Things happen to everyone, good things, bad things…it’s life, and everyone has a story because of it.
I was talking to a friend in New Orleans, and he was telling me that a woman came into his antique store, wearing a T-Shirt saying, “Shit Happens, Build a Bridge and Get Over It”, and that was going to be his motto from now on. I rather liked it, so now, I’m stealing it for an intro into this blog.
I’ve been posting old Facebook posts, discussing them, and the difference between now and then. Since this is now…I’d like to share a little bit about the stuff that’s been going on in my life the last 8 months. Hopefully, this will be of some help to those who are having trouble making that first move to building their bridge.
There’s a secret to getting the bridge started…it’s called love, gratitude and forgiveness…and I’m not talking about that namby-pamby kind of forgiveness you’re probably thinking of. Oh, if I forgive that person for hurting me, it’ll make the pain and everything else go away. I’m talking hardcore forgiveness of yourself. Forgiveness for allowing people to take advantage of you, for loving the wrong person, for making mistakes, or living life to the fullest…forgiveness for having trouble forgiving…and damn it, it’s even harder to forget, so forgive yourselves.
And love…well, love yourself…if you don’t, who’s going to? And guess what? It’s okay to say no…people will hate you for it, but you don’t need those people anyway. Besides, they still need you, and they’ll figure out a way to build their own bridge and come back to you, if that’s what you want, but don’t you go building it for them. You respect you! If you don’t love yourself, you won’t be happy, no matter how much others love and adore you.
Gratitude is key…if you can’t look around you and be happy for what you do have, if you can’t stop grumbling about everything that’s gone wrong, and see that you’re blessed and appreciate it, it’s pretty much a given you’ll dwell in a house of despair and misery. Stop, look around you, see what life has to offer, and be grateful because you really understand it could be so much worse. Every unpleasant thing that’s happened to me, has taken me to someplace better, instead of bitter. And I have never looked to the heavens and raged, “Why me?” I look to the Universe and wonder, “Why not me? Why am I so blessed?”
And so it goes….
The first week in January 2018, I had a colonoscopy on a Friday at 10 am, a couple of polyps were removed, and I was sent home. I complained about the pain, but we thought it might just be gas. It intensified and at 4 pm, I called the doctors office per instructions. I got a recording and left a message. My son came and wanted to take me to ER. I refused, because I was waiting for the doctor to call me back.
He leaves, my granddaughter comes to check on me, it’s now 7 pm. She helped me get up so I could go to the restroom. When I walked back into the bedroom and tried to get into bed, I couldn’t…the excruciating pain had left me unable to lift my leg that high. It was then I asked if she would take me to the emergency room…still no call from the doctor.
I’ll shorten this…a cat scan was eventually run. It showed I’d been perforated, and gases were leaving my large intestine, and floating through my stomach, up to my lungs. The pain kept intensifying, and I was put on dilaudid, which is supposed to be stronger than morphine. A surgeon came in and at approximately 1:30 am, Saturday morning, I had emergency surgery and was put under a second time in a day.
Over 12 frigging hours with that kind of pain. Being wheeled in, I made my peace with God and the Universe, and was prepared not to wake up. All I knew, was that I couldn’t take life much longer, hurting like that, and it was only reasonable to think, after that long a period of time, I was probably septic.
The surgeon goes to the waiting room after the procedure and tells my daughter, Autumn, and granddaughter, Rhiannon, everything went fine, there was a perforation, he did a colon resection laparoscopically and, unbelievably, there was no infection, no bacteria…everything was clean. More like a miracle, and I truly believe it was one.
Almost a month prior to this incident, I had started taking CBD oil. Within 3 weeks, I was able to go off blood sugar medication, had quit smoking, quit drinking, I dropped 15 pounds, had been working out, and was in the best shape I’d been in years…all in preparation for the back surgery I need.
I had no idea this was going to happen to me, so it truly was a miracle I had been taking such good care of myself and was on the CBD…I believe it helped fight the bacteria. But the kicker’s coming…the doctors started circling the wagons. I’d been perforated, but the doctor who did it, never checked on me, never called, until that Saturday, after the surgeon told him what happened…and in that call, he told me he was sorry for my inconvenience… Yes, my inconvenience, but none of them told me this was a life changing event.
