Saturday, May 28, 2011

Strength - Part 2

A new room completed our new beginning the next day. The glorious sun shown bright through the wall of windows. I felt stronger, was starting to move more and needed less help getting out of bed. Ben's jaundice levels were still the same, but overall he was a healthy baby. I read the tear stained pamphlets and, after Paul pulled some strings at the hospital, the blood test to confirm Ben's secret was scheduled for the next morning. 
I remember laying in the hospital bed while everyone left to get something to eat that evening. It was the first time I had been left alone. I remember thinking to myself, "Gosh, I'm really cold." I tried to get out of bed to turn off the air conditioning but couldn't. I tried to find the nurses call button hanging on the side of my bed. I could see it, but couldn't reach it. I started to get colder and colder. So cold that I was shivering. Finally, I was able to send Micah a text message despite the lack of signal in our new room. He gave me the number to the hospital's front desk and I was able to get a nurse to get me a blanket. I was feeling fine when Micah and his mom came back to the room. We made the decision to have Micah go home and sleep in a comfortable bed while Beverly stayed with me that night. 
I remember being able to hear the blood flowing through my ears and feel my heartbeat through my chest. I assumed it was normal. After all, I had never had major surgery before. 
Benjamin's last feeding was at 2:30am. I was told to skip the rest because of the upcoming blood test and I would be able to feed him again at 8:30 the next morning. 
The nurse making rounds to check vitals stopped me in the hallway on the way back to my room after that 2:30 feeding. She checked my pulse and said my heart was beating entirely too fast. She told me to go lay down and rest. She came back a little while later, checked it again and said it was better. 
"Finally, I can sleep." So I thought... 
I don't remember a time a nurse wasn't in my room for the next 4 hours. They took my blood twice, checked my vitals every few minutes and by 5:30am I had an IV in my arm waiting for a blood transfusion. I didn't know what was going on. Nobody ever told me why I needed blood. 
I remember feeling so overwhelmed I couldn't see straight. My questions weren't getting answered, my husband wasn't there and I couldn't get out of bed to turn off the overhead lights the nurses left on. 
I hadn't slept since Monday. 
My new nurse for the day came in to check on me. 
I felt like a medical experiment. I wanted somebody to tell me I was more than just a body laying there. I needed somebody to tell me what was going on. 
A little compassion would've been nice. 
At 7:45am a bag of blood was rolled in. I told the nurses I was supposed to feed my son at 8:30. 
"This is more important." This?! What exactly is "this?" But, I couldn't get those words out. Why couldn't I feed my son?    
My thoughts rang in my ears louder than the blood flow I had been hearing. 
I lost it. 
I broke down. 
I've never cried that hard before. 
I yelled across the room for Beverly to call Micah. 
As they were hooking me up to the bag I remember hearing Beverly say, "Oh, you'll be happy to see who's here." 
It was Paul. 
Answers. Finally.
He sat down on my bed and I cried so hard I couldn't see him. He grabbed my hand and explained that my hemoglobin levels had gotten all the way down to 5 (normal is 10; dangerous is 7).  He compared his arm to mine and said my coloring was way off. He asked me how I was feeling and I mustered up the answer, "I really feel fine." He chuckled and said, "Well, you'll probably feel a lot better after this" as he pointed to the bag. 
In other words, I was sick and didn't know it and there was power in that blood.  
Micah finally got there and I had calmed down enough to tell him the events of the long night. 
The blood transfusion lasted all day. I wasn't allowed to leave my room. 
But, Paul was right. I really felt a lot better after two bags of blood. 
So, if you've ever donated A+ blood.. Thank you. 
Your donation may have saved my life. 

April fools day 2011 was one I'll never forget.
It wasn't easy.
God is good. 

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