Pam shares her story of Resiliency. One of Determination. Service. Getting Up Again AND Again. Tenacity.
You know, I have never thought about myself being resilient. But I guess I really am. I left home at a young age, had my first baby 6 weeks short of my 18th birthday, and a year later I had another baby. I left my first husband after 5 years of mental abuse and neglect. That ended in 1989.
In 1990 I married my high school sweetheart, should have stayed with him from the beginning. In '91 we had a baby girl ... While I worked at a feed store, in 2002, I was hit head on by a drunk driver after getting off of work and picking up my son. My son had a few stitches in his knee, otherwise he wasn't hurt. I was in the hospital for 11 days, my left leg broken in three places and my left arm, and nose broken. I used a wheel chair and walker for 3 months, I now have more titanium in my left side than I ever thought possible. Alas, I do not set off the metal detectors in the airport, LOL. I recovered and got back to life.
I worked a new job for a year, and got another job at a Pawn shop, that was interesting! LOL, He closed down the shop a year later, so on to another job, at a farm store again, I had really missed it. I worked there for a year, during this year I was having health problems. In retrospect I should have taken much more seriously.
One morning I was getting dressed, putting makeup on and had dark spots in my eyes, I couldn't see to put my makeup on, it scared me enough that I went right down to the doctor. He told me to get into the emergency for an MRI. I called my husband and drove home and he took me to the hospital. The next day I heard the hardest words to hear, that I have ever. "You have a brain tumor".
We were speechless. Two days later I had major cranial surgery. I had an ependymoma the size of a golf ball cut off of my brain stem. I woke up not being able to talk, or swallow, not being able to stand up without fainting, after 5 days or so they put a feeding tube in my stomach, because I still couldn't swallow. I stayed in the hospital for 2 months, because my blood pressure would not stabilize, every time I would stand or sit up on the edge of the bed I would faint. Finally, I came home only to have to go back in two weeks later because I had a spinal fluid leak in the incision on the back of my head. In the hospital for another week. That was fixed, after another surgery. I finally came home, to having to use a potty chair in the living room at night, a feeding tube almost 24/7, had that for 5 months before I started being able to swallow again. Through all of this my wonderful husband was my nurse,(for both incidents,) I have put him through heck, as I have gone through it, I love him dearly, we have been married now for 20 years this June!
I still am dealing with deficits, I still sleep in the living room, because of my throat and stomach and a reflux problem now. I still can not move my tongue from side to side, but I eat just fine. I still fight my blood pressure, but haven't fainted in the last year and a half. My surgery was March 7th 2008. All my MRIs have been clean with no recurrence, I feel lucky in that. I deal with the reflux, my balance, and my blood pressure, just this morning my Bp was down to 68/50, but I am still here!
We are raising a Guide dog puppy again, our youngest daughter raised one through all my surgery and recovery, he graduated High School with her, Luxor is now a working guide to Linda, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Our current puppy is named Dublin and is 11-months old.
I go out now and feed my horses, ride them and clean stalls. I feel really lucky to be able to do that again!
Resilient....I have never thought of it that way, but I guess I am. That and stubborn and bound and determined to have life as normal as possible again!
Pam says, I hope I can inspire someone else to be just as stubborn and yes, resilient.
Share your story of Resilience.