I have hesitated writing this excerpt. I don’t know why. The free spirit in me doesn’t like structure and rules and expectation, so I tend to balk at the mere mention of such a thing. As in, all the messages asking me to finish the darn story. I read them. I heard them. And I said, I will in a minute.
My minute is up.
We are in my hospital room. And Mr. Young Scared Doctor man has come in to tell me that I may not move a muscle, lest the 3 foot blood clot breaks off and heads towards my lungs. You see, most blood clots are small, and easily treated. If one should head to the lungs, most of the time surgery can remove it, and life can resume as normal. But when the blood clot is taking up half the body, it isn’t so simple.
I was started on a course of antibiotics and blood thinners that would wipe out a rhino. (The big girl in me hates that I just wrote about a large animal. I remember reading a story to my preschool class about a hippo, and I was so uncomfortable I could hardly stand it. And don’t get me started on the game Hungry Hungry Hippo. I hate that game, and you can be sure that I never bought it for my children.)
I think I should change my name to Severely Jacked Up. I might even get an embroidered t-shirt for myself. I am so full of good ideas!
I really don’t know how I survived. The antibiotics they put me on were the kind they give to cancer patients when nothing else works. I was put on 4 separate versions. I was on them for almost 5 months. No wonder my body is a mess. The warfarin in the blood thinners is the same stuff they put in rat poison. When the rat eats the bait, it essentially bleeds out, and dies. They said I would be on it for life.
I also wasn’t hungry at all in the hospital. I was craving grape juice and water like a mad woman. I found out later, both are mild blood thinners. It was the first time I realized that the body really does try to help itself heal. They kept sending a nutritionist in to talk to me and watch me eat. It was the typical American diet with lots of white flour and white sugar. I can only imagine what would have happened if I had known enough back then to request fresh pressed juices, full of ginger and garlic, and wheat grass.
But.. I know that my experience in the hospital was sort of a beginning for me. A beginning of the 10+ years of research that would start so I could figure out what was wrong with me.
A beginning of taking my life way more seriously that I had.
A beginning of catching glimpses of who God is, and was, and always had been.
A beginning of finding my voice, and speaking it. Life is too short to stay silent on the things that matter.
That evening, after the diagnosis, I requested my kids journals. My husband was making the trek back and forth every day, trying to watch our kiddos (with our mothers help), and trying not to lose his mind. He told me later that when I asked for my journals, he truly thought I wasn’t going to make it.
I didn’t think so either.. which is why I wanted to write letters to my babies. I filled page after page for them, sobbing the entire time. There are still tear stains on those pages. I wrote about everything from their first day of kindergarten to their wedding day. I didn’t think I would have enough time to video something, and I was desperate to let them know how enormously I loved them. This was an all night process. I didn’t sleep, and the poor nurse kept coming in to check on me. She would find me scribbling furiously one moment, and wracked with sobs the next.
It still brings me to tears. What a profound moment that was. I fell asleep in the wee hours of the morning knowing that when, not if, I died, my children, and my husband would know what they meant to me. They would know how I felt about Jesus, and they would know I didn’t want to leave them that soon.