I try not to dwell on the past but in order to understand me, this disease, and why I am the way I am today-living with part of my intestine protruding out of my body with a bag attached to my side-I have to share it. On the days that I feel like crying, giving up, or hiding from the world…I write. I write from the depths of my soul and I share my story to help other’s feel like they aren’t alone in this journey. With that being said…this is the transition from Pomerado Hospital to going home.
By this point it was weeks of being told that once my platelet count was good, I could go home. After a month and a half in Pomerado Hospital I was ready to leave. However, my Doctors insisted that my platelet count had to be a certain number before I could be released. Every morning, during morning rounds, I’d ask my numbers-and do my best to remember the answer by the time my mom and mother in law showed up. Still on Dilaudid daily, mixed with Benadryl and other medicines, it was hard to recall a lot. However, I remember the morning my Doctor came in and said that I could go home. I was so excited to get home to my puppies and to be able to sleep in my own bed. At this point I still had the picc line in my neck-and I remember my husband being the only brave soul in the room to stay and watch as they pulled this long tube that went in through my neck and was (for lack of better words) sticking into my heart. It takes a lot to make a Marine weak in the knees..and twice now he’s had to endure the same displeasure of seeing his wife having long tubes pulled out of her. Nonetheless, he didn’t faint and for his strength during a difficult time, I will always be grateful. I remember when the tube was being removed, the Doctor asking me, “Do you want a picture of this…” and I couldn’t bring myself to look at the tube (approximately the length of my arm) long enough to get a picture. Looking back now, I wish I had-but who knew I’d have such a long story to tell.
On the drive home from Pomerado Hospital, with my husband, I remember crying tears of happiness and sadness. I was so happy to finally be out of the hospital, after being stuck there for so long. Everything seemed new, after a month and a half of pure hell…I was in the car and listening to the radio. The world certainly didn’t stop because I was sick, and the new songs on the radio were music to my ears-literally. It was the strangest feeling, but I remember getting into my car (the passenger seat) and just feeling the sunshine beam into the car as we drove home. It felt amazing, with the sun glistening against my snow-white skin tone, I remember feeling free-finally free. It was the little things that I took for granted before…like riding in the car…that now..felt entirely different to me. I remember pivotal moments throughout my illness, the day I sat outside in the rain as my mom wheeled me around the parking lot while it sprinkled tiny rain droplets on my hospital gown, and the day I left Pomerado Hospital. I remember the feeling of pure joy, that until then I’m not sure I experienced. Pure joy, pure appreciation for life-my family and close friends. It wasn’t a vacation (by any means).. but to me these different memories I have in and out of the hospital are some of the best memories and better than any vacation I have ever been on.
The sadness I felt was beyond words, but I’ll do my best to explain the unexplainable. Imagine this, entering the hospital with hopes and high expectations that not only would my doctor fix what was wrong-but in turn make things all better. I mean this is why they get paid the big bucks right?? This was not the case for me. Not only was I told there was nothing else he could do, or offer me for pain relief, but now I was preparing myself mentally and physically for the next step. When I left Pomerado Hospital, I already knew what was to come. I already had an appointment with Dr. Sandborn (who came highly recommended from Dr. Lee). I needed to prepare myself mentally as the inevitable was coming. Through the process at Pomerado Hospital, and even into the first meeting with Dr. Sandborn-I had no idea that removing this diseased organ from my body would mean anything other than simply removing my colon. However, it’s not that simple-and perhaps I was naïve, or perhaps I was in too much pain to understand all the options as they were presented to me over the past few months. Either way, when Dr. Sandborn explained the process of removing my colon-I remember looking to my mom in shock. With a look of fear and panic as if to say to her “their going to do what and put it where?” As Dr. Sandborn suggested other drug therapies, which I quickly negated, the message was clear to him-surgery was MY only option and hope for relief. Without any other solutions to offer-he provided the referral to see Dr. Sonia Ramamoorthy.