During the next couple of weeks, I was not only trying to deal with the pain without meds, trying to figure out why I was sick all the time, nauseated, running off 24/7 (I forgive me for being indelicate, hope you will too). I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat. I sat in bed and cried all the time, I didn’t recognize myself when I looked in a mirror, and then the calls from my general practitioner and the gastro doc that gored me. It was all very strange, so I started recording them…
Betrayal is not an easy thing to handle, without getting angry. Well, I got pissed as hell. First the GP calls and insists I come in for a followup with her. Odd, since I was scheduled for a followup with the surgeon. I finally agree. I had my appointment with the surgeon, and he proceeds to tell me there was no perforation. No perforation? Then why did you remove part of my large intestine? And, of course, I was recording him, as he claimed to have no recollection of ever telling my daughter, granddaughter, or me that there was…and he never explained why I was butchered (keep in mind, I’m glad, because he saved my life…the gastroenterologist even admitted I’d have died).
The next thing he said was quite literally adding insult to injury…he told me it really wasn’t a big deal, then put his hand on my shoulder, and said he wasn’t protecting the other doctor then left the room… Was I angry, hurt, devastated, traumatized…none of those words express how I felt. Coincidentally, I noticed that their offices were just down the hall from each others.
The following day, I have the appointment with the GP, and I’m sorry to say that not only was I angry, I was out for blood, and had my finger, ready and waiting, on that record trigger…I just knew she was going to pull something, and she didn’t wait 30 seconds to get into her spiel.
The door opens, she says hi, and before I can finish saying hi back, she says that she’s heard I’ve had a little something happen to me, and it might not seem little to me, but it really was…and then for the next hour, she sang the praises of the gastroenterologist, lied to me twice about being in contact with him, told me I hadn’t been perforated, explained to me that none of the problems I was having could possibly be related to or caused by the emergency surgery. She even went so far as to suggest there something wrong with my sphincter…yes, I just used that word…and I needed to see a rectal surgeon…
Okay, add moron onto my many other titles! So, did I roll over? Not really. I spent the next 3 months, still in bed, still in pain, still feeling the same. I lost my confidence, I didn’t feel like I was worthy of anyone or anything, I believed my entire life was going to be that way forever, and that I’d have to sequester myself for the rest of my existence, because no one told me anything about what had happened to me, except that it hadn’t happened.
I would force myself to get in the tub, do my hair and makeup, get out and run errands. I was grateful for my bed, my pillows, my bedroom, especially my bathroom. I looked around at things happening to friends, family, other people…and was grateful for my own problems. I started going to the gym again, I quit being afraid, and I wrote, and kept writing. I shut out any and all form of negativity from anyone, I researched, I got records and documents, I had opinions from other doctors and ones from attorneys…oh, no, I wasn’t crazy. I had most definitely been perforated.
But, I wasn’t septic and I didn’t die, so there was nothing I could do about it. Believe me, when I say I wasn’t anxious to get into a legal battle with the doctors, but I was ready to battle for my sanity…and dispel their lies. And I forgave myself for my anger. I only allowed positive people in my life…I was building a bridge back to me.
From January until the first week in June, I had what we thought was the stomach flu, 2 bouts of food poisoning and on June 4th (almost exactly six months since the botched colonoscopy) I was in a movie theater and started throwing up and running off. I was stuck in a stall. I became so dehydrated, I was losing the use of my muscles. I managed to call my son, and my friend called for an ambulance.
My son, Zach, beat the ambulance there, ran to the bathroom, threw the stall door open, and there I was, still hurling and running off, covered in my own filth. But all he saw was my face, white as a ghost, and his eyes welled with tears. And I couldn’t go to him, I couldn’t reassure him, I could’t speak to him, because of the projectile fluids, spewing from my throat. My heart broke, and I thought surely, this time, I was dying, but I can’t go off and leave my family….
Sorry, I’m going to post anyway, but I’ll have to write about what happened after in my next post…
I know there are probably a lot of you out there that have had horrifying experiences with doctors, hospitals, etc. They are human, they make mistakes…we all do…but most of us have to live up to ours. We should all stop and acknowledge that God resides in all of us…no one is God, not even a physician. Just saying….
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