April 20, 1999

As I laid in the hospital bed watching the horror unfold on the tv of the Columbine shootings I was overwhelmed with sadness, helplessness, and hopelessness.

I was alone in the hospital room watching that terrible news. Feeling like the world had gone crazy, wondering if it had only been mere days that I was unconscious. Time made no sense in my mind since the surgery for the abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Wondering if I was going home today. Wondering if I was ok to go home. Wondering if I’d ever be ok again.

Doctors came and went but when they talked to me I had trouble connecting their words and what they were saying. I do remember going off on one of the doctors from Dr. Ehrig’s group because he wanted me to take some inhaler treatment and I knew I couldn’t because I was allergic to it.

I think Dr. Ehrig came to the hospital to check on me even though he wasn’t on rounds because I was being so difficult. (I don’t remember exactly, but I do remember him coming in a couple of times.)

The morphine gave me a massive headache and filled me with unspeakable rage, but while I was in ICU I had a tube down my throat and couldn’t talk and the nurses just kept pushing that god forsaken button to administer more of that poison.

When I got to a regular room they gave me a shot of Demerol and that made me nauseous and dizzy. I felt awful.

The days were all jumbled in my mind. I remember my dad sitting at the foot of my bed just watching me. I think everyday, but I don’t know that for sure.

There was someone there from my church when I was in ICU. She was reading Scriptures to me and it infuriated me because I was so angry with God that I was having to go through this. I think I swore at her, I’m not sure. (Just a side note for those of you that want to help, pray silently by the bedside of the infirmed. Just be there. It’s not necessary to be spouting Scriptures unless the person wants that. I just couldn’t deal with that at that time. I was terrified.)

I remember screaming over and over, “Help me, Help me, Help me!” And a woman with a white collar (like a priest would wear) came in and asked if I wanted her to pray with me. I said, “yes.” I have no idea what she prayed but I remember drifting off to a peaceful sleep and when I woke she was gone and the nurses were disconnecting a bunch of tubes and wires and moving me from ICU to a regular room. I asked them to please thank the woman pastor that prayed with me and they both looked at me like I was crazy and said there had been no one in my room that fit my description. Could she have been an angel? I’d like to think so.

The pain I was in was horrendous. I had 52 staples that ran from just under my breasts all the way down the center of my body to just above my groin. Since I had smoked two and a half packs of cigarettes the day before surgery I had to keep coughing. The hospital gave me a teddy bear sewn by volunteers to hold against my incision and the pain was unspeakable!!! I never picked up another cigarette after that! (Oh believe me I was tempted many, many times, but I kept that teddy bear close by to remember that pain and that curbed the desire.)

I was released from the hospital on April 21, 1999. I didn’t know it at the time, but my life would never be the same as it was just mere days before I had been admitted to the hospital.

Today I’m grateful for:

1. The tornado watch yesterday only brought a couple of gusty thunderstorms to my area.

2. My x-ray of my shoulder showed an inflamed ligament and hopefully I’ll be starting physical therapy next week.

3. I don’t have anything I need to do today or tomorrow so I can rest and ice my shoulder.

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