Saturday, March 24, 2007

All things in perspective

Yesterday I thought I was possibly going to die - literally. I've used that term before - usually to describe feelings of excitement, surprise, embarrassment, etc. - but yesterday I was worried that I might actually be dying......soon.

After the surgery last month, I have been not feeling well at all. I had a kidney infection 3 weeks post-op, and then at 5 weeks post-op, I developed severe shoulder and chest pain on my left side. At first, I figured it was just a pulled muscle from sleeping funny since surgery (well, that is what the P/A at UW Family Medicine told me on Monday). She ran an EKG, which was normal, so she decided it was not a cardiac problem and, therefore, it was probably muscular so she gave me a prescription for muscle relaxers. The medicine didn't work at all (although they did knock me out every night, which was nice).

Yesterday, Tom and I drove to Loveland for my 6-week post-op visit. We were planning on going to the appointment - then driving to Golden, CO so Tom could take pics and do some measurements at his project site - then taking the kids to the zoo.

I had decided that maybe the shoulder/chest pain was pleurisy (lung inflamation). I asked my dr. what I should do about it and he became quite concerned that it was actually a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in my lung) - which is not uncommon after surgery. He listened to my lung and it was pretty noisy and he didn't like the location of the pain. He ordered me directly to the hospital across the street for a CT scan. Unfortunately, the last time I had one, I had a bad reaction to the dye they use, so they sent me home with a prescription of prednizone and told me to have the test done today. Dr. L said he was "moderately to seriously suspicious" of my condition.

I was cool and calm on the outside yesterday - I even joked with Tom that I should be able to go to the Rocky Mtn. Quilt Museum for a visit since "I could drop at any minute". I should've known how scared he was when he actually took me there - with the kids - for a tour and shopping expedition. He should've known how scared I was when I didn't even buy anything. He insisted we skip the zoo trip - he was too afraid to let me walk around there all afternoon. Of course, I didn't realize just how serious a P/E was until I got home last night and looked it up on WebMD. I fell asleep praying - and woke up doing the same.

I went in for the CT Scan this morning and the radiologist said he didn't see any sign of a P/E. Praise God. Prayers were answered BIG TIME. I am so grateful, so thankful, and so blessed to be healthy. Well, I do, actually, have pleurisy - but compared to a Pulmonary Embolism, that is pretty darn healthy.

I can't even describe the relief I felt when I received the news that the CT Scan was clear. I didn't realize how afraid I was until the moment I found out I was ok. If you've never heard the Tim McGraw song, "Live Like You Were Dying", I highly recommend downloading it. Fortunately, I only had 24 hours of having to live like I was dying but it was amazing how much more patient I was with the kids - and the traffic - and the hailstorm that hit as I was going in to make reservations at the restaurant for dinner (I got soaked) - and the pharmacist who took 2 hours to fill my prescription - and the long wait at the hospital for the test - etc. I think you get the idea.

I pray that I am able to keep this sense of patience and peace - the feeling of "all things in perspective". I am sure it will gradually decrease as time goes along (things like this usually do). But for now I'm going to enjoy it. Enjoy life. Enjoy my kids even more than I usually do. Enjoy the delicious feeling of being married to the most kind and loving man on the planet. Enjoy the fact that I am blessed to have both of my parents still living. Enjoy living so close to Tom's mother. Enjoy the wonderful friends I am blessed with. Enjoy a little "me" time by scrapbooking my childrens' pictures and reliving the wonderful memories we've made so far. Enjoy this rainy day, which enables us to stay inside and spend time just being together. I am just going to ENJOY.

Blessings to you all.