Being in the worst pain of your life brings a bit of perspective to your day. Not just pain where you get a tattoo, brake a bone, or cut your skin. The pain level I experienced was so intense, I was told very few people will every feel this way in a lifetime. It was equivalent to a woman giving birth, 8 times. At once.
Around Thanksgiving I’ve been experiencing really uncomfortable stomach pain. I put it off as food poisoning. The pain was getting worse. After a doctors visit, I got an ultra sound and I was told it was gastritis with the possibility of gallstones. After Christmas my pain started getting really bad, I had already lost 12 lbs from not being able to keep liquids or solids. I could barely move, and crying intensified the pain. I was given pain medication and was told to lay off spicy foods for a while.
On New Years Eve at 2am, I passed out from my pain. At 3 am, Scott took me to the ER. Since it was New Years Eve, I thought for sure I'd have to wait. Thankfully, I was treated ASAP. The next few hours were insane. I was given painkillers, an ultrasound, and after throwing up blood, I was told it was an infected pancreas, infecting my stomach, gallbladder and liver. The radiologist and ultra sound technician at the doctors office failed to read my ultra sound correctly and prescribed medicine that aggravated the swelling and infection. I was told if I were to wait another day, I would have died. Not exactly the way I wanted to start 2011.
My liquid diet for the next week was frustrating, but before I had surgery, I couldn't have any incisions until my swelling went down. Once I had surgery, I was ready to go home. I can't remember much of the hospital stay, I passed out half the time and listening to Scott read my emails, texts and tweets. I may have been heavily medicated, but I heard and loved every word sent. I learned the power of social networking. Amazing how much hope a little tweet under 140 characters can be, how a short email can let me know I’m being thought of.
I learned the power of prayer. Good thoughts, well wishes, hopes for the best, whatever you want to call it, it’s a form of prayer and it was immensely uplifting. I learned the potential of hope. I've experienced emotional pain, but I knew it would pass. I've never experienced this much physical pain. In other words, I'm ready for laboring some babies. 8 of them. At once.
Yes it was traumatic, yes it could have been more dramatic than it is, but I have a playful husband who likes to tell jokes at inappropriate times. That one personality quirk from Scott that normally drives me crazy, was one of the few things I loved about being in the hospital. He was there as early as he the nurses would let him, to the late hours of being kicked out. I think he's done a good job sticking to his vows, to love me through sickness and health. He also plays a good nurse during recovery.
I learned I’m loved. Seriously. Thank you.
Here's a do-over for my start of 2011, Happy New Year!