The Truth; My Lies

Its quite honestly a funny sensation to feel yourself losing consciousness. Not funny in the “ha-ha” sense but more in the “I never asked to get on this ride and yet ironically, here I am sense”. Last Tuesday I went in for the follow-up visit to continue removing the rest of the excess skin that was hanging around after my 140 pounds of weight loss and my in and out procedure went awesome! My tolerance is high so the “take-it-away meds before hand struggled to take it away, but aside from that, I remember great conversation and Adam Levine belting out Sugar in the operating room.

Heath was bummed because he couldn’t break away from work to be with me this time but Zach was already off school so it worked out. When Zach came back to pick me up from the office I gently slid into the trucks passenger side seat and we headed home. There really are bonuses to having a driving kid. I may make him grab milk, bananas, and peanut butter on his way to or from somewhere on a weekly basis but all in all he hangs with me. That morning we joked back and forth on the drive to the pharmacy as we headed home. I wouldn’t be able to keep doing Body Beast with him because of needing to take a 6 week break because of the procedure. He smirked at me knowing I was bummed and he would just continue to pack on muscle. Brat! Working out to the same program with my son has been a total “mom moment experience” for me. I know he thinks he is all big and badass but for me, its been something to share with him, something to talk about, gripe about, grow with, and laugh through… together.

Zach pulled into the pharmacy and I gently hopped out, grabbing my scripts and went to close the truck door and through my purse up and over my shoulder. As I did my drainage tubing got tangled in amongst my strapping. As adjusted myself I noticed that my pant leg was drenched. I wiped my hand across my thigh, not remembering having a bottle of water sitting against me in the truck, and brought my hand back up, seeing a red tinge across my palm. In the middle of the parking lot I pulled my pants away from waist and looked down them to see what the hell was going on (on lookers oh well). Argh!! The stupid tube-bulb-thingy was leaking and it was totally ruining my new sweats! Isn’t it strange the things that we care about in moments like this?

I walked into the pharmacy, handed my slips to the tech and sat down hoping it was going to be fast. The sweats were thick and black, so they would soak up whatever was making its way out of the hole in my left hip. That’s fun to say, NOT! I signed for my pain meds and my antibiotic and walked back to Zach so he could drive us home. I got in and sat down explaining what was going on and we went on our way. I walked in the house and made my way up the stairs to change and adjust the tubing. I remembered I had to check the bubble attached to the mile long tubing every 8 hours. I had left the paper the nurse practitioner gave me in my purse down stairs so I reached for the dry erase markers and wrote myself a chart on the bathroom mirror. In red marker I wrote 1 p.m. I looked down at the bubble to see where we were starting and the dang thing was already full! It had only been an hour tops since leaving Frederick, getting my scripts, and walking up here to the bathroom. I scratched my head and wrote 100 ml’s. I drew a line underneath it and then wrote 9 p.m. in that spot for later.

I had my laptop on the bed and figured I would catch up on the movies I am supposed to watch for my Death, Dying, and Bereavement course at McDaniel. I had my notebook, my headphones, my pen, pillows all around me and it was time to just chill, relax, and zen out. Well, the pain meds from pre-op apparently kicked in so I may have dozed off instead of pressing play on How to Die in Oregon. I woke up with my notebook laying across my stomach and the bulb that is supposed to me catching all the drainage and blood to my left-handside, it was sitting in a puddle and now my pirate pajama bottoms were saturated. I shot up cussing because now my favorite white and blue quilt had a circle of blood that stained through it and my favorite purple sheets, all the way through to the freaking mattress pad were stained as well! I picked up the bulb and walked to the bathroom so I could figure out what I had done, thinking I must have turned over during my nap and pinched the tubing, causing it to spill out instead of fill up but as I looked at the blasted bulb in my hand I realized it was full again. I scratched my head again, thinking to myself, “that’s a lot of blood, more so than last time”. I popped open the top, put it at eye level to measure it and again it said 100 ml, a little more but that was the top line. Reaching for my red marker and looking for my cell phone to see what time it was, I then began worrying internally as it was not even 3 pm. That is definitely not an 8 hour window between blood dumps!

