Many of you have been praying for me and I want to thank you and pass on how things went during my surgery and stay in the hospital for 36 hours.
Tuesday, August 25
My surgery was scheduled for 1:20 PM PT. My son drove me to my parish since I was without eating or drinking for some hours and arrived there at 7:30 AM. I was able to pray the Rosary and Chaplet of Mercy combined. During this half hour before the 8 AM Mass, an older lady who apparently opens the church every morning, Maura, came to say hello. Many parishioners come for the daily Mass and stop at her pew to give her a kiss. I never had a direct conversation with her but we knew each other because I try to be at daily Mass also early when she is the only one there. However, I have not been at daily Mass for almost 2 months due to my problems of urinary urgency since the prolapse of the bladder had become worse plus it forces me to use two tablets of Tramadol (for pain in knees) to get there and walk without super pain in my knees. This fact forces me to count with only 2 more tablets for the rest of the 24 hours, and it does not work well.
So, Maura surprised me by coming to my seat and when she learned of my surgery, she sat with me to pray with me and told me to have much faith in God. She left and came back shortly after to show me another prayer she had in her prayer book and we prayed again. She gave me her address and I promised to send her a card after my surgery. Another parishioner who always had stopped to give me hug at daily Mass, also came and was concerned when she learned about my surgery for that early afternoon. My son was surprised by so much solicitude from these women. During the Mass, I had a huge amount of joy and reflected on the fact that God was trying to tell me that He was with me for the ordeal of the afternoon and was moving these women to come and say hello.
We left our home to be at the hospital at the time convened, 10:20 AM. The front parking near the main entrance is always full but there was ONE SPACE NOT TOO far from the main door and therefore I was able to walk without a major effort. We went to the second floor and after being led to X pre-operative room, I told my son to go to work. There was no need for him to be there. I was given permission to keep a small piece of luggage where I would place my top, pants and other clothing items. They would send it to the room where I would end up after the surgery.
For me, the main topic of this surgery was what anesthetic I would receive since all gases are fluorinated and I could lose my memory according to the literature… You all know that fluoride was the culprit as to why I lost my memory (dementia) for several years. The night before I was supposed to receive a call from the anesthesiologist since it is in the afternoon of the day before surgery that the schedule of surgeries finally comes out and it is then that they make the assignments. My urologist had placed in his I-phone a reminder for him to call the anesthesiologist the night before in order to be sure that I would receive a call to discuss the anesthetic. Well, nobody called. It was in the pre-operative area and about one hour prior to surgery that such physician came in.
It was a younger woman and by the way we talked, she did not know too much about POTS (the imbalance of my autonomic nervous system!). I had forwarded a flash drive with several important items regarding my previous dementia and its relationship with fluoride and therefore with all anesthetic gases plus the difficulties of anesthesia in a patient with POTS, and did it via the nurse practitioner who had completed my history and physical exam about 10 days before to the anesthesiologist in charge of the preparation of patients for the anesthetic, but nobody contacted me, not even the night before! The problem with POTS is that it has been recognized ONLY for the last 20 years and of course, there is not much awareness of this problem especially under anesthesia. This young anesthesiologist said that she had received a message mentioning my POTS and dementia history; apparently she never saw the flash drive!!! She offered to give me TIVA (total intra-venous anesthesia) to avoid any anesthesia gases. TIVA consists in placing an endo-tracheal tube in my wind pipe and passing oxygen and nitrous oxide to my lungs and giving me propofol or diprivan which came to replace sodium pentothal.
She asked what else I wanted and I suggested the use of an arterial line, or a little IV catheter placed in the artery of either wrist to be connected to a machine that can measure blood pressures at each cardiac contraction. This way, due to the instability of my system, a very low blood pressure can be treated immediately. She answered that if there was any problem that she would start it later. I responded, “But if I have almost no blood pressure via a cuff, it means that you cannot feel the artery pulsating in order to place the catheter!” She agreed and also said that both of my arms were going to be place alongside my body, which means that she would not have access at all during the entire case. These little points in our conversation revealed to me a person without a sharp mind. Yet, AT NO TIME I FELT FEAR… By now, and of course, having being visited by Jesus Himself a few hours before at Mass I was totally free of any preoccupation. Amazing what God can do in our lives. When I woke up hours later, I did not have any gauze covering the site of entrance of the arterial line catheter. She probably could not start it and she tried because within hours I also noticed huge bruises in both wrists!!!
When I woke up, I only remember finding myself in my own room. I never had nausea or vomiting. I never coughed after due to the endo-tracheal tube. The surgeon did not want me to buck or cough pushing down against the surgical site since the mesh placed at the tallest point of the vagina for my body in later weeks to fill it with my own cells, in order to make a wall that will not allow the bladder to prolapse again, needed protection from bucking and destroying its position. I used TIVA in my latest years of practice (2002-2003) for plastic surgery of the face and neck, again to avoid straining of the patient as the endo tracheal tube comes out of the patient. The surgeons did not want any bleeding in their recently tighten facial skin. I had a urinary bladder catheter to avoid my bladder to move the mesh. This produced much discomfort t in my back muscles throughout the night but only noticed if I tried to move.
