Hello world!

So…gonna try this blogging thing once again!  I had one a couple of years ago…but didn’t follow through.  I love writing.  Always have.  I feel that writing is therapeutic, getting out all your thoughts…frees up your mind.  This blog will be a journal of sorts for me.  I will talk about my life…they say every person has a story, some more interesting than others.  I of course feel mine is interesting…I have lived through alot, starting of course the day I was born into a very dysfunctional family on Friday October 13th, 1967.

My mom and dad were 19 & 20 when I was born.  Not really ready for children…but they tried.  Unfortunately my dad was a drinker and immature, not ready for the responsibilities of a family.  My childhood was wrought with chaos, alot of screaming, fighting, abuse…one of my first memories was me running down our driveway, in my brand new white pajamas, in the rain going to get help because my dad had my mom bent over the counter with a knife to her throat, I was going for help and fell in the mud.  I got to the neighbors house and he went to my house and told my dad to stop and tried to talk him down, but my dad threatened him and he left.  That was when I decided I had to protect myself because no one else could.

Growing up was filled with alot of that sort of drama.  Being drug out in the middle of the night in my pj’s to drive around to every strip club/bar in town to find my dad.  Fights.  Me and my brother hiding under beds while the adults fought.  Being verbally and physically abused.  I quickly became the “pleaser” of the family.  Do everything you’re told and do it well.  I excelled in school.  I loved the outdoors, the woods, the park, the cemetary…I lost myself in books!  Reading was an escape for me, I could “go to another world” where it was nice and fun and exciting!

My teen years were a bit better, although my parents were both drinking at this point, I had learned to block all that out and to mostly take care of myself.  My grandparents were very good to me growing up, and I got to stay there on weekends alot.  They spoiled me in a sense…I felt so safe there.  My grandmother is my hero.  She just turned 90!  She is and always was a very strong and independant woman.  She raised 4 kids all on her own, while working in a factory.  She herself had a very hard childhood and that is where she got her strength and character, as I did.

I always felt growing up like I wasn’t “good enough”…like every other girl/woman I saw was somehow “better” than me.  Better looking, smarter, nicer, funnier, cleaner, classier, better dressed, just better.  These insecurities led me to some bad relationships, that in retrospect were similar to my parents…controlling and abusive.

However, I did manage to put that behind me.  Got married to a good man.  Had two wonderful children, although they are six years apart due to my having a few miscarriages in between them, which was tortuous to go through at the time.  But my children are and always have been my number one priority in life.  I never wanted them to have to go through the things I did as a child.  I wanted them to feel safe and loved…and they did.  Not that I was a perfect parent, we all make mistakes.  I have forgiven my parents for my childhood, they did the best they could with what they had, they were young, uneducated and struggling financially for alot of years.

I became a nurse, and loved taking care of others…I did that for about 10 years, then stayed home with my children.  I have always considered myself a strong woman, but I never knew how strong I would have to be until a tragic event that occurred on November 3, 2005.

I was having “female troubles” for many years.  Before this time I had been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Degenerative Disk Disease, but other than that, fairly healthy.  The physician that was treating me for my “female issues” found cysts on my ovary and after some discussion we decided to have them removed.  It was supposed to be a strait forward procedure using a laproscope, which is supposed to be safer with an easier recovery.  Of course every surgery has risks…oh boy do they.

That day in November, I was in pre op on the gurney, with my husband at my side.  The doctor came in, we held hands and said a prayer.  I was wheeled into the operating room.  I remember very little until around April…other than periods of agonizing pain in my abdomen, screaming out in pain, trying to climb out of the bed, tubes being inserted in my nose and down my throat, lots of needle sticks, horrific hallucinations due to the drugs…I mean nightmarish delusions that seemed so real, I was traumatized by these illusions and can still vividly remember them today.  That’s what I remember.  Now what my family and medical records reveal is this:

