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Forum: General Discussion


Sandy's Summer Vacation

Created on: 12/06/10 01:32 AM Views: 343 Replies: 1
Sandy's Summer Vacation
Posted Sunday, December 5, 2010 08:32 PM

Well it's ME!!!  I know Steve kept you updated on my health issues but several classmates have asked me--what happened that sent you to the hospital for 43 days?  So to prove no topic is off limits on this site, here is the condensed version of my hospital stay..........

I had a bad stomach ache.  My doctors tested me and found my gall bladder was full of stones and that I had multiple ulcers and fistulas in my stomach.  During surgery to remove and repair this issue,  it was discovered that my stomach had adhered to my liver and spleen.  Parts of all three of these organs had to be removed.  Within 24 hours of this operation I was diagnosed with pancreatitis.  Gastric bleeding followed a few days later, I had an abscess in my spleen.  Blood had filled the lining of my lungs and heart.  At times I was bleeding out faster than it could be replaced.

According to the doctors, the billing office and my insurance company, I had 4 surgeries, 3 three day stays in ICU, 2 ambulance rides, 9 special procedures,  21 CT scans, 18 units of blood,  7 chest x-rays,  14 pages of medical supplies and drugs (including morphine, insulin, heparin, and 1 (that's right 1) tylenol.  During my incarceration I was only allowed to eat the last 4 days.  So for 39 days I had only ice chips and once in awhile on good days I had a half of a grape popsicle.  Please note, when I left the hospital I had gained 10 pounds from all the IV fluids and feeding that were pumped into me. 

But I'm not complaining, during this long process my medical team kept searching  and trying  to figure out what was wrong with me.  They could not agree why I was  reacting or not responding to treatment.  During one of my CT scans it was discovered that I had a splenic artery aneurysm.  I was told this was a very unusual medical condition and at the same time was also told it was fatal.  It was immediately corrected with 5 coils and 2 stents.  This is one of those things my doctors and I would have been oblivious  to had it not found while I was in the hospital. Proving God works in strange ways. 

When I was released from the hospital, I thought I was well.  That's when I quickly realized that I had just started my recovery process.  It's been almost 3 months and I have just began to experience "pain free" days.  My doctors have told me to allow a year for a full detoxing of my system and to allow my body to repair.   So I quit my job, it seemed like the thing to do while I "chilled and recouped".  Feeling so much better and cannot wait to get out and mix and mingle again.

Thanks to all for the prayers, phone calls, cards, gifts, flowers and visits.  They were all greatly appreciated.  I am here to celebrate another Christmas, for awhile I did not think I would.  This life can be taken from you in the blink of an eye, cherish every minute.

I wanted to share a few things I learned from this experience--

1. Do not ignore your body, those aches and pains are telling you something.  If the doctor does not agree, get another doctor. Add to my primary care doctor, I now have a thoracic surgeon, pulmonologist, cardiologist , infectious disease, gastroenterologist, orthopedic surgeon and a number of radiologists

2. You know you are loved if someone is willing to sleep in the chairs of the OR/ICU waiting room just to be near you.

3. A GREAT nursing staff is the one who does not giggle or acknowledge the 7 weeks of growth on your unshaved legs.


well that's my story----MERRY CHRISTMAS YA'LL



Edited 12/05/10 08:33 PM
RE: Sandy's Summer Vacation
Posted Tuesday, December 7, 2010 04:12 PM

OMG, really, as cliche is that is, that is all I can think to say after reading your post Sandy! I know your family and Steve, along with all of us out in the world that know you, are delighted that you pulled through your nightmarish summer with grace and good humor! I am awed by you and the testament you are to all us to take care of ourselves and be aware! Thank you for sharing your story ... and ... I agree with you that at this point in life, no topic is off-limits :)

My summer seems totally boring by comparison! I was in Wellesley, Massachusetts for 7 weeks working with about 500 middle schoolers from around the world. Had a grand time and am grateful for all the fun I had!

My family and I will be in Pensacola at the end of December and I will try to be there for the gathering on 12/26. Any idea of where or when yet? Hard to believe we are this close to Christmas!


Merry Christmas, Sandy & Steve, and everyone reading this! Peace, Angela