Saturday, October 30, 2010

Remember to eat your greens!!

Well, I finally did it, I had a salad!! Now to some this may seem like a silly goal or statement, but to me it was momentous, allow me to explain. 

I have not had a green salad or fresh fruits or vegetables since the winter of 2007, why you may ask?  Well, in 2004 I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and given many different drugs to keep the illness at bay.  They seemed to  work some what, although I had a very low immune system and was often sick with a cold of flu like symptoms all the time, but I carried on with life.  That was until October of 2007, I got a stomach bug and ended up in the emergency room at 2:00 in the morning.  I had a fever of a 103 and was severely dehydrated.  I explained my medical history to the ER docs, they proceeded to hook me up to IVs and pain meds and sent me home with a prescription for what they called a Z-pack of antibiotics.  The Z-pack from what I could gather was a very concentrated form of antibiotics that took only a matter of days to get into your system and work its magic.  So I went home got my Z-pack and did as I was told.  And the ER docs were right within days I was feeling much better, no fever, up and about getting back to my regular routine.  That was until the 10th day, I jumped into my car to go to the post office with my daughter and it suddenly felt like someone just stabbed me in the stomach with a hot poker.  I doubled over the steering wheel, the pain was so intense, unlike anything I had every experienced before.  My daughter helped me back into the house and into bed.  That evening the fever came back and so did the nausea and the stomach pain was even worse, we made another trip to the ER.  Well, to make a long story short the magic Z-Pack had destroyed all the good bacteria in my large intestine and due to the history of ulcerative colitis the ER docs should have never given me a Z-pack, but the damage was already done.  My large intestine was now inflamed and swollen and on the verge of perferation.  I was admitted to the hospital and put on steroids to reduces the swelling.  I was on a steroid drip and no food for 28 days and still the intestine did not shrink, it only got worse.  So on December 8, 2007 I had my whole large intestine removed, and was fitted with an iliostomy bag on the right side of my body. 

 On that day everything about my diet, and how and what I was able to eat changed.  No fresh fruits or veggies, no grains or nuts, no seeds or peelings of any kind.  Beware of citrus drinks and vinegar, carbonation, hot sauce any type of chili, and no eating after 7 P.M. And now I also had to take medication every four hours for the rest of my life.  I had three more surgeries to look forward to, that was if I was lucky and the small intestine was healthy enough.  Also we needed to give the colon area time to heal so that a possible Pull Through procedure could be done and the iliostomy bag could be removed.  There were a lot of "ifs" and it would take months, four to be exact before we would know if the operations would be successful.  During those four months I spent two of then in the hospital full time with complications.  In February of 2008 everything physically seemed to be settling down and I was preparing for a final surgery in April to remove the bag, I was so looking forward to that operation.  I had been helping my daughter plan her wedding during all of this and was glad to be able to stand in her line in June without any complications.  In March of 2008 on the 28th just two weeks short of getting my final operation my father passed away from a massive stroke.  The pain and loss I felt that day I can not yet put into words.  My tough, but sweet dad had called me every other day while I was in the hospital to check on me and had come to my home and checked on me to see how I was doing.  All the while he had been having small seizures and had told my stepmother not to tell me because he didn't want to worry me.  Of all the crazy things, he didn't want to worry me, boy how I love that man.  We layed my dad to rest on a cold March morning and carried on with life.  I had my operation, it was a success, no more bag.  My Doctor was amazing.  My beautiful daughter had a lovely wedding and promised herself to the love of her life.  They have since then given us the most amazing grandchild. 
So yes, after four surgeries, a funeral, and a wedding, if I eat a salad it is a call for celebration.  Remember to eat your greens, hug your parents and tell your children you love then, and kiss that grand baby every chance you get.


rosa & josie said...

Oh, you are one amazing story teller, and I hung on every word Debbie. I am so sorry that you lost your father, but so thankful your daughter had a beautiful wedding with her thankful mother standing by her side.
Praise God you ate a salad! It is good to be able to do so.....

sonyamacdesigns said...

After reading this, I will think of my greens a bit different as I chump em down. I'm a sixties gal as well and the loss of my Mom and Dad has changed my life as well. Thanks for the reminder of what we so often take for granted

Anne - Fiona and Twig said...

My goodness, you've been through so much!
You certainly are a strong woman with a lot of wisdom to share.

Happy Sunday!

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