Yesterday, I had my last (knock on wood) surgery that I'll have here in Portland. I have no more appointments scheduled. Tomorrow I see my home health nurse and my physical therapist for the last time, and tonight they are having a "miracle" baby shower for me. Tonight might be the last time I see beloved friends from church.
It is killing me- literally, I feel feverish and sick. (Maybe I am a little sick and emotional because of the drugs I took yesterday).
I think I have a talent to love people.
And, seriously, I do love with my soul.
Leaving the children at church feels almost like I'm leaving behind my own children.
In our church, we call each other brother and sister... and, I feel that. I feel like I'm leaving my family.
I was terrified to return to Interventional Radiology to get my filter removed yesterday. My fear was physical and perhaps a bit of PTSD. (My last surgery was a bit harrowing). In addition to taking meds to calm me, I quickly got to know the nurses around me and felt like I was amoung friends.
I got sweet texts and Facebook prayers. My sister kept me smiling with her funny texts. Thank you for helping me feel loved. My mom sent me off with a smile as she prepared for a busy day with my 8. Todd stayed by my side, happy, encouraging and full of faith.
The nurse called IV Therapy to start my IV. The nurse that came was a friend of mine from bed rest days. She had started an IV for me when I was in trauma icu, and she kept saying how good it was to see me doing so well. I felt loved and my fear lessened.
While I was waiting, my favorite anesthesiologist showed up. Can I tell you how much I love the man who kept me alive as I bled and bled on that operating table? I love that man. And, saving me has made him love me back. I felt such peace knowing he was there checking things.
After my procedure, I couldn't open my right eye and felt my cheek drooping. Again, my angel doctor was there to tell me they had just nicked a nerve with a shot and that I would be fine. As he assured me, I could feel my face healing.
No one loves me more than my husband. At my worst times, he would enter the room and my heart rate would level, all my vital sign would improve. He pulled me back from the dead. Love is powerful.
We visited the OHSU blood bank to thank them. They showed me off like a trophy. They said I received about 200 different blood products- a massive transfusion. Even at a big hospital like this, they only give one or two massive transfusions a year. The patients rarely survive.
My anesthesiologist said mine was his hardest case. He's worked at OHSU for 8 years. My urologist said it was one of the worst days of her life. I asked her why and she said, "Because you were bleeding out in front of us, on the brink of death for hours, and we loved you."
They did love me. And oh how I love them- I loved them before my surgery. (I especially loved my anesthesiologist because he changed his mind at the last minute and let my husband come in for the birth).
Maybe I am wrong, but as I was talking to doctors and blood techs that day, I began to see a bigger picture. I understood why I was in the hospital for a month prior to my surgery. I felt that my massive transfusion was a combination of excessive hemorrhaging, my strong desire to live, and a medical team that would not give up. They got to 200 because they loved me and believed in me.
During my month long hospitalization, I grew from a patient, to a neighbor, to a friend, to a sister. The hospital became my home and those who worked there became my family. I really did love them, and they loved me back.
Love saved my life. This love, combined with the love of my real family, my church family, my Internet family and most especially my heavenly family-- saved me.
Love doesn't end. It will come with me and continue to spread.
I cried as the nurse took my vitals yesterday. I was so afraid to go back to that hard place. But, I also cried as I drove away.
I'm leaving home, all my many homes. It is hard.
I'm afraid of the future, even as I know there are many I will come to love in my new home.
One thing I know- people all have gifts in them.
We all have a story.
We are all worth the 200 units of effort even when things look pretty hopeless.
Sometimes we stay and sometimes we move on... And through hard and ease, God's love is constant.
He is love.
He is good.