My recovery was going well. I was in a lot of surgical pain but that was all manageable with meds. I would also remind myself this pain was nowhere near the first pain that landed me in the hospital. And it was also encouraging knowing that this was something I needed to get done to have a “normal active” life again. I will admit I was still thinking and focusing on running/spinning again. Doc said my recovery would be 6weeks, so guess what?! I’m now counting the weeks. That was my recovery, not when he said I could run! Dr. Brodkey later made that VERY CLEAR to me. Actually directly after my surgery when I was coming out of the anesthetic I mumbled to Dr. Brodkey “Can I run now?” And I kept asking the recovery nurse to get me my running shoes under the bed cuz I was going to go for a quick run. The nurse told my doctor what I kept saying. He was floored. Dr. Brodkey marched himself out in the waiting room and spoke very clearly to my father and husband, “you both are going to have to pin her down and make her get a full recovery, NO RUNNING, BIKING OR SPINNING!”
When I came home from the hospital there were two people that wouldn’t leave my side. Nellie and Kent’s Grandpa. Grandpa would stay with me until my mom would show up around 9am everyday. He would get Max on the bus or take him to school and get me my morning meds if I needed them. Nellie would do my laundry, take care of Rudy, go to the store for me, take me to appointments and if dinner wasn’t being delivered from my church (thanks debi) she would make dinner. Then start over the next day doing all the same stuff again and again. I can’t imagine how I would have gotten all these things done without them both.
Kent had just started a new job and this was really bad timing for him. He did really well handling all the pressure of starting a new job and everything going on at home. He knew I was in good hands everyday with my mom and I could call him if I needed anything.
When I got home I didn’t care about any activity that would make me sweat at all, I was in pain. And I was determined to get a full recovery so I would never have to go thru this experience again.
I was also anxious to sleep in my bed again. I had not slept in my bed since the initial blow out of my back on February 19th. It was the end of April now and I was still sleeping in a lazy boy my parents brought over from their house.
Everyday I was feeling better, stronger and my limp was getting less and less. One week later I was doing great. Then day 8 came and I was feeling not so good, then day 9 even worse. I was doing a cake order and kept telling myself, “just get this cake done then you can sit on the couch and rest.” Kent took the boys to Cabela’s and he called to check on me and I told him he should come home. My chest felt like I had an elephant sitting on me, I couldn’t get a deep breath in and I had a gut feeling something was wrong. I just thought I was over doing it around the house. And, I would remind myself it has not even been 2wks from my surgery. I thought to myself…..of course I would feel this way. Then day 10, Sunday morning, Kent went and delivered the cake order for me. While he was gone I attempted to get ready for church. I was brushing my teeth, cleared my throat and there was blood. Not blood from bleeding gums either. This was different. I kept it in the sink so I could show Kent that this was probably something alarming. I sat on the bathroom floor wanting to faint but I talked myself out of it. I prayed to God, “just let everything be ok, give me guidance on what to do.” Kent came home look at the blood and said, “oh, what should we do?” Kent called the E.R. at St. Joes. And I called my good friend Nancy. Then 30 minutes later Nancy was at my door telling me to get to the E.R. So, I tell Nancy she saved my life! 😉 Finally an E.R. Dr. called back and said I needed to get to the E.R. to get things checked out, and to play it safe.
I packed a bag knowing I was staying overnight. I just knew I was. We gathered the boys up and took them over to Kent’s parents. I remember dropping the boys off and I hugged them differently this time. It was tighter, longer and I remember trying to breathe them in. I looked at Kent’s dad and he had tears in his eyes, and then he urged us to get going, hurry up.
The ride was quiet. It was a beautiful sunny day. We decided to go back to St. Joes instead of Jackson. There was a traffic jam on the way there. It wasn’t long, but we were at a stand still waiting on the highway to move. I remember looking out the window and watching people get off the highway ramp thinking, “I wonder if they are ok today?” I don’t necessarily know why I thought that, but I knew they didn’t know I wasn’t ok. Things just felt so superficial. Running, spinning, shopping, catering, all these things meant nothing to me. I felt so unconnected to people, I felt alone, separate from the world. All I wanted was my husband and boys. I knew God was in control the whole time. But, I was scared. Yet, I still felt this calmness within myself that I was in the hands of God. I turned my head to Kent and said, “am I ok Kent?” He said a quiet yes to me. I turned back looking out the window with tears rolling down my face. I was looking at myself through the rearview mirror thinking I looked older. Kent was rubbing my shoulder saying it’s going to be fine Tahny, we’re going to be fine, the boys will be fine.
I was wheeled into the E.R. and all of the questions started. Why are you here, what’s going on, insurance, and everyone’s dreaded question…”how much do you weigh?” We were taken back to a room and the E.R. doctor came in and explained what test I needed, so they can check if I had something major going on like blood clots in my lungs. I knew that’s what they were going to check but, it was suddenly real when that doctor said those words. He said I needed a C.A.T scan (CT scan). Kent piped in and said is there any other way to see if that is the problem or not. The doctor looked sternly at Kent and said if this was his wife or any other family member this is the most thorough test to do to see what’s going on. Within 5 minutes I was hooked up to an I.V and being rolled into a room for the scan. The test wasn’t long and they said I would have the results within a half hour. I was rolled back into the room where Kent was waiting for me. I had the clock directly in front of me. I kept looking at it, praying the whole time, “Lord I’m scared, please let everything be ok watch over my boys….help me.” I sat there on the bed hooked up to I.V’s looking at my hands and thinking they are looking older.
Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
The doctor came in. He pulled up a chair, sat down and told Kent and I that I had Pulmonary Embolisms in my lungs. I looked at him with a look he must have picked up on because he then said, “blood clots.” I immediately spoke up and said clotsssss like plural? More then one? And didn’t I just cough it up?!! Doctor said I need toooooo…….the room went blank. He was talking and Kent was asking questions and I didn’t hear anything. The room was silent and spinning and I was sitting there in the bed sitting still while this tornado is spinning around me. My boys, my boys, I’m their mom their only mom, they need me…all…their….life…..then the doctor walked out. Kent looked at me and said, “let me have it Tahny pour it all out to me.” I buried my face in his chest and sobbed. He was rubbing my hair telling me its going to be fine. I knew he was concerned too, but Kent has such a strong faith and assurance that God was in control of every step that was taken. I needed that from him. We prayed together there at that moment, with tears rolling down my face Kent kissed me and said everything is going to be ok. I know a nurse tried to come in at this time and she waited outside the room.
Within 20 minutes of my diagnosis I was hooked up to everything. They gave me some sort of drug for my back pain that literally knocked me out. And I remember a nurse coming to talk to me and tried to explain things to me and I was in shock and DRUGGED UP! People were scurrying around me, poking me, hooking me up to this and that…..Kent was sitting in the corner trying to stay out of the way and I would just look at him and he would lip to me in a whisper, “you’re ok….I love you” I would give him a nod saying “ok”