Monday, March 4, 2013

hope in him (part 3)

I woke up Saturday morning from the most comfortable sleep I had had since the pain started. Of course the hospital would wake me up throughout the night hours to check everything, but I managed to sleep in between those. They brought breakfast in at 8 a.m., and despite being super hungry, I decided not to move from my bed since I wasn't sure how long that feeling would last. A few minutes before 9 a.m. the nurse came in and asked when I had last eaten. I told her that I was going to get up and eat breakfast when I had the energy but that I hadn't eaten since the night before. Then she said, "Don't eat!" And then she left the room.

I called Kevin and told him that I guessed that they were pushing up my surgery to Saturday because I was just instructed not to eat anything. While on the phone with him, the nurse came in with the anesthesiologist to discuss a few things and said I'd have surgery after I got my next "infusion." I asked if I could take a shower before that, and they said I could. So I showered and called them in to start my infusion. It took about an hour and a half for that infusion usually, so I assumed I'd go into surgery sometime after noon. I called Kevin and asked if he could come between 1 and 2 that afternoon, thanks to the Myers family volunteering to watch the kids all day for us.

A few minutes later my doctor (my normal OBGYN) came in with a nurse and a surgeon and then discussed the options for the procedure. While the best option is to do the least invasive surgery, they decided to open me up because they weren't convinced that my appendix was not a part of the problem along with the cyst. I told them that whatever was safest for the baby and then for me was what we should do, and they agreed. I also told them that I had literally thousands of people all over the world praying for me, our baby girl, and for wisdom for them. And my surgeon was really quiet and then responded, "Then may I be an instrument in His hands today."

My doctor came back in after they all left to make sure I understood everything. Then he told me, "I want you to know that he is one of the best in Hungary to do this surgery, well, except for me of course." Ha ha. And then he said, "Alright, let's go." I looked at my infusion bag that had just started and was confused because I thought I had to do that first. So I quickly called Kevin to let him know that I was going then.

I was at peace about the whole thing and was never worried. After having a D&C last spring, which was a minor surgery, I did learn a little about surgery procedures and knew a little more what to expect, mainly that I would have to hop up on my own operating table and that they would have to carry me after surgery to my bed. At least I knew that going in. :) I was strapped down everywhere and listening to them all talk a mile a minute in Hungarian, and then I saw the anesthesiologist's face above my head and telling me that I would fall asleep shortly. And that was that.

I woke up from surgery in a panic because I couldn't breathe. The tube was still down my throat, and I was strapped down everywhere so I couldn't do anything to get their attention. They told me to wake up because it was done, but I was in a panic because I couldn't breathe. Finally they took the tube out, and besides the tears rolling out from my eyes and me trying to catch my breath, I felt so much better and realized that my pain was finally gone. I mean I was in a ton of pain from the actual surgery, but the initial pain that brought me into the hospital was gone. They kept telling me that I could wake up, and then I finally said, "I know I can wake up, but I really would prefer to rest because I am exhausted." The next thing I know I was being lifted from the bed and carried to my bed in the room, and I think I yelled the entire time because the pain was insane at that time. I was stapled closed while flat on my back, and now they just scrunched my whole body up to carry me to my bed. I thought that my insides were going to fall out.

When Kevin showed up at the hospital after surgery, I told him that he couldn't leave me that night as I couldn't do a single thing. I've never felt so helpless. Audrey and Eric to the rescue again (and thanks to Laura Lee for the numerous times she watched the kids that whole week, and to the countless others who volunteered!) as they drove to our house and spent the night with the kids so Kevin could stay overnight with me. The kids were troopers during all of this, but it was taking a toll on them. We did FaceTime with them while they were at the Myers' house Saturday after my surgery, and I could tell Seth was trying to keep it together. It was awful for me to see that, but I knew that the Lord would get them through it, too.

