0H MY GOODNESS! What an incredible curve ball life threw us! First we were hit hard by the herniated disc, slow progress on appointments/diagnosis, and finally the surgery. The sugeon was AMAZING! Wow! 2 weeks after surgery I couldn't believe how GREAT I felt! Of course, I had to take things slow and easy--no jumping into the mow-it-down plan for the Summer Challenge, but I was feeling human again and getting back into tracking and short walks. The surgeon approved me to return to Mexico. My husband said, "We're driving." The surgeon said, "OK. Just divide the trip up into shorter segments and make sure you stop and let her stretch." I could scarcely believe it. WE WERE GOING HOME TO MEXICO!
Just 3 short hours into our trip, traffic on the highway came to a screeching halt (due to construction AND a resulting accident farther up the highway). It was a hard brake, but we managed to stop. Then, just as we were praising the Lord for being able to stop, we were rear-ended at full highway speed (turns out the guy had his truck on cruise control, "looked up and saw us," and never braked. In TX that's 75mph. Our world turned upside down.
We were taken by ambulance to a trauma center about a half hour away, where we were admitted to emergency. Rather quickly they determined that my husband's vertrabrae was broken. Meanwhile, I "seemed" OK. You would think with such a high-impact crash, they would have run a CT scan on me, but they didn't. Rather quickly they released me. I went to my husband's room to see whether they were doing surgery or not, and just as they wheeled him to his room, I began to have excruciating abdominal pain like nothing I'd ever experienced before. I had to readmit myself, and they quickly rushed me for a CT scan and promptly admitted me to ICU, because I had a ruptured spleen and was bleeding profusing internally. They monitored my hemoglobin levels, and in the wee hours of the morning rushed me to do an embolization on the spleen to stop the bleeding. Wow! I was in the hospital for a week.
Recovery has been slow and very painful. The same artery they blocked to stop the bleeding also blocks the blood flow TO the spleen, so apparently a good portion of my spleen has been dying. Later CT scans have shown that it is enlarged and pushing the diagphram into the left lower lung, causing it to collapse.
So . . . in addition to the pain, i've had to be on oxygen. My days have been pure survival and getting to doctors' appointments and farther testing. The lung specialist said I couldn't go anywhere with high altitude for at least 2 months. Oh, no, no, no! We live a mile high in Mexico, and all the villages we tend to are higher than that. I have felt so trapped here. I DO love my country . . . but I haven't been able to enjoy it.
Finally, last Tuesday afternoon, I turned a corner. The pain diminished tremendously, and my oxygen levels improved. I'm only having to use it at night now and if I exercise (trust me, I'm easing back into things, but even slow walking causes the oxygen levels to plummet). So . . .am learning a whole new way of doing things.
A tiny benefit of the enlarged spleen is that it's been sitting on the stomach, so I didn't get hungry--nor could I eat much, so it's been pretty easy to shed the water bloating and result of meds, procedures, etc. I'm thrilled to actually now be BELOW the weight at the end of the Spring Challenge when I was doing so good.!
So . . now that I'm feeling better, I'm able to eat more, so I'm getting serious about tracking again, because that can be dangerous--not just for weight, but a full stomach pushes that spleen up into the lung.
Learning to deal with life's surprises, praising in the valleys (seems I've had one after another), and most of all REJOICING TO BE ALIVE! We are VERY aware that had a few tiny things been different, I might not have lived. The spleen was bleeding so profusely that I could have easily bled out.
Perspective again . . . weighing more than we want to . . . or not losing as much on a challenge as we'd projected is really "small potatoes" in comparison to the "stuff" life can throw at us in a heartbeat.
Look up! Look forward! Rejoice in the GOOD things we have right before our eyes.
(The morning we left.)
(Totalled car; greatest impact on my side)
Pending (a pic my son took the day after the wreck where I look like death warmed over)d