月圆人团圆 ~ 元宵节快乐
It is by God's grace & mercy that I am able to write this, today. It's a long email but please bear with me.
I would like to share with you my recent experience that reminded me of God's love and His many blessings in my life. I now appreciate every little thing He has given me, that I had sometimes taken for granted. I hope that you will be reminded of and will experience His love and blessings as well.
Last December was supposed to be a month of joy & happiness as Albert and I, were awaiting the arrival of our second child. We took time off from work the whole month, we were going to celebrate Christmas, and enjoy the holidays before the New Year.
However, it was the toughest month of my life. I had a very serious infection that almost cost me, my life. Despite that, God's love & awesome power was revealed to me.
It all started a couple of days after I gave birth to my second child, Rylan on Dec 1. The labor & delivery went smoothly and we were blessed with a healthy baby. I was discharged on Dec 3 but by evening of that day, the area between my legs started to feel uncomfortable. At first, I thought the discomfort was normal as I had a perineal tear that required stitches. I took pain medication and assumed that it would go away. However, the pain got worse. I felt pain when I lay down, when I walked and when I sat down. The pain killer did not help as it should have.
Despite the pain, I still tried my best to breastfeed Rylan around the clock. I feared that my breasts would become engorged as it was more painful than labor from my previous experience. I wanted my son to get the best nourishment I could provide for him. I tried to improvise with different positions to avoid the pain but it was a losing battle. The pain prevented me from getting the rest that I needed. One evening, I felt very cold. My whole body shivered uncontrollably. I had never felt this bad before.
We went to see my OB doctor on Monday Dec 6. She diagnosed it as blood clot and told us it would heal by itself over time. She increased the dosage of the painkiller, as it would help to decrease the pain level. I felt a little better for the next 2 days.
However, the pain came back again. It had spread. We went to see another OB doctor on Thursday morning, Dec 9, as she was the only one available at that time. She suspected an infection and asked me to take a blood test. She prescribed antibiotics to control the infection. I managed to take one pill that afternoon before she called. She told us to readmit myself to the Washington Hospital right away as the blood test showed an elevated white blood cell count, which was an indication of infection.
My first surgery started that day around 7.00 pm. After that, I was placed in the Critical Care Unit (CCU) with tubes in my neck, throat, arm, etc. A team of surgeons and doctors were assigned to treat my infection. They did a CT scan to try to find the cause of the infection but were not successful.
Praise God that the infection had not spread to my body’s organs.
I was heavily sedated during the initial days. According to Albert, Friday Dec 10 was the most critical time for me as both the anesthesiologist and the surgeon told him to be prepared for a very long hospital stay but could not say exactly how long and how much treatment was necessary to treat my infection. The infection did spread into my blood stream and it was now toxic. My heart function weakened as a result, which further complicated my treatment.
After multiple surgeries to remove the infected cells, the infection had stopped spreading. I had a very deep and big wound. The fastest way to help such a massive wound heal was to apply a wound vacuum but this was not an easy task as the wound was very near my anus. To assess whether the wound vacuum could be applied, the surgeon removed my wound dressing without any pain medication. The pain was excruciating and I screamed at Albert. It was then, that the surgeon told me that since I was able to live & had gone through so much already, I had to bear the pain. I did not realize how serious my condition was until he told me this.
One evening, Albert brought me a bible. The topic section in the bible, pointed me to read Psalm 77. It was about suffering. This chapter clearly describes how I felt at that time and what I went through. God’s love and promise never fails. He performs miracles. It gave me comfort.
I was then transferred to the ward and underwent wound dressing changes multiple times a day. Even with pain medication, the dressing change was still painful that I had to go through it by biting a piece of towel. There were times that I was down and felt hopeless but one nurse asked me if I'm a believer and if I am, I should pray to God. God spoke to me through this nurse and Albert, that I could depend on Him and to stay strong in my faith.
One of the doctors (there were about 15 doctors who attended to me) who attends Bridges Community Church offered to pray for me at my bed side, one night. I never expected a doctor to pray for me, like she did.
I was able to do video conference with my parents & kids at home as kids below 12 years old, were not allowed to visit the hospital. Whenever my daughter, Amanda asked me when I could go home, I felt sad but it also encouraged me to be strong as I encountered many problems during the wound treatment.
The first time I was able to get off the bed, it took me half an hour just to walk 30 feet and I was sweating after that.
As weeks went by, my open wound looked better and finally, on Dec 28 the plastic surgeon came back from his vacation in Asia & saw me the next day. The surgery to close the wound, was done on Jan 30 and we prayed that he could stay alert during the surgery. The surgery went very well and I was discharged on Jan 5. The first few weeks after the surgery was challenging as I was not allowed to sit and lie on my back. I will need to see the surgeon regularly & according to him it will take me a few months to heal completely. I believe that God will heal me completely in His time.
During my 28 days stay at the hospital & after being discharged, I see how God's love was expressed through you. I would like to thank:
1. Our God, Jesus Christ who is our mighty Healer & Provider whose love and promise never fails.
2. My parents, who came from Indonesia and unselfishly, tirelessly cook; take care of us including my 4 year old girl and newborn baby as well as for always putting us first and praying for us.
3. My mom who sang beautiful hymns for me at my hospital bed side and cares for me at home.
4. Friends and families who prayed, fasted, cooked, visited my family and me at the hospital as well as at home. Thank you for the flower, soups, food, card, CD, foot massage and your daily prayers/support/
5. Lisa Liu who generously provided her breast milk to Rylan from the time I was hospitalized and continues to do so. It's the best gift Rylan has ever had.
6. Chee & Soon Yee who brought Amanda to church & various events, thus, helping us to take care of her and allowing Albert and my parents to get some rest.
7. CCIC North Valley in Milpitas, Tri City Chinese Baptist Church in Fremont, Church in St Louis, Missouri, GKA Trinitas in Indonesia, Albert’s cousin’s church in East Coast, for your prayers.
8. Last but not least, my loving husband, Albert, who was with me, everyday, throughout this experience. He was a father and also a mother to Rylan while I was at the hospital. He tirelessly visited me a couple of times a day at the hospital while being sleep deprived, feeding Rylan at night and also for caring for me at home.
May God rewards each one of you and may He continues to use you as His channel of blessings.
To God be all the glory,
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
感谢主，这孩子好像开窍了呢！令他感到最高兴的，是他终于又拿到Honor Roll - Honor Achievement Award。由于我们一向吃得健康，孩子身强体壮鲜少缺课；一如往常，他拿了一个Perfect Attendance 回家。Excellence in Language Art 和 Excellence in Physical Education 则是老师给他的意外惊喜。我总觉得，美国学校的奖状太泛滥；但对他来说，这却是莫大的鼓励。
然而，最让我感安慰的是，他最近竟然忙着著书《Bond of Defenders》，已经写到第75页了呢！我随意翻阅，原来故事中的人物，是他自己和同学。我想，这是另类的日记吧！除了写，他其实还在校车上念给同学听，还策划着将它编印成书。