I am what you may call a worry-wart. I admit it openly and daily wrestle to stay present and not let my mind “go” places when things happen. I have sworn off Web MD. Too many things kept giving me and my loved ones Sarcoidosis! So, I try to be more like my husband… level headed, logical, pragmatic. In looking at the blood I was dumping out into the toilet I even told myself, “its all good, I probably walked to much, I did pinch the tubing while I was sitting in the truck on the way home, I walked the stairs, twice, and then I probably rolled over on it all while I was asleep, no-biggie, and I feel fine”.

I emptied the bulb again at 4:45pm. It was at 100 mls. I was emptying it again when Heath got home at 530 because it was already at 75mls. In my head I was screaming, “WHAT THE F***?!” To my husband, I said, “I don’t know what the heck is wrong with this, I am just going to text her and let her know it keeps filling up and leaking out the side”. To which he responded as he always does calmly, “come here, lets fix ya”. Heath grabbed the surgical tape and some medical gauze and we folded it over and wedged it up under the tube coming out the hole in my left hip and taped it down. That seemed to keep that in tact and was soaking up the seeping well. I sat down and relaxed for the rest of the evening, emptying the bulb again at 7 pm, 8:30, and 10pm when I was told that the drainage was normal to be higher the first 24 hours.

Normal. That’s a fun word. I went to bed Tuesday night feeling “normal”. I got up to pee at 3am and was soaked in blood again, both my side and my bulb were overflowing. Cussing but thankful I had put a chuck down before going to bed, I switched the chuck out for a fresh one (thank god for potty training a toddlers, right?!). I gingerly laid back down as the incisions really were aching now and my pain meds were wearing off but I was getting up in 3 hours anyways and didn’t want to sleep through my alarm. Grumbling to myself I drifted back to sleep.

Heath woke me up before he left the room at 4:30am and I kissed him. Bella crawled in the bed next to me. I made a mental note (like all moms do) not to roll over on top of her to hit the snooze button when it alarms later. Bella reached out her hand and intertwined her little fingers with mine and waited for Heath to say goodbye. I gave him that half-alseep-I-love-you-thank-you-for-working-this-suck-ass-schedules-you-at-the-crack-ass-of-dawn-job-I-promise-to-free-you-from-it-soon-kiss from the side of my turned face and then drifted back to sleep. I had felt the stubble on his chin and smelled his freshly applied Swagger deodorant as I closed my eyes, trying to catch more sleep before the alarm.

MUSIC BLARING. My eyes opened and I remembered the midget was in the bed with me. I needed to hurry up and shut the alarm off before the monster woke up! I shot up outta bed and scurried all the way around my side, across the front of the bed and then down her side to Heath’s bedside table and slammed the alarm off. Whew! That was close. She is royal pain in the butt in the mornings. And I wanted my first cup of coffee to be sans Hells-Bells.

There was no first cup of coffee Wednesday morning. I made my way to the bathroom so I could pee, dump more blood in the toilet from my bulb-thingy, and record the next amounts numbers on my mirror in the red dry erase marker. My head felt woozy. I thought to myself, “COFFEE”. I am sitting on my toilet reaching for my pajama bottoms and missed. As I knelt down I felt tingly around my mouth, down my arms, and my legs. It felt like that feeling you feel when you sat on your legs indian style too long and you go to get up and its tingling pins and needles up and down as the feeling and blood flow comes back into your extremities. I remember saying to myself, “This is not ok”. I remember getting up from the toilet, pulling up my pants, lunging for my cell phone and staggering out my bedroom door. I was holding the wall by the laundry room. “HART!!!!!”, I yelled first because he would be up for his workout. No response. “Zach!!!!!”, I yelled because I knew he would be awake but not sure where he would be, up or down stairs. No response. I fell to my knees, my head was feeling heavy, my legs were feeling heavy. I wasn’t making sense to myself. I saw Hart running up the stairs. I slid my cell phone across the floor and said “911 too much bleeding” and then laid back against the wall and a trash-bag full of clothes I had cleaned out from the kids room. I knew I was losing too much blood. I needed to stay still. I needed to stay awake. I needed to help them help me.

