Friday, June 22, 2018

Life can change in an instant...


Sometimes life can change within a matter of minutes... that's what happened to me last Friday at 5:00 in the afternoon. I had just published a post here on the blog about the heart procedure that I had had earlier in the week. Things had gone pretty well and I was home and feeling better. I had a few minutes to reply to a few of you that had left a comment.  If you haven't read that post from Friday afternoon, you can find it here.




My heart discomfort was minimal and I was just dealing with a little left over trauma from the procedure itself that had taken place on that previous Tuesday afternoon. When you have an angiogram or CTO heart procedure you are supposed to take it easy, not lift objects or put strain on the incisions in your groin/femoral area where the incision has been clamped off with a clamped "seal" which is a plug to keep the artery together. I've had at least 9 or 10 of these angiograms and not once any sort of a major problem other than a horribly bruised leg.

The hospital and nurses always go through all the information to caution you concerning any change in the incision: any signs of swelling, pain, bleeding etc. You KNOW that if anything looks even a tiny bit "Off" you get to the Emergency Room. So I took an hour's nap, basically just to rest and be off my feet. I had been up, dressed, even put on makeup. I was waiting for my husband to bring home take-out Indian food and settle in for a movie. Typical Friday night relaxation.

When I woke up from my nap I texted my older daughter and asked if she had a few minutes for a phone call to catch up on the week's happenings. But within a few minutes of being up on my feet I started having increased pain in my left femoral artery, and upon feeling around noticed a large goose egg type hematoma. "Oh crap, what is this?" I didn't waste time, but called my husband's office that is only a mile away. He ran home, got me and we headed the two miles to the hospital. I almost had my husband turn around at one point when the goose egg started going down. Only problem was that it was spreading out... not dissipating. The ER people got me right in and within 45 minutes they were performing an ultrasound on the area. My husband and I could tell something was really wrong just by watching the monitor. So within another few minutes we were told I had what they call a "Pseudo-aneurysm" of the Femoral Artery. This is a weakening of the artery, likened to a bad tire before a blowout. It was large; over an inch long.

Next morning I had a procedure that injects a blood clotting drug into the aneurysm under x-ray. It seals off the weakened compromised  area and allows the blood flow to continue, easily. This worked and I was sent back to the hospital floor. Head and legs down flat for several hours so as not to have a massive headache and put pressure on the aneurysm. This was around 1:00 pm on Saturday afternoon. After about an hour being still, I started having a lot of nausea. This is something I've dealt with often this last several years. Because I have a large Hiatal Hernia that bugs me, very often with violent hiccups and painful belching. sorry. but it's very painful and cannot be stopped until it plays out. The nausea and hiccups morphed into vomiting and dry heave retching. I hadn't had anything to eat in over 24 hours so there was nothing there. It just worsened, and became violent and uncontrollable. And the worst, was I could feel a painful POP in my left groin area. Within just a moment, it began swelling and I started feeling weak and disoriented. I was extremely hot all over and feeling like I was about to pass out. A "rapid response" code was called. Basically a Code Blue but I was still breathing.




I'm not sharing this with you for any kind of a titillating response. I don't want or need sympathy. I'm sharing this because it happened in just a moment, and I was not capable of any kind of decision making, remorse, regret, desire... no emotion... just the knowledge that I was likely to die and that was the end of it. I was not frightened about what was coming... just pulled along in some kind of dark "river" in which I had absolutely no control. I was in some kind of disassociative state.


This is where I started losing my grip on life and reality. I knew people were around me, but I thought I was in a large open space. (not a hospital room). I couldn't move or feel anything, everything went black, like a black mist was engulfing me. I could hear people speaking and tried to tell them what happened. But I could hear them call out Blood Pressure numbers. I remember hearing 50/30 and thought to myself. wow, "that's dangerously low.". I was being moved and stabbed with needles, but I couldn't feel a thing. I wasn't "afraid", but I knew I was about to die. It would have been painless. I didn't see any bright lights, hear angels singing, etc, but it would only have been seconds until I'd crossed that barrier. The team had hooked me up to a push bag of fluids, a "bolus" was given, and within seconds my body started to rally. I could feel myself coming back from the edge. My blood pressure was coming back up. An emotional deluge hit me as I realized I was just moments from death. Gratefulness, relief, many other emotions flooded me and I cried for awhile without embarrassment.  I was immediately moved to a Critical Care Unit, and prepped for Emergency Vascular Surgery to suture the busted aneurysm. Basically I was bleeding out under the skin. Femoral blood was pumping into my leg and abdominal cavity. My heart was fine, this was in my upper leg, groin, and lower abdominal area. The Femoral artery is one of the largest in the body and one of the easiest to bleed to death from.







The surgeon sewed my artery up, and the rest of surgery went well. I was given 2 units of blood, which I feel has helped my recovery process greatly. I have been so anemic and weak this last 2 years so I think I will feel much better soon. The rest of the hospital stay was okay. I came out of it quickly and my blood flow was much better. Before the heart surgery on last Tuesday a pulse in my left foot as almost nonexistent; now it is strong. I went completely white during the blood loss my husband tells me, but by the next day, I had good color again.






