As most of my WordPress friends know, my health has not been good for seven years. This past year was probably the worst it has ever been, with the Winter proving to be almost unbearable. Between July of 2016 and February of 2017 I underwent three major surgeries, one requiring a 5 day stay in the Intensive Care Unit and a total of 10 days in the hospital. In addition to the surgeries, I underwent countless other procedures, hoping something would work and “fix me.” These procedures continue, as I’m scheduled for one just next week.
As I stated, the long, cold, dark Winter nearly killed me. I was destroyed physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. Thank God for my amazing husband, who stepped up big time; taking on all of the household responsibilities, driving me back and forth to countless appointments (that were an hour away and sometimes as frequently as two or three times a week), and making more last-minute trips to the grocery store and pharmacy than anybody should have to. He did all of this without ever complaining and while excelling in his demanding role of Chef de Cuisine of a fine dining restaurant. Throughout it all he still made time to spend quality time with our son; playing video games with him, reading with him at bedtime, taking him golfing, sledding, and fishing, and even getting up in the morning with our son and seeing him off to school. I would be lost without my husband, and I can’t express my gratitude enough. Simply put, he’ll never understand how much his love, support, encouragement, tenderness, and kindness means to me. When I was down, he was the first one to pick me up; never allowing me to give up on my pursuit of both good health and happiness. He was my rock then just as he is today.
Our nine-year old son was especially compassionate and thoughtful during my illness. He did a lot of growing up, taking on more responsibility than I ever expected him to, and checking in with me daily asking, “are you feeling any better, Mama” nearly everyday. He grew into a true gentleman, refusing to allow me to carry grocery bags, take out the trash, or even lift laundry. I learned so much about what it means to be truly selfless and compassionate from our son, and I’ve never been more proud of him.
About a month and a half ago I received a new diagnosis,a pyloric stenosis. My surgeon believed this new condition would ultimately require another surgery. In a last-ditch attempt to spare me from more surgery, we decided to take a less invasive route. This approach entailed me undergoing sedation and having a specialized endoscopy performed. During the endoscopy, my GI doctor placed a stint in the area of the stenosis and injected the muscle with Botox, in an attempt to paralyze the muscle; thus eliminating the constant pain, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss I was suffering with. Though we weren’t hopeful this approach would successfully cure me, we figured we had nothing to lose.
Though uncommon, the procedure was a relatively simple day surgery. After the procedure I left the hospital feeling fine. Much to my dismay, the next day proved to be just as bad as all the days before it. I was still nauseous, still in chronic pain, and still vomitting. I called my surgeon and we decided we would consult with my GI specialist about scheduling the surgery. A few weeks passed and I still hadn’t received a surgery date so I called my GI doctor. During this time I did notice that I was starting to feel better. My pain was drastically less severe, manageable even, and my episodes of nausea and vomitting were become less and less frequent. When I reported this to my GI doctor, he recommended a repeat round of Botox injections and I agreed, willing to try anything that could potentially help me avoid surgery.
Since that first procedure I have improved more and more everyday. I’m writing, not only here on my blog, but for the website HerViewFromHome.com, and I’ve picked up a good amount of freelance work, too. I’m grocery shopping on my own and carrying the bags in all by myself! I feel better than I have in a year. I feel so great that I actually worked out for the first time in over a year last week and just this week joined a local yoga studio and completed an Hour of Power class. I have another class scheduled for this afternoon.
For a long time I believed I was doomed to be sick forever. I struggled to find good doctors who really listened to me and went the extra mile to figure out what was causing me such troubles. Out of an unfortunate emergency surgery last year came an invaluable blessing for me; I met my surgeon. By chance, he happened to be on-call when I required emergency surgery. He’s been a dedicated, caring, compassionate, and thorough source of information and support ever since. He also convinced a nationally acclaimed GI specialist to take me on as a patient, even though he wasn’t accepting new patients. Because of the expertise, dedication, and unwillingness to accept defeat, I have been able to regain my life. I have been able to be the wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, aunt, and friend I have always meant to be.
We haven’t had the best weather here lately. In fact, we’ve had record breaking rain fall and cold temperatures for this time of year. We did have one nice afternoon a few weeks back though, and I knew just how to spend it. As soon as my son got off of the school bus I handed him his baseball glove, a baseball, and his bat and we took a walk to the park where we played for what seemed like ages. Watching the baseball soar into the sky, I imagined the memory of the horrible Winter and my poor health as a distant one; soaring further and further away.