Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A long winded story to re-start this project.

Let me reset this again, and start from the very top... well, from the very top of this one mountain anyway... we can walk ourselves back down, hopefully.

When I started this project a while back I really did intend to carry it through. I thought having to blog it out there in public would motivate me, maybe even shame me into following through.
I was wrong.

I guess my shame bucket was so full already that a bit more didn't really move me anywhere, it actually made things worse in a sense.

Why did I stop drawing?
I seldom answer this question truthfully. As a matter of fact I think very few people have been told exactly why.
I often say it was because my wrist and hand suffered nerve damage during a lengthy hospital stay. This damage makes it hard for me to draw, it is painful and makes my lines shaky at best.

This of course, isn't a lie. It is just a half-truth. It is also a much shorter way to explain a very long story.

What really happened is something I really dislike to think about, overall in summer when it is muggy and hot outside and the rain leaves a gloomy picture to stare at out of the windows.

So, what's the story? Is it really that bad? No, not in comparison to other sad and tragic stories, I would venture to say I was actually a bit lucky, but that would be minimizing my pain, cutting it down to size so I won't feel too overwhelmed and I can ignore it another day.

The story itself is jumbled in my brain and I might jump back and forth as I remember bits and pieces, after all I have spent the past several years trying to forget it all or to not think about it. I apologize in advance for the mess.

It was about 9 years ago, or maybe even just a bit over 9 years ago. I purposely forgot the exact date, all I know is that it was summer, it was hot and rainy most of the time.
I had been married 3 years, I was in the middle of college, working two jobs and trying to make ends meet. My husband had recently changed jobs, things were starting to look up for us after years of living hand to mouth, barely making it month to month.

We had moved away from the cheapest apartments we could get in the student side of town to an slightly more pricey one on the more quiet part of Tallahassee. The apartment was quite a swanky upgrade with its small fireplace, large windows, new carpet and we had even managed to get our very own washer and dryer, which meant no more laundromat trips, all indeed, very fancy. I was even allowed a cat, something I had missed since moving away from home. School and work were going good, life was just the way it was supposed to and we were happy.

We were elated to learn we were expecting a baby. At first I panicked a bit. School would be a challenge, I was just 2 semesters away from graduating, but I decided it would be alright. My husband was happy, and so was I. We started preparing to make an addition to our little family and we dared to dream of an even brighter future ahead.

I started visiting the doctor. The first time I met my OBGYN I felt a bit wrong. She was curt, short with words and I could tell she wasn't listening to a word I said. I was just a warm body to poke, prod and send on its way. She berated me for being overweight, totally ignored me when I said my family had a history of having to deliver babies through C-Section due to different complications and waved me away saying we were definitely going to avoid a C-Section and that I should calm down and not be a scarey cat.

I felt a bit hurt and off, I have always been a very docile and obedient patient. I always trusted my doctors and did as I was told. When sick I would wait until I couldn't stand the pain before I made a visit and I was very healthy growing up, so I could go years without needing to see a doctor or nurse, a fact I was actually really proud of.

I followed her instructions. I was careful of what I ate, I never complained, but after a couple of months it was clear to me that something was wrong. I felt dizzy, disoriented, nauseous, sick and was in constant pain at all times. I couldn't eat, the only things I could keep down were plums and water, everything else made me ill.

During my next appointment I voiced my concerns to the doctor. She didn't even look me in the eye and said: "Oh, that's nothing, we have a patient who is so sick she needed to be placed on bed rest for months and hooked up to an IV because she was incredibly dehydrated. You are loosing a bit too much weight and should stop complaining and freaking out and eat something. I am done here" and walked out on us.

Once again I felt terrible... was I being too whiny somehow? I was probably being an obnoxious brat and I should behave and do better: That's what I told myself after that.

Things didn't get better. By the end of the second trimester I was so sick I was starting to just loose confidence that I could do anything right, even eat, breathe, I felt alone, sad, but I was determined to "suck it up" and be a "good girl". I pressed on...

I pressed on until one evening. We were meeting a friend at her house to watch a movie and have pizza. I had been feeling specially sick that day, my stomach had really been bothering me and the nagging pain that had been there for months got steadily worse as the day wore down.

I thought maybe I just had drank too much water and had too many plums. Maybe I was sick out of being hungry, I just didn't know anymore. As my husband ran into blockbuster to get a DVD I sat in the car mulling this over.
The pain was getting bad, but I could still walk around so I decided to ignore it, just as I had been told, it probably was nothing.

We went to our friend's house, watched a movie, I halfheartedly ate some pizza, and then we went home.

It was rather late, the pain got more intense, I tried to use the restroom thinking it would help, as I walked out of it I suddenly felt faint. My eyes suddenly closed, I lost control of my legs, arms, body and went deaf. I just felt the sharp pain as I hit the ground and when I opened my eyes again my husband was calling my name frantic, holding my head and asking if I was OK. He looked so scared I barely knew what to say.

I just let out a: "No, I don't think I am OK"

I asked him to call the doctor's office, he did right away, only to get connected to a cranky nurse that said, once again, that it was probably nothing, just a dizzy spill. "But she is white as a ghost and she just collapsed!" he protested. She didn't seem moved by his urgency and said that if we *Really* thought we needed help, to just call an ambulance then.

