March 14, 2011

just off the press - almost died

okay kids, i haven't abandoned the blog - i was in the hospital.

i guess when you have a fever and diarrhea after giving birth, you should get it checked out. by the time i did (i'm not really a go get it checked out person) my body was so run down they admitted me through emergency, took a bunch of bloodwork, a CAT scan, some x-rays, felt around my uterus (which was fine) and then sent me up to a bed where they put me on some saline because i was so dehydrated. the next day (i think; it's still a little fuzzy) they sent me to ICU. it was dodgy figuring out what was wrong with me, but what it turned out to be was that some strep A, which we have on the surface of our bodies and which does not harm us, somehow got into my abdomen and bred like crazy, so my organs were all swimming in terrible toxic liquid. so i got surgery; they sliced open my abdomen and drained about three litres of this nasty brew. then they put me on IV antibiotics. then they put a drain in my tummy, so more of the liquid could drain out and they could see if it was still making the nasty. then they put a needle in my back to drain more fluid, since i was having trouble breathing.

i had a crazy IV sticking out of my neck. i had a catheter. i was in the hospital for two weeks. at one point, they were feeding me through the IV. i had staples in my belly (they were very scary-looking). in fact, i almost died. yeah. bit of a shocker. but hey! now i'm on the mend. it's a very slow mend, but it is a mend. i can't pick up the little peanut; she's too heavy for me. she's been drinking formula for so long, and i'm so tired of facing hurdles, that i have decided not to keep trying to breastfeed. this makes me sad, but i just can't face another battle.

so invasive western medicine saved my life - i owe it an apology. i judged you, western medicine. but i see there is a time and a place for you. hopefully never again in my life. i don't think i have really processed it yet; almost dying, i mean. i think that will take a while. but i am very, very happy that i get to watch my daughter grow up, that i get to go camping this summer, that i get to marry the queen (yeah, we're gonna get hitched!). i feel very grateful. i haven't had my good cry yet, but i will feel grateful for that too, when it comes.

i know it will wear off, because gratitude always does, but i hope i can nurture this feeling of fresh new day for a while. i hope i can remember.

and hey! i got to try morphine! actually, i got a health-care-funded drug trip; one of the nursing students, bless her, accidentally gave me more than i was supposed to get, and i had a grand old time! when she realised what she had done (poor girl was so upset; i teased her about it until she started smiling again, but i'm guessing she'll be triple-checking dosages for quite a while now) there was suddenly a team of medical staff in my room. someone asked me how i was doing and i said "morphined...". hey, i think as far as mistakes go, that was an awesome one. the comedown is shit though.

so hey, enjoy your abdominal muscles, and think about the irony that i worked so hard to avoid a c-section, had my lovely homebirth (birth story coming, i promise) and then ended up getting surgery and will now have a frankenstein scar running down the length of my abdomen (around my bellybutton). it's okay; scars are sexy.


  1. Scars are totally sexy. My husband loves tickling mine. It also runs... From my sternum to my clitoris. I want to send you a cd when I get home on reclaiming lost soul parts. Surgery is a scary and traumatic motherfucker no matter what way you look at it. Reclaiming a lost soul part that fled at the time of trauma is terrifying but I guarantee it will help you heal faster. It took me two years to do my soul retrieval work and a week of grief and loss experiential education to get me to a place where I felt safe enough to do it. Also, I'm really grateful you are still alive and able to be a mother - and soon a wife! Yay you!

  2. oh wow jen, that would be wonderful. i think i've been looking for exactly that. got your most recent package, btw; thanks for the peppermint!