The bad news continued, after the surgery:
- First, I had trouble breathing, so they put tubes down my throat and tied me down. I pulled the tubes out. I was in a dream like state, and I remember feeling like I was choking, so pulled them out. So they sedated me again, and used stronger bonds to keep me down. I was put in ICU.
- Before I was taken out of ICU, Dr. Miller came and told me that at some point, I had a heart attack, either during or after surgery. I was transferred to the cardiac section of the hospital, because now I was also a heart patient.
- I was being prepared to leave the hospital when I began to bleed profusely. It's a wonder that I didn't die because of the bleeding. After many tries, they gave me a blood transfusion. This did not help either, but the bleeding slowed down enough, that they sent me home.
- I was home a week or so, and going back in to see Dr. Miller in his office. I asked him what could be done for the bleeding, he suggested sanitary pads. My daughter heard him say this, so she went out to buy some, bless her heart, I had no need for pads for several years. She is young, in her twenties, and she had a hard time dealing with all of this. At one point she called my daughter in California, and she came out to lend support. But none of the measures that Dr. Miller suggested worked, which was basically applying pressure to the wound. One day as I was preparing to shower, the blood started to spurt out rhythmically, and this really scared me. I asked my daughter to come and take me to emergency, but not Piedmont or Dr. Miller, which had not helped in the past. We ended up at Emory midtown, where I had my mastectomy in 2011. Emory did not address the issue of the bleeding, and discharged me after about 2 weeks, with a prescription for infections.
- I went back to Dr. Miller, and at the same time, had visiting nurses coming out. This was the first time I learned about wound care. So between the nurses and Dr. Miller, they were changing the dressing every day. The nurses were shocked that I was released from the hospital in my condition. I looked like someone had taken a hack saw to the left side of my body. By this time it was ugly, there was blood, and pus and drainage, and it was smelly. Neither my daughter or I could bear to look at them. But still there was no change. This was about October, the surgery had been the end of July. My motivation was going to my oldest daughter's wedding in California, November 22, 2014. Dr. Miller said he didn't think so. I got on the internet and started to research wound care. I found out what was recommended and what medicare would pay for. I also learned that Dr. Miller had set up wound care centers at several Piedmont locations. I asked his nurse the next time I was in if I could be referred to his clinic. She said she would check. I followed up and she said she was working on it. So I asked Dr. Miller directly, when I could catch him. A few days later his nurse called and said Dr. Miller had referred me to a wound clinic, but not at Piedmont, but Kindred Hospital.
- Kindred Hospital admin. called me and told me to come in the next day. I learned after I was admitted, that Kindred, a small hospital, based their care and treatment on prayer. I was at Kindred for about three weeks. It was the best hospital experience I have ever had through this long ordeal. The nurses were professional and caring. Whereas the nurses at Piedmont and Emory midtown were like bullies for the most part, they acted as if I had done something wrong and must be punished.
I also was seen by a wound care nurse and a wound care doctor at Kindred. The nurse changed my dressings once a day, and finally the doctor said changing dressings could go on forever, so he recommended the 'wound vac'. Awwww.... I hear Angels singing. I was on the wound vac for nearly two weeks. I could immediately see the improvement. When I was released, healing was on the way, I didn't want to leave because I was treated so well. Also, they not only put me on antibiotics, but took cultures so they could determine what type of infection I had, and then based the antibiotic on that information, what a concept.
- Three weeks after I left Kindred, I was in California for my daughter's wedding. Today, 12/23/14, I am completely healed.
It was all God -
But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the LORD, ‘because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.’ Jeremiah 30:17
I kept this Scripture posted in my bathroom and kitchen and would see and repeat it every day, I still do.