It has been approximately three months since I had my fourth and very last open-heart surgery. The last time I had surgery was at ten years old, having to undergo yet another surgery I honestly wasn’t scared because it had become routine for me. I even often refer to the hospital/doctor’s office as my second home. The real issue here was that this time was very different from the rest – reason being was that the times in the past I was a child (either in infancy or elementary years). Yet this time around I was an adult – meaning everyone’s calling me and looking to me for answers. Yes, my mother was still by my side every step of the way, but the ball was entirely in my court now. I scheduled my doctors appoints, pre-ops, post-ops, infusions, x-rays – I did it ALL! It was so weird having to do these things on my mom, because I was used to my mom taking care of everything. This meant I had to really become knowledgeable with specific terminology, instructions, and the way everything worked. Surprisingly, I knew WAY more about my condition and my heart than I gave myself credit for *Pats Self on the Back*
The ultimate struggle with this last go ‘round was all the complications and issues that came after surgery. Usually the hospital stay lasts a week – Ya girl is suited up, drugged up, cut up, and I’m out! NOT this time! When I say this was the absolute WORST hospital stay I’ve had thus far in life …. It was! By the grace of God, after 23 days of undeniable complications, struggle, pain, and honestly feeling as if I was in jail (I hadn’t seen the sun/or outside for that matter since the day I walked in the hospital)… I endured it all. It seemed as if with each day, I became sicker and sicker. Lung collapsed, double pneumonia, kidney infection, never ending fevers, you name it — I had it! It had gotten so bad that one weekend I was placed in isolation and anyone who came to see me had to dress up in blue garb from head to toe because they THOUGHT I had some crazy contagious stomach infection (Turns out, I had nothing!) I couldn’t eat and had trouble swallowing that resulted in me losing 15 lbs. that needed to stay! – Enough of my rants and relieving the terrible days… what I’m saying is I’m a walking testimony. From the day I was born and until I fulfill my earthly duties, I know that God indeed gives His hardest battles to his strongest soldiers!
Now I have a new list of rules to add to my already long scroll of lifestyle changes, dealing with side effects of medications, and learning how to continue in this new chapter of my life. Having a mechanical artificial valve – sounds just like that. I’m part woman, part bionic diva, and the rest soul. I won’t get into too much detail on that part, but if you read my prior post the poem Lullabies, it’ll give you an understanding of what I’m talking about.
Post-surgery has been treating me fairly well. I have low days where I feel like OMGGGG ughhh, can I just be normal. When in actuality, I wasn’t created be normal, but to be extraordinary! With each day I embrace my down time more and more, maybe even a little TOO much. I’m not gonna know how to act when I land a job haha jk. I embrace the struggles – the days where I’m tired, the days where I have energy, the weeks of back to back follow-up appointments, the frustration of time schedules/portion sizing, taking medication, and having no one who can actually relate. I know I’m not the only person in the world with this issue, but in MY world and immediate circle – I’m like E.T. , but the super cute version lol
One thing I often think about was a brief encounter I had with a young girl while I was in the hospital. I was being wheeled down to have a CT scan, and I passed this girl who either had to be my age or a little younger than myself. She sported a bald head (assuming she had cancer of some sort), the dreaded hospital slippers, and our signature outfit – the gown. We made eye contact, and suddenly all of my worries/struggles seemed minute in comparison to hers. I smiled at her, and she gave a soft smile back..within that moment I immediately began to pray for her. Praying for her healing, and that God would cover her and protect her – from the crown of her head to the soles of her feet. It’s moments like that I’ll never forget, and only hospital kidz can truly understand the impact of those connections.
Now that I’ve vented, preached, and shared – I’ll leave you with my IG post I created a few days after being discharged.
bisous, Bree ❤