During the procedure the doctor punctured through my intestine with an instrument called a trocar.  It went thru one side and out the other.  Now a hole of this size should have been recognized, but for some reason, it was not.  The doctor could not do the operation laproscopically as planned and had to open me up to do it…he did, then sewed me up and he left for Disneyland.  I left for the ICU due to peritonitis and ended up on a ventilator and IV’s and Central Lines in my chest.  I was in a drug induced coma.  My family was told to make arrangments for my death.  My insides were basically eaten up with infection.  The next surgeon who went in there said my intestines were like wet tissue paper in her hands.  She could not repair the damage.  Over the next year I endured around 15 abdominal operations, some small, some major.  Some of my bowel was removed.  I had ostomies…that leaked constantly and caused skin damage.  I had a wound vac attached to my abdomen.  I was fed thru a catheter in a vein in my chest.  I spent a year in and out of the hospital…mostly in.  I missed family birthdays, holidays.  My children were11 and 16 at the time.  They were traumatized to say the least.  My husband was so scared and stressed.  He spent every moment he could with me at the hospital, but he still had to work and be at home.  My family would stay with the kids and help keep the house going.  My poor grandmother who was in her 80’s was worried sick and at my home cleaning and cooking and caring for the kids.  It was a horrible time for all of us.  Today I am alive thankfully, but somedays I feel like it may have been better if I had died.  I live in constant pain.  My abdomen hurts constantly due to neuromas, adhesions and a ventral hernia.  I have no muscle wall over my abdomen, my intestines/organs lay right under the skin.  I wear a binder 24/7 except when showering.  Coughing, sneezing, laughing and blowing my nose cause major pain.  I can’t eat alot of foods, no raw vegetables, no brocolli, no beans, no red meat, no nuts…nothing that can cause gas or that is hard to digest.  I must go to a pain doctor every month and must take strong narcotic pain killers to help dull the pain that I am in.  I spend alot of time in bed on days that I just hurt too much to do anything, even with meds.

There was a time when I thought dieing would be easier.  But I now feel that God spared me for a reason.  I am not entirely sure what that reason is yet.  Possibly to help others in some way.  Whatever the reason, I know this…I have survived alot of adversity in my life.  Sometimes I ask “why me?.”  I have pity parties somedays…but mostly I just plug along in life like everyone else.  I put on a brave face everyday..atleast to the outside world, my immediate family knows my pain.  Unfortunately they are affected by my disabilities as well.  They see me doubled over crying like a baby.  They feel helpless because there is nothing they or anyone can do.  But to everyone else, I look “normal” I don’t show my pain to everyone.  I don’t want pity. I don’t want any attention drawn to me.  Therefore I walk strait and tall…even when my abdomen screams in pain.  I focus on what needs to be done and I do it.  I am living life. 

One thing I can say I have learned from this is:  Just because someone looks healthy…doesn’t mean that they are.  So next time you see someone parked in the handicapped spot get out and walk jovially into the store, don’t assume they are fakers.  They may be hiding their pain/disability due to pride.  When that waitress seems a bit short in her responses, maybe she has a chronic pain condition or illness.  I just want to make the most out of my life that I can.  I want to do what it is I am here to do.  I read inspirational and self help books voraciously! 

I am back in the healthcare environment and loving it…I am hoping it will be a permanent career for me!  On top of the above mentioned ailments, I also have a bloodclotting disorder and must take blood thinners for that, and recently have developed tendinitis in my elbow and a torn ligament in my knee…lol, so……lets just say my medical bills are phenomenol!!!  We will never be out of debt!  We had to sell our home last year and now live in a rental.  The medical bills just keep coming!  While the money only trickles in…ahhh, such is life.

Anyway, so that is my first blog!  Don’t worry…they won’t all be this “me, me, me”…I am capable of writing about stuff other than me and my health problems…I think…?  No really.  I love humor and intend on showing that off a bit here…although it tends to lean toward the sarcastic side at times.

This was just an “insight” into what has made me…ME.  Background if you will.  It felt good to type this all out.  I know it’s long!  I promise they won’t all be novels.  Like my friend TJ says, blogging is cheaper than therapy!  And God knows, I can’t afford therapy!

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3 thoughts on “Hello world!

  1. Holy cow Tammy! I knew you had a lot of medical problems due to your surgery, but I had no idea how many problems you had, and still have! I have to say that you are the strongest person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing! You said I inspired you to blog, but I have to say that you have inspired me to live life to it’s fullest! And you are one hell of a writer! I have no talent compared to you! I can’t wait to read much more from you:)

    • Aww…thank you TJ! Very kind words! I always dreamed of writing a book someday…my English teacher in highschool used to tell me I had talent and encouraged me to pursue writing as a career…but I never had the self esteem to go through with it…but thank you for the compliment!

  2. Tammy…..every time I hear your story it blows me away even more. You are amazing. You are phenomenal. You are my hero. I am so proud to have you as a friend.

    I love the way you write. I can’t wait to read part 2!!!

    Life……one day at a time, sweet girl. Love you. xoxo

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