Apocalypse: an event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale. (We added the word trach in front of it. Read on to find out why!)
August 1st, 2017 is a day that we refer to as trachocalypse. Unfortunately, this day was not on the awesome end of the scale.
It started off as a pretty normal day in the hospital. I had moved to another room and was making good progress. I even had a faint whisper when we used the speaking valve! I hadn’t been able to talk for weeks so a whisper was huge for me.
At about 8:15 my respiratory therapist, came to suction my trach and a little blood came out. He said it wasn’t normal and although he wasn’t too worried about it, he would hang around outside for a while. He left and another respiratory therapist was preparing a breathing treatment when I started coughing and blood was gushing out of my trach and overflowing from my mouth. They kept suctioning, but my mouth was filling faster than they could suction. It was getting harder and harder to breathe. I kept telling Rainie that I couldn’t breathe and she held my hand and said, ‟you’re okay, you’re okay” over and over again. The room filled with people and the chief of surgery came in and said, ‟Get her to the ICU now!” A blood vessel in my trach had burst. While they took me to surgery, the chief of surgery explained to my siblings that it could be a superficial vessel or a major one and that they should call the rest of my family now (they had been rotating days and nights staying with me). They took me to surgery then back to the ICU. I was sad, scared, and tired and I said ‟I don’t know why God let this happen, I feel like I’ve been through enough!”
Each time I blog, we look back in a journal Rainie kept to see what that week in 2017 was like so I can share my story from the beginning. As we were reading about that day, I started crying because it still makes me so mad and I don’t understand it. My vocal cords were damaged in that surgery and I couldn’t talk for almost four months. The doctor who was over my initial trach surgery came in to explain why she thought this all happened. She acknowledged that 1) the original trach site was cut too large 2) it was a wound that wasn’t healing well 3) and my under nutrition status was contributing to me not healing. The problem is, all 3 of these things were things my family and I had been trying to get help with from the beginning! I know the hospital and team did a lot to save my life, and I’m so grateful, don’t get me wrong, but this could have been prevented. If it had been prevented, I would still have my normal voice. Now, I use a speaker to help amplify my voice when I talk and I still can’t get loud enough. It affects my life daily. It’s hard not to wonder ‘what if?’ and ‘why?’
Although we don’t always understand God’s plan, we must always trust him even when it doesn’t make any sense to us. Faith is trusting God even when we don’t under stand his plan.
Jesus Replied, “You don’t understand what I am doing but someday you will”.