I look back at my life over the past 10 years and think to myself....my life has not really gone the way I thought it would. Many of my well-laid plans never happened and I walked through experiences I had never dreamed walk through. I hadn't planned on losing my daughter. I hadn't planned on losing another baby 4 months later. I hadn't planned on getting a cervical fusion done last year. And then...I hadn't planned on almost dying.
Let's go back 3 weeks ago today. I was scheduled for a routine procedure, a hysterectomy, which would involve only an overnight stay. I ended up having 4 surgeries in 24 hours, in ICU, and spending the next 8 days in the hospital. Not quite what I had planned.
Below is my 8 days as told in quotes....from doctors, nurses, my hubby (S) and myself.
"Most women think afterwards, that's it? After having a spinal fusion, this won't be any big deal" - pre-op nurses to me
"I don't feel well" - me to the nurses in my room, 3 hours post-op
"I'm not quite sure what's wrong. I don't think you are bleeding internally, your heart rate is good, kidney output is good. Perhaps you are having a reaction to the anesthesia. Should we wait to see what your hemoglobin is in an hour?" - Dr. to me, 3.5 hrs post-op
"Colleen!! Colleen!! Stay with me!! Code blue, code blue!!" - nurse yelling, 4 hours post-op
"We couldn't really find anything wrong in there" - Dr. to me, after the second surgery
"Is there a lot of fluid in there?" - Dr.
"Yes, there is a LOT of fluid in there" - ultrasound tech responds to dr.
"We're going to have to cut you wide open this time." - drs. to me, preparing for the third surgery
"We took 2.5 liters of blood out of your stomach cavity, but we still couldn't find the problem"
"We need to transport you downtown, to a bigger hospital, to help us find the problem"
"There's hardly any blood in here, just a trickle" - the anesthesiologist stated while trying three times to get an arterial line in my wrist
"I can't get any readings" - nurses trying to get my blood pressure multiple times while preparing for transport and during transport
"I can't breathe, it hurts so much, I feel like I'm dying" - me, the internal bleeding was crushing my organs, including my diaphragm, and I literally felt like I was suffocating.
"You're in ICU at LGH honey"
"We took another liter of blood out of your stomach cavity and recycled it into your body, you got 12 units of blood, both plasma and platelets"
"I just read your chart and HOLY CRAP! How are you still here?"
"You must have a very strong body"
"She may have some post traumatic stress after this...it was very traumatic and life-threatening. Keep an eye on her." - specialty surgeon to Steve
"After each surgery I could see you getting sicker and sicker, and I didn't think you were going to make it after the third surgery" - dr. to me
"It's a miracle you are still here"
What is some of the worst hours of my life? Absolutely.
And yet, three weeks later, I ponder the miracle, and fragility, of life.