Tuesday, March 2, 2010

When life gives you Lemons...

The old adage has never seemed more applicable in my life! First of all a follow up to my last blog...Santa did bring me jumper cables. It seemed a little less humorous then I meant for them to be considering I was in the hospital at the time and my life had just received a "jump start". I did however pen a new phrase which I hope someday to become a quotable adage "when life tries to kill you, have jumper cables on hand." Okay it seemed funny at the time.

So here is what happened in a brief-

I fell while snowboarding directly onto my abdomen (and just in case any of the medical personal who questioned me constantly- NO I DIDN'T HIT MY HEAD.) I had a joyous toboggan ride down the hill, and then an ambulance ride to the hospital. How was it you ask? Strap yourself down to the hardest piece of none pliable material you can find and start stabbing nails into your stomach oh and position yourself so your head is the lowest part of your body. You get the idea.

At the hospital I get scanned and they see a bleed and go in for my spleen. Luckily from this point on I was drugged. While digging out my spleen they discover it is actually fine and the problem is a 15 lb tumor just chillin' with my Pancreas. To bad they already removed Steve*(*means see the PS below to understand why I am referring to my spleen as Steve) After a touch and go day of fluids, more then a dozen blood and plasma transfusions (good thing I was sedated) they did another emergency surgery to remove the tumor. It was amazing how my body decided it could stabilize with out its 15lb nemesis.

Recover has been hard too, but at least it isn’t life threatening. I did get an infection which caused my doc to open me back up partially and not close me so I am now experiencing a wound V.A.C. If possible I recommend avoiding this opportunity, because it is a slow but effective healing process.

The plus side to all of this is I have watched more movies and TV shows then I ever have before. Not to mention actually getting sleep. Who knew I was missing out on that!

I can't give enough gratitude to all the people who have stuck by me through EVERYTHING. It has been one of the hardest challenges of my life, but it has been rewarding. My reward came in the form of flowers, cards, movies, Christmas carols and most importantly visits. It amazes me the community of people that have come to see me. From my dear friends who came almost daily to coworkers (who I know had better things to do for their holidays), many relatives and neighbors even my contractor came to see me. I am honored to know such amazing people. I have realized that I need to take the opportunity to reach out to more people and help them feel the same kind of love and support I have felt. Our world is so full of suffering and pain. It is so easy to get caught up in your own hardships. I tell you though, you do make a difference. I can remember every face that came to the hospital. I spent hours looking at each vase of flowers; they comforted me during some long hard nights. I still take time each week to look at the cards and notes of encouragement.

Here is what I learned-

When life gives you lemons or tumors, take a look around and realize life also gives us plenty of sweet for making lemonade. You just have to look a little harder to see it when you are so focused on the sour or pain.

*P.S. if you do ever visit my house please please don't over look my new coffee table reading material entitled Steve the Spleen written and Illustrated by Tyler. Hopefully one of these days we can add another book called Terence the Tumor, but until then...