Wednesday, August 26
On this day they gave me a clear fluid breakfast and the urologist called me at 11 AM to tell me that everything went super well. He told me that I could eat whatever I could tolerate allergy wise. I had brought from home 2 grilled chicken breasts which this hospital encourages in cases like mine with many allergies. They provided a small amount of sweet potatoes, my normal diet at home. He also told me that most likely I would be discharged that evening as planned but that we had to wait for the final decision.
My nurse’s name, K., was 27 years old and very good as a nurse. She helped me walk because one condition to go home was to be able to walk without problems. She did not believe in God and has a boyfriend. Little by little, we became sort of friends and it was then that I realized that God was using my cross to love this human being as a daughter and see in her heart the love of God. At one point, she came to sit on my bed (I was in a chair) and wanted to hear about dementia and depression, the topics that God uses to attract souls. I mentioned how God had been soo good to me by revealing how to reverse dementia and avoid depressions and told her that I had met Jesus in the Host at age 6 1/2 . I asked her if she knew about what a host was and she said she did not. Shortly after, she asked me if this was Communion… So, it is probable that she has had contact with a close relative who receives communion in their respective churches, whether they believe in His Real Presence or not. The important point is that now I can add her name to the community Rosary list of petitions and God will do whatever with her. At least, I was consoled that she could be saved one day and that I had started this journey for her.
At 2 PM, another nurse came to remove the gauze-pack from my vagina and it was simply a nightmare. The pain was felt like knives where cutting this section of my body as she pulled on this may be 1-2 feet in length. She did it very slowly as I screamed in pain. At one point I screamed: “Lord, where are you. My Love, please help me. Do not leave me alone.” Little did I know that He was there but wanted to make it clear to me as you will learn in the next story.
At 2:30 PM, a 63 year old woman (later I learned her age) came and looked hesitant to enter my room. Finally she did and asked me if wanted Communion! It took me by surprise since I had just called Him. Irma is Mexican and manages some apartment building and this Wednesday was her day off. She uses the morning of Wednesday’s to bring Communion to the entire hospital, 9 story building. She belongs to the Queen of All Saints parish. She had only one Host left. She was emotionally hurting because a male patient in the 9th floor told her, “Why are you here? Have I called you? Get out of my room.” After this, and with one Host left, she asked the Lord whom to visit next. She checked the list of Catholic patients as supplied by the hospital and again prayed, “Lord guide me to a patient that You choose.” She saw my name in the list and came down to the 6th floor where I was and directly to my room. I figured out by her accent that she was Hispanic and I started speaking in Spanish. I told her my story of how I fell in love with Jesus as a child. Finally, we held hands and prayed the Our Father in Spanish. She proceeded to get the Host out and showed it to me saying, “This is the Lamb of God.” I took the Host and felt so much love for Jesus that I started crying and saying to Him, “I love You my Love. I truly love You. Thank You for coming.” I was thinking that I had called Him when they pulled the gauze a short time before and He had directed Irma to my room! My tears kept coming. After Communion, Irma said, “I have never seen this in my life as an Extraordinary Minister.” She also had tearing eyes. I asked for her permission to tell this story in my blog about God’s Mercy and she said that yes, I could.
She proceeded to tell me that a friend parishioner had called her the night before to ask her to have breakfast together. She told her that it would have to be lunch because of the distribution of Communion to patients at this hospital. This friend happened to be the organizer and founder of God’s Mercy prayer group in her parish and that she would probably would be able to tell the group about this incident and about my blog. Suddenly, Irma said, “I am in a hurry to get with my friend but let me go to the car to get something for you.” She left in a hurry and came back with a wooden rosary with silver type medal of Our Lady of Guadalupe placed on the cross of this rosary. I realized that my Mother did not want to stay behind the scenes and to sign to me that she was also visiting to love me and probably had interceded for Irma to hear the Holy Spirit’s direction to come to my room with the last Host. The entire episode was truly embedded with God’s love as well as her love!
At this point on August 29, I still have much pain below but enjoying the consolation of God’s Presence during my hospital stay. But the miracles were not over! About 2 weeks ago, the EWTN/Español channel was not working well and without sound. We arrived from the hospital around 8 PM and with difficulty came up to my room. I turned on the TV set and there were no pictures on any channel. I called my son and he came and manually turned off the Cable box and on again. And yes, EWTN/Español was restored to total health… My Lord knew that I would spend more time up in my room than downstairs and wanted to let me pray the Rosary in Spanish (now my favorite language for this prayer since I had forgotten my Spanish and I have recuperated it from this channel). This was a super miracle!
Only God can do these things. My faith grew by leaps and bounds. The Lord is my Shepherd and there is nothing I shall want! And of course, I must thank you for your prayers. This story also speaks of the POWER OF PRAYER… Please keep me in your prayers for a while so that I can have normal bowel movements so not to jeopardize the wall that must form to keep my bladder in its proper place. God bless you!