With only about a month left before we ring in another New Year, I can’t help but reflect upon the recurring theme of this year — 2017 has certainly been a year filled with firsts …
My first time adopting a whole food plant based diet.
My first time adopting a Vegan lifestyle.
My first Godchild/ Niece graduating from high school.
My first time tenting out in about 20 years.
My first Nieces and Nephew getting jobs.
My first Niece getting her driver’s license.
My first Niece going off to university.
My first time playing around with making YouTube videos.
My first time making a podcast.
My first time losing 60 pounds in one calendar year (and I’m not done yet!)
My first new job in 15 years.
My first gallbladder attack (and unfortunately not the last).
And much more …
But most recently …
My first stay in hospital.
Yes, I am 48 years old and until this November I had never spent a single night in hospital. I guess I have been mostly healthy. But maybe I’ve also suffered out a few things on my own with home remedies instead of seeking medical help. I couldn’t do that this time though.
I knew this wasn’t a typical gallbladder attack because it started on a Sunday in the morning following a healthy breakfast of oatmeal and fruit. I knew this wasn’t a typical gallbladder issue when the pain consumed the left side of my body by Tuesday afternoon. I knew this wasn’t anything typical when I woke from a dead sleep at 4 am Friday morning after feeling fully recovered on Thursday. By 6 am Friday I was throwing up uncontrollably and had called my boyfriend to come help me. By 7:30 I was puking non-stop into a bucket as he raced to the Emergency Room.
The ER wasn’t busy but I think I would have gotten right in anyway. I was yellow with jaundice. I found out later that I had pancreatitis. A gallstone had come loose and was blocking the bile duct between my pancreas and liver. The pain was incredible. Excruciating. If I had an enemy I would not wish it upon him. The last time I was in the ER I wanted to hold off on gallbladder removal surgery. I wanted to research my options. I wanted to see my family doctor and also my osteopath. I wanted to make sure it was the right thing to do first and then get a referral to a surgeon I could trust instead of the arrogant doctor who presented himself to me in the ER. This time they could have said they needed to amputate all my limbs and perform complex brain surgery and I would have signed the papers and agreed. The pain was that bad. I was that sick.
The worst case scenario had me heading to Moncton hospital on Saturday for some kind of scope and then depending on the results would see me in hospital for at least six weeks. The best case scenario had my body recovering on its own and me being released on Monday. It was touch and go. At one point my liver levels were 4000 and anything above 100 is not normal. I was in and out of consciousness, on oxygen because my levels would drop every time I nodded off. Tubes, needles, pain and more pain. At one point I wasn’t even allowed to drink water or suck on an ice chip. The thirst was incredible.
The best case scenario happened. My body passed the loose stone. I didn’t need to go to Moncton. I was sent home to recover on Monday. But during the worst of it all I was incredibly calm. I felt like it could be the end and I was at peace with that even though I felt sad for the people who love me, I felt at peace. I don’t know if that is what happens when we pass over or whether I was just hopped up on some good drugs, but I would like to think that is the feeling we have because it was a very calm way of feeling on the inside during what was not at all a very calm situation on the outside.
Anyway, my recovery continues and my surgery is scheduled later in December when I am even more recovered. The healthier I am going into it, the better it will be. On the mend by Christmas, better than ever as we ring in the new year, that is the plan.