This week I have no craft items completed to show, but have something to report nonetheless. We went to the Kirklin Clinic in Birmingham this week to see a liver specialist. Yep, that is right, liver. This visit is the next step in the story that began on November 15, 2010. Here is the synopsis:
Shortly (minutes) after dinner on Monday (11/15/09), I moved from the dining table to the sofa in the living room complaining of not feeling well. Although I could not pinpoint what the problem was, within 30 minutes I went from “not feeling well” to shivering uncontrollably while curled up in a ball under multiple comforters and blankets. Something was wrong.
We thought it might be food poisoning, but settled on the flu, as the symptoms seemed to become flu-like, complete with a 103.8 degree fever. Fast forward to Friday (11/19/09) when my husband arrived home to find me incoherent, lying in bed, not able to reason or comprehend my surroundings. He dressed me, loaded me up, and rushed me to the emergency room, where I was admitted with acute liver failure. The doctor told us later that if he had waited until Saturday, there would have been no reason to come in, as I would most likely not have been alive.
Three days in the ICU and a few days more in a hospital room recovering and on antibiotics, I was told that I had a gall bladder that must come out and that I needed a liver biopsy that they could perform at the same time. Since Thanksgiving was looming and I was a total pain to keep in the hospital, they released me on Thanksgiving day to come home for a few days before surgery. On my husband’s birthday, 11/29/10, I went in for laproscopic gall bladder surgery and the liver biopsy. Some birthday present, huh? Anyway, all went well and I have been home ever since.
The main reason I write this here is to document the events and confirm for myself that, even though I knew that I would face death one day, having an experience like this one brought that knowledge to the front of my life. I had never once had a problem with my gall bladder, or my liver, and now I will be living with cirrhosis from this point forward and whatever that entails, including a potential liver transplant somewhere down the road. What makes this even more surreal, is the fact that I do not use drugs, have never overdosed on tylenol, and haven’t had a drink in years. We will be working with the liver specialist in Birmingham to try and find out why (if possible) this occurred.
A secondary reason I write this is to say how grateful I am to my family for making the trip out to Alabama to be with me and to my husband for taking care of me and staying by my side through all this. There have been scary moments and private conversations concerning “what if,” and through it all he has been my rock. There are really no words to describe how thankful I am that God provided me with such a man.
This experience has reinforced in me the desire to do today what I can and not put it off for tomorrow. It is one thing to be scared that you are going to die, like in an amusement ride, and it is quite another to come face to face with the reality and survive to live another day with those you love.
More crafting photos and progress in next week’s post!