Friday, February 5, 2016

A Birth Story of God's Faithfulness Part Eight

 When I was readmitted to the hospital I started out in a normal room and at some point transitioned into the ICU.   The doctor wanted me in the IMU but it was full so I went to the ICU for a day.  I was at a point where I needed more oversight.  Nurses moved me into the Intensive Care in the middle of the night.  I remember being rolled there on my hospital bed.  Once I arrived a whole team of nurses picked up the sheet I was on and lifted me over to the larger bed in the ICU.  It was strange to have all these women hovering over me and lifting me from one bed to another as I was unable to move myself.  I stayed there throughout the night, and I remember hearing a man in a neighboring room screaming out and moaning throughout the night.  The nurses said that he had some mental issues.  The next day I heard a nurse screaming for help as this same patient had attacked her.  I was thankful to have my playlist to help block out some of that noise.  The next day Matt came and helped me all day.  He basically had to help me in and out of the bed about every thirty minutes due to the violent diarrhea I was still experiencing.

 I have been dragging my heels a bit in sharing the main contents of this post.  It is both humbling and emotional for me.  There was one particular day while I was in the hospital that Matt and I remember as being particularly horrifying.  That day struck fear in us and brought forth tears and the pouring out of our hearts to God like none other.  It was the day of the Sigmoidoscopy.  It is a touchy topic to even write about considering the extremely modest lady that I am.  I am going to swallow my pride in this post and share what happened.  I think that is part of me humbling myself so that the Lord may be glorified.
  To start with I had been in the hospital a couple of days and was not doing well.  My GI doctor came  daily, and one day he told me about this test and that he was going to need to go in and do a scope of my colon to rule out Ulcerative Colitis.  He did not have the best bedside manner and told me that he needed to make sure I did not have this terrible condition called Ulcerative Colitis that was so bad that he would not tell me what it was unless I had it.  Those words were not assuring at all, and the thought of the humbling nature of such a test was not either.  I think he could tell that I was trying to process what he had just told me, and so he told me in his blunt way that this is what he does all the time and he had to take a look.  Well, I really had no choice in the matter and so I started preparing for the test which meant starving myself so that I would not have anything in my stomach.
  I remember being wheeled into the room where the Sigmoidoscopy would take place.  I was put into a bed, and as I looked all around me I was surrounded by large computer monitors and wires strung all over the room.  I felt small placed right there in the middle of all this technological equipment with medical staff surrounding and preparing to conduct this test.  I also remember praying and thinking what if I never awoke from this test.  I believe my prayer at that moment was that all my children would repent and believe in Christ so that one day we would all be in heaven.  It is sobering to come to moments like that where you realize that you are going to be put under and you are in control of nothing at all.  Your life is in the hands of the Lord and the doctors whom you have trusted your life to.   Well, I was put to sleep and what I heard upon awaking was horrifying.  I woke up before I was wheeled to recovery, and what I heard was my GI doctor on the phone saying things like, "We have no margin for error here.  This could be a liability case.  I think he thought this was one of the worst cases he had seen.  I guess he was not expecting me to be awake yet, but these are the things I heard while coming back to consciousness.
  I was completely overwhelmed and left trying to figure out what the doctor meant by those statements.  Some nurses then wheeled me to recovery where I laid in the bed crying.  Some of the nurses asked why I was crying.  I told them how I had seven children at home and had just given birth and what I had heard the doctor say.  These nurses tried to comfort me and downplay it, but I was not to be consoled at this point.  The tears were not to be stopped.
  Meanwhile my husband had not eaten all day and was emotionally distraught.  The doctor who performed the Sigmoidoscopy found Matt and had him sit down to discuss my condition.  He told Matt that the baby had been like a cancer to my body and left me with the immune system of an HIV patient which is why so many things were breaking down in my body.  My Albumin level was the lowest he had ever seen in a person without liver failure.  Albumin is the main protein of human blood plasma.  It binds water, cations, fatty acids, hormones, and other substances.  Its main function is to regulate the colloidal osmotic pressure of blood and carry water out of the body.  There was a fear of staff infection on the skin of my legs because the skin was so inflamed.  I also had mouth thrush.  All of this was on top of c-diff which caused sever colitis.  The doctor showed Matt the pictures of the inside of my colon.  It was black, bleeding and oozing puss.  He told Matt that he dared not go very far into my colon because he was afraid he would rupture it.  He told Matt that I was in very critical condition, and that I was a very sick woman.  He also told Matt that he wanted to start some new treatments.  First he wanted to give me TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition) to help build my strength and immunity.  Second he was going to give me a special anti-inflammatory drug that is used for Ulcerative Colitis.  Third he put me on Fidaxomicin.  This is a new drug specially designed for c-diff.  The doctor told Matt that they would watch me closely over the next few days and that one of three things would happen.  Either the treatments would work and I would start improving, the treatments would not work and they would have to remove my colon, or if I did not improve and they did not remove the colon it would rupture and I might die.
  After this talk with the doctor Matt went back to my room to wait on me.  He stood there at my window shaking and trying to compose himself as he waited for me to be brought back to my room.  At the same time I was being wheeled back to my room reeling with fear and confusion and waiting for someone to explain what was be continued.

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me." - Psalm 23:4

1 comment:

  1. When Ruth was finally taken back to the room I could see the fear in her eyes. She could see it in my eyes as well. I tried to comfort her and play down the severity of what the doctor had explained to me, but we were both emotional basket cases. I will let Ruth finish the story of what happened when she came back to the room, but I will say we are eternally grateful for a nurse named Melissa who was attending her during that time.

    I had not eaten all day because the hospital put me on Ruth’s meal plan and canceled my order. I called them when I realized what was going on, but they didn’t bring my lunch until we were back in surgery. When we got back to the room the food had been sitting for a while, and a nurse removed it from the room when Ruth returned. The day had been such a whirlwind it didn’t even occur to me that I had not ate or drank anything the whole day.

    I finally left the hospital around 8:00pm. I called Ruth’s brother on my way home and we spoke for a while. I was weeping and could hardly explain what was going on. He told me how even if you had your colon removed there were new procedures and you wouldn’t necessarily have to have a colostomy bag. It was still very disturbing.
    I was on 290 when we got off the phone and I realized my arms were going numb as I drove. In fact I could hardly control my fingers. I was afraid I was about to pass out. I was getting close to Buc-ees so I pulled off and ran inside and grabbed a bottle of water. Whatever was going on began to subside. I suppose the stress and lack of food or water caused some sort of panic attack. I called our friend Stuart to let him know what was going on, and that I should be home in about 20 minutes.
    I walked in the house and came into the kitchen were Stuart was and collapsed in his arms. It was like all my strength just left me and I couldn’t hold myself together any longer. He just held me for a few minutes then had me sit down at the table and Dianne gave me a plate of food. I sat there and told them about the day. Dianne had taken all the kids to the piano room so they didn’t see me. I was finally able to regain some strength and composure and the Mazyns went home. I don’t know what I would have done without them. I am so thankful to God for their friendship. “I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints.” Philemon 1:4-5