I'll tell you right now, I'm going to ramble ... bear with me ... maybe it'll all come together, and make sense, once you read/see the whole picture.
And, if it doesn't make sense, you're not alone .... I have physicians and specialists who are scratching their heads, taking deep breaths and wringing their hands ... this is going to be a real tough case for everyone involved, and one not seen often, and one the medical community as a whole is just now really starting to understand the depths and seriousness of this invasive condition.
In fact, just the other day, sitting down with the doctor, Wednesday I believe it was, for one last consultation before the surgery, I point-blank said to him, after listening to him once again go over all of the dangers to make sure I really, truly understood, I whispered, "I am screwed aren't I."
His response was empathetically simple, "Yes, you are."
The few times I've tried to explain my medical history, to my friends, most respond with no real response because they don't know how to respond .... they cannot wrap their minds around it, and it seems so far-fetched that they find it hard to believe. And, truth be known, it really IS hard to believe ... but that does not change the TRUTH of the matter: I HAVE MADE IT THIS FAR WITH THIS LEGITIMATE PAIN, AND THAT IS SOMETHING VERY BELIEVEABLE.
My entire medical history is amazing, and mind-boggling and, quite honestly, a miracle so far.
Let's go back to the fall of 1988. This is where it all started. A young woman in perfect health. Never even had a cavity. Still haven't at the age of 45.9 .... but I digress.
I was in my first year of nursing school in San Angelo. Already going into my clinicals. I worked hard to make my perfect scores. I was home for a weekend break. Of course, I found a local party to go to before I ever left San Angelo ... with a pool table, and plenty of sweet wine coolers ... and I ate my delicious home-cooked meal with my family, and headed to the party in Tuscola as soon as I could. Believe it, or not, I was still under a strict curfew. I never made it home that night.
My father woke up from a sound sleep, and yelled "Where's Brooke???" He puled on his cowboy boots, and put his bathrobe over his white Fruit-of-the-Looms underwear ... and went out looking for me.
He found my car upside down in the middle of the road on one of the curves by Lake Abilene past the State Park outside of Buffalo Gap. Music Blaring. Pitch Blake. Only my glaring headlights.
I was listening to Def Leppard, by the way, and my last memory was crooning "Love Bites" from the bottom of my heart and the tops of my lungs.
But I digress.
I was thrown from the vehicle, and the car flipped, and landed on top of me ... crushing me ... from below my sternum to the tops of my thighs ... breaking, crushing, rupturing and shattering everything in between.
This was the FIRST major trauma to my body.
The fact that I wasn't killed instantly from being ejected from a moving vehicle, like a ragdoll, is a miracle ... the fact that I wasn't killed instantly from having a vehicle land on top of me, crushing me, is another miracle ... the fact that my father woke up from a sound sleep, and found me in the middle of the night, and lifted the car over by himself, and found me face down in a puddle of my own bodily fluids (blood/urine) is another miracle ... the fact that he wrapped me in his bathrobe, and carried our bloody bodies into the ER (DOA) is another miracle ... the fact that I am not brain dead is a miracle ... the fact that I am not paralyzed is a miracle ... the fact that I have been able to conceive, and carry, MY THREE LIVING MIRACLES TO LIFE (after I was told I would not be able to) is a miracle ... everything is a miracle.
I live with pain every single day ... some days worse than others ... it is a shame those who do not understand, and assume I am lazy and not motivated to be a hard-working, maturely-scheduled, normal-routined, productive, regularly-employed ADULT in the REAL WORLD who climbs the ladders of another man's dream.
I digress ... what's new? ... but maybe there's a little more to it than that.
Aside from the literal pain I live with everyday, maybe being a free-spirit and dreaming my own dreams, and having entrepreneurial blood coursing through my veins, and, maybe the thought of answering to no one but my Self, and being my own boss and relying upon my own Self to hit the pavement, producing my own income, relaxing when I want to, setting my own goals, taking breaks when I need to and, basically, having the freedom to pick/choose my own assignments/schedule .... brings me more accomplishment and joy and peace and rest and satisfaction than being a robot in the ready-made world we were born in.
Just because my ambitions, and beliefs, and dreams, and goals, and life-style preferences, and personality, and "priorities" and strengths/weaknesses, and thoughts, and values are a little different than yours DOES NOT mean I am inferior ... in fact, it just might mean I'm somewhat superior, but it's just not recognized anymore in this world we live in.
But I digress yet AGAIN.
Major trauma to your body causes scar tissue. It is how our bodies are designed to heal itself. Every time you cut yourself, our bodies heal itself by producing scar tissue. Every time you undergo surgery, your body produces scar tissue to close up, and seal, from inside out ... to help the healing process. Scarring is NECESSARY to proper healing. It is how we are miraculously made.