Hart held my hand as he was on the phone. I don’t remember what he said. Mason came out of the bathroom from his shower and went down the stairs. He didn’t know what was happening. Was this going to be the last thing he remembers? Getting up on a Tuesday and taking a shower, coming out and seeing Mommy on the floor in the hallway? My mommy’s mind was still firing, blood loss or not. Zach was holding my hand as we waited on the paramedics and Justin took Bella down into his room away from it all. Nikki and Seren were still asleep. Would I not see them again? Would they still be mad at me because the night before they didn’t do their chores and I snapped at them? Zach’s hand was shaking in mine. He will be 18 on Sunday I thought to myself. I’m going to be fine I said in my head. “Call Heath”, I slurred out.

My words sounded slow, my brain felt like it was swimming. Trying to explain to the EMT’s that I had an out patient procedure the morning before and was bleeding too much felt like it took me forever. They got me down the stairs on this transformer-wheely-lookin-thing and then I rolled up on the bed and we went up and in the back of the ambulance. I remember thinking, “Shit, I need my purse, grab me a shirt (sports bra was pretty but chilly), and Bell, get Bell to daycare please!!”

The guy who put in my IV was awesome. I didn’t feel a thing. I knew I was going to be fine. I just needed to get help. My boys did awesome. But now I was scared. I often wonder what purpose does fear really have. In my blood draining haze I started racing in my mind with how awful this was for them. But they handled themselves amazingly. They held my hand the way I would have held theirs. Hart took command of the situation and got me help. Zach stayed with me and talked me through it. I was proud of them I thought sleepily.

Heath walked into my Emergency Room cubby with a curtain. He had that look. The one he always has when he’s eerily calm. I felt kinda drunk but hadn’t had a thing. I could see his handsome face, both of them. My eyes were as fuzzy as my brain apparently. I felt his hands grab mine and I remember saying I was sorry and him asking me why. It seems silly now. “I’m sorry for bleeding, Love, I won’t do it again”.

Someone came in to draw blood. I don’t remember if I said it out loud but I know I said in my head, “Can’t you take what’s coming out over here?”. Next, I remember a guy walking straight toward me and reaching out his hand. I uncrossed my eyes and I hope I said it internally, but even in my woozy state I was competent enough to think, hunky doc, sweet”. I’m not really sure if there is a correlation or not, but the last couple of procedures I have had that went sideways landed me with some super cute doctors. Do they get more attractive the more acute the care needed? I digress, Dr. Day of Our Lives felt along the lower incision and checked out the one at my belly button. Then he looked at me and said, “You aren’t going to like me very much but I am going to get you all fixed up”.

My blood work came back ok, I was not in danger of a needing a blood transfusion yet but if they couldn’t stop the bleeding it was going to be the next option. There was a bubbling about the size of on half of baseball above my belly button. Dr. Days of Our Lives firmly pressed down on it and blood increasingly poured into my bulb. He had found the bleed but it was INside of me. He offered me pain meds and I declined. He came back and had a Binder for around my middle. We secured that and waited for the bleeding to slow down enough so that I could go see my surgeon for further follow up. I began to feel myself again but my middle also began to ache.

“Can I change my mind about the pain meds, please?”. Whatever she shot into my IV made me warm all over and that was the end of that. It had been sometime around 6 am when all this started. It was a little after noon when we were walking (thank goodness) out of the ER. Heath drove me to my surgeons office and they tried to catch me before I sat down so I wouldn’t have to stand back up again. No dice. Heath followed me back into the room and I sat down on the table, leaning my head back and closing my eyes. I was glad this Binder-thingy was working. I still felt like hell but I felt like a better kinda hell than I felt earlier, so that was good in my book. Dr. A. came in and explained that there was most likely a bleed and that we needed to find it. The only question was how.

Heath was sitting across from in the super comfy leather chair. I could see the him straight on every time the Nurse Practitioner moved from one side of the room to the other. “Let’s lay you back and look at what we can find”. Let me preface the rest of this with, I absolutely, LOVE my doctor, am still and will always go back to him for anything needed in the future, but the rest of that visit was not pleasant.

