Saturday, March 31, 2012

We are going to have to talk about ambulances again

The other night I was driving home from work and had to stop to let an ambulance turn into a driveway. There was already a firetruck parked there and so I knew something really had to be up. Which led me to think someone in that house said the words "Call 911". I said those words. It instantly took me back to that night. 
I started to remember the pain and the struggle I was feeling. I felt so bad I didn't know what to do. It didn't occur to me, until my pain level hit around 12 that we should call for help. I knew before that moment that things were not going well and I was pretty sick, but I also assumed we'd wait until morning, with me moaning in pain on the couch, and then go to the doctor. I was wrong. 
Once I started to remember the pain I felt and the words "Call 911" I was taken back to the painful ambulance ride and the fear that followed once I got to the emergency room. I remembered fear when I found out I was going to have to have surgery, thinking I would probably die, requesting the only person I knew that could help me to be called (someone to say a prayer for me in a time when I was sure I needed to be on God's good side). I remembered waking up in more pain, the tests and the procedures that  would go on. The medicine that made food (once I was allowed to eat, about a week later) taste strange which made me not want to eat. I remembered being sick after eating what I could and being afraid to eat or drink more in fear that I would be sick again. Throwing up with 30 some odd staples in your belly is not a fun experience, let me just tell you that right now. 
Today I drove down the road to the hospital I was taken to. I talked to my husband about the experience I'd had earlier in the week and questioned why neither of us had said we needed help before things got out of control. There were 5 adults, including myself, in the house for several hours before the 911 call was made. WHY IN HELL DID WE WAIT SO LONG?!??! I can't get this question out of my head. 
Since I'll never know the answer as to why none of us thought going to the ER or calling for help sooner was a good idea, I have to live with knowing I learned a very very important lesson that night. Go with your gut. My gut had told me soon after coming home from the hospital that something was wrong. It shouldn't have taken me 15 hours and 2 on call doctors telling me I was nuts to say "I don't care what other people think. Take me to a doctor!". I learned that when I'm in serious pain to believe myself and go in early. I learned that when I see others in pain to encourage them to seek help instead of waiting it out. I learned that I will never question family when it comes to pain and needing to be seen by a medical professional. I will pass no judgement to friends who ask for help. I believe that this lesson is one of the most important things I've taken away from this experience. 
I apologize for the long breaks I've taken in writing. I started the new job, which is going well, and have had several hard days - one of which was mentioned above. The other was finding out I was denied extra Life Insurance because I have PTSD - something totally out of my control. I found this to be so unfair. It made me mad all over again. It made me think that everyone who ever said "You should sue" was right. The impact of what happened to me may very well follow me for years to come. And it isn't fair. I did nothing wrong. I didn't deserve what happened to me but it happened and I survived. I don't deserve to be judged on my healing around that because guess what, I don't deserve PTSD either. No one does. But I guess the takeaway here needs to be that I am still here. I survived and am surviving. I'm having good days and bad days but the fact that I'm having good days is HUGE. 
I'll leave you with something I heard the other day and got a kick out of because I am a germaphobe like no other and I'm also drawing closer to religion in all that has happened over the past 18 months. 
"Wash your hands and say your prayers 'cause germs and Jesus are everywhere". 
Amen to that!! 

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