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.

The Trampoline Analogy

Hey! I’ve made you a video about how I perceive a body under stress as a trampoline with giant boulders on it. Maybe this will make sense more if you see my extremely up close hands as I explain it.

Necrotizing Fasciitis…and Moving Forward

It’s a horrific disease. It’s a fast devastation that comes out of nowhere and the mysteries around how we are getting it bother me. Hearing about it more and more grieves me in a deep way. Necrotizing fasciitis is a disease where a virulent bacteria, usually strep A., poisons the tissue between the skin and muscles. The dead tissue can clog organ function like the kidneys. It can get into the blood stream and a person can become septic. It can get other places, too, but it starts in the fascia. It is commonly called the Flesh Eating Bacteria. It was not well known in 2008 when my husband contracted it but thank the Lord our E.R. surgeon knew what it was. He would have been dead in 4 hours had they not completely opened Bob’s left leg and flushed out as much of the necrotic tissue and bacteria they could. His hospital stay lasted 6 1/2 weeks; 10 were in ICU. He had 10 surgeries and 11 months of wound care. I was his wound care nurse. I didn’t mind. I needed to be able to have my hands and eyes involved in his recovery. I watched his body repair with what was left and available to it. The donor sites for his grafts were from both thighs. It was gruesome and amazing at the same time.

It was natural for his tissues to rebuild. We just gave his body what it needed.

It’s getting close to 6 years since Bob survived NF. But the battles continued. He kept getting cellulitis as soon as antibiotics wore off. Back on them again, he would go. It was a vicious cycle and one we felt like we could not avoid. And given his current health, we couldn’t! His body had been altered. His gut flora was wiped out and his micro biome was severely unbalanced. His body’s energetic flow was crippled. No outer lymph glands survived on his lower left leg. His ankle had so much scar tissue he couldn’t quite walk right. He limped and it put strain on his back and other leg. He had 100s of staples that attached the skin grafts to muscle that could not be removed and therefore created foreign body issues. No doctor wanted to mess with it. His leg scared them to be extremely conservative….

So how does a man continue living and working? I KNOW there are worse cases. The fear they must live daily. We still deal with PTSD in some ways. And in some areas of our lives, there is more joy. My man still has a heartbeat. My man is a fighter and works hard. He has more time here with us. I am content and grateful.

About a year after he got NF, and during the cycling cellulitis, we asked our Naturopathic Doctor to come back to Texas to help. She custom imprinted homeopathic remedies to the specific toxins his body was holding and we have been able to encourage the body to go after those dormant cooties and get them out. We saw rapid improvement in his leg’s health! She helped his body stop the cycle. The antibiotics could only kill bacteria, bad and good, and did not support the whole body. Hospital protocols are not built to do that.

How many of us depend exclusively on prescriptions and surgeries to survive?

How does that address the body’s needs?

 I needed to be able to do what she did for him. I started learning and training soon after that. I now have her job in his life.

It’s not a perfect story ending. He had to go to the E.R. a few months ago because he got a staph infection. Not strep this time, just staph. Still painful and dangerous. However! It had been 2 1/2 years since his last infection on his highly immunocompromised leg! It’s a really big deal. About 1 month after those antibiotics, he started to have pain again. But this time, it was determined that it wasn’t bacteria related but from the staples. We were able to help him simply with a homeopathic remedy for fatty tissue toxins.

But homeopathy isn’t the only way we support him. He takes HIGH quality vitamins that actually help. About 80% of the supplements I test on folks are not only junk, they HURT them. They are better off not taking them at all. Through BioEnergetic Assessment, we can know if a supplement will serve the person well and if they even need it! For example, we discovered that the essential oil he was using on his leg was terrible for him. He had been using it to help kill bacteria on his skin grafts. I simply got another brand and it tested well. (I’m irritated that I didn’t check that earlier, to be honest.) He has always been faithful taking vitamins. His supplement routine has always been extensive. It might have been what gave him such a fighting chance back in 2008! But now that he is a survivor of NF, the work to survive the damage continues. It’s never over for an NF survivor. Supporting around the damage is the key. A survivor can always take responsibility to give their body what it needs between doctor visits. Really, that goes for anybody…

Be good to your buddy… your body.

It WANTS to heal. It is designed Masterfully. Give it what it needs.

Some have told me they cannot afford to care for their bodies. My concern for them is that they will become dependent on the very things that keep them sick.