I laid on a table, awake, in front of my husband as my doctor unsewed what he had so beautifully pulled together the morning before, searching  for and finding what was making me lose so much blood. He found and removed the very clot and then sewed me back up and was done. Now there are quite a few perspectives at play during this scenario and that is why I am even writing this (there is some catharsis involved too, I’m an intuit at heart). Everything you have read thus far is strictly from my point of view. It is my interpretation of the events. It is all my truths. There are other truths from that day.

Even in my description to follow it will be my truth. I am only half of the message. The other half is your individual interpretation. As I was headed to his office, I imagine Dr. A was contemplative and preparing for whatever he projected would be at hand upon my arrival. He looked calm, composed, and concentrated the entire time I was laying on his table. Even when I winced and cussed and said “no more” as he was searching around behind my un-sewn belly button for the bleed. His face didn’t change nor did his eyes. I watched intently trying to concentrate on anything. I looked at his face, searching for any tell that would indicated this poker hand was about to get folded. Nothing. I did think to myself, “His focus is immaculate, and this is why I know I am ok”. This was my rationalization and my solace.

Across the room, just out of reach was Heath. He couldn’t hold my hand but he was given the horrid chance to watch me be opened and explored. This was not a baby coming out this time. There was not procedural steps that I knew to tell him about having gone through it so many times before. This was scary and shocking and new to us both. I wanted him to leave. I didn’t want whatever he was seeing to be imprinted on his brain or his heart. As I lay there on the table I did tell him he didn’t need to stay for this, half hoping he would, half hoping he would not. I imagined what he must be seeing. I distracted my brain with that when I could not see his face. Was he horrified? Was he scared? Did he want to scoop me up and run from the room or just close his eyes and pretend the covers were still over his head and the morning hadn’t even started yet? Maybe he was in his mind thinking of what he could have done different. Was he blaming himself? What could I have done different? Why was this even happening?

Dr. A closed me up. That was a truth for all of us present. Heath looked relieved and that was a truth from my perspective. I was ok now, a truth for me. It was done. There is the lie.

Heath I held hands as we walked out of the office. We were given instructions on what to look for and how to proceed. I would follow up the next day and continue to keep track of my drainage bulb thingy. As we drove home it slowly began to sink in that this day was crazy and that I truly could not understand what anyone else had gone through other than through my own interpretation of the days events. Yes, Heath and I talked about what happened, what he thought, saw, and felt about it all. I shared my perspective and he shared his and in doing so it eliminated the fear. That is a truth I came to grasp through this days events that leaves me feeling grateful.

When I was sitting up against the wall earlier that day, waiting for help to arrive, I was creating fear. I was literally making room for it to settle inside of me. When I was sitting in the back of the ambulance and started stressing over Bella getting to daycare, I was creating a fear of what might happen. As I was laying on the table and staring across at my husband worrying that he shouldn’t be there, I again, was creating fear, where there was not any present.

Creating fear is what happens when we consciously let go of our truth. We are taught how to do that from the time we are born, as those that teach us are taught the same. This is something I can see that I have done through most of my life. When reaching a finger into the cigarette lighter of my uncle’s car as a small child, my hand was smacked. The adult in an effort to spare me pain created a fear. When I was 12 and standing on the diving board instead holding to the truth that I was OK, I grounded myself and made room for fear. When I was married to my ex and living a life full of abuse with 5 children, instead of leaving, I made room for fear, and stayed. When Heath and I got together, I held onto and continued to make more room for fear, even in the face of all the reasons….a.k.a. truths….. to stop doing so.

The last year and a half has been a period of growth and in that time many events have happened in my life that I have had to learn how to choose Truth over making room for fear. Last Tuesday was one example of such. I had absolutely no control over anything except my own Truth and that is freeing. I made room for Truth and that leads to gratitude, not fear (And it steers me very clear of Web MD)!

Life Happens, Im grateful for that!

Life Happens, Im grateful for that!

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