Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your prayers regarding my last post. I ended up having my surgery on Friday and it was quite the experience. First of all, prior to surgery the doctors needed to administer a pregnancy test not once but twice! Fret not, there was/is no chance that my "eggo is preggo" as my dear friend Nicole so put it. Speaking of, Nicole deserves a short shout out as one of my dearest friends who drove me to the hospital in Sacramento two days in a row for my consultation and surgery- what a gem! If you look below, she's the beauty blow drying my hair (when the accident first happened I couldn't wash or style my hair so she did it for me)! Also, my pseudo-mom Lois drove up from the Bay Area to be with me through the surgery, which was truly one of the greatest blessings I could have asked for.
The three of us headed over to the surgery center together, where I showed off my nasty, bloody pictures from the ER visit to the receptionists before I was called back for surgery. I met my nurse, the anesthesiologists, and my surgeon Dr. Vance back there, who all encouraged and talked me through my first surgery. Once they all walked away was the moment that I began to freak out. I began praying as the tears began to well up in my eyes, and then a verse surfaced on my heart - "For the joy of the Lord is your strength." So I began praying, "Lord, You are in control and I am not, and I trust You. Take these anxious feelings and give me Your joy, Father! Give me Your strength and courage! Use me as a light in this place, for Your glory, Lord!"
Before I knew it, an I.V. was in my hand pumping sedative medicine into my system and Dr. Lee was poking around my armpit to "nerve block" my arm (make it completely numb for surgery). He actually did an ultrasound to locate the nerves, and it was weird to watch the ultrasound screen. I remember saying, "Wow, it all looks like the surface of the moon... craters!!" Apparently the medicine had begun to take affect. My arm began to go numb, and once Dr. Lee was done I tried to raise it. I managed to raise it straight up when it then came crashing down onto my face. I began laughing hysterically, which was soon followed by the hiccups. My nurse came over to help me with my arm, and then everyone in the prep/recovery room started laughing at my hiccups (they're super high pitched and generally last a few minutes). It was a sweet, funny moment in that room. I was soon wheeled into the surgery room where I saw Dr. Vance in his surgical mask and met my new nurse team and anesthesiologist. He placed an oxygen mask on my face and then I was out...
I woke up after surgery still in the surgery room, and the first thing I did was look Dr. Vance in the eyes, grab his hand (with my good hand) and say with complete authenticity, "Thank you, Dr. Vance- you were wonderful!" Then, as they began to wheel me back into the recovery room I found myself yelling at the nurses, saying, "No! You can't move me yet! I haven't finished the salad- it still needs avocados!" Irony, anyone? As they placed me in the recovery room, I noticed the clock and realized I had been in surgery for over 2 hours... all I could think was, "Poor Lois has been sitting in the waiting room for over 3 hours!" So, in all seriousness, I turned to Dr. Vance and said, "DR. VANCE! You're a LIAR! You told it would only be an hour!!" I came to find out that they discovered during surgery that not only had I cut the artery and the nerve, but I had nicked the tendon as well. Oops! Don't worry, Dr. Vance called me the next day to check on how I was doing and I apologized for my outburst. He said not to worry about it, and that odder things have been said after surgery. As one of the nurses in the recovery room was helping to put on my clothes over my lovely new hand/arm brace (who I lovingly refer to as "Hank" - he'll be sticking around for a few more weeks) the nurse said, "Dear, you have been one of the most amusing and joyful patients we've had in a long time." At that I remembered my prayer and the verse that the Lord put on my heart before it all began... and I thanked Jesus for His faithfulness in that still, small moment.
The point of all of this? Well I wanted to share my surgery experience - as well as some of the ridiculous things I said - but more than that I want to share with y'all how good God has been to me through all of this. Since I had first noticed I cut myself the night I ended up in the ER, I had been freaking out about how I was going to be able to afford everything. To make a long story short, my church has blessed me with a sizable amount of money to put toward my surgery bill AND one of my friend's parents wanted to help and felt God pressing it upon them to pay the rest of my bill. Seriously friends, our God is so good! He truly is the ultimate provider who meets our every need. Additionally, I believe that I have some other health issues going on that I've recently discovered, and now that my deductible will be filled on my insurance, I have the opportunity - with less financial worry on my heart - to get it all figured out.
I am so humbled, grateful, and blessed as a result of all that this experience has taught me thus far. I am generally not good at asking for help, but I have had to this last week and will continue to as my left hand is basically useless at this point. On Facebook the other day I posted the following status:
"Wow- I am so incredibly grateful for the body of Christ right now! From texts to emails, car rides and grocery runs, to offers to help cover my surgery costs, I am so humbled to experience my brothers and sisters come around me like this! Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all of your Christ-empowered love!!! ♥"
Friends, I mean it with all of my heart. Thank you so very much for your prayers, your love, and your encouragement. This is what the church is about - loving one another out of our love for Jesus Christ. I love you ALL!
I now apologize for any and all typos throughout this post... typing with one hand is challenging! Also, check out pictures below from my "surgery journey" so far!
1. Arriving at the ER with paper towels around my hand
2. Stitches in the ER - thanks Dr. Field!
3. The beautiful Nicole styling my hair
4. At my surgery consultation - the gauze was stuck to my skin!
6. I was not excited to be wheeled out of the surgery center
7. Two days after surgery: my hands were looking sad, so I treated
them to a manicure. No, I did not receive a discount ;)