That Awkward Moment When I Got Really Sick

Yep. It happened to me. I could have died. By God’s grace and some amazing bizarre things inside, I didn’t. So, I’ve mentioned in another post that I am overweight. Well, apparently, my fat saved my life. I just want to hug it now. I had a ruptured appendix for a week! How did I have it a week and did not get sick, you ask? My abdominal fat held it in one place and my body encapsulated it into a 5cm ball of an abscess. It caught all of the infection and did not let it pass into my tissues and blood stream.

I didn’t even realize it had ruptured. My family and I were out of town on vacation and I thought I just needed to have more bowel movements. I had pain for three days and then it went away. I went shopping with the pain. Cooked meals with the pain. Went swimming with the pain. Toured the Alamo with the pain. It just was not bad enough to stop me. The next week was the childrens’ first week of school and at the end of the first homeschool day, the pain came back. We shortly left for choir practice at church and I ignored it. During choir practice I started to get very cold. I even pulled my arms into my shirt to warm up like a 5 year old. I was really really cold. When we got home about 10:30, shivering started. My husband got the kids to bed and it was midnight before we realized, “Oh. Fever and pain? Go to the ER.” We grabbed my backpack and iPhone charger cables and left.

At the hospital, the tests began. My blood work was normal. Sonogram, normal, EKG, normal. It wasn’t until the CT scan that the doctors could see why I didn’t look terribly sick. An abscess had formed and caught the whole infected mess! I had to have an open appendectomy at 6pm that day. The surgeon said that when she got in there, the abscess was completely intact and nothing else had died, like tissue in the small or large intestine. The incision was on the c-section scar that had already been cut 5 times. (I know, right?!) So, in my mind, I knew that historically, I healed quickly and with minimal pain. I was off and going a few days after getting home. Stitches came out a week later. All seemed good. Until…

The day I finished my oral antibiotics, I got a high fever. The fevers kept coming. I felt bedridden sick. I was communicating with my doctor daily. On a Saturday night, I went back to the ER about the fevers and the pain that was developing in my lower abdomen. The CT scan found a small abscess, the doctors drained it and sent me home. This new wound had to be packed and dressed. I have a friend that came over to show my husband what to do. She came a few times. On Tuesday, after the dressing change, we were trying to get the wild children to bed. I got out of bed and felt a lot of pain but noticed nothing else until I made it to the far bedroom. I was soaked in blood. Panicking, we quickly undressed the site and found two new holes had ruptured through. This WAS time for me to panic.

Two days later, I was admitted back into the hospital and had surgery to open the stitches, clean the area, get IV antibiotics and have a wound vac put on. It was decided that the c-sections and scar tissue had decreased the circulation to effectively heal. So they put on the mechanical leach called a wound vac to create a negative pressure wet healing environment. This allows my body to heal from the inside out and draw new stem cells to the granulation tissue. I love the wound vac. It is a friend. I got a portable one and was sent home to recover in my own bed. The portable one… is an annoying friend. It makes pooting noises every few minutes and honestly, I don’t want to go to church when it makes those noises. “Let us pray…” silence… heads bowed… *POOOOOOT* I don’t think so. I also am limited to scrubs, pjs, or yoga pants.

I wish I could say this experience was humbling. It has been more humiliating to me than humbling. My ego wants to get pretty big. And then the wound vac farts again.

I’m supposed to be the one who this doesn’t happen to, right? I’m the healthcare pro. What will my clients think? Ego. What did I do wrong to not prevent this? I have no clue. Ego. Why did I get sick again? Age, previous surgeries, etc. Ego.

I sulked for days, popping hydrocodone for pain and complaining about how terrible the hospital’s meal plan was for my health and recovery. I talked with fellow practitioners. I tried to get all “science-y” about it and tackle my recovery with perfection. Ego. I didn’t have it in me and that made me angry. Ego. I don’t like my ego. Apparently I LOVE my ego. And that annoys me.

I don’t know if God is teaching me a lesson but here is what I am observing: I’m older. My body needs longer healing time than it used to. It has done such a good job of keeping me at rest that even thoughts of church, work, and politics have taken a rest too. Even my mind wants to be still. Honestly, that part has been refreshing. Because I have had a break for basically 2 months from my routine, I want to restructure my approach to what I give my time and thoughts to. I want to narrow focus to pin point the direct purpose and intention in that place I give my attention. I like the quiet I’ve had in my head. Rest.

I’m also observing new food aversions and cravings. I have a revived killer sense of smell and with a toddler, I don’t enjoy that. 😉 I currently want nothing to do with coffee. I crave green tea. I crave celery in soup. I crave many but small meals.

I miss people. I miss seeing my clients. I miss going to church and choir practice. I miss the seminars I was looking forward to. I miss the freedom to go where I wanted when I want in my minivan. Now I have to plan it around my narcotics wearing off.

Drugs… I’ve taken a LOT of IV antibiotics and oral antibiotics that cover tons of different bacteria. While they were saving my life, I now need to clean out, repair, rebuild, and nourish. I did not reject the meds given to me at the hospital. I became a Natural Health Professional specifically to avoid “healthcare” as much as possible but this time, it just wasn’t possible. But my doctors and nurses were all  saying, “You were well prepared for this. You are obviously taking care to give your body what it needs or you would have had ______ happen.” I avoided worse. I can live with that.

I mentioned all that was happening to a woman once and she empathetically said, “You’re broken!” I didn’t agree at all! I replied back quickly, “I’m alive and healing! I’m doing amazing things!” While I lay in bed, I breathe in and out. Nourish and detox. I sleep a lot. Rest, relax and repair. I snuggle with my kids. I am still and available, and alive. I get to reflect. I saw THIS post about a conversation I had with my sister and find my heart thankful. And amazed at what things my body is doing while I lay in my bed.

I didn’t gain amazing insight to how to save a dead appendix or how to double my healing rate. I didn’t seek the answers to world peace while down. The week I let all those pressures quiet and release any obligation to learn something amazing from all this… my wound doubled it’s healing. I simply let me be exactly where I need to be… and rest.

My friend, our bodies are amazing. There is a true adventure as we ride this life in them. We may hit bumps in the road. We may get off track. We may lose parts of us along the way. Let us not be so angry with our circumstances that we become angry with our bodies. They are always serving, striving to keep us alive. Let us make sure to be thankful and rest when they need a little TLC.