The Journey to Health and what I knew.
The awful smell was more than I could have imagined. It was so retched that my sweet hubby could hardly stand to be in the room with me. He had planned to stay as long as I needed him. From under the wet cloth on my face, I peeked at him and saw a tortured soul. His concern for me very evident but his primal need to survive was kicking in. We hope never to smell anything nearly that bad for the remainder of our lives. The smell from my open wound was taking a physical toll on Seth. I told him to go home and get some rest. Reluctantly he escaped to sweeter smells.
I spent the night in the ICU. The staff was amazing. I felt confident that I was receiving the best medical care available. Every thirty minutes or so someone was checking something, poking me with something, giving me crushed medications, IV Fluids, taking blood, or helping me up to walk or go the restroom. I did whatever they asked me to do so I could escape the odor.
I was not allowed to swallow pills for at least a month after surgery. The pouch was too small to allow them to pass through the opening. I had to endure a lot of awful thing. The crushed medication in applesauce or other concoction was in the top three worse things I had to do. Other meds and antibiotics were able to go through my IV.
From previous experiences I knew I was a hard stick. It was painful. Each person who thought they could get the IV in successfully usually walked away apologizing for unsuccessfully sticking me several times. They had to call in the nurse from the surgery team to use ultra sound to find my vein. The IV experience was the hardest to endure.
I am allergic to adhesive glue. That means no bandages with glue. No tape. Each of them eat away my skin within an hour. Once a working IV was inserted there was always the problem of how to keep it in place. The nurses were creative but each attempt hurt and left me with raw skin. My veins begin flattening out and not allowing anything to go in or out. This caused a need for more sticks and attempts. I braved it all with a confidence that God is control and it would all be okay.
Through it all, I was able to keep my humor. I know that must have been a gift from God. Seth returned the next morning and shared with me that everyone was praying for me. I knew I would need their prayers to survive.
My surgeon and his nurse practitioner came in to examine the wound. It was decided that my surgeon would have to press the incision and try to get out the smelly puss of infection. He didn’t use any surgeon’s tool but only the tools God gave him. The doctor pressed down on my stomach and stretched open the opening. Later one of the RN’s told me she was surprised and had never seen a surgeon remove the infection that way. She confessed she almost lost it when he opened it up and all that stuff came out.
The infection was over four inches deep and four inches wide on my left side. It had to be packed several times a day. This means they took and metal instrument or a long medical wood q-tip with cotton strips and packed the wound. They could not take any mercy with this procedure and only do it a little bit. If the cotton was not all the way to the bottom of the wound my body would heal on the outside and create tunnels of infection underneath. It had to heal from the bottom out. I had to allow them to poke the place that hurt the most several times a day. I knew I had to do it if I wanted to live. If I wanted to go home. No one knew when I would be going home.
I was moved out of the intensive care unit up to the regular surgery floor to a private room. It was beautiful and recently remodeled. Seth helped me get settled in my new digs but I could tell he was barely hanging on to his tummy contents. The smell had not lessened. If I moved the covers the smell permeated the beautifully remodeled room. Seeing that hubby was nearly green I sent him home again. He went home and was very sick. We thought perhaps he had a flu bug. I think he was just overcome by the smell.
The surgeon came to visit me twice a day. His NP was excellent. God was answering my prayers as I slowly walked this journey to health. I was unsure how bumpy the road would be but
I knew my Creator,
I knew the Healer God loved me.
I knew if I went to heaven it would be because my Father wanted me there.
I knew I wanted whatever God wanted for me.