My life as I knew it was forever changed on February 17, 2014. It was on that morning that I found myself being loaded into an ambulance and rushed to the nearest hospital. It wasn’t because of a car accident, or heart attack, but a medical emergency that for a person born with spina bifida could be life threatening had it gone undetected and untreated. Unbeknownst to me or my mom who helps me with my care, I had developed a pressure sore, and a pretty nasty one at that. I was operated on nine days later, and discharged the following week to begin what would be a long recovery with home health care tending to my medical needs, dressing changes and vitals monitoring. My caregiver (who was in charge while my parents were away on a short pre-planned trip) and home care nurse noted that the staples that had been used to close the surgical incision had begun to pop open so it was decided that I should return to the hospital forthwith to close the incision, being operated on once again four days later. March 26th I was discharged to resume my recovery with one addition, IV antibiotic therapy which ! endured for six long weeks.
Fast forward to September 2nd. At my weekly appointment in the hospital’s wound care clinic, I told my doctor (not the surgeon) that I continued to be quite ill with severe gastrointestinal distress long after the IV therapy was completed and that I needed his help to resolve the issue. Yep, you guessed it, I was admitted again. This time for twenty days diagnosed with severe ulcerative colitis.
Back home again by the end of September, resuming wound care treatment. A slow process indeed. Did I mention I’m not the most patient person in the world? How did I stay busy being bedridden all these months? I read, and I read, and I read some more. Fiction, nonfiction, magazines on writing and genealogy (more about that, so stay tuned), and I learned to appreciate my mom’s love for old movies.
Which brings me to my final thoughts on the past year. My unsung hero, my mom. Throughout my 53 years of life, she has always been my cheerleader, nurse, champion, and best friend. And along with me on this journey, we’ve cried; we’ve yelled; we’ve laughed; and at eighty years of age, she even learned how to do wound care and start and maintain my IV. She’s extraordinary, and I surely would have struggled and suffered far more without her by my side. “I love you, Mom, and I know I haven’t said it often enough over these past months, but, Thank you!”