I looked at my last post and cringed at how much time has passed. On April 26 I was called up to Salt Lake City for a pancreas transplant. I've been either recovering, in the hospital, or trying to keep going ever since. My blog sort of took a vacation. Back in September of 2012 I had a similar experience with one major difference; the organ failed after 30 hours. I ended up having the transplant removed, a bleeding ulcer in my stomach cotterized, my appendix removed, and I nearly bled to death before I got to the recovery part.
There are a few days during this experience that I don't remember much about. I was weak, in excruciating pain, and on a lot of drugs. Interestingly enough, I didn't process the fact that the pancreas had failed and I was cut open from ribs to pelvis with no transplant. I had to focus on breathing, staying connected with my surroundings and not slipping into depression.
Being in the hospital for me is a challenge. I can't see the room I'm in, I hear only the machines and distant voices, and I literally feel like I'm floating in a pool of blackness. Much of this time my sister was nearby holding onto me and keeping me grounded but the nights are the worst. Time becomes meaningless as I drift through long hours alone. Nurses coming and going. My body only present in the form of pain or nausea. I can't feel the night pass or the dawn arrive. It seems as if the night will last forever and there are no outside indicators to tell me that I've conquered one more day. It was in those moments nearly two years ago that I learned to hold onto my Savior, literally and physically. I would reach for light and imagine sitting with him while I prayed. I would cry into His shoulder instead of my pillow. I clutched his hand as I drifted through the night. This experience only lasted two weeks, and at the time I couldn't imagine making it any longer.
My brother said this was as low as he's ever seen me. My sister, who was with me, says I don't talk about it. The truth is its the closest I've ever come to thinking I would be better off if I died. I don't talk about it because its one of the few times the darkness almost won.
This last month has been a different trial for me. One I haven't had much patience with. I have a working pancreas. Thirty three years of Diabetes is now being treated by a transplanted organ instead of my failing body. I'm healing, feeling good, pain free, and...far from home.
I spent a month stuck in Salt Lake City in the hospital or following up with my surgeons. I've got two vicious viruses, an I.V. still in my arm and blood work that has to be drawn twice a week along with weekly visits to The U of U's clinic.
Read that list of complaints in comparison to what I went through back in September. It's nothing. I got so focused on what I was going through NOW, that I forgot my perspective. I lost sight of my great blessings, healed body, and wonderful family and friends.
How often are we so caught up in not getting our way right this second that we forget how much worse it could be?
I'm grateful for the chance to regain my perspective on this. One of the ways I survive hard things is by making lists of what I'm grateful for. You can't possibly feel sorry for yourself if you can list all the blessings in your life. Remember...You only sorrow over the lot you have to lose when you first have a lot.
I have more than I deserve and as long as I keep my perspective I always will.No matter what I've lost, I am missing nothing. I've got three kidneys, two pancreas' and a hand crafted eye. What more could a woman want? I've got good friends, neighbors, family, and a wide open future. The next time you feel as if the darkness is coming for you, clutch something or someone and reach for your Savior. You'll be amazed at your new found perspective.
"The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than He."