MY BEFORE AND AFTER PICTURES
Why do we worry? We worry because we don’t believe in a power that is greater than us. God orchestrates everything. It is not based on how many degrees you have or if you are poor or wealthy. There is one God. We depend on jobs and people to make us feel important. God does not not deal with your status; he deals with your mind, body and soul.
We trust Him when it is convenient. When things are going well, we forget about the One who has blessed us. Yet, when things in our live’s fall apart ,then and only then do we cry out to God.
Last year,I learned a very valuable lesson about trusting God. Two weeks prior to my hospitalization, I had sinus surgery; my sinuses were impacted so bad, that the MRI showed evidence of fluid in the sinuses and thickened mucous membrane. On January 14, 2011, I was taken by ambulance and rushed to Dekalb Medical Hospital because I was too weak to make it to the prestigious Emory University Hospital. All I remember about that cold snowy night was telling my husband that I felt funny and I used my nebulizer twice. He called 911. The paramedics placed me on the stretcher, placed the oxygen mask over my face, wheeled me to the ambulance and placed me inside. I kept taking the mask off ;afterwards, everything was a total blank.
I arrived at the hospital. The doctors realized I was hallucinating because of low oxygen levels. In addition, I had a partially collapsed lung and pneumonia in the other one. I was panicking and screaming because they asked me if I had ever been intubated. Well, according to the doctors, nurses and my husband, I was hysterical and I told them to “get away from me and I will not be intubated again.” I was not conscious of my erratic behavior. Later, the doctors told my husband that I was very ill and I would not remember the incident. I was in ICU for nine days and a regular room for three days.
The respiratory therapist put me in a medically induced coma for five days so my body would heal . My husband stood vigil; they had to make him go home and get some rest. He was concerned that if I woke up no one would be there. They had to reiterate that the coma was controlled by them and he would be notified. Finally, I was taken out of the medically induced coma but I was still intubated. Confusion set in; I realized I was in the hospital but I didn’t know why so I started crying.
My sister, Tammy flew from Dallas, Texas to Atlanta, Georgia to check on me . My husband, Vargus did not know if I would live or die but he prayed and read the bible to me. Then, I heard my sister’s voice, turned my head and tried to sit up. They had me restrained because I was pulling the tube. Then, I tried to speak and instead I gagged. I was terrified because I was trying to figure out why she was in Atlanta and why I was in the hospital. I started kicking my legs and of course the monitors went crazy: my blood pressure rose, my heart was racing and I was confused. I lost five days of my life.
No one wanted to tell me what happened; they felt I would not handle the severity of my condition well. My sister begged the nurse to take one of the restraints off and promised that she would not allow me to touch the tubes. Tammy and Vargus told me to calm down and that I was okay. How was I okay when I’m hooked to a respirator, intubated and weak? I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. Later that day, the nurse told me very little about my diagnosis and prognosis; however, it was enough to keep me calm. One of the nurses, Helen sang daily to me “Nobody Greater” by Vashawn Mitchell and I began to believe that He’s the greatest.
On day seven (Friday), they tried to remove the tube but it was stuck in my throat. Finally on Sunday morning, the respiratory therapist came in, cut the switch off, released the tube and it came out. I was excited but it was difficult for me to speak so I had to write everything.
Then, I remember when my sister and I were growing up we learned the alphabet in sign language. So , that’s how I communicated with my sister because; no one else knew it. I kept signing “I love you” and she interpreted to my husband. I felt so much love from my husband and sister . Of course, my children came after I was released out of the hospital. I did not want them to see me. I’d lost 29 lbs. in 12 days and I looked like hell. Nevertheless, they gave me the courage to live because I was emotionally unstable. It was so traumatic!
I had a long road to recovery; I could not walk because my lower extremities were weak and I had difficulty speaking. My mother-in-law and husband took care of me. From February to April, my physical therapist Crystal and R.N. Rhoshima helped me with the healing process and I am indebted to them for their love and care. I went back to the hospital this year to personally thank everyone who took care and prayed for me. I cried tears of joy and I prayed for the individual who was in the same room in ICU.
A friend of ours said,” I was so worried about you being at DeKalb Medical.” My response to her was God does not limit himself to certain hospitals; he also visits DeKalb Medical plus my life was saved and I have no complaints. My situation was not a disaster; I experienced God’s healing power.
As a result, I lost 61 lbs. God healed my body and I am no longer a diabetic, have hypertension and after 14.5 years of steroid dependence for asthma, I am free. It took those series of events to genuinely trust God will all my heart and might. He allowed me to live and He made me whole.
Today, I don’t worry because I know for myself that God takes care of His own.