I’m up late when I’d rather be sleeping. I’m nauseated, despite having taken compazine. I’m preoccupied with this upcoming cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal). It should be a routine operation, but for me, having 2 clotting disorders, it’s high-risk. The doc will fill me with some CO2 to better visualize the structures-this, in itself, is risky, according to my surgeon. I’m on Xarelto to thin my blood, so there is a bleeding risk. I will be hospitalized a day or 2 prior to the operation to get me off the xarelto. They’ll heparinize me, get me at the level they desire, and perform the procedure. I’ll recover for a couple days and be weaned off the heparin to go back onto the xarelto. I should be hospitalized about 5 days if all goes well.
Now, the surgeon very frankly said that he could kill me if he did this procedure. He said the Co2 alone could be a nightmare. He recommended not having surgery at all due to the clotting risks and, infection risks.
My primary doc said that leaving the gallbladder in would be riskier. If it infects, with my history, I’m toast. He said it should come out within the next 3-4 weeks. We will get the hematologist on board, and he’ll monitor me throughout the hospitalization. I will see that doc in 10 days for his preliminary exam and, discussion of game plan with the surgeon and my primary. Oh, and me. I’m very active in my care.
Having said this, that leaves the real possibility that I may not survive the procedure or subsequent infection I may acquire from the hospitalization. They will monitor me for any sign of infection very closely due to my primary immunodeficiency.
So, for now, I’ve found myself trying to make certain that I’m reconciled to the possibility that I could die. I’m scared, but not of dying. I’m scared of leaving loose ends. I want people to know they were loved and appreciated. I want my family to know how much they mean to me, especially my sister Cheri. She has stuck by me throughout thick and thin. She has helped me get where I am today. She has been my role model, my best friend, and like a mother. Because of her, I have achieved dreams. She has helped me overcome my demons. She’s always been the most constant person in my life. Together, we’ve felt the caress of a Caribbean breeze. Together, we’ve faced tragedy and triumph. Together, we’ve climbed mountains. We’ve laughed hard, played hard and, worked hard. Always together.
I love my whole family, and have been lucky to have them all in my life. My daughter has taught me what’s important, I mean truly important. She is the best part of me. I have wonderful friends that have enriched my life. I think of the fun I had going to nursing school with Kelly and Jessica,and many others. For all the strife, we helped each other get through it. There are just so many. Nic made me see why we don’t t should never eat our own young. Stephanie reminded me of me when I was younger. Tony shows me the importance of following one’s dreams. Mama Sherry has shown me acceptance, forgiveness and unrequited love. My siblings have brought great joy into my life. I’m proud of them all. A few of my brothers have taught me not to be selfish and estranged from the people that they should be closest to. I’ve felt the love of a good man. Box helped me stand on my own and work for my keep. Construction wasn’t easy, but at least it payed some bills. I’ll never forget him and will always be thankful to him. There isn’t and never will be another like him.
So, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I’ve been retrospective and introspective. I’ve been creating so that there will be happy memories. I made a necklace today. I made portraits of Mackenzie that I framed to give to my sister, Michael, Mackenzie’s paw paw and to my mom Gloria. I’ve been cleaning my room and carefully choosing what stays and what goes. Momentos. In the end, that’s all this stuff will really be. Just stuff that says, “I was here.”
That’s life, a collection of pivotal moments with people that helped me become who I am today. Somehow, like a sculpture, I carved out a pretty decent life once Cheri helped me see what a decent life was really all about. I’ve learned to put others before myself-a lesson I learned from my child and, from my residents at my former job. Mistakes? I won’t dwell on them. I’ve made quite a few, but they helped me be who I am today, I will say that I didn’t learn from my first or second mistake…sometimes, I made mistakes in multiples, but work hard every day to be better than I was the day before. You live. You learn.
I don’t have a bucket list despite the thought that I might die, either from this surgery or some insidious infection, because everything just about on my bucket list costs too much money! Lol! So, I guess I won’t be going to Ireland or having lunch with Brian Williams. I won’t be partying in Amsterdam or swimming with dolphins. I will set my sights to things more immediate, like having fun with my friends on August 24th at the VFW when we host Disco Night, hanging with my dogs, feeling giddy when I’m around someone special, or getting a rush when Cheri and I go shopping and bringing home our treasures. The simple things. That’s what really matters. It’s the simple things that make me feel best. When I feel my best, I’m truly in a positive frame of mind. It’s is this positive frame of mind that is going to help me get through this surgery. However, if I don’t, I’ll go in peace. I’ve been the best person I can be. It’s just that simple.