LIFE – ALTERED A BIT – UPDATE

I have been meaning to write to those who have read my thoughts on the written page for years. Admittedly on and off – even a one-year silence when I was recuperating from surgeries waaaaay too close together. It is no exaggeration to say that I almost died from Septicemia and a fever over 106 degrees on the 18th of October. I have vague remembrance of people yelling at me . . . “What’s your name?” . . . “Where do you live?” I went to sleep in my bed, and woke up in ICU unable to answer those questions.

I remember the clear voice of the Holy Spirit telling me, “It is not your time; you have much left to do. You are going to have to fight your way back this time.” Er . . . um . . . didn’t I fight my way back after each surgery? After old incidents of abuse in my life? etc.? etc.? etc.?

In my mind I was in this huge block of ice, and fighting my way out of it for ten hours, TO LIVE – just to do it all over again for seven more hours. When the doctor asked me if I could do it just one more time, my husband and son reported to me later that I told the doctor, “ No. I would rather die than do that again.” The level of lactic acid in my arms and legs was high. I was actually fighting that fight with everything in me. The connection of the mind to every inch of the body is an amazing thing. I don’t remember saying I would rather die, but they are very trustworthy people I love, and I believe them. Wow, I wish I had not said it, because the fact of me saying it really upset the pair of them. I do remember thinking I have nothing left in me to fight any more. Thankfully, they didn’t need to apply the Arctic Sun panels a third time – what I perceived to be a block of ice, enveloping my body.

On the day I went home, I changed out of a hospital gown into a favorite Muumuu from Hilo Hattie’s in Hawaii. I do not remember any of my numerous hospital visits in which I didn’t change into my own gown or pajamas within 24 hours after surgery. How sick was I that I was just fine with my butt hanging out for anyone to see? I cannot fathom it, even though I went through it.

Being totally faithful that the Lord has my back 24/7/365 I told John that we would postpone nothing about this move from Texas to Ohio. I am still recuperating. When I think I feel better, I immediately go to that place in my organized little brain that says, “what can I do?” – those that know me, know that above all I am a doer. When I was younger, and up to about 59 or 60, I had the mindset of giving myself kudos for being the most amazing doer. A true Type A – I thrived on schedules, project deadlines, meeting many types of deadlines, and the NEVER ENDING to do list in my Day-Timer. I don’t remember that list ever being shorter than 40 or 50 line items. One line item might say – write an Employee Manual, or go to the doctor when you have time. Sometimes the items were added to the list quicker than I could work hard enough to get items off the list.

So, as of today what we have accomplished (bear with me I am making a point):
all belongings packed and soon will be out of the holding warehouse and on the way to us;
John has coordinated everything! (you cannot imagine – from certificate from a Vet that Gabby could Fly – to help with packing – to shipping our vehicle here – to airline tickets – to awesome hotel accommodations with a Jacuzzi for me – and more) no girl has a better and more loving husband than I do;
we closed on the home two nights ago;
last night two young folks – awesome friends of my daughter – earned some spending money by cleaning our home from top to bottom;
the carpet people have cleaned carpets, cleaned tile floors and sealed them today – tomorrow they will be installing something that kills mold, critters in the carpet, and other such wonderful stuff when dead;
yesterday I met with a local painter and directed him through the home with instructions to paint every wall my choice of an off white Satin, and notating all of the feature walls to be painted with my chosen colors (Oyster Bay, Daffodil, etc., the front door my favorite front door red, the shutters a Forest Green, in the near future when the spring brings warm days the brick will be painted a medium gray with white trim – it will be awesome!!!!);
yesterday John met with a local fence man and a 4’ black metal fence will surround Gabby’s back yard domain;
one day recently we went to buy our new Select Comfort King Size Bed (our old Queen size will be in the guest bedroom where guests can have fun adding air and taking air away to figure out their own sleep number LOL) – yes, somehow through it all we have both lost a lot of weight, but require more room – especially when John is feeling bad he needs his own King Size space; and he deserves all the space he needs;
we also made our way to Ashley furniture with a few pieces to add to what we have shipped here;
I have probably forgotten the other fifty items that John has done while I was in forced resting to heal.

