Admittedly, if you look at my Facebook page, and go by the status updates alone, you can deduce that 2013 was a year focused on me and meh. I’m not generally so self-consumed, and I even sounded a bit whiny in many of my posts, but 2013 was a tough year. I’m chalking it up to experience gained and character built, sprinkled with some good friends, many laughs, and the faithfulness of God to carry me through any circumstances. In case you missed it, here’s the year in review…
January – Rang in the New Year after narrowly surviving the Knipp Christmas Plague of 2012. Eleven days later, I found myself in the ER, hearing the words “You have multiple, bilateral clots”. That’s right, blood clots. In my lungs. Both of them. And once again, I narrowly survived. After a stay in intensive care, and some additional time in the hospital, I was discharged home to a new world of blood thinners, bi weekly visits to the anti-coagulation clinic, and chronic shortness of breath and chest pain.
February – My baby girl celebrated her 10th birthday, and we packed up our house and moved in with my inlaws. Instead of feeling better, my health continued to deteriorate, despite almost weekly trips to the doctor, and several courses of treatment.
March– The month began with the loss of a friend, colleague and mentor, Linda Aukett. Then back in the hospital, this time with fluid in my chest. The clots had cause significant damage to the lower lobe of my left lung and I’d developed a pulmonary infarct and pleural effusion. After having it drained, and a round of blood transfusions, I was feeling much better, and began to make some progress forward. This month also marked 13 years of marriage for Jon and I.
April – Another stint in the hospital, and the loss of a bright and shining light in my life. Zachariah was my friend, ostomy brother, fellow advocate and Youth Rally counselor. Rest in Peace, Z. Much love!
May – . My lungs began to work better, but my gut began to behave less. Enjoyed our traditional Mother’s Day outing to the flea market and Geneva on the Lake. Unfortunately, a bad intestinal blockage confirmed what I’d know for about two years – I had ANOTHER hernia, and was going to need major surgery to repair it, including an ostomy re-site and revision and an abdominal wall rebuild.
June – An uneventful month, with the exception of some minor ostomy issues. I took Jaidin and her friends to the opening of the American Girl Store in Columbus, and reaffirmed my thoughts of being crazy while standing in line in the blistering heat for 3 hours.
July – BEST MONTH of the YEAR. Why, you say? YOUTH RALLY! A week in Seattle with my Rally family was just what I needed! Love you guys!
August – Began mentally preparing myself for my 16th surgery in September, and lost the job that I loved.
September – Major surgery on Sept. 3rd, and I don’t remember much after that. Excruciating pain for days, unresolved ileus, infection, fluid collections, drains, it’s all a blur. I finally was discharged on Sept 24th, to a month long home IV antibiotic regiment.
October – Spent the month nauseated, running back & forth to the surgeon’s office. Developed a blood clot in my arm from the PICC line, drain in my belly came out, and was promptly put back in a week later after a Ct scan found another seroma. A couple days in the hospital, then out for more home care antibiotics, and Halloween.
November – I celebrated 38 years of life on this earth, and was especially grateful for modern medicine that made that milestone possible . Finally felt decent enough to begin job hunting.
December – Flew to Atlanta for a job interview, and was in the hospital a week later for another surgery.
So, tonight, with an open wound and some optimism, I will jump head first into 2014, thanking God for His faithfulness to see me through the last 12 months and believing with all my heart that things are on the upswing. Thanks to all who have endured 2013 with me, brought smiles to tough times, words of encouragement in the midst of despair, and lots of laughs through the tears.