The scariest part after the surgery was that I was having a lot of contractions, like every few minutes. They weren't super strong or anything, but no one wants contractions at 24 weeks. We knew this was likely after surgery, but most of the night was spent monitoring those and trying to get them to stop and monitoring the baby to make sure she wasn't in distress. She was moving around and kicking like crazy. So between the pain of the surgery, contractions happening right below my incision, and her kicking at it all the time, it was a rather restless and sleepless night. :)

I'll spare everyone the awful details of the next 20 hours or so, but it was the longest night of my entire life. I tried to think of others who had it much worse then me and how they made it through the pain. I prayed and talked to the Lord about everything. I later learned that I wasn't really on any pain medication because of being pregnant. They gave me what they could at first, but they said it was nothing and that they were sorry but they couldn't give me anything. They made me stand up and move to a chair for a few minutes first thing Sunday morning, and that was killer. A few hours later in the morning they removed my catheter, which meant then that I had to get up many times to go to the bathroom. Thankfully the nurses helped me, and Kevin was there to help for a bit too.

Kevin then left to get the kids and then my parents at the airport. We had many people offer to help with airport rides as well. My parents arrived at the hospital that afternoon, and it was a ray of sunshine I needed. I am so grateful that they were able to drop everything and come. The Lord worked out so many details for that to happen, and I can't describe how grateful I am. Even as an adult, things are just better when Mom and Dad are there. :)

The next few days at the hospital were spent monitoring me and baby girl. My contractions stopped, and she settled down a bit more. I often wondered what she experienced during all of it. But I got continual good report after good report. I moved more each day and needed less help. I had lots of time to once again to just read my Bible and meditate on his words that were a balm to my soul. I had great care, and I was grateful for my nurses. My OB came in to see me for himself because he heard that I was doing remarkably, and I know everyone was just so happy that I wasn't in constant pain anymore.

My doctor finally filled me in on the surgery since no one else had. Despite it looking like I had two cysts on my ovary, it was only one that had twisted three or four times. "No wonder you were in so much pain" was what I was told. They looked at my uterus and said it looked perfectly healthy, although they didn't actually touch it during surgery. They also looked at my appendix and said it was fine as well. It was just the cyst the whole time.

Despite desperately wanting to go home on Tuesday, they made me stay until Wednesday. I was eager to be home with my family and sleep in my own bed. I was left with a lot of overwhelming information upon checking out as we are still unsure what is going on with my liver. The evil doctors (whom I had not seen since that first day) were back to discharge me, and I fought back tears as they did nothing but frighten and discourage me the whole time. I asked questions and they didn't answer. It was frustrating. That week I had been so filled with peace from our great God, and I was encouraged by the body of Christ constantly by their prayers on our behalf. Satan was trying his hardest to leave me doubting God and his ability to heal and restore.

I will be honest and say that I feel like I am on a roller coaster. I am taking things moment by moment as we navigate other medical information that we don't understand even in English, let alone here in this foreign country we love and call home. Our mission TeachBeyond has been a great source of encouragement and help in the medical field and has already put us in touch with one doctor who now has me also communicating with a top OBGYN in the States as well. They have emailed me already a couple times and get back to me quickly and even ask for more details so as not to advise uninformed. I am overwhelmed by the Lord's provision for me in this.

I have been praying for supernatural wisdom because we are told in James that he who lacks wisdom can ask and that God will give generously to those who ask. I have had a gut feeling on a couple of occasions that I trusted, and I know that our God gave that to me. Getting conflicting medical information is confusing and stressful, so again, I keep asking for wisdom.

I am praying boldly that these things on my liver would not be malignant, and I have even asked God to completely remove them by the next ultrasound and that it would leave the doctors marveling at God's hand. But I realize that what I ask is not always God's will, so more importantly I am asking that his will be done and that it would bring glory to him. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous or scared, but those emotions and fears come in waves. That's why I pray moment by moment for what I need because I am trying to get through moment by moment.

But I look back on the last two weeks and how much our life was turned upside down, and now as we go ahead in uncertainty, I can vividly see God's hand at work in so many ways. Without the cyst and the intense pain, no one would have discovered any problems with my liver because I have no symptoms. So the Lord brought it to our attention. I ask for prayer for us for wisdom and for healing.

I am so grateful that we serve the author and creator of life, the one who was and is and is to come, the one who has gone before us all already, who knows what is going on with my liver, who will sustain and lead us. And I am grateful that I can go to the body of Christ to pray on our behalf.


Michelle and Justin said...

Jesus has made you a SuperWoman! Your experience with His peace in the midst of all this is a true testimony to His Power! I am confident that the Lord touched many hearts through you, Kristen! I am continuing to pray for you. :)

Dee said...

praying for you and your family!!!!