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Wake-Up Call of a Traumatic Event
Do you believe that tragic moments can be a blessing in disguise?
We are walking through life at a rapid pace, not slowing down to take care of ourselves, let alone others. We often let the pressures of society weigh us down and let fear and anxiety control us.
When a traumatic event occurs in your life, look for the lesson that you should learn or the opportunity that event is presenting in your life. And constantly remind yourself of this wake-up call so that you can continue to pull yourself out of the rat race of modern society.
Forty-eight Hours of Health Drama
I can pinpoint the day my life dramatically changed, for the better. In 2010, I went to the doctor complaining that I had pain in my stomach, it takes a lot to get me to a doctor, so it had been happening for quite some time. The doc sent me for a CT scan at 9 o'clock the next morning.
After the scan they asked me to sit in the waiting room for a bit (thought that was strange). A nurse then came out and told me, "we believe your appendix has ruptured." Now, I'm no doctor, but I had ZERO signs of a ruptured appendix, yet they sent me straight to a surgeon.
"Straight to" meaning, I had to drive to my primary care office to get a referral for the surgeon, then waited for an appointment at the surgeon's office just to once again discuss that it appears I have a ruptured appendix, but I'll give him a little credit, doc said, "you don't look like a person who has a ruptured appendix".
I was admitted to the hospital for appendix surgery just after lunch time on July 27, 2010 and hooked up to a morphine drip that I didn't use, because I wasn't in any pain! I signed papers to allow my boyfriend (now husband) to talk to doctors if something were to happen in surgery. The doctor also told me that I would only have a couple small cuts and wouldn't have much pain when I woke up.
Welcome to all, but especially those that need an escape from the daily grind.
I'm Amy B, the writer, editor-in-chief and HBIC at Change N Focus. My mission is to inspire each of you to travel & explore the great outdoors, empower you to be the best YOU and truly LIVE the life of your dreams!
Check out About Amy B to read more about my journey.
So, I wait all day, thinking if I do have a ruptured appendix, they don't seem to be in much of a hurry to help me. I go into surgery at 9PM that night...the anesthesiologist came out during surgery and told my boyfriend, "Amy's body isn't like others, it is going to take a bit longer". Still to this day, I'm not exactly sure WTF that meant!
My surgeon wouldn't update my boyfriend on what went wrong or different during surgery. I can vividly remember moving from one bed to another and being in excruciating pain, like pain I never thought possible. After which they must have knocked me out again, because I have no memories until I woke up that first night feeling like my heart was pounding out of one of my incisions and it took FOREVER to get a nurse, who just gave me more morphine.
As morning came, I discovered that I had a larger incision along with the couple cuts I was told about. I couldn't get enough morphine that day!
As nurse after nurse came in, I was told that only the surgeon can update me on what happened, and he is busy. ADVICE to any busy doctor, be a decent human being and take 2 minutes to update a patient on a surgery that went very different than what they were told or for God's sake, let a nurse tell them! I waited until 6:00PM that evening for an update from my surgeon. He started by saying, and I will never forget these words, "I removed a tumor (briefly paused) or tumor-like mass", immediately I think I have cancer and don't remember much of what he said next.
The doctor proceeds to tell me that it appears that I have Crohn's disease and that he removed twenty-four inches of my colon and small intestine! My response, "Did you at least remove the appendix while you were in there?" Doctor said, "Yes".
I spent three days in the hospital recovering but feeling beyond blessed since it wasn't cancer. It was a digestive disease that I was lucky enough to have the diseased parts removed before diagnosis.
Embrace Life's Hidden Blessings
The morning of day 4, I walked outside to head home...the colors around me seemed brighter, the blue of the sky with fluffy white clouds was incredible and I began to hear sounds of nature again. I could truly feel the wind touching my face. So, I started spending more time outside and noticing the details surrounding me.
My love for nature, wildlife and landscape photography began! I also took my first solo trip to Savannah, Georgia, because everyone should travel alone to refresh your inner spirit.
I’d like to say since then that I’ve had a positive outlook and consistently checked in with myself, but that is far from the truth. I let work stress, a couple horrible bosses and the constant fear that Crohn’s symptoms would return effect my health and happiness over the next nine years.
In May 2018, my sweet mother-in-law had the same surgery with the same surgeon, but was diagnosed with colon cancer. Let me tell you, that was an extremely difficult time, not only to deal with my mother-in-law's new battle against cancer, but to question whether the doctors properly diagnosed me the first time around. It again seemed like life was trying to wake me up from the stress and anxiety that I had let take over. After a 2 year battle, my mother-in-law passed away in May 2020, a loss that cannot be properly put into words.
My digestive disease doctor constantly would tell me that my Crohn's symptoms wouldn't come back for 10 years. I've had health issues over the past decade, but I believe mostly caused by stress and unnecessary anxiety. I am happy to report that on the 10th anniversary of my surprise surgery, I'm healthy and feel better than at any point in the last decade! Cutting out unnecessary stressors in your life and living a life of gratitude can truly benefit your overall health and well-being.
It is DEFINITELY easier said than done when it comes to embracing the blessings from dramatic or traumatic events in our lives, but it is worth the reminder to bring the important things in life back into focus when stress and anxiety take over again.
I promise that with time it does get easier to look back and truly appreciate a blessing in disguise.