So I guess we're all about to find out. Enjoy the ride with me!
I don't know where to even begin in this story and journey.
Do I start with the scariness of pain and bleeding when I was sixteen and had no idea what was going on and was too embarrassed to talk about it?
Do I skip ahead to age eighteen when I was in Texas for a week of doula training and called my mommy just sobbing on the phone because my symptoms had become so bad?
Or what about that first colonoscopy after which I was diagnosed with Crohn's and really had no idea what that entailed but knew for a fact I didn't want to follow that particular doctor's regimen for the disease?
What about those two years I faithfully tried to treat my disease with only nutrition and vitamins?
What about that one year of no insurance when I survived on prayer and prayer alone?
And that first hospitalization...when I was so sick I couldn't even absorb water and was admitted for dehydration?
Or maybe those numerous subsequent hospital stays for bowel obstructions, enduring more pain and agony that I imagined possible at age twenty-two?
Perhaps I could begin with the goodness of God in 2013 when He (finally) gave me a combination of meds AND nutrition that began a tremendous work of healing in my body and the up and down journey ever since during the past two and a half years?
Maybe I should just start with the beginning of this year of 2015 when I had a weeks and weeks long partial bowel obstruction but was too stubborn to admit myself to the hospital...and the frustration of being so very sick, while knowing the Crohn's itself was in remission.
I could definitely begin with the power of prayer and how God MIRACULOUSLY made me better for a weekend so I could enjoy a twenty-fifth birthday Wisconsin Dells weekend getaway with almost ALL of my favorite girls.
For sure and for certain I could begin with sharing of the unbelievable goodness of my God in giving me a man that loves and cares for me better during sickness (and health) than I could have even imagined. I could write about the incredible difference it makes having his love and peaceful presence. I could mention that sometimes I actually cry out of sheer gratitude to my Savior and my man.
I'll try to stop dragging this story out so much but no promises so bear with me.
Whoops. Got distracted by Jimmy Fallon and toast eating and picture choosing. Now it's 6:30.
I'm going to jump to August 20th now. First of all, August 20th was my bestie's 25th birthday. So that's awesome and the first thing that I think of.
The second thing that comes to mind, is going to a routine doctor appointment down in Madison with my GI specialist and having the wind knocked out of me when he recommended surgery.
Isn't that what we've been AVOIDING with everything we're worth over the past several years?
I was shocked. I was a mess. I was scared.
He thinks I should have a bowel resection? He thinks it'll only get more dangerous if I don't?
NO NO NO NO NO, is what I wanted to say. But thankfully I have Jesus and a boyfriend and a family and a church family and the bestest besties any woman could ever ask for and they helped me clearly think this thing through from every angle.
And after meeting with the surgeon and having a really not-fun test, I knew it's what needed to happen. So, September 29th had "SURGERY" written on it, which happened to be only two short days after a long trip to Montana.
Yes, I was stressed and overwhelmed and freaking out. But God's Word is powerful and having those closest to me speak its Truth into my mind and heart helped bring some of that peace that passes all understanding.
Tuesday the 29th I got out of bed, finished packing my hospital bag, took a shower with that special surgery soap, drank my surgery prep drink, jumped in my car, picked up my mom, and drove down to Madison. Honestly, I wanted to cry but I really was at peace. I knew it was the right thing to do. I knew God's hand of protection was upon me, no matter the outcome.
IV was put in (after some work...dang veins), vitals taken, blood drawn, pharmacist's questions answered, anesthesiologist met, and then I just waited.
Surgeries don't start on time, guys. Just in case you're wondering. And they can't give you happy, chill out meds until you meet with the surgeon, which you can't do until she's out of the previous surgery.
Yeah. It was a fun few hours.
On the upside, that meant that both my dad and my pastor got there in time to pray with and for me before surgery began. God is good.
Then all of a sudden I was being wheeled into surgery and I remember the anesthesiologist telling me to dream happy dreams and then things went black.
The next thing I knew was waking up in the recovery room and crying and sobbing in pain and agony. I still can't believe how much it hurt right away. And I couldn't see anyone or anything because I didn't have my glasses. The one thing I clearly remember is the nurse holding my hand while I bawled my eyes out. In fact, remembering those moments has me crying tears into my lap while I type at this very moment.
Eventually I was moved to my hospital room and my boyfriend and parents were able to come be with me up there. I really remember nothing from that evening, except that they were there. And really, that's enough.
The days following were some of the very worst of my entire life. My surgery itself went wonderfully (praise GOD!!!) but my first week of recovery was a nightmare. Much longer, much more painful, much more nauseating than anyone anticipated. Apparently my body hates surgery with a passion.
Words cannot express my gratitude to each and every person who was praying for me. Knowing so many were lifting me up before the Throne of God is what kept me going during a week that felt a month long. Thank you. Just thank you.
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.
1 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
3 As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.
4 The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.
5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.