My husband hung up in anger, we looked at each other, I was starting to have difficulty breathing, the pain was so intense that the mere act of drawing in air into my lungs sent incredibly sharp and burning spikes of pain all over my abdomen. After a couple of seconds of self-doubt I looked at my husband and we knew we had to call for help.

He called an ambulance, tried to explain what was wrong, and came back by my side. I was scared, but he was terrified. I felt awful for making him worry, but I knew something was going incredibly wrong, the worst part, I didn't know what.

We waited for a while for the ambulance. I was starting to have real trouble breathing, I was panicking in pain and worried out of my head about the baby. My husband started pacing around, looking out of the windows, cursing under his breath because I was obviously deteriorating fast and the ambulance wasn't there yet. I am not sure how long we waited, but, like with all incredibly painful times, it felt as if we sat there, frozen in fear for hours.

The ambulance finally arrived, two EMT's rushed upstairs, they started asking rapid fire questions, I barely could talk much anymore, they took my pressure and I felt relieved they were there, but I was still keeping my wits about as much as I could, I decided I wouldn't be safe until I was at the hospital and a competent doctor had berated me for making a mountain out of a mole hill. I was hoping I was being overly cautious and all I had was a terrible case of indigestion... I kept telling myself that just to make myself feel less panicked anyway.

My pulse was totally wrong, I was definitely sick somehow, the EMT's recommended I go to the ER, but they couldn't move me on their own since we were in a second floor and our stairs were very steep. I looked at my husband and we managed to get me on my feet. I screamed at the sudden pain, every step I took felt like a stab to the stomach, I started to cry halfway to the door, but I had to be brave, I had to suck it up and the EMT's had already rolled the gurney up to the stairs. I had to manage those steps, I could do it, I HAD to do it.

I had never been in such intense pain before, I never saw that flight of steps the same from that day on.

Once in the ambulance I was given oxygen, the ride to the hospital was a quiet one, no sirens, the streets were empty, but every little bump and pothole on the road made me want to scream my head off in pain. I started to concentrate on just keeping awake and breathing in short hurried breaths, which was all my body allowed me to take in. I could tell how close we were to the hospital by looking up and out of the ambulance windows, the dark canopy of trees looking rather scary so late at night while the EMT with me kept reassuring me we were closer and apologizing for every jump the gurney took on the road. "This needs some serious repaving" I said cracking half a smile between the tears at a poor attempt to stop being so awfully scared.

We finally arrived, the EMT's rolled me out of the ambulance and my husband rushed to my side having taken the car from home following us the whole way. He grabbed my hand and I am not even sure if he spoke to me again for a while or just tried his best to explain to everybody what was wrong with me because I had started to be quiet trying to save oxygen.

I was thrown into the maternity triage area, 2 or so other women were there, one was talking in an animated tone to a triage nurse, another was quiet on her bed. The nurse that saw me started poking and prodding at me quickly, asking questions I could barely answer and making me cry in pain. She declared she didn't see anything outwardly wrong with me, that I had probably worked myself out to a frenzy and that's why I was pale and why my pressure was incredibly high, but just to humor me she was going to admit me to observation until I calmed down.

I cried... once again I was being treated like a petulant child who had thrown an undeserved tantrum. I got quiet and let them wheel me away again into a room with a TV. My husband felt powerless and angry. He knew I was in pain, but I had started to doubt myself again. Was I being a hypochondriac? Was I over-reacting? I laid there in a very uncomfortable position were the nurses had left me after I had cried in pain when they had transferred me from the gurney: "Well, if you are going to complain so much, we can't move you around" they had said making me feel terrible.

CNN was on the TV, it was late night, the hospital was quiet and all I could do was tell myself: "Keep breathing, don't sleep, keep breathing, don't sleep, keep breathing, don't sleep".
I felt as if I were keeping my face above water as the water levels rose and I had my nose and lips pressed against the ceiling or a very small cage that kept on shrinking.
"If you don't get yourself out of this, no one will" I found myself thinking. "Don't stop taking in air, fight, fight!".

The nurses came in periodically over the course of several hours. They would bring in a blood pressure machine, strap it to my arm and find my pulse more rapid and fainter each time.

"The machine is wrong" they said at first "We'll bring another"

My husband held my hand, talked words to me I could barely pay attention to and softly petted my head trying to hold back tears at times. I had to be strong, I didn't want him to cry.

Another set of nurses walked in with two more machines, all of them indicated I had started to take a nose dive.

"All these machines are wrong" they declared.
My husband was bewildered, how could they all be wrong? Were we all taking crazy pills?

The oldest nurse finally resorted to taking my pulse manually. She went from annoyed to incredibly pale and muttered something about me not having a pulse at all. She sent the nurses packing to look for the nearest doctor, she made quick frantic calls over the phone all while shaking and stumbling over her words.

A myriad of machines were wheeled into the room. I was strapped to monitors, beeping machines, paper was being printed, vitals being measured, sonogram wands jabbed around my abdomen, something that made me nearly loose conscience in pain and loss of breath.

