August 01, 2013

Because I love them...

Today my heart is full and painfully heavy.
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.


Handsfullmom said...

And there's that beautiful poetic talent for sharing truth. Love you! I just wish you were moving closer to me.

Tiffany said...

Ah, Jen... yes you are so loved, because you love all of us so much!!!! My life is more rich because of your love. Thanks for another post with so much eternal perspective!

Corine said...

Ahhh yes... You ARE loved. I haven't even met you, but I love you, too. :) Keep hanging on and counting your blessings! And THANK YOU for sharing your touching story! :)
Corine :D

An Ordinary Mom said...

This post left me teary-eyed ... teary-eyed from the palpable love emanating from the words on my computer screen. Indeed you are loved. Indeed we are all loved!

What an awe-inspiring journey you have been on. I know you have touched the lives of many - those who read your story here, but especially all of the many doctors, nurses and other medical specialists who have had the amazing opportunity to care for you and your sweet little boy!

Good luck with your new adventures as you move across the country! I know our dear Heavenly Father will continue to bless you with many amazing experiences!


Marie said...

Yes, you are loved, Jen! Those of us that love you are ever so grateful that you are a part of our lives, that you have chosen to share your story, and that the OHSU angels made it possible for you to return to all your babies at home! Miracles happen for a reason... ❤

Joseph and Ivy Waite said...

We are going to miss you and your family so much Jen! I just got back from a week long vacation and completely forgot about the miracle baby shower. Wish I could have been there to celebrate! I'm glad your surgery went well.

beckyjune said...

Of course you are loved. Even as you were struggling through so many difficult things you were a strength to so many of us. Thank you for your example of faith. There will be many who love you in your new home, too, and you have the opportunity to touch that many more there.

Charlene Hendricks said...


Indeed you are loved by so many. Hoping you are feeling better real soon. Just so you know there was a very special spirit there at the baby shower tonight. So much love was expressed and concern for you because we knew you wanted to be there so bad and you couldn't. You are loved by so many. Your Mother is so wise and we are thankful for her taking such good care of you. Just think your family can be there to help open the baby presents and how fun that will be for them, and you will even have Diane's yummy dessert to eat. We all love you so much. :) Sending extra prayers your way tonight.

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

You have the gift of charity, Jen! The gift of giving, and consequently receiving, the pure love of Christ. It is beautiful. It is Light, breaking through the darkness of this world. How we love you for helping us all to feel a little bit of that love!

Evaly said...

This made me cry too! You are such a good writer and really know how to express emotions so well. My dear friend's 9 year old son was just diagnosed with cancer and admitted to the hospital yesterday. My feelings are close to the surface when I think of them and hope they feel as loved as you did. His blog is if you are interested. I know you are busy with your move. I hope it goes well and you find many new friends and a wonderful ward!

BedTime Quilting said...

Wow. You do have a gift. They say charity, the true love of Christ, is a spiritual gift. We are seek out the best gifts. A good reminder to actively strive, ask, and seek for spiritual gifts in order to be a blessing to others.
And the greatest of these is love.

Thank you for sharing your life story. Although I don't know you, you've had an impact for good on my life as a person and a mother.

Lindsey said...

I felt the Spirit so strongly as I read your post. What a beautiful thought, that perhaps one of the purposes behind all your pre-delivery days in the hospital was to forge a bond between you and your medical care team. It's hard to see those kinds of blessings, at the time. Hard to see what a gift our trials can turn out to be. Thanks for the reminder. And for the sweet testimony of love. I will be praying for your transition. You're an amazing woman, Jen. I feel so much love for you and yours. Thanks for sharing so much about your journey.

Anonymous said...

I'm praying for a speedy recovery for you, so you can again join your sweet family at home. Your strength amazes me as you continue to heal.
I was so touched by your account of your visit back to OHSU. I can imagine you being paraded around like "The Queen of Survival". I am so glad for the love you have for all those people, so they in turn loved you enough to save your life. I cried when I read about your urologist. I believe that those who cared for you in the hospital also prayed for you. It will be sad when you leave Oregon, but your Oregon family can stay connected to you through your blog. You have such a gift with sharing your insights, feelings, experiences. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Upstate New York is a little bit of heaven. You will love it. But no matter where you go, with your love of family, friends and life itself, you will be loved in return and happy in your new home. We vacation in upstate NY and wish we could live there.

Lisa said...

that was beautiful.

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