My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:15,16

Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"
John 11:40
See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands… Isaiah 49:16a

Friday, January 28, 2011

Trust...Pt 5

Con't......part 5

Every time the nurses would come in to check me, they would massage my uterus, to try and make it shrink, by pushing on my stomach. Each time they did, more blood and the clots were now getting larger. I thought, man, how much more of this stuff can be in there! I guess my body was making them continually, trying to stop the bleeding on it's own.
They wanted to get a catheter started. This is not usually a problem. (Insert embarrassed face here) However, I had been bleeding so much and was being pumped so full of fluids, that I was too swollen and they could not get the tube in. There were about three nurses down at the bottom of my bed peering in my "under region" trying to find this elusive ureter.  I promised them that I did not lose it on the ambulance ride in!
There was much pressing on my stomach, and many attempts but none of them worked.  I was very uncomfortable to say the least, though it did bring some humor as we all laughed about how difficult this normally simple procedure was being.  Finally Dr. A came through the door and within seconds it was in. Yay, I don't think I had ever been so grateful for a catheter.

I stared at the ceiling and listened to all the beeping, whooshing and movement around me. The oxygen hose kept moving so it was crooked on my face, the blood pressure cuff was going off every ten minutes or so.
The I.V. pump was working hard pushing fluids into both my arms, they were so cold from it running into my veins. I started to feel a lot more pressure again, this time more than ever. I started to sit up more so I could check if I was bleeding a lot again because everything felt very warm....the effort I exerted pushed out something warm that covered the bed from the top of my thighs almost to my knees. I looked down and the white sheet was getting redder by the moment. I lifted the sheet and saw the clot and fear came on me. I started to hyperventilate as my mom ran to the door to get the nurses. They all came running into the room and yelled loudly for Dr. A to come in. He must have been able to see the fear in my eyes because he came in the door, his eyes in contact with mine the whole time as he crossed the floor towards me. He put his hand on mine and said "Do not fear Michelle. God is with you. Do not fear."

So many times throughout my life, God has given me the message, "Peace, be still." In my humanity, I guess I still have not learned it completely even now. I try hard to trust completely, but I still fall short of that.
As soon as those words were out of his mouth, I felt another wave of peace come over me. I cannot thank God enough that he orchestrated all of this before one moment of my time here on earth came to be.  Even in the last six months He has reminded me again and again whenever I start to lose my way, "Peace be still, I am here with you."

I was laying on the bed in the ER trying to wrap my mind around all that was happening and what it could have/might mean for my life and my family.  Tears started to pour down my cheeks as I thought about how broken my parent's and my husband's hearts would be if I were to die.  I don't know why the sorrow of that thought came so heavy on me but I literally felt weighed down by it. I wasn't scared to die because I knew exactly where I was going if I did. I knew that I would be in the arms of my Heavenly Father in the blink of an eye and dealing with sickness no more. I just so badly did not want to cause that kind of pain to the people I loved very dearly. Maybe the reason it was so heavy is because I was comparing it to how lost I knew I would feel if any of them died.  Maybe it was silly of me to put those emotions onto them, but for whatever reason I did.

My mom had arrived at the hospital just before the whole catheter fiasco. I could see their pained expressions on the other side of the room.  They gave me pitocin (for those of you who do not know what it is, it is a drug used to induce labor, or in my case, to induce contractions) by IV and by injection to try and shrink my uterus faster. Smaller uterus = less area to bleed from.

Side note: the Dr. informed my husband that there are two places on a woman's body from which she can bleed to death the fastest. Her head and her uterus.  Greg says, "Phew, that cuts my chances of bleeding to death in half!"  Only my husband....what a guy. Glad he can bring some laughter to situations that are heavy.

The pitocin kicked in very quickly and my goodness, was it intense pain. I had never been through childbirth before so I had no idea what to expect. I asked Greg to sing to me so that it would distract me from the pain. It worked for a little while. I remember hearing my mom praying hard and my dad praying, holding my hand and trying to use pressure points to relieve the pain. I coped for as long as I could on my own and then they brought me demerol and put it in my IV.  I was out of it in no time.  My body was still hurting a lot, but I could not make my mouth work to tell them I was still hurting.  I felt like I was one of those people who is awake during surgery, in pain but no way to communicate it. The coming hours were brutal....