There room went quiet, the doctor gained color, from pink to orange straight to red. She glared at the nurses and barked at them, I am not sure what she said anymore, but she was supremely mad... apparently I had been slowly bleeding internally for 6 hours or so under their care. I was on the brink of death and I had definitely lost our baby a while back. My uterus had ruptured, all the pain was due to the blood pooling inside my body, I couldn't breathe because I was both out of blood and drowning from the inside (later we learned I had a rare genetic defect, a bicornuate uterus, this meant my uterus was sort of sectioned in two, the embryo had implanted on the section that wasn't communicated with the cervix and more icky medical junk I won't go into but feel the need to clarify). I was virtually dead.

The nurses panicked, one of the youngest ones was visibly upset, their voices were shaking as they started to hurriedly carry me to the emergency operating room.

I was in a daze of sorts. I was incredibly sad, scared, angry all at once. My vision was starting to become blurred, I couldn't keep on breathing any more, everything was falling apart rapidly at the seams and now I was just trying, with every ounce of strength left in me, to stay alive until I made it to the operating table.

My husband walked fast by the side of my bed as the nurses rolled me away. He was crying. I was crying, but I couldn't stand it. Against my best judgement I pooled as much air as I could and tried to weave in reassuring words.

"I'll be OK, I haven't gone this far just to be with you to leave you now" I said. I might have said something else, maybe I said that I didn't want to see him cry and that I would be right back, that the doctors were going to fix me up and that everything was going to be alright, but maybe I just thought I said it.

The nurse wheeling the bed around started to cry. When a nurse starts to cry on the way into an operating room it isn't the best sign. They made my husband let go of my hand, and I was pushed into another room. Several doctors where jogging about, a nurse hurriedly brought a clipboard and said it was the form I had to sign to let them open me up. I looked at her as if she had two heads, I could barely make anything out around me, let alone a legal document. I was loosing control of my body and could barely breathe.

She put a pen on my hand, I said I needed help signing, she helped by putting the clipboard as close to my hand as she could and I chicken scratched something that resembled an S and a flat line next to it.

The doctors came over to me, they quickly introduced themselves, a whole team of 3 surgeons "oh yay!" I thought delirious by this point and then I spoke the words that could be the very last that came out of my mouth:
"It's OK, I am not worried, now you guys are here and you are going to make things work so I can wake up again. I am sure I am in good hands. Thanks" Or something very close to that, and then I closed my eyes and everything went blank.

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Waking up was hard. Everything was dark and quiet, but in the distance I could hear my husband's voice faintly calling me. Yes, just like in the movies, I could hear my name as if I were suspended in a deep pool of water. I could tell he was crying, I couldn't have him crying, I had to wake up, I had to wake up right then and tell him I was OK. I willed myself to open my goddamned eyes with all my might, so I did, but all I could see were blurs and hear my husband call me half surprised half crying frantically.

I tried to take in some air to say I was OK, to not cry, that I was OK, but suddenly all the air was sucked out of my lungs at the same time and I panicked. I tried to move my arms unsuccessfully and suddenly realized there were several people around because they were yelling at each other and at me. "She is not supposed to be awake yet!" one of them yelled in a panic.

Something was taking away my air and pumping in air at the wrong times. "Put her back to sleep!"

Everything went blank again.

I am not sure how long I slept, but the next time I woke up someone was talking to me calmly and methodically and I was tied down to the bed. They were explaining I was hooked up to a respirator, that if I wanted to be awake I had to follow instructions carefully to get it off.

It wasn't fun, it wasn't pretty, and it hurt a lot. Once the tube was removed I stopped breathing again, total fail on my part. The doctor was pumping my chest like crazy screaming stuff like: "BREATH! BREATH DAMMIT!"
I, as twisted as ever, found this funny and kept thinking: "I am trying! FUCK! I am REALLY TRYING! STOP YELLIIIING!" but no words were coming out of my mouth... after all I wasn't really breathing and they had just pulled a tube out of my throat to make matters worse.

Somehow they got my heart and lungs sorta working. They kept pumping air manually for a while and slowly put an oxygen mask on me scared it all would collapse again (and it did, several times a day for the next couple of days, oh how we all panicked).

My husband was standing there, so scared, and it was all my fault. I felt so sad, but at the same time i was so happy to see him again. I tried to smile and I cried, he smiled back, cried and hugged me gingerly scared that he would kill me probably.

The days in the ICU were some of the darkest I have lived. I kept sinking in and out of a restless drug induced sleep. My lungs gave in every now and again, I was so sad, so defeated in incredible amounts of pain and exhausted I barely had strength to keep myself alive. I was mostly just willing myself to stay because my husband was there and I truly didn't want him to see me die. Unfortunately he had to eat, use the restroom, and I would feel so tired when he left I would let my consciousness go and my body would take that as a sign to finally die and actually get some rest for a change.

My husband stopped leaving my side, repeating "Please be OK, don't go" over and over, the ICU nurses stopped trying to take him away, scared that I would actually just pass away if he wasn't there. They let him sleep by my side on a chair, holding my hand, talking to me when the sun went down and the ICU went quiet, when the other patients would cry all night long because of the pain, the fear of not making it through the night, I could hear monitors going flat, teams trying to bring people back every hour on the hour, waking up, falling asleep, letting myself go too far and having to be brought back alive myself again. My chest was so sore from so many compressions.

I really don't know if I could have kept my wits if I had been in my husband's shoes. I had it bad, but somehow i feel he had it worse.