I'm back home once again, a little worse for wear. I look like I've been in a car wreck; black and blue all over, but able to get out of bed for a bit for a bathroom break or up for a few minutes. Still very sore and weak and wobbly. But I will be better soon. My husband is taking good care of me and doing all the daily stuff around the house. We've all had a delayed reaction sort of PTSD over what took place this last week. Our older daughter came Sunday from St. Louis and our younger daughter was here too. My mom and sis and brother-in-law have been around. I'm so thankful for my family and their support and prayers.

Please never discount the Power of Prayer. God wants us to rally as believers as He takes control and does His miracles. I've no doubt God saved my life on Saturday. I've talked to several nurses who've explained to me, that if I had been home (even 2 miles away) this would have had a much different outcome. So thankyou so much for your thoughts and prayers. You all prayed in advance and God was at work on my behalf. Even though I had no clue this was coming, I was prepared in advance for whatever might come my way.

I'll stay in touch, but I'm confident that this will all work out. Thankyou for your continued prayers, you cannot know how much I appreciate you all.
talk soon,

          xoxo,

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46 comments:

  1. You are brave. You are in my prayers each day.

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  2. I am praying for you, I had a blood clot it went into my lungs then to critical care. Take it slow recuperation took me at least 3 months.

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  3. Wow! How quickly things can change. I am glad you made it through that ordeal and I am confident that you will make it through any others yet to come. Stay strong and hug your husband. :)

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  4. I am praying for your speedy recovery!

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  5. So happy you are having a good outcome! I don't comment very often, but want you to know that you are in my prayers!! I had a blood clot that caused a heart attack last fall, and you are right, things can happen very unexpectedly! I don't take any day for granted any more.

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  6. Thank you Debra for sharing, love you much. Though we haven't met, we are sisters in Christ, and I am joining your family and friends near and far in prayer for you. What a testimony you have in your love for God, sharing with us your journey. You are precious!

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  7. Debra,
    You’ve been through so much, but you’ve prevailed and made it through. You’re so strong! Thanks for sharing your experiences. We never know what’s around the corner, but family and faith are so important as we navigate these uncontrollable life downturns.

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  8. I'm am crying, Debra. This is so very distressing to think you might have been gone (!), but I can't tell you how glad I am you got to that hospital and were in that hospital when this happened. Your descriptions of the entire situation and what you felt what was happening...so expressive and visual for us as readers, thank you for sharing that. My daughter is a critical care nurse who responds to any life-threatening emergency in the hospital in which she works. I know from her perspective there is a certain amount of PTSD following care for patients like you, esp when the outcomes are as wonderful. Prayers continue for you and for medical staff who are with you, caring for you!

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  9. Dear Debra, God bless you and your family as you go through this traumatic event. Your story gives me cold chills. You never know what is going to happen, but so grateful that we have the faith in knowing that whatever happens God will see us through. Thank you for sharing your story, and may God continue to bless you in your recovery.

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  10. Oh Debra. Thank the Lord. What a miracle! Rest up, dear friend. Such truth you speak. We need to be ready to go at a moments notice.

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  11. Praise The Lord, I will continue to pray.

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  12. Oh my, thank you for sharing that! That sounds scary, but somewhat peaceful at the same time. So glad you were at the hospital when the worst of it happened.

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  13. Wow!!! What an incredible experience. It just wasn’t your time. I’m glad you came out of it ok. Take your time, enjoy your family and relax. The blog and all of us will be here whenever you’re ready. xo- maryjo

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  14. May you have Strength! I also experienced such a frightening experience lately during and after a pacemaker installation. You have inspired me to write about it. In just a matter of minutes our lives can flip from feeling good to “what is happening?” Hope you feel better soon. Recovering takes time. 😘Linda@Wetcreek Blog

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  15. Your story brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for reminding us how fragile life can be. Best wishes for a full recovery!
    Karee

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  16. Oh Debra so grateful that you had the help you needed when you needed it. Prayers continue and love.
    Joy

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  17. My prayers are with you. What a powerful post.

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  18. Debra you have been on my mind the past few days so strong! I somehow missed the last post. I am so grateful you are with us friend!

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  19. I was holding my breath as I was reading this! God wasn't ready for you yet. My prayers are with you for a speedy recovery.

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  20. Bless your heart. Sending healing prayers for your good health. xo♥

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  21. I can’t imagine going through what you went through, it was hard enough to just read it. I hope all is well and you are back sharing beautiful posts again when you can.

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  22. Oh goodness, how scary. Your physicians must have been quick to do what was needed. I'm glad you are okay now.

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  23. Debra, I don't know if I know anyone as brave, wise, kind, positive and generous as you. I've followed you for a couple years now and you've had your share of ups and downs. Thank you for taking the time and energy to put into words what God is telling you to write. I know it takes time, energy and thought. Thank you for sharing your gifts of clarity and writing. God bless you. You're in my prayers for a speedy recovery and a healthy life.