I put you through all of that to show you how ignorant I have been about the recovery – and something they call Post Septic Syndrome. It is like no other recovery from illness or surgery I have ever experienced. I always believe that mind over matter is the mantra of the day – any day the last 63 years on planet earth. Sadly, I have actually been taking one step forward, and 3 to 5 steps back regularly in the last 26 days since I left the hospital. TALK ABOUT A STUBBORN FEMALE!!!!!!

For example: In airports I had a carry on and a purse and it was a huge challenge! Then we needed to get the rest of the luggage, and find our rental car only a shuttle-ride away. By the time we got to the hotel (one hour drive away) I was in honest fear that I was one step from being hospital-bound.

SO, I FINALLY ADMIT TO MYSELF AND TO JOHN THAT IF I AM ABLE TO DO WHATEVER THE LORD HAS IN MIND FOR ME – I must stop being the old Juanita and admit I cannot heal without timely rest and slow introduction of easy rehabilitation exercise to be of any real use to me or any one. I must not put my husband through any experience like the one he woke up to on October 18 when he could not wake me; and the ambulance personnel could not wake me. Unfortunately, the UTI that went septic needed the one antibiotic that previously caused severe tendonitis of my shoulders three years ago. It could not be avoided to save my life – only this time the severe tendonitis has also appeared in places like my elbows. In the balance, I will never complain. There were two other antibiotics, and fluids of kinds I cannot remember. Two IV’s and a pic-line being regularly used.

So, today, I can get all gussied up (takes forever – I am sooo slow!), and I may fool myself for a few hours that I am making progress, but that just isn’t going to work this time. I REMEMBER . . . I remember the clear voice of the Holy Spirit telling me, “It is not your time; you have much left to do. You are going to have to fight your way back this time.” OH!!!!!  Now, I get it.  John and Natalie have talked to me like I am six years old, and I deserved it. I must not turn into an obstinate old fool; and I must allow my body to heal over several months. When our belongings arrive soon, I must sit on the floor and empty boxes, and tell others where things belong. Wow. I remember when I would unpack in a day, and the kids would wake up to a home cooked breakfast the next morning. Those days are gone. My babies are 42, and 37 – YIKES!!!!!!

In reading about Post Septic Syndrome, I know that I am the lucky one! I am the best case scenario! I am thankful beyond measure – and I need to behave myself and continue to be thankful. Wow. I am thankful to be here. I still get to enjoy my days with John which are full of laughter and love. I also get to spend a lot of time with my Natalie pumpkin. We are BFF’s and we have so much fun. Poor David, Natalie’s husband, just shakes his head, smiles, and says, “there are two of them.” Hehehehehehehehe That is a good thing! Right?

Did I ever tell you folks how amazing my husband is?????? He is the rock star in this family. He is successfully fighting stage 4 cancer – it is being controlled and kept minimal. The bone healing medicine is healing bones. He isn’t 100%, and I don’t care if he cannot do things he used to do. I get to hold him, and laugh with him, and have adventures with him, even now. His phenomenon that I notice is that when he has nothing extra to do his numbers go up, and when he has organizing and research to do his test numbers go down!!! We just need to pace projects slowly so his test numbers stay down for many years to come. The Lord is faithful.

Before I close, I will tell you about a vivid full color dream I had a few days ago that I have not fully figured out the meaning of – but almost. In this dream John and I are perfect weight, and about 33 and 32 years old. I am in my going out dancing uniform of that age: strapless red (length below the knee) sundress with a full skirt, 4” high heeled sandals, and my big hair had nothing to do with teasing, but just had so much hair I didn’t always know what to do with it all! John is in uniform – Marine – and quite handsome and dashing. We are at a party, and we are dancing, laughing, and having a wonderful time – so in love. This is remarkable because I would not meet John in real life for over a decade after the time frame of the dream.

I am also in the dream, as I am today, 31 years older. I am telling my younger me that it is just a dream and not real, that we must wake up and then I can have the real John whom I love and laugh with every day – no matter what crap storms come our way. My younger me doesn’t want to leave the dream and basically ignores the older me, and is giving the younger John all of her attention. The 63 year-old me finally gets the younger me to agree to leave – and I wake up.

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