after spending last night in the ER, i awoke out of my foggy state of i-don't-know-where-i-am mind. i reached for my cell phone and it said 10:50am. i stumbled into the kitchen to find a teenage girl and 2 toddlers. WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE??? now i remember, this is our babysitter and these are my kids.
for 12 hours yesterday i was in the ER puking and balling, crumpled over in unbearable stomach pain until i got the good drugs. then i was as high as a kite. i ended up in the ER because my surgeon said i had to go.
you see, 3 weeks ago, my gallbladder decided to explode without proper notice. 2 days before my birthday on july 14, i sent my family off to church thinking i had the stomach flu. while they were at church i barely drove myself to the ER and the next day i was getting that bad-boy out. my hospital experience was....hmmm...how shall i say this?...lacking, to say the least. between the 3 infiltrated IVs exploding, lack of aggressive pain mangement pre-op, incorrect post-op info by a medical student, MIA surgical team who didn't visit me until the day after my surgery, unprofessional conduct, intern giving me discharge instructions with potentially lethal dose of extremely strong pain medicine (which is never given to post-surgical patients), and post-surgical infection, i. was. done!!
so yesterday when i started vomiting violently and had major stomach pain and cramping, we called the surgeon and he instructed me to go to the ER, get thoroughly checked out, and a member of his team would come and evaluate me. we certainly considered going to a civilian hospital given the abovementioned experience i had, but we're a family who believes in second chances. and i'll say with 99% certainty, they must have thought i was the admiral's wife. i had excellent care for the entire 12 hours i was there. other than the 2 hours we waited to be seen, it was a great experience. except if you ask the nurse and nursing student i puked in front of, slash, on. they were all updating their facebook status' with "gross, a patient puked on me today."
at the end of the day, i was sent home with a diagnosis of the stomach flu. thank you Jesus! during my ultrasound the radiologist thought he saw some fluid where my gallbladder had been. this could have been a big deal (general anethesia in the OR to do a surgical drain) or no big deal. so they sent me for further evaluation and to get a CT scan. 4-5 hours later, nothing. as in no fluid at all. a Jesus miracle? or a radiologist who mistakenly thought it was fluid. i don't know. all i know is i didn't have to get another surgery and i was as happy as a parent on back-to-school day.
ok, with all that background, i can now explain my blog title..."i need help!"
these 3 words are so hard for me to say. some people have a hard time saying i love you. not me. i'll love you to the moon and back. but to tell you i need you, is so very, very difficult for me. 3 weeks ago when we were faced with my surgery and a week of work ken could absolutely not miss, we had to say....
i need you.
i need meals. i need childcare. i need prayer. i need support. i need a shoulder to cry on. i need you to change your plans and be here.
we have lived in SD for 7 months and cautiously i have been sticking my toe in the water. that's it. i joined a MOPS group in February. a neighborhood moms group the same month. a group from our church getting together for weekly dinners last month. attended one event of the navy officer's spouses club.
in other words, i haven't completely jumped in.
i'm not sure why i was holding back but i was. everyone we met was nice but i have not made many, "hey can you drop everything, go to my house and watch my kids so my husband can come up to the ER" kind of friendships. we knew 8 families when we moved here; 3 of which we hadn't connected with yet because honestly, my lack of trying, 1 we ran into once, and 4 that lived 30 mins-1 hour away (that we have been able to hang out with a few times). the day of my first ER visit 3 of those families we knew were out of town.
and seriously, people have their own hands full with their own kids and problems...how can i ask them to be apart of mine??
sometimes it's just SO HARD to be a military family away from family.
but creatively, God provided help and coverage the week of my surgery and Ken was able to go to work all week; the most important week of his 3-year tour here -- the joint commission for the hospital. (This is basically where they come out every 3 years and say whether you can keep your doors open. And Ken's the facilities department head for the hospital...so it was kind of important he be there!) my dad and stepmom changed their plans to go to chicago to meet my nephew so they could come help us and they were here for almost 2 weeks. they went home this past weekend, and boom, the stomach flu came at me like a spider monkey. the doctor explained that the excruitiating pain i felt was from strained muscles at my surgery incision sites when i was vomiting. ahhh-ha. ok, that makes sense. because i've had the stomach flu before, but i sure didn't require a trip to the ER!
and yet again, yesterday we rounded up 4 people to watch our kids so ken could be with me almost the whole 12 hours i was in the ER. it was HARD to ask for help. a couple people just offered. and we asked a few others. but if Ken was going to be with me at the ER, we had to say "YES" to receiving and asking for help.
sure, we all want to believe we can do everything, always, on our own, within our little family. but i believe that's a sad, lonely way to live and not what God designed for us. i believe life is supposed to be lived in community. and while i was putting myself into community where i could make these connections, i only put one toe in. when it came time to "call in case of emergency," i had to get on facebook and email to send messages because i didn't even have phone numbers.
i believe God designed the exploding gallbladder in my life to get my attention. cortney, i intend good things for you in San Diego. i want you to be who I've designed you to be; to love, serve and give to others...and to receive from those like you. but first, you have to really, REALLY put more skin in the game. toes in the water aren't going to make deep, lasting friendships; you have to...
DIVE ALL THE WAY IN!
so, to my exploding gallbladder and the lessons i've learned from it so far...thank you. i'm sorry you had to go to the medical-waste-whereever-they-put-ya place. it can't be good. but i hope you rest in peace. i will, now that you're gone.
subsequently, when i rejoined the world this morning, i logged onto my computer and cruised through my online devotionals and read this - the (in)courage posting from yesterday when i went to the ER.