my favorite surprise.

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the last picture Brendan and I took before my surgery. look at that…he even forced a smile ; )

Brendan and I have probably taken at least 4799873 pictures together, although, I have to add that Brendan is not usually a willing participant ; ). However, these two pictures are some of my favorite ones out of all the pictures we have taken over the past twelve years. The day that we took these pictures was one of the most bittersweet days of my life. At the time, I had been in the hospital for about a month and a half and the plan was for me to go home the following day. Actually, my doctor gave me an option, he said that I could either go home that day or wait until the next morning, which was a Saturday. I called my mom to find out which day would be better and we decided that Saturday would be the best day to be discharged from the hospital, being as it was already 3:00 p.m. and the drive was 3.5 hours one way. Thank goodness we made that choice.

When I was first admitted, I got a horrible infection in my blood. From the beginning, the plan was for doctors to perform a very extensive surgery, but with me having an infection, surgery was definitely not in the cards during that particular time. So, the plan was for me to be discharged from the hospital, take antibiotics for six weeks and then have surgery. However, that is not what happened. That Friday afternoon my infectious disease doctor cleared me to have surgery after they confirmed that I no longer had an infection, though I still figured that surgery would have to wait a couple of weeks. I had NO idea that any surgeon would be ready to perform surgery at that time, but I ended up being wrong.

I was laying in my hospital bed watching Friends, I had all of my stuff packed up and was more than ready to leave the hospital. It was at that time that someone knocked on my door, it was Dr. Holsten, the trauma surgeon. He sat in a chair right in front of me and explained that he was prepared to perform my surgery the following Wednesday and I cried! I had been suffering for many months at that point and I knew that I was not going to get better without surgery. Dr. Holsten explained that this would be a rather lengthy operation and he tried to prepare me for it by telling me in detail what he intended to do, he then explained the risks. To say that I was scared would be an understatement, although I was more happy that this was finally happening.

My mom and grandmother had been bringing Brendan up to see me every other weekend. They always booked a hotel room close to the hospital and this worked out really good because Brendan would not have to hang out all day in my hospital room. He enjoyed going swimming in the hotel’s pool, eating at Bojangles (which was right next door to their hotel), and he also loved going to the river walk. However, that weekend fell on his dad’s weekend to be with him; I was heartbroken that the likelihood of me seeing Brendan before surgery was slim to none. I tried not to think about it too much, though the thought of me not seeing Brendan before surgery made me tear up. Although, I knew that my mom and grandmother were coming up to stay the weekend, so that cheered me up a little.

My mom and grandmother were running late getting to the hospital and I felt sad that they were probably going to have to leave shortly after they arrived, it was already around 8 p.m. Before they arrived at the hospital, I was pissed off because the hospitalist had just discontinued all of my medicines because he had yet to get the memo that I would be staying in the hospital. Actually, at the time he was not even aware that Dr. Holsten would be performing my surgery in a few days, as far as the hospitalist knew, I was still going home the following day. I ended up having to call the charge nurse into my room to explain to her why all my meds had been cleared, she then left my room to contact the doctor to get my medications back. The nurse told me that it would probably take a little while for them to show back up in the system, which didn’t really bother me any, I was just happy that she fixed the problem.

My mom and grandmother finally made it to the hospital to see me around 9 p.m. By this time I was even more nervous, the more I thought about surgery, the more anxious I would become. I was also still disappointed that I wouldn’t get to see Brendan before my surgery. As soon as my mom and grandmother arrived to my hospital room they sat down as I  tried to explain to them everything Dr. Holsten said to me. I remember feeling just about every emotion possible, I was happy, scared, nervous, sad, anxious, you name it, I probably felt it. My mom and grandmother had only arrived about five minutes prior to someone knocking on the door. My mom said that it was probably the doctor, but it wasn’t, it was BRENDAN! I was in shock, I immediately began to cry I was so happy! Brendan even walked in the door wearing a mask over his face, trying to look like a doctor, ha! My mom and grandmother sure did get me good! Brendan just laughed at me as I cried happy tears.

Becky (Brendan’s Meme) told my mom that she thought Brendan needed to see me before my surgery; needless to say, I was beyond thankful! As soon as he walked through the door my mouth just dropped open. I loved getting to enjoy time with my family, especially Brendan; being with him helped take my mind off of surgery. The time that I got to spend with my mom, grandmother, and Brendan, went by in a flash! I was sad to say goodbye but I knew that I would be seeing my mom and grandma soon after, being as they were coming up for my surgery. I’ll never forget Brendan walking through the door that day, even though I could not see his mouth, I could tell by the look in his eyes that he was smiling so big. Besides the day that I got to go home, this was the best day out of all of my days spent in the hospital over the summer.

I’m so glad that I had no clue how hard the next few weeks would be when I took these pictures. I struggled so much during that time but the struggle is what made me realize just how special times like these are. I take life for granted a lot of times, although my experience in the hospital last summer has made me more grounded, for sure. Brendan could never know the extent of how happy he made me that day, right now he still thinks it was funny that I started crying when he walked in the door…psshhh…boys ; ). I sure do love that boy, though!

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