I've had MAJOR TRAUMA being crushed. I have had more open abdominal surgeries than I honestly can count ... I've also had more miscarriages, and lost more babies, than I can count.
There is a reason I call Lindsey: My Oldest Miracle .... and Laura: My Middle Miracle ... and Nani: My Youngest Miracle.
They survived. Against the Odds.
In Sept/Oct 1991, I spent the last month on total bedrest with Lindsey, My Oldest Miracle, and they had to take her vis total/vertical abdominal C-Section a good month early because of complications, and she was born "dead."
Two miscarriages between these years.
In May/June 1995, Laura, My Middle Miracle, was my "easiest" pregnancy ... if there is such a thing for me ... I had the same total bedrest .... which is basically impossible with the 3 1/2 year old Lissy ... they took Laura early, too, with very little complication except the warning the scar tissue was developing at an alarming rate, and we had a challenge getting to her. We didn't know what that meant back then. Oh, Wait, I almost forgot .... the abdominal incision completely ruptured/un-zipped when she was about thee weeks old .... we had to debride and scrub that open wound daily with a brush and iodine ... talk about EXCRUCIATING PAIN.
Three miscarriages between these years.
In Mid-Feb 2002, I became pregnant within a fallopian tube ... they went in to surgically remove it ... I had so much invasive scar tissue that the fallopian tube was gangrenous from having the blood/oxygen supply cut off from it ... had we not caught it, I would not only have possibly died from a tubal rupture, but from sepsis. I was told I should not have any more children at this point. No problem; I think I'm through.
One miscarriage between this year.
In August 2003, my abdominal wall ruptured ... this was my "first" mesh repair ... it was very painful, and risky ... the intestines had begun fusing together at this point ... I was told I could/would not have any more children at this point.
In late April of 2005, another miracle, I became pregnant against the odds ... one remaining fallopian tube, and one damaged ovary ... I didn't realize I was even pregnant until the womb started to emerge out of the pelvic floor .... I'm guessing around July ... they immediately admitted me to the hospital because as the womb grew, and my abdomen expanded, it began unzipping like a zipper, and I was assigned two specialists to oversee this pregnancy and my well-being. Both of us were very high risk. The baby had a neonatologist that monitored her growth every single day. I was in the hospital the last three months of my pregnancy, and they still "took her" a good two months early (as soon as they were confident she could survive on her own.) Nani was born November 4th, and it took a team of four specialists in that operating room to make that happen. What should have been a simple C-Section, turned into a 4+ hour operation. Two OB/GYNs, the Neonatologist, and one specialized General Surgeon. There was sooooooooo much invasive scar tissue that they couldn't get to her. Not only that, but the mesh hernia repair impended the surgery. I found out later that the scar tissue was so bad, BACK THEN, that they were worried I would not make it.
I had total abdominal reconstruction surgery immediately following the birth/removal of Nani ... with strict instructions and guidelines to follow afterwards to help ensure my remaining physical health ... and they told me without a doubt that despite my body, and it's amazing ability to survive the most impossible things, I will never get pregnant again.
Okay. Fine. I don't want to die, and I definitely don't want any more of my precious babies to die.
But God has His own timetable for miracles, and a few years ago, I did get pregnant again .... extremely; very very much against the odds ... this time the embryo attached to the fimbrial fringe of tendril-like tissue at the end of the fallopian tube. There was no way, in the world .... no miracle at all ... that this one could/would survive ... only the conception was the miracle of all miracles ... our choices were few ... I could not have another surgery at that point ... we were told eventually the embryo would grow to a certain point, be unable to thrive without proper nutrients, and eventually die (usually no later than 12 weeks) on its own, and be re-absorbed back into the mother's body. That is exactly what happened. We were also told that there was a special "shot" that could help speed the process ... I'm crying just thinking of it all .... this emotional ordeal was just as painful as the surgical ordeal endured in 2002 ... there is NO easy way to accept losing a baby.
During this last "loss" ... and the hormonal/physical changes that it inevitably placed upon my already broken body ... it became apparent that another need for surgery was growing more and more imminent .... I would mention it here, and there, every once in a while .... but I think "because I never followed through, or seriously pursued it" I think I wasn't taken seriously.
I am going to close this now .... I think giving the background was harder than I thought it would be .... I kept having to walk away from it .... I'm sorry.
Part Two Of "Tough Girl; Be Gentle" will go into detail about what has QUICKLY happened since September to NOW .... and I WILL GET IT DONE TOMORROW ... it will be easier because I can go by CT SCAN RESULTS, and Ultrasounds, and Consultations, and all that marvelous stuff ......... THESE PEOPLE DON"T MESS AROUND ONCE THEY FIND A SERIOUS PROBLEM.
p.s. I am not going to re=read this and edit it .... if there are mistakes, please forgive me and overlook them .... I'm exhausted.