Around 3 am I awoke out of my sleep gasping for air. When I sat up in bed I was confused and started to realize I was having difficulty breathing, my chest felt like it was being crushed. I tried at first to relax still not really sure what was happening. The pain was increasing and fear rushed over me. I reached for my cell phone and called my husband and tried to tell him what was happening (he works nights at fedex). I was crying and starting to panic, the pain in my chest was increasing and was now radiating out to my shoulder and back. I couldn't walk, it seemed there was no air in the house. I was afraid I was going to wake the kids so I crawled for the front door, I just needed some air. The pain and pressure continued to increase and so did the difficulty of breathing. My husband told me to hang up and call 911. I did and the lady took my info then told me to stay put and she was going to hang up, I kept thinking why is she going to hang up, please dont leave me alone..I couldnt say more then one or two words, breathing was still increasingly getting difficult.
I managed to call my husband back, he stayed on the phone with me till the ambulance got there then headed home. I couldnt speak, but he talked to me and encouraged me to slow my breathing and try to relax...I couldnt, in my mind I was overcome with fear and believed that I could die right here on our front door with my babies inside sleeping and my husband on the phone. up untill that point I had been freed from anxiety and fear, I felt so overwhelmed..the only thing I could think of was Jeremiah 29:11, that God has a purpose for me, the main part was not to harm me. I was being harmed, I refused to believe this was Gods will for the way I would leave this earth. It couldnt be, he called me to be a mom, Chris needs me, the kids need me and I still needed to be here.
All the mistakes as a mother and wife I had made came flooding through my memory in fast forward. Sadness, sorrow and regret. All those missed opportunities to love my kids, give them my undivived attention all those no's and not nows, because I was just too busy right then. The missed opportunities to tell my husband how much I respect him and appreciate him, all the regrets of missed moments for intimacy with him. I just cried out, God please let me live, I dont want to die, save me!
It seemed like FOREVER for the ambulance to get there. Not once did I even consider my gallbladder. I was recently sick and was given a weeks dose of steriods, I had never taken medication like that before and had a similiar attack two days prior when Vessie was over, but it was on a much smaller scale and lasted only 15-20 minutes. I had thought then maybe it was the steriods but then went about my day and kept taking them.
When the ambulance got there despite my pain and difficulty to get air in my lungs they said my oxygen was perfect and there was nothing on the EKG. This brought some relief but added more confusion. When chris arrived they started asking him mental health questions..so im struggling for air in intense pain, like I need to get out of my skin pain and now they think im nuts..I just cried..
I just tried to relax and take slow breaths..I just kept thinking please Jesus help me, please help me..please dont let me die. In the ambulance I did come to that moment that I realized I had no control over the situation, It was really not up to me whether I lived or died. I am not promised tomorrow. All I could do at that point was trust what I believed and plead my hearts desire to God. A sister in christ recently challenged me to dream big and ask God big. I get little because I ask little, I never ask big beacause I dont deserve it, or He will say no and I will have to accept the disappointment. I'd rather be "safe"..in that ambulance I asked big and I expected nothing less.
After an ultrasound and EKG on my heart, ultrasound on my gallbladder, and blood tests I was admitted to the hospital and moved up to the next spot for the OR for surgery. My surgeon believes a stone got passed into my duct and that is why the attack centered in my chest at the bottom of my sternum. Blood tests and ultrasound revealed my pancreas and liver where in trouble due to the gallbladder. It was an emergency situation..I felt completely blind sided, your whole life can change in literally a second and it does not matter whether you are awake or sleeping. it still feels like a bog blur and did that really happen.
I waited alone in the preop area, I thought of brave Mercy, our worship pastors daughter who is facing scary health issues, and I though of Brenda, who is a woman that loves God so much and is a walking miracle, really she is..i thought about how brave and trusting of God they are. Thought of the Doyles strength, and how it must not be easy but is done. I prayed for them and worshipped Jesus as I waited to be taken in. I chose to not be afraid and to praise..it was wierd though when I thought back on it. being in choir I know a ton of worship songs..through this process I have had moments of fear and doubt trying to sneak in and all I could think to do was praise Him in all circumstances, even in this moment. The thing is I could only remember the words to one song...Heather Williams - hallelujah
As I sat in church for the first time this last Sunday, our Pastor was talking about the royal bloodline ans we get near to Easter. He had a scripture listed for reference in psalm, i opened up to it, i believe it was 110..well my attention was led to the other page to Psalm 116 and God is still talking to me about this circumstance. I wouldnt say I bartered for my life but what I did was promised myself I would have no regrets if I lived. I would make the most out of opportunities given with my family and live my life more then just floating through it. I didnt realize how much I actually did that untill this happend. I have always lived my life for tomorrow and now i jsut want to live it for today..for now!
I believed in those moments my life could of been over in an instant, you can't experience something like that and not re-evaluate your life. It doesnt make anything perfect, habits dont go away just because you want them to. I have had moments where I have to remind myself slow down, and make the choice to say yes baby girl I can read to you "right now". But there is a new desire, a will to live and to live everyday so when it is truly my time to go the flashes I see before me are all those moments I took to love my family, to love strangers, to love God and that I served Him.
back to Psalm 116, as I sat there and read it, It was like I was reading what i am going through right now. I truly lived out the first half of this Psalm and currently striving to live out the last half. I am grateful for this experience and I look forward to how God uses it to His glory :)
Psalm 1161 I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came over me;
I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the LORD:
“LORD, save me!”
5 The LORD is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
6 The LORD protects the unwary;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
7 Return to your rest, my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.
8 For you, LORD, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the LORD
in the land of the living.
10 I trusted in the LORD when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted”;
11 in my alarm I said,
“Everyone is a liar.”
12 What shall I return to the LORD
for all his goodness to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the LORD.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD
in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the LORD
is the death of those faithful to him.
16 Truly I am your servant, LORD;
I am your servant, as was my mother before me;
you have loosed my bonds of affliction.
17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
and call on the name of the LORD.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD
in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the LORD—
in your midst, Jerusalem.
Praise the LORD.[a]
From the Inside Out,