Monday, December 22, 2008

Two Fold

This is when the kids came to see me in the regular room and only my third time to see Sarah. Holding her has been hard because the nerve endings around my scar have bothered me, but that has been getting better and I am able to hold her more. We even took a nap together the other day. It was so special to me.

What a wonderful weekend we had! Friday Luke and I took the younger girls to run some errands and it was such a beautiful day. The older kids finished this semester. And I got to visit with my college sweet-mate. Saturday was Lily’s birthday. I can remember being in the hospital and thinking there was no way they would let me out in time for that. But I was here ( a little sore) and it was great! Sunday I went to church!! It was wonderful to see everyone and to once again be in a room with a body of believers all focusing on one thing…how great a God we serve. We then ate Christmas meal at church and the ladies had an ornament exchange. I am so thankful I was able to go. We rested during the afternoon and then took the kids to TaMolly’s and the food tasted right!! (I still only managed to eat one section of me quesadilla) but it was great. Then we took the kids to look at lights. It was a wonderful weekend.



Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about  perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 5:1-5

Luke preached from Romans this week and these particular verses stood out to me. I feel the need to let everyone know me version of Tuesday, October the 28th. The day started out simple enough. My dear friend Hannan agreed to come by and pick up Abigail and Lily for Bible study so Sarah and I could sleep. Luke had gone to class and was then going to pick my mother up from the airport. Sarah and I did take a nap and were refreshed by the time the two girls got home for lunch. They went down for a nap and I decided to sort through all the hospital paperwork and promotional stuff they give you till the older kids got home (a friend brought them home since Luke had the van.) He and mom got here shortly after, around 4pm. Well, I had been cramping all day, not unlike every other time I came home from delivering, only this time I didn’t have my hot water bottle, it had quit on me after Lily. So when Luke got home I asked him to run to WalMart to pick me up a heating pad. Mom had not come into the room to see me yat because she was bombarded by the other kids. The minute after Luke walked out of the door (I was on the bed holding Sarah who had just eating) I felt a wave of cold heat come over me, it was very different. I tried banging on the was behind my head (it faces the living room) and called Luke as loud as I could (our window was open) two or three times and then must have passed out for a minute. Mom came in and took Sarah, all the time calling my name (which I could hear.) I was hurting on my right side, could not breathe, and could not see. I remember slumping to my left and pointing to my side and saying “doctor,” it was all I could manage. Every now and then it felt like some giant was grabbing my side and squeezing as hard as they could, at which times I would scream uncontrollably (I hate that my kids had to hear that.) Mom called 911 but couldn’t remember my address and had to ask Hannah, who I am grateful has learned all that stuff. I don’t know how long it took the paramedics to get there but when they did, though I couldn’t see, my only concern was that I couldn’t breathe and that was all I would say “help me breathe.” It felt like they spent several minutes in the room, and then forever in the driveway. I could hear what they were saying but it was not really registering, all I could think was: if they’ll just help me breathe everything will be fine and I can go to the Dr. and see what they missed at delivery (I was certain this was just a little complication of that.) when we finally left for Greenville I remained conscious for some of the trip, but must have passed out again because I don’t remember being moved from the ambulance to the emergency room. I woke up able to see and breathe. They were giving me blood (which was helping my sight) and oxygen (which was obviously helping me breathe.) It has been explained to me since that when your body goes into shock all your organs push up around your heart in effort to protect it making it hard for me to fill my lungs and forcing me to scream as I released all the air in my lungs. It also appears that at the house all pf my blood started to pool in my abdomen, drawing away from everywhere else, which explains why they couldn’t find a vein to start and IV and why I could not see until they started the blood transfusions. In the emergency room they covered me with a foot of warm blankets because I was freezing and very thirsty (but they couldn’t give me anything to drink.) Luke was there when I woke up and I was not in as much pain. My OB came in and asked some questions and another Dr came in to consult with him. They did a sonogram to see if they could determine the source of the pain, but I never heard anything that concerned me. I was still convinced it was something simple. When they decided to do exploratory surgery I even considered asking them to go ahead and tie my tubes while they were at it but I did not think my OB would agree (he wanted me to wait two weeks to make that decision.) I was not concerned. Vicky (from church) who works at the Greenville hospital came in and prayed with me while Luke made some phone calls and then se went to relieve my mom at home so she could come to the hospital (thanks Vicky). While we waited for them to come get me for surgery they managed to get 6 units of blood into me. They had to move me from the table I was onto a mobile bed to take me to the OR and when they did the pain started back full force, and I must have been screaming because the surgeon told me to stop. I remember the anesthesiologist prepping me and then that is all I remember.

That is when I began dreaming, many very long dreams. Some where just weird, and some were horrible (nothing to do with doctors or hospitals.) I can remember thinking “I am so glad this is a dream and I can’t wait to tell Luke, that always helps me deal with my nightmares. The tough part was, between each dream I would see the same thing… a ceiling and then Luke and another person (mom, dad, Jeff, etc.) would walk up to my face and say “Hi Emily, it’s Luke and here is so and so, do you remember me?” and I wanted to say “yes I remember you silly, let me tell you about my dream.” But there was something in my mouth and I couldn’t talk. That was the longest and most frustrating dream of my life!! But I was convinced it was just that. I had forgotten at that point about the surgery.

You might be interested to know that my first memories of remembering and understanding where on the day mom claimed I was back. Even then I hallucinated often sometimes funny things (like when I shares a suite with the Obama family) and some very horrible hallucinations. The hardest part about those is that the events where taking place but I was seeing additional thing in my hallucinations that made the events feel like torture. That was by far the hardest part of this whole thing (for me.)

I want you all to know that although I may have been in pain, very frustrated, or disgusted by my ‘dreams’ I was never afraid. Even when the doctors would tell me you were dead I knew everything would me ok. God did not grant me sweet dreams as many of you prayed, but He did grant me His peace and the strength to endure. I believe I was meant to experience every single thing I experienced and nothing God allows is meaningless. He was not playing with me. Praise God! He was using me. What a privilege.

If I had not woken up I would have never known the difference and God would have been faithful to Luke and the kids, but I am grateful for the honor of being restored to my family and giving many a testimony of God’s mercy and power. I thank Him for the chance to watch my kids play another day. And I pray I will be a good steward of this awesome show of His sovereignty in all things; that I would never miss an opportunity to share him with others. Tribulation brings about  perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;…



Lindsey said...

Wow. What a story to hear from your point of view. I cannot imagine the physical and emotional pain you must've been going thru. You're one brave woman, Emily. I'm glad you're getting stronger each day and that you're able to start bonding with little Sarah. Our prayers just keep being answered. We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to read that you were not afraid. I had often wondered but prayed that you would not be. You and your children look terrific in this picture.Would like to stop by maybe tomorrow if that's okay. I will call first. God loves you Emily and so do I!! Katie Phillips

Nirma Zapata said...

Emily,Solo El Señor pudo sostenerte en tal experiencia.El merece todo Honor!!!.Un abrazo cariñoso y feliz Navidad para ti y tu familia.Con Cariño.Emilio y Nirma.

Anonymous said...

We are so grateful for God's grace and mercy He has extended to you and your family! We love you and have been praying for you daily! We hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas! Terry and Deborah

Linda Clark said...

I loved reading this and felt so blessed to be a small part of your experience. I will keep praying for you and your family. Anxious to hear how the days are now going. Love in Christ, Bill and Linda Clark