December 2, 2016
Instead of a trip down south for the winter in our 5th wheel trailer, I have been on a hospital trip for brain surgery and a temporary trip on narcotics now afterwards. I had my craniotomy, brain surgery, to take out an epidermoid mass the other Friday and now am on the recovery path.
The past month has been a whirlwind as the pathway poured open from the discovery of the tumor to now, the recovery, after its extraction. For more details leading up to this point, I encourage you to read some past postings, as I’ll continue on now.
I was in the ICU for one day after the surgery. I was under the assumption it was to help gain control over the pain aspect, but I guess it must have been only to make sure my brain did not explode or get infected right away. I was nervous when they announced I was moving into the regular recovery ward. Already? I guess that was good, but I definitely felt pushed to the next stage. That was the first of many pushes to get me on the road to recovery.
Most of these next few days are fortunately not too memorable. I only remember waking up to extreme pain in the neck muscles and inside my skull in addition to the inability to swallow much of anything. I welcomed the next intravenous drug they would inject into me where I would soon loft off to sleep once more. It got to a point where I was afraid to sleep because every position I tried, I woke up to a splitting headache. There had to be one position, but what is it? We also struggled to find the combination and timing of medicines that would minimize the valleys of pain. Not one night in the hospital was successful at achieving this, making me nervous when the time to going home came. I was hopeful a nicer bed would help in the rest department.
To add insult to injury, my 3 original IV’s had dried up and they ended up having to find 2 more entry points. One was so deep, they had to use an ultrasound to place the needle into it. I even had an extra point into an artery that had to have a stitch in it too. I never knew. By that point, the pain was negligible. Oxygen line, tubes, ice packs, heat packs, taped up hands, arms, and legs. Dried up blood, green, yellow, and black bruises. Tons of residual tape residue on my body, arms, legs, and hair. Oh look, another strange mark. I wonder what that was from? Yup, not quite the photo-op moment.
In addition to this, I had no appetite whatsoever. I forced myself to have at least a little bite of something knowing it was critical to giving me the strength to get better. However, I continued to drink tons and tons of water as the cottony mouth continued to bother me. Later on, I also started to have itching, dizziness, and sight reactions to one of the narcotics I was given. From laying down for so long, my hamstrings and tailbone just ached and spasmed. Several times I awoke in tears and anxiety that brought on an asthmatic-type reaction.
Yes, this was miserable. But I did not want to disclose this to you to gain sympathy, but to show I am not a super-human or have achieved some higher-level thought process that puts me above all of this. I am human, just as Jesus was fully human. He too went through real pain that we easily overlook. He willingly was tortured and rejected for us. He did this to reach down into our pit of humanity and bring us out of our disastrous lives. As for me, I can only hope this experience brings God glory by reaching into someone else’s pit to show there is hope, peace, and healing so much greater than ourselves.
Even in my pit, God was watching over me. One morning, I had an extreme electric-like spasm in my hamstring at 3:00am. I was terrified to get back to the bed for several hours. I had no clue what caused that and wanted some answers. Later on that morning, my sister texted me asking what was going on at 3am because she, her husband, and my niece had all awakened at that same time. She said it must have been seriously disturbing since the family was summoned. Wow. I don’t know why I am amazed at this, because my Heavenly Father never sleeps, but am so grateful for their prayers for me at that point in time. God knew I needed support in the flesh to help me through this. Praise God for how He works.
Through this time, I hope I was a blessing to the roommates and provided a little humor for the nursing staff. Joel was able to voice and demonstrate to several how he lives out his four responsibilities as a husband to: Provide, Protect, Love, and Lead. He showed how beautifully open and selflessly loving a good marriage is to international staff who never grew up with that model for Jesus’s love for us. In addition, a Nigerian man pointed out how “Regina” means “queen”. I was able to say with excitement that I was a child of the one true King. Do you know for certain if you are also a child of the one True King as well? Don’t kid yourself, not everyone is. Check out http://www.twowaystolive.com to find out more.
Until we meet again,