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  24. How terrifying and I am so glad you are on the mend. Sending prayers and positive thoughts.
    Shelley

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  25. PTSD indeed. I am grateful you were on top of it and so were they and all the more so that you are out now and recovering. Sending all the best wishes.

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  26. Keeping you in prayer...….xoxoxo

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  27. So scary! Praying for you and thanking God for your continued healing🙏🏼 Hugs

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  28. Oh yes, I know too well that your life can change in an instant. Debra, know that I am saying a prayer right now for you. What a miracle!

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  29. Debra, I am so glad that things are turning around for you. I know how scary it can be to come so close to a horrible outcome. My thoughts and prayers are with you..Stay strong and take care..Judy

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  30. Thank you so much for sharing this. what an incredible journey you are absolutely right about how our lives can change so suddenly. God bless you

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  31. Debra, I’m so sorry that you had to go through another serious health issue. You continue to be in my prayers, as are your family. God bless you.

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  32. Oh Debra! My what a scare. My hubby has had that femoral artery plug. I am so glad you are still with us. Your story is very informational and helps me understand what to watch for if hubby has another ine of thise tests. God Bless.

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  33. Oh Debra...I am so grateful you are okay now. Life CAN change in an instant and you were right where you needed to be....Praise God. I will keep you in my prayers for a full recovery! Sending loving and positive thoughts!

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  34. God sees you and hears you! Praising God for His hand in all of this, and giving Him the glory! Praying for steadfast strength, and a quick peaceful recovery. Sending prayers and a big hug! Miss you, Kenda

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  35. Debra that is so scary. Thankful you are alright. Prayers to you. Clearly, you are not done in this life!

    Hugs,
    Judy

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  36. Oh my Debra, this certainly is scary! I am so thankful that they were able to help you in time!! I had a scare this week as well. Nothing as drastic as yours, I had a blood vessel burst in my right breast where they had inserted the expander the week before. I too had to go in for emergency surgery. I will continue to keep you in my prayers! Life can change in a hurry for sure!
    hugs,
    Jann

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  37. This reminds me so much of what happened to me last July when I was at the edge of death also. I felt no fear, nothing but peace. I knew I was slipping away, but it didn't matter. I was diagnosed with TTP (only one in a million get it, lucky me). One hospital had caused acute kidney damage prior to me transferring to another hospital, so dialysis for that, and may tranfusions for c:diff, donor platelets, plasma pheresis, tranfusions. A month in the hospital, but God was right there with me and healed me completely. When I left the last hospital on July31 I was in stage 4 kidney failure. Now I have no kidney failure and they work at 89%. So I'm praying God will surround you with his healing power and love, and heal you too. He still does that when we have faith! Thinking of you!!

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  38. So glad you are okay and will continue to pray that you will regain strength and vitality for the life you desire on this earth. You are so very right, life can change in an instant.........and completely change your perspective. We lost our son 18 mos ago to cancer..........life altering for all of us still. God obviously still has plans for you Debra, I pray you feel stronger each day in your recovery and know you are loved by so many. Linda

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  39. Wishing you a smooth recovery...thank you, Debra, for sharing.
    You are an inspiration, reminding us to appreciate every day
    of our journey.

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  40. Wow Debra. This is amazing how everything happened and you came out on the better end of this ordeal. Thank you God. I believe in power of prayer and have seen it work. I am keeping you in my prayers that you continue to feel better. Glad you are hanging in there. It is stories like yours that really wake us up to how quickly life can turn. Take good care of yourself.
    xoox
    Kris

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  41. Burst into tears reading this and praising His Holy and Glorious Merciful Name for your recovery.

    Just wow.

    Welcome back, and welcome to having a life altering new birth.

    Prayers and love you.

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  42. Oh, Debra, how scary! I'm so glad you were where you were when that happened. My mom is dealing with a bad heart and had a heart cath over a week ago. Thank goodness no issues for her. Praying you feel better and better each day.

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  43. You really are a “living” inspiration.

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  44. Oh Debra! I'm so glad you're doing better and all I can say is that God is not finished with you yet! Keeping you in my prayers and please take care of yourself.
    Blessings,
    Shelia

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  45. Wow! Debbie ! You sure are been through it ! So sorry ! Prayers to you girl !!! God Is ALWAYS WITH YOU !! You are so right ! Nobody knows when or where are Years in this world are over ! It wasn’t your time ! I have been through a few things myself that have been very scary nbut certainly not to your extent and I know how traumatic it can be ! Heal your mind with the help of the Holy Spirit and Gods Grace will carry you through this time in your precious lif3 ! I have a quote on my wall which reads as follows ! The Will of GOD will NEVER take you to were the GRACE of GOD will not PROTECT you ! Hang in there girl ! You sure have been through it ! will keep you wrapped in prayers , Cindy

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