My Miracles

I had a grueling experience that peaked at 25 years of disease. What hurts so badly is that while I was enduring incredible

Last Family Pic Before my Stomach Surgery

physical pain, my family was watching helplessly. As much as I suffered, I am still not sure if its worse to be the patient or the friend or family member watching your loved one go thru the pain. I have never wanted to be an extra burden to anyone around me, but I was. As much as I tried, I just couldn't survive my disease alone. It took more than a village, it took an army. It took an army of people to wrangle 3 boys, love my husband thru it, and hold my hand, but it took an army of prayer warriors to get us ALL through the trenches. My ultimate trial was not Crohns itself, but in the process of removing 80% of my stomach secondary to Crohns, my surgeon nicked me (unknowingly) in three locations. I was sent home with elevated white blood cells and temperature spikes and a scratch on the head. For 6 weeks infection grew in my body. I had pain, but I was used to forging thru pain. To this day, I don't trust myself to report pain because if you have any sort of Inflammatory Bowel Disease or you know anyone with it, you know the pain is blinding and pain meds don't cover it, medicine doesn't help it. I was near death septic and I walked myself into the hospital. My doctors were in total disbelief that I was upright. I never admitted I drove myself there in Houston traffic! I have certainly developed grit thru the years. You feel absolutely hopeless with unbearable pain and no relief.

My husband documenting every moment while I was at UT meeting with a specialist
UT Houston GI Center. Inevitable news was given.

I am so grateful that my reflexive nature was to depend on my faith because you can absolutely drown in self-pity, depression, pain, and hopelessness when nothing is helping you and no one can offer any encouragement. It's a revolving door of hospital stays, IV's, pokes and prods, probably blood and iron infusions for most. This is the exact reason when I was blogging in my first blog about my illness I never blogged about the bad days. My mom even told me she prayed that I forget them. Sadly, they probably didn't. My family sat with me in the hospital on rotation for 2 weeks, plus 5 weeks at home and back to 6 weeks in the hospital for this particular round of surgeries. I can't think of anything worse than sitting in a hospital for 8 weeks, let alone nursing me for a total of 13. And that was just the critical part. I was recovering for over a year with several more surgeries.

Instead of going chronologically with my story here I am going to hit the hilights. The God Moments. The ones that there was no other explanation "But God." A dear friend imparted that wisdom in me well before our full on crisis. An experience that looks to be going down the tubes, "But God" shows up and turns the tide. Just substitute that in the next time you have difficulties... "The doctors had a very grim outlook for me, BUT GOD saved me." "Our financial situation was bleak, BUT GOD" "My child had issues, BUT GOD..." You can account for any number of situations that dramatically change with "BUT GOD" if you are willing to give Him the credit.

When you are in a hospital bed for so long and going to the bathroom requires the help of three, you don't really get up unless necessary. I got up to pee if I didn't have a catheter post one of my surgeries and I got up to walk with physical therapy. Yes, I am an OT and I had physical therapy. Incredibly humbling. They actually tried to give me OT and I graciously refused. {horrible patient, but I really didn't need my services :) } The only thing I had to do if I wasn't sleeping was to watch, wait and pray. I didn't watch much TV at all during that time, I couldn't pay enough attention to read with all the meds in my body. I listened to praise and worship music on repeat the most. Every night after the lights went low (they never went out because I always had a nurse in my room for all the meds and attention I needed), I put on my hot pink Beats and cried myself to sleep listening to Chris Tomlin's, "Whom Shall I Fear." I believed every. word. of that song. I knew who went before me and I knew who stood behind me. And every time I heard the lyrics about the Angel Armies by my side I envisioned them fighting for me.

Anytime you read about an angel in the Bible or you hear real life accounts of people, believers and non-believers alike, who witnessed what they called an Angel, they were HUGE beings. They weren't pipsqueaks, but the people report witnessing power and majesty. Who else but an ARMY of those huge and powerful angels to be fighting for me? It empowered me with tears streaming down my face every night. It was my fight song. Those big strong angels knew me and they were protecting me. They were MY friends. "The one who reigns forever, He is a friend of mine......nothing formed against me shall stand because you hold the whole world in your hands.....I'm holding on to your promises...You are faithful. The God of Angel Armies is always by my side."

(I was in the hospital for Mother's Day...unplanned. This cutie brought me a flower from his baseball game that I wasn't there to receive 😢)

I still get emotional listening to that song. Although I can't sing to save my life, song lyrics are my prayer. They speak to me and they bring me so much peace. Just prior to my big surgery, I was in so much pain on a daily basis. It was a Sunday morning and it was my husband's Sunday to rotate in to work. I was in so much pain that morning, but there was nothing that was going to stop me from getting to church. My boys were roughly 6, 9 and 11 years old. I told them to get ready and load up. They knew I was hurting, so I didn't get much push back. I have no idea what they were wearing come to think of it. I just wanted to make sure we got there. I did a lot of breathing thru the pain and holding my breathe when it was unbearable. But I am stubborn. There was no turning back and no crawling in bed to focus on this hot mess. The boys were so sweet to me, always trying to take care of me. We got to church just as the band was starting and filed into our regular row 5 seats of a church that we were so incredibly connected to. As the music played and my mouth opened, no words came out because I was sobbing. My precious #1 put his arm around me and asked, "Mommy, does it hurt that bad?" I bent down to him to blubber out, "No. I'm crying because it doesn't hurt at all." Getting to church was so hard, white knuckling the steering wheel thru pain, praying I didn't have to pull over and vomit. I even told my oldest that if Mommy had to get up during the service to go to the bathroom, do not worry. I would be back. He really took his leadership seriously with the little guys. For the entire service I had no pain. None. It was as if I could run a marathon. I was so moved that as we were walking to the car afterwards, I called John at work to tell him what happened. But as I got in the car, and got the kids buckled up and drove home, the pain returned almost immediately. I remember telling John as the pain returned that I wanted to spend the night in church because being in the presence of the Lord was total bliss. Not only was I not in pain, I felt for a short time that I was healed. And then I returned to the real world and the pain returned. I fully believe that there was POWER being in that church where the Lord was near. I felt a glimpse of Heaven and how it must feel to live with no pain, no sorrow, no scars.

I can't explain it in mortal terms. There will always be doubters or people who explain it away. But I FELT it and no one can take that feeling away from me. I know without a doubt that the Lord's hand was on my body while I was able to sit with my family and worship him pain-free. I had that amazing feeling several more times before my story came to a close among many other miracles. So stay tuned. I love getting to share the beauty from the ashes.

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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2010 *reposted* Recovery (continued from 12/18/10) I was out of work and at home with my parents for six weeks.  For anyone who has had abdominal surgery, it is no easy task to r