Dr. A. decided that the bleeding was under control enough for me to be moved to a ward for the night so the porter came to get me. My mom and dad said their goodbye's and promised they would be back the next day. The porter came to move me up to the ward. I was still not able to communicate and was very glad Greg stayed with me. I was hoping that in some way I could make him understand that I was hurting still. The porter started to wheel me through the doorway of my hospital room. The handle of the door came out making an h shape with the door. She did not notice that my arm was up on the rail of the bed as she pushed me through and skin of my arm became caught between the the handle and the rail. It took my brain a moment to register this crazy pain in my arm was different than the other pain and I cried out. Greg made a quick survey of the situation and noticed my arm was caught. The porter backed me up apologizing profusely. It has cut my arm and so she ran to get some gauze for me. She came back and taped it to my bleeding arm and with more apologies, left. (In the morning when the nurse came in to give me a sponge bath, she said I should have had it stitched it was that deep, but it was already healing so there was no point.)

Greg waited till I was settled into the room and then left to go home to our house and gather some things for us. His cousin's wife Wendy came to the hospital to be with me while Greg was gone. I have vague memories of her sitting in the chair. My cheeks are a little red thinking of what she must have witnessed that night.  Delusional from the demerol, I was later told, I kept trying to pull out my IV's and the catheter. (I would have thought that with all the trouble they had getting it in, that I would have just left well enough alone!) I kept ripping off the oxygen hose and the blood pressure cuff. I am sure Wendy must have had her work cut out for her that night trying to convince me to stay in my bed.  I felt like I had to pee and wanted to go to the washroom, but knew I couldn't with all this stuff on me. I remember the nurse trying to explain to me that I had the catheter and didn't need to get up to pee. I just knew I had to pee and didn't want to pee the bed.

By the time Greg got back to the hospital, they must have given me another dose of demerol thus making me calmer physically, but still unable to communicate the pain. I remember seeing Wendy sitting by the bed and then the next time I looked, it was Greg. The next morning, I thought I had been hallucinating and Wendy was never there. Greg told me she had been.  Greg says I thrashed my head from side to side until about two in the morning. At that point he said he was starting to get frustrated because he had been praying and praying that God would ease the pain I was in with little to no difference. At about two, he says I spoke. He told me that I said, "Jesus please help me and take away my pain." Immediately I lay still and the pain seemed to be gone. He said he sat there not knowing what to say, all his prayers that he prayed and what it took was me asking for myself. I have no recollection of praying that night.

The next morning I woke up feeling very, very weak. I was still in pain but no longer was it from the contractions. My head was pounding like crazy because my iron was so low. The Dr. had written instructions for me to have iron shots for five days which left painful baseball size lumps at the injection sites in my hips. I was on Tylenol 3 for the pain, which didn't really help at all. The second night back in hospital, I was all but begging the nurse for some more Tylenol.  Greg had gone home because he had to work in the morning and was already running on very little sleep. It had been 5 hours since my last dose and the headache was full force. The daytime nurse had been giving me the Tylenol every four hours if I needed it, but the night nurse apparently didn't think I needed it that often. This night would be a night my brother melted my heart with his love for me.  My brother worked nights and called me a couple hours before he had to go into work. I was crying on the phone and explained why. He told me to ask the nurse again. I did and she still would not give me the Tylenol so he said he would be right down. Now my brother lives about 13 blocks if not more from the hospital. He did not have a car so he walked in record time to the hospital, an hour and a half before his shift at work, even though his work was in the opposite direction and he would not have much time.  He had tears in his eyes as he hugged me when he walked in the room and then he went back out to find my nurse. He came and talked to my nurse politely and was able to convince her to give me the pain meds. He told me he loved me and he would be back when his shift was over. The next morning he came back as soon as he could and sat with me for the morning. I was so thankful to have him there when Greg couldn't be. We were not extremely close before this point (we had been closer as kids and then when the teenage years hit, look out!) but when one of us needed the others defense, there was not a moment's hesitation.  He did all the things that morning that brothers don't usually have to do. He held my gown closed for me as he helped me to the washroom (the catheter was out), he held me upright on the toilet with his head turned and eyes closed so I could maintain my dignity. Most touching to my heart of all, he sat behind me on the bed and brushed my hair(which was about half way down my back) for me. Now normally this is no big feat, however with all my thrashing the nights before and the length of hair I had, I managed to create the biggest rat's nest ever and it was residing on the back of my head. He patiently brushed until there were no more tangles at all. I love my brother.......

To be continued in part 6.....(I promise, one more post and that should cover it!)

1 comment:

  1. Some of the details I had already forgotten, but the moments driving behind the ambulance I have clear memories of. I thought I had lost you , and Travis Tritt's song "if I lost you" was stuck in my head for days. I love you like breath! Its been a heck of a journey for us, but I'd rather do it all again than to be with anyone else.