I have been missing as far as social media is concerned because three weeks ago I went in for surgery and all Hell broke loose. In many ways from my perspective there were times when I literally felt as if I were standing at the gates of a darkness that would swallow me. I know now, that it was just the trauma my body was experiencing that my mind and soul was having a difficult time understanding. Its all very confusing so I will start over at the beginning and try to explain.
I have been a juvenile diabetic since the age of 8. This type of diabetes comes from having an organ known as the pancreas fail to make a digestive hormone called insulin. It is also known as Type I Diabetes and over the course of many years it can do great damage. I have been medically and nutritionally compliant since I was 19 and recieved an insulin pump. Now that does not mean I have controlled the disease, it just means I have worked with my doctors to try and minimize the damage the disease can cause. I have not had a lot of luck though. I lost my vision at 23, I had 2 premature babies because of kidney failure and I lost my kidneys completely at 35. Three years ago my brother gave me one of his kidneys and changed my whole life. I have been healthier and stronger in the last three years than ever before. When my doctors learned of my hard work and determination to fight the diabetes they put me on a list for a pancreas transplant as a permanant way to treat this disease and stop its progression. Three weeks ago I was called and told they had a pancreas for me, and my family and I drove at 3:00 a. m. for surgery. For about 24 hours the transplant did wonderfully. I was sore and tired but my body was working for the first time in over 30 years. As you can imagine we were thrilled. two days after the transplant the arterial flow of blood from the pancreas into the grafted part of my digestive tract kept working, but the veinous flow, removing blood, no longer worked. The organ began to struggle and eventually died. I was in horrible amounts of pain, bleeding into my stomach and had to be opened back up two days after being cut open from my sternum to my pelvis. I had a difficult time grasping what was happening to me I was weak, hurting and almost delirious with medications and surgery. I drifted in and out for two or three more days. I remember only flashes of pain, extreme thirst, and endless days and nights that seemed to blur together until I did not know what day it was. As I weakened and struggled my husband had to take our kids home and get them back in school and he had to go back to work, so my sister stayed with me as they tried to help me get better. Soon we discovered my stomach was bleeding and if we didn't get it to stop, I would eventually bleed to death, or lose so much blood that my transplanted kidney would die and I would have to have it removed and go back on dialysis. I went in for another surgery on my digestive tract where they coterized the bleeding and removed my appendix. There was not a problem with my appendix, except that it lay directly on top of an abdomenable artery, and if it ever became infected the infection would go directly into my arterial blood flow and I would become septic. After all of this was accomplished I started to get better, I still struggled with bloody vomit and getting the blood out of my stomach but I stopped losing blood, and eventually was strong enough to come home.
I have been home and healing with the help and constant care of my family, friends, and the wonderful people who live around me. I have truly been held up by the hands of unseen and human angels. I have been asked a number of times what all of this was for, what was the reason I had to go through it all. I am still a diabetic, I have been either down and out or nearly dead for three weeks, and I have nothing to show for it except a very large scar stretching down the middle of my stomach. Shouldn't I be angry, or scared, or demanding answers?
The truth is I don't know. I don't know why bad things happen to innocent people. I don't know if there is a reason for disease, death, tragedy, and trauma. I do know the longer I live and the more I go through, the stronger I get. I have talked before about setting your mind and heart to your dreams and making them come true, perhaps it is because I know how much greater the reward when the journey is difficult. There May not be an immediate reward with this one. I may not ever have anything to show for my struggles except that scar but...
What if I don't go to bed one night with a sore appendix and never wake up , because it isn't there to kill me. What if the reason this pancreas died makes it so the next person to recieve a transplant doesn't go through it. What if the outpouring of love and support I got from the people in my life is all I ever see from this experience? Was there a reason?
A wise man once said: "If not for the night sky, the stars would never be seen." I see sparks of starlight all around me because I know the blackness of the night, That is reason enough for me.