Grace filled ER visit

Monday, May 14, 2012

Okay Lord, I’m learning!

I made plans and He had different plans.

Sunday I told my husband that I wanted to return to work Monday night for the closing mass of the year. It was only going to be for an hour or so and I was confident I was up for it.  Ten days after surgery and I was feeling strong and getting around pretty well so what could stop me?

He did! I woke up Monday morning in extreme back pain, I could not stand and was having a difficult time taking a deep breath and as I got more concerned, my breaths  became even shallower. Started to get a little tense…and that doesn’t help with the steady breathing.kelvin getting really worried, and the fear in his eyes doesn’t help either.

Meditate…breath slowly…Jesus I trust in you…

I practiced meditating for these moments…breath slowly…Jesus I trust in You…

I get my breath back but Kevin has already paged and talked to Dr. Jaskowiak and we are heading to U of C’s ER.

I’ve never been a patient in an ER, but I know I need to go, so I struggle to get dressed and wait as Kevin gets frantically dressed for his day and Zach gets abruptly waken to follow us down. It’s 6:00 am!

We arrive and there is no waiting – which never happens in an ER – thank you Lord! Dr. J had called down so I was moved into a ‘private room’ in the ER, which just means paper walls between patients instead of curtains, but I am grateful for a little privacy.  Heart rate low, bp low, EKG looks normal. They eliminate anything wrong with the heart. Good news.

But still in real pain here!  So transport picks me up to moves me to Radiology for a CT. The blood disorder I have always raises concerns about clotting, so we need to check the lungs and since I was having trouble breathing and the pain was in my left back side …lungs. I had not thought of that at home and memories of my brothers pain with his pulmonary embolism come flooding back and I begin to pray hard.  The dye they inject into the IV is not successful. My arm is burning and the tech is trying to get me to raise my left arm for the CT. Sorry ten days after a mastectomy and it does not raise up hardly at all. The tech has so much patience with me, thank you Lord. Finally after a new IV tube I can go back to my ‘private’ ER room.  Can it really be 10:30 am already?  Exhausted, I try to sleep between bells and pages, but still no pain meds…they are coming Dr. Moore says. Dr. Moore is the resident, I actually think I am old enough to be his mother, despite my sadness at that reality I like him. He is young, but kind and very thorough. The attending is Dr. House.  I know, I know he said Dr. House. Well it was not Hugh Laurie, which is good cuz there are no bedside manners with him.  Dr. House checks in to reassure me he is overseeing all his residents.  Please get me pain relief. (Later, when I get home I discover it is actually Dr. Howes)

Finally at 11:00 they fill my IV with Dilaudid, which works for about a half hour and they administer another dose. Temporary relief.

Noon comes around and they are releasing me. No embolisms -good news! So no immediate emergency. I page Kevin to help me get dressed. He was running in between meetings in Bernard Mitchell Hospital trying to get a day of work in at my urging. He is not happy, how can they release me with no explanation. But they do, Dr. J wants to examine me up in the Breast Center.

Before I leave the nurse ask how my pain is doing and I explain that the medicine has worn off, she asks if I want Vicodin, which I have never taken, but I want to see if it will take away the pain.  Before getting to the 2nd floor of the DCAM I am feeling much better.  Finally!

Good news…after my exam Dr. Jaskowiak feels its most likely was muscle trauma -something I may have done or just from all the muscle strain during surgery. Vicodin was the answer. Treat the pain so it can heal. And even more good news – one of the JP drain was coming out.  She checked how the mastectomy was healing and applied new surgical strips.

I asked if I could start walking around the block and doing some yoga moves to work on flexibility and range of motion. She smiled and said “walking yes, yoga thoughts yes…no yoga postures yet.”  And home we went…Zach and I pulled in at 4:45, Kevin went to finish his day after the exam and got home after 8…and almost directly to bed for us all. Exhausting day.

Grace embraced:  So many lessons learned:

A dear friend wanted to make sure I share if yoga thoughts are as effective as yoga postures! I’ll keep you updated.

Take the pain medicine, so your body can put its energy to healing you.

Know that sometimes digging my heels in is not an effective way to maneuver in Gods path, so the ploughing may be deep, but I was told by a relative that when I begin to let him steer flowers will bloom behind me.

Don’t schedule my healing, only the healer can do that and I trust him to do so.  I guess I was not meant to be at the closing mass.

Humility…He is always teaching me humility.  The one thing I think I coined as friends and family asked last month if they could tell others about my diagnosis is “I’m not hiding it, but I’m not posting it on Facebook”.  Again, lesson learned…the Spirit had me hit something mistakenly when I was on my graceembraced blog instead of my balancinglifeandfaith blog and POP! Two posting within hours posted on my Facebook page without intent.  And to force me to laugh about it, the posts were Pathology report and A Loss of a Breast…now those will get attention. Why couldn’t it have been Whos in the mirror … that would have not gotten much notice. But when the Lord teaches lessons He only has to do it once! I’m comfortable with people sharing my blogs with those that can enjoy them. I just have never been a self promoter of them. Humility, I get it 🙂

I learned! And I am forever grateful for every humbling, embarrassing and joyful lesson