My dad recalls watching my body as it inhaled and exhaled on the ventilator, and believing at certain times that it would be my last breath. My pulse was high, and with every breath, my body rattled violently. I recall my mom describing the surgery. I had a colostomy and an open wound from just below my breast to my belly button, which was and still is a half inch left of where it was formerly located. I had nurses and doctors checking all kinds of stuff, surrounding me as they worked to make sure I was out of sepsis. It was all so much to absorb. I lost myself in the drugs and bad dreams that filled my head.
The next time I remember, the surgeon was next to me. He said that they had accidentally nicked the bowel during the first surgery, which sent me into septic shock. They had to remove 9 inches of my colon, thus the colostomy. I would have it for six months. I wasn't conscious enough to realize how devastating that news was. I had the open wound because of the septic tissue that had been removed. It was all so much to absorb. How would I ever recover?
The timing of this memory is unknown, but it happened as sure as I had surgery. I remember a pair of medical interns trying to start an IV in my wrist. The pain was overwhelming, so I did what I always do when I'm in pain, and that is pulling myself up and away from the pain. I crawled up to the ceiling, just to wait for the torture to stop.
As I hovered, I recall a white light enveloping me. There was peace in my heart. It was as real as I am writing this today. My son, my Nana and my Uncle Rusty were there, among other angels. My pain was so real and horrific, I wasn't sure I wanted to live. I remember almost pleading with them to let me die. I didn't want to live like this, in pain, anymore. I was discouraged and told that my time here on Earth wasn't finished, and that I had more to achieve in life. It was hard to choose the physical pain over eternal peace.
It was my moment of clarity; my choice of worlds, and I chose the harder one. And what makes the experience most amazing is that it doesn’t matter that no one saw my light but me, because it was MY miracle! For as horrible as the entire experience was, it was the defining experience of my life. There were plenty of times after being released from the SICU, and then the hospital, and then the private rehabilitation hospital (I was too sick to go home), when I could have given up on hope, and almost did.
But I didn't. THAT is my miracle. If, as I believe, something good can come from something horrible, my miracle came from the horrible outcome of the first surgery. It's not something I want to repeat, but it something I celebrate!