50 lbs of fluid drained out of my body while I was in the ICU. I weigh less than that now but I'm still nowhere near where I want to be.
My attitude about life has changed too. I have no time or tolerance for drama. Life is too short and if someone is toxic then I do not want them in my life. I have tons more patience than I ever thought possible. I am less inclined to judge and more inclined to listen. I find joy in my everday existence and try my best to find at least one reason to laugh every day.
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I was supposed to pay God back for saving my life. I finally figured out that he doesn't want me to pay him back. My time here was not done & I just needed a giant kick in the pants to realize that I am awesome, my life is awesome, & the people I have surrounded myself with are awesome. I needed to shut up and enjoy it. I still struggle to have it make sense but just typing this I realize that I have come leaps and bounds since 4 years ago. I am taking better care of myself...in fact better care than I have ever taken. I am so proud of how far I have come even though I have so far to go.