Every year I mark time in my head. Wait, that’s not right. What I mean is some years it’s quieter, and some years it hits me harder. But July 17, 2001 is the day my before became my after.
After 9 days in the hospital and my doctor finally realizing my hematocrit was 6 and I was septic, she panicked. She made *the face* and sent me by ambulance to the local trauma 1 center. With nothing left to do but try to save me, I was induced and delivered my baby girl at about 19 weeks gestation.
My doctor was very kind and my nurses were amazing. I know I was the biggest, whiniest pain in the ass because I had blown every IV site in both arms and was down to my last site in my left hand with an 18 gauge needle, which wasn’t ideal. And every 4 hours the antibiotics burned going in. But they were patient and compassionate and I will forever be grateful.
Looking back, I now know I had PTSD from the whole thing. I didn’t know it then, and I’ll save the details, but I had nightmares for a year and a half after I got out of the hospital. I slept with the light on for over 6 months, and I didn’t eat or sleep much for the first few months. I fell apart.
It’s been 15 years. That’s hard to believe, but I came back from the hardest, darkest part of my life. Mostly. You never really recover completely.
But I’m alive and I’m grateful for the kindness of the nurses in the post-surgical ICU at Shands Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. Thank you for saving my life, and thank you for your compassion and patience.