The doctors were all very worried, they took blood samples and all they drew out looked like strawberry lemonade instead of blood. I was pumped in with units and units of blood for a whole day. I was hooked onto a morphine dispensing machine to alleviate my pain and I quickly needed it adjusted to give me more and more doses.

I lost track of time, and finally the nurses tried to make me stand to stop me from developing blood cloths on my legs.

It was like learning to walk all over again... while your intestines hung precariously over stitches keeping a long twisted wound from the navel to the pelvis from coming apart and making a mess. I cried, screamed and moaned in pain while trying not to pass out.

The moment I stood up I felt this bolt of pure terror pass through my body. I turned around to look at my room and saw the machines that were tattered to me at different points. A central line kept feeding me blood and fluids, IV's in both my arms kept pumping my with meds, electrodes littered all over my body beeped incessantly and urgently whenever I moved.

I realized I needed to get out of there or I was going to die.

I cried myself to sleep every night. I dreamed of the beach, the sun the waves breaking.

I kept waking up in our apartment, in our room, I was fine, just as I had been 2 weeks before, just without pain. I would sigh in relief, I was so happy it all had been a bad dream, I turned to my husband and would say good morning, he would move slightly and then I would try to get out of bed, I would stumble, fall and wake up in the ICU.

The same nightmare would happen every time I closed my eyes. I would be OK, then wake up to realize I really wasn't.

I started to get better, I started to joke again, just in time for the bereavement crew to make its entrance... again. They had actually been there the first day or so I was at the ICU and could barely move and couldn't speak. I communicated with people by writing for a couple of days, so when they came in the caught us all off guard.

They were carrying a big envelope, hurriedly introduced themselves and the main "counselor" started pulling things off the envelope, a baby blanket, she said they had wrapped my dead baby on. She placed the blanket on my lap, I looked at my husband panicked, he angrily took the blanket away and threw it at the counselor. She was undeterred, she started pulling out pictures of the dead baby and a plush animal they had posed it with. I felt sick, faint and everything collapsed again.

The nurses came rushing in, yelled at the counselor, threw her out the room and barred her from coming back.

But she was stubborn. She arrived while the nurses were changing shifts. I was joking with my husband and a friend for the first time since I had arrived at the hospital, they were happy that they could make me smile a bit, things were going to be ok... until the counselor waltzed in.

"You are laughing way too much" she declared. The room went quiet, my husband suddenly changed from slightly upbeat to menacingly quiet. "You should cry more, you aren't crying enough"

Her words flew across the room like poisoned daggers and lodged into my head and heart. My husband, friend and the nurses were yelling at her, pushing her away angrily. The damage was done.

I didn't smile nor laugh but bitterly or in a manic state for the next months to a year.

For all I cared I was a horrible human being. I had dared laugh when I had just failed at the most basic thing I could do apart from keeping myself alive, I had failed at keeping my baby alive and I should be in terrible angst about it, not slightly relieved that I was alive and could probably live to see another day. The counselor might not have meant it that way, but the way she said those words and the moment she had delivered them at made it incredibly damaging.

The hospital staff had been incredibly careful not asking me why I was in the ICU. They had placed a bereavement notice at my door to make sure doctors didn't ask, one or two missed the notice and asked, but felt silent and changed the subject quickly when I answered why.

After 5 days in the ICU I graduated to a normal hospital room. I mostly looked forward to nights without the weeping, cries and machinery going berserk around me.
My husband finally could run back home, make sure the cat was OK, take a quick shower and change of clothes and come back to my side again.

After a while we left the hospital, before I did my husband and a friend went to our home and removed any hints that we once had been expecting a baby. They gave away or stored the baby clothes we so happily had bought, the toys, and knick knacks for a nursery we had started planning, it all was gone by the time I tentatively went back up those same steps and walked back into the home that now felt strangely dark, cold and uninviting.

We were set to move away after a couple of weeks, our search for a bigger place to live postponed because of the whole ordeal we had just been through and because my husband refused to leave my side.

The next months I spent in a drugged induced daze. I needed high doses of morphine and narcotics to deal with the physical pain. I had been given anti-depressants after being reviewed by a psychiatrist before leaving due to my obviously somber mood and because I cried for so long and so hard that I had induced myself into a massive nose bleed the day before being discharged. Also answering the question: "How are you feeling today?" with "I feel awful, I feel like dying" apparently had been a poor choice of words, but in my defense, I did feel like I was dead and walking about.

At home the anti-depressants made me go from manic during the day to incredibly depressed at night. I had nightmares about waking up at the ICU every time I dozed off. I stopped sleeping altogether.

We moved, my scars healed slowly and we decided to take me off the anti-depressants, my mood swings were so violent my husband feared I would do harm to myself if left unattended.

I had dropped out of school for a semester to heal, when the new semester dawned I re-enrolled hoping it would help me stay sane, and so I pushed myself to be back right as my stitches were coming all off and I felt a bit better. It was a mistake, the first day back I could feel the wounds wanting to re-open as I walked around campus and I had to go back home, sulk and dropped out again.

My mental health deteriorated. I spent most of the day going in and out of a restless nightmare ridden sleep and my nights fully awake knitting a seemingly endless scarf and counting each stitch to keep myself from thinking.

I danced back and forth between insane and sane and tried to keep a front so i wouldn't scare my husband.

Months passed, the doctors explained that I could have babies eventually but that I needed surgery to fix the mess that had caused the whole nightmare to start.
Eager to prove I could do things right and to make up for what I blamed myself for I went on to prepare for a new surgery.

I went back to school and work and used all my energy to graduate with honors in as little time and with as big of a work load as I possibly could schedule. The busier I was the less time I had to loathe myself, to think about what had happened, to duel on terrible memories, to cry until I hurt my eyes.

I graduated, I went through the surgery and thought things would work out and the hurt would eventually fade.

We soon learned we were expecting again. This time I wasn't happy, I was cautious and a little scared, I had another chance and I wasn't going to mess it up...

We called the doctor's office to make my first appointment. I explained I needed to see the doctor right away to make sure things were in their proper place given my history. The receptionist on the line was unimpressed and refused to let me talk to a nurse even. She unceremoniously let me know I had to wait until my time for the first appointment rolled around. I asked if there was a number i could call in case of an emergency. She scoffed and just replied: "911".

I was angry, but let it be, still I was prepared to call the ambulance and march to the hospital at the first sign of trouble this time.
Unfortunately just a day after I tried to make an appointment I started feeling very sick and in pain again.

Once more I wasn't bleeding or had any symptoms of something being wrong, but my body had just been through hell and had taught itself what hell felt like in order to survive and sound the alarm at top volume.

We climbed into the car immediately and drove to the ER 2 years after my last visit. We waited about an hour and a half, maybe 2 while I doubled in pain. This time I knew I wasn't wrong, I wasn't exaggerating and I was in trouble. When the ER doctor saw me and my history he took me very seriously, ordered all the test necessary and hooked me up to narcotics to stop the pain. My uterus had ruptured again in the same spot, just "fortunately" at a very early stage of the pregnancy. Apparently the corrective surgery I had undergone had been rather clumsy and left me just half-way fixed up.

I was admitted to the hospital and received another emergency surgery. I had failed again.

As I sat in the hospital room after the surgery I tried not to think too much about what just had happened. It was Thanksgiving day, I had been on a liquid diet for days, the narcotics were giving me massive headaches and I really wanted some solid food. When the bland oatmeal and jell-o arrived for breakfast as I tried to sort of watch the Macy's parade I lost it. I had a big tantrum about food, about the hospital about how everything sucked, about how badly I sucked and I cried and cried.

Somehow that made enough of an impression because for lunch I got my first real meal of turkey, canned cranberries, stuffing and pumpkin pie. I cried again as I ate it all, for all I cared it was the most amazing meal ever, my heart was broken, my soul was missing pieces, but at least I had some goddammed turkey and pumpkin pie. I was alive and as awful as I was I was still glad I hadn't died and I felt terrible for it.

I spent a week in the hospital that time. I had a new wound to nurse. My abdomen now looked like a terribly crude map of a very short subway with crisscrossing crooked lines from my bellybutton down.

We went home and my depression worsened. I had now failed twice. I was a danger to myself and any babies I ever tried to have. I was a failure as a mom, a woman and a wife and nothing I did from that point on could ever make up for that. Oh, I cried, I cried day and night for so long I stopped trying to figuring out what day it was or what month. I cried until I felt my head would explode and I had ran out of tears.

When I finally stopped I felt broken, but I was alive so I had to move on. I used humor to hide the pain like I always did. I had nightmares every night and woke up in the middle of night terrors, but I forced myself to try and sleep at night. I started looking for a job, because I had graduated, I wasn't being a mom and probably never would, and I needed to do something with my life before I lost my mind all the way.

I stopped drawing then. I couldn't figure out a punishment, nothing I could do would be enough to make up for my failure, the least I could do was to stop doing the one thing that always made me happy: To draw.

In my deranged broken mind and logic I figured, if I couldn't create life like I was supposed to, then I shouldn't be able to create anything at all. At the time, it made perfect sense.

People would often ask me about my kids, or if I was going to have kids soon. I would just smile politely and say that I didn't have kids nor did I see any in my future. As I got closer to my 30th birthday people started to get more and more nosy about it, some complete strangers even hinting that I was being a bad wife by not bearing children for my husband.

It has been 9 years since that night, about 7 years since I punished myself. I still get questions about my kids or my lack of kids. I occasionally get lectured on about why I don't have kids yet and how bad a wife I am for it. I get well intentioned comments to the vein of: "Oh, one day you'll want them, hopefully you will soon, you aren't getting any younger" "But you are so much fun and so good with kids, you would be an awesome mom!" "You can take my kids, they drive me crazy, HAHA!" "You should adopt! There are thousands of kids out there that need a good home".

I still have nightmares often, about 5 times a week or more. I still get night terrors. I still knit, but I don't count stitches anymore.

I have never written this out in detail, I must admit I didn't put as many details as I remember this time either out of the need to make this short, and it has run this long already, and I am starting to doubt this will ever leave the draft folders of my e-mail, but it might before I loose my nerve, who knows.

I am not sure if the hurt and pain will ever truly fade. They say time heals all wounds, but as time goes by I wonder if that holds true for all scars.

For now, all I can do is try to help myself realize that even though my body was flawed it wasn't really my fault, that I deserve to be happy doing what I love and that I need to let myself live my life without sabotaging myself in order to find atonement for my flaws. I have also realized a lot of the pain and hurt has been kept alive and well thanks to memories tied to places I have to go to around this town. I have never had nightmares or night terrors while traveling, The only time I sleep soundly is when I am away from here, my stress levels go way down and climb up when I return, so moving is imperative as well.

And so now that I have probably bored whoever was brave enough to read this, let me try and start this project over.

1 doodle a day every day for a year... 365 doodles to break the punishment I put myself under for so long. 365 drawings to help me wake up from this daze and start working toward the dreams I barred myself from.

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Update (8/8/12):

Wow... imagine if you may, getting up from your living room's couch, turning the TV and lights off and turning in for the night.
Then waking up, walking out of your room in a sleepy daze and turning the lights back on just to find out there is a bunch of completely wonderful strangers crowding about your living room and telling you encouraging and sweet words out of nowhere that make you feel both happy and overwhelmed.

That's pretty much what happened today... just metaphorically speaking, I doubt our humble apartment could fit a fraction of the many wonderful people that have been stopping by and showing me that, something I wrote mostly just out of necessity to help myself heal and move on, has touched them and helped them as well.


When I first logged in to check e-mails and make sure my posting last night made sense (I wrote it late when I wanted to go to bed), I thought my stats had gone bonkers since the counter for the day was at nearly 500 hits and it wasn't even 7 in the morning yet, overall when I was used to and felt honored when I had about 30 visitors a day. I chuckled, put on my glasses and refreshed just in case. It wasn't long before I figured out Jen at Epbot had linked to my blog and written a very heart warming post about me herself. I felt incredibly bashful and slightly panicked as in: "OMG people are actually reading this now!?" *small freak out followed by muppet flail and double checks*


Also apparently I have made a bunch of you guys cry... then I read your comments and Jen's entry and I cried because you all cried and then I cried a bit more because you are all so awesome aaand then my husband asked what was wrong because it wasn't even 7:30 and there were tears streaming down my face, so it has been a cry-fest, the good kind... and maybe I should invest on the Kleenex company ;)


I can only say: Thank you.


I could write pages about how much this means to me and how you all have made me realize I can do this, but really I would probably botch it up caught up on this emotional storm... sort of like Burgundy's glass case of emotion (Anchorman anybody?).


I would like to say some things though, first I can't really make any excuses for the doctors and nurses that messed things up, I have no idea what went through their minds, what broke down and precipitated it all. I gave it a lot of thought, but it all boiled down to them probably being jaded and deaf.


That being said I want to leave on record that I had a-freaking-mazing nurses on the ICU. I still feel sad I can't remember their names or even their faces (drugs can do that), but they were incredible, they were warm, sweet, caring and made sure my husband was eating and taking in fluids even when he wouldn't leave. They talked to me tenderly as they checked my IV's, cateters, dressings and asked how I was doing and even tried to make me smile and laugh. They talked to my husband to make sure he was OK, they recommended me books (one got me to read Artemis Fowl when she heard I liked Harry Potter), so not all nurses I know are bad, I can say I now know a lot of them and there are some incredible ones.


As for the nurses that had me in their care as I spiraled down, I am sure they felt awful after the fact, one reason I know is because at least one of them came to see me at the ICU because she just wanted to make sure, with her very own eyes, I had made it and she looked like she wanted to cry (I hazily remember this, I couldn't place her then but my husband let me know she was one of the nurses who had been in charge of me when I was still under "observation"). 


Same thing for doctors. I love my general doctor, he listens to me always takes me seriously, gets my jokes and doesn't bat an eye when my husband comes in with me for check ups and he remembers our names and everything about us mostly without looking at his charts. He heard I was in the hospital the first time around when he was stopping by to consult with another doctor, he tracked me down and paid me a visit at my hospital room just to say hi and that he was worried about me when he saw my name on the roster. Like I said, awesome doctor.


Also the surgeons that saved my life, can't say good enough stuff about them. And while at it even though it is not so much on topic, I owe a big thanks to the blood donors I will never know, without the extra blood I had I wouldn't have made it either, so kids, donate blood if you can, you can be somebody's hero any day... plus they give you cookies and juice, score!!!


Like with everything there will be good and bad professionals. I somehow managed to land on the most disastrous streak ever and barely made it out alive. Hopefully the whole ordeal taught me many things:
-To never doubt myself when I know I need help
-To let others know I need help
-To switch doctors if I don't feel comfortable
-To never give up
-That I have an incredible husband and network of friends and family
-That I am loved (I knew this before, but the extent of it is overwhelming and makes me feel incredibly lucky)
-That any day from that point was gonna be a good day once I put it on perspective. (This helps a lot when I am down and my day has sucked, I can always say, "Hey, at least I get to go home and be OK in the end."


To any medical professionals reading this, I just have one request: You probably already know this, but please, never forget to listen. I know you might get a lot of hypochondriacs, crazy high maintenance patients, but listening to your patients is monumentally important, please don't ever forget that.


To everybody else that stopped by, gave comforting or encouraging words, shared their own stories, once again: Thank you.


Update of the Update. (Did I mention the word "Update"?)

175 comments:

Phoebe Miller said...

I was just linked to this post from Epbot, and I wanted to thank you for sharing your story. I've suffered because of medical negligence too, and trying to convince medical professionals that you are right and they are wrong is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. But telling the story afterwards can be even harder. I've never quite managed to do it myself... but every time I read something like this it gives me courage. It reminds me that I'm not wrong, and that I'm not alone.

And I'm incredibly grateful for each and every one of those reminders.

Thank you so much. ♥

Ricebubbles said...

Your story touched me so deeply. I barely ever cry and I was crying for almost the entire story.

Hold close the love you and your husband have for each other and never blame yourself for the horrible things you had to go through - no-one deserves what you have been through and I hope you one day feel completely happy again.

Best wishes,
Chloe

Tora said...

I don't have the words to say anything, but I will try anyway.

Reading this was absolutely heart-wrenching. Just sitting here crying doesn't really help anything, but I just feel it in your words how terrifying and how sad you have been. I hope your drawings will be a way to help clear up the hurt and the pain. I can't believe some of the things that were said to you and done to you in the duration of this story. And I want you to know that you are so brave for sharing this, and I am so sorry for all you have endured and so glad to see that you have not given up.

I wish I could express myself better, I hope life has beauty, love and happiness in store for you, every day for the rest of your life.

big hugs from Tora, Norway

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss, and so delighted that you are drawing again.

tatijade said...

Hey Saudade.

What a horrible experience you've been through! I can't even begin to imagine the tough times you have faced but I wanted to let you know how much your story has touched me. What an inspirational and brave fighter you are!
I live in New Zealand where I like to think our health system wouldn't betray someone in such a terrible manner but I'm sure this is not the case. I am currently training to be a paramedic and I strive to do my best for my patients. Your story has really influenced me and encouraged me to focus on listening to and appreciating the concerns of my patients and advocating for their optimal care once they enter the hospital setting as well. I hope that I am able to make a difference and prevent such traumatic events from occurring for someone in the future.
I'm glad to hear that you have progressed in healing and accepting and especially that you have returned to your drawing. I look forward to seeing your new artwork as you post it.

All the best, Tatiana

Anonymous said...

I clicked through from epbot. You are beautiful and talented. There is no "right" way to grieve, or to feel after something so astoundingly shattering. I wish you best of luck on your doodle challenge. You can do it.

edbteach said...

Thank you for being so brave in sharing your story. NO ONE should ever be treated like you were. Your story should be used in medical training so that potential nurses and doctors can see the harm they can do if they do not take their job seriously.

I hope publishing this allows you to heal more and begin to draw again.

Please quit punishing yourself. You have suffered enough.

Jessie H said...

I, too, was linked here by Jen from Epbot. First of all, THANK YOU for sharing your story, that could not have been easy. However, I hope it helps you heal. Please know that everything that happened was NOT YOUR FAULT. I feel horrible that so many doctors put you through that and treated you like less than a person. It's not right, and I sincerely hope you never experience that again.

I'm also sorry people are so insensitive about you not having kids yet... some people just don't know how to leave some things alone.

I'm so happy you've decided to draw again. I'm moved by your relationship with your husband and the dedication you two obviously have for each other - cherish and revel in that, it's a beautiful thing.

I'm thrilled that you've decided to draw again, and hope that each new doodle will help you feel better and more ok with yourself.

For lack of any better words, please know that you have friends that are total strangers and wish you nothing but the best.

Big hugs from Maryland. -Jessie

FlatlanderInVT said...

Thank you for your strength in writing this. Know that depression lies and you are neither a bad wife, mother nor person. The only people who failed in this were your medical staff. From the bottom of my heart I am sorry for the pain and loss you've suffered and hope your journey to healing will be as smooth as possible.

cassandra said...

You are an amazing and strong woman. And your husband is amazing also. And your story made me cry but in a good way because you are creating such beautiful art and becoming the hero of your story. None of this was your fault, you did nothing wrong.

And I wanted to let you know those "stupid" women that want to ask you why you don't have kids do it to all of us without kids. I adopted my stepkids, but I still get "it's different when they're your own" nevermind the fact that I am their mother and have raised them for the last 7 years. It used to make me cry, but now I just laugh with my friend about it. We've decided that they're unhappy with their lives and they need to impose that on the rest of us. Whether it's true or not it helps me deal when I'm bombarded about it.

Keep drawing, keep your head high, and keep being amazing! You deserve it. :)

Pixie the dog said...

I wish I could say that your experience was one of a kind, but let's face it--our health care system is extremely flawed. We need to start directing stories like this to doctors and nurses. As patients, we already know how awful it is to be sick. Anyway, thanks for writing this out. I know it must have been hard. --ranger

awesomesauciness said...

I too came from EPBOT, and while it's easy for everyone to say your feelings of guilt have no basis in fact (and they are right) I know how hard it is to make the inside of your own brain and heart repeat them with conviction.

Just keep trying, my dear, and someday it will be better.

Big hugs from Texas.

CJ

Maria said...

I heard about your story through epbot.
I would like to say I'm sorry you had to go through that. Those so called doctors and nurses you had sound absolutely despicable.I also am sorry about the loss of your children and the lack of tact your counseler had.I intend to become a therapist or a counseler when I become older and reading this made me realise that I will need to make up for what these tactless people do and I fully intend to. Finally I would like to say I am so happy that you are drawing again I have seen some of your art and it is absolutely beautiful. I look forward to logging onto blogger and seeing it.
sincerly yours
Maria

Brooke said...

Thank you for being brave and sharing your story - I hope that sharing it has helped you in your healing. I pray you continue to heal a little more each day.

I know how frustrating it can be to make people listen to you and believe you - I haven't had to deal with it on the same level as you with doctors and such, but I hope you know you aren't alone. And I'm so glad you have a wonderful husband by your side.

Keep drawing and know that there is a world of people that you have touched and made better by putting yourself out there on the internet. =)

Melody said...

In situations like this, words fail in almost every way, but words are all I can offer: You have, through sharing your story, both inspired and upset me. I wish that somehow I could spare you, at least, from the despicable neglect so-called "medical professionals" inflicted, or the well-meaning but tragically painful advice of friends on your parenting. At the same time, your resolve to stay for your husband and your desire to begin reclaiming your art and your self-esteem are beautiful and awe-inspiring. I hope that you can reach a precipice in life where you truly see that you are wonderful, that you did nothing wrong, and that the loss you have suffered is not at your own hand. Your sketches are gorgeous and I greatly look forward to all that your hands produce in the coming year.

Em said...

Oh god. That was soulwrenching. Thanks for sharing, from the bottom of my heart.

Jelliorum said...

I'm yet another reader sent from Epbot.
First of all, I want to congratulate you for telling your story. I'm sure it wasn't easy but I believe, and hope, that it'll help you heal.

As the daughter of a doctor, I can't really say I have bad medicine experiences. I know this won't help you but please keep faith that not ALL medical professionals are so inept and insensitive.

I really like your drawings (I'm actually going to pin one or two on pinterest) and I can't help but commend you for your art. I'm a musician and I know that all the toughest moments in my life were helped by making music. So I trust your art will come through for you too.

Lots of best wishes from Portugal!

PS.: Do you know the name of your blog is one of the most beautiful words in my language? Saudade is the feeling of longing that comes when you miss someone or something. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I can't even imagine how difficult it was for you to share this. I dearly, dearly hope that those negligent nurses and other providers were reported. I don't know about the laws; perhaps it's not too late if they weren't. For additional support, you could (should!) submit your story to "My OB Said WHAT?!"--a blog for chronicling the awful, awful things that some OBS and other providers say to women.

((HUGS)) I'm sorry for the awful ways you were treated, and for the loss of your children.

Scraps said...

I don't really have anything to add that others haven't already said, I just wanted you to know that another person has read your story, has grieved for your losses, and has hope that your drawing will help you recover the part of yourself that was lost all those years ago.

Best of luck to you in escaping Tallahassee, too--I sometimes think gravity is stronger in this town, somehow.

Anonymous said...

Found your story through epbot.
I haven goosebumps from reading what you've gone through. The strength to survive that, and to write it down nine years later is amazing to me. I'm so sorry that doctors didn't believe you, and that you had to go through all of that. I'm glad you're drawing again. I hope it gives you comfort.
Sending you virtual hugs from Michigan!

Mrsblocko said...

I came here from Epbot too.

I'm so happy that you had the courage to write about all that you went through. I've been through some medical negligence as well, although no where near what you went through. I'm sure that your story will give others courage.

It broke my heart when you wrote that you had failed because your body didn't work properly. Many days I feel this way too. It's so hard not to feel that way when your body doesn't behave the way you want it too.

I'm glad that you've started drawing again. You are an amazing artist.

txteva said...

I'm coming here from Epbot.

I can't offer many words that can make things better. My experience of the medical professionals (NHS in the UK) was very different and indeed I owe them my sight.
But reading about the horror they had put you through sent chills down my spine.
I hope that you are now progressing better on the path of recovery – both mentally and physically.
I offer you huge (gentle) hugs from over the oceans and hope that one day all will be well in your world.

Nancy said...

Hi,
I was linked here by Jen from Epbot. Your story is moving, and heartbreaking to say the least. I work in the medical field as a CNA, and I know I don't have total faith in our medical system, but to read something so terrible just makes me sad. There is no need for anyone to be treated the way you were. I can't even begin to understand how terrifying it must have been, and the pain you are left with. I am a Christian, and I want you to know that I am praying for you. I am going to keep checking back with your blog (this is the first post I read havent really explored much else). Be safe and i hope your drawing helps you find peace.

Unknown said...

You have a beautiful strength to have made it this far and I hope it continues to carry you forward. Keep drawing - you deserve the forgiveness you've been withholding from yourself for so long.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Maggie said...

Thank you for your bravery in telling your story. You were not at fault in any of this. The fault lies with the so called medical professionals. There are too many out there who should not be in that industry. I'm on my 3rd gynecologist in 5 years because they don't listen well and am considering moving on from this one. I'm also going to forward this to the nursing professors I work with so they can share it with their classes.

Oh, as TheBloggess says, Depression is a lying bastard. You do what you need to do to continue on with your life.

*virtual hugs*

erin said...

Thankyou for sharing your story, you are honestly one of the bravest people I have ever encountered. i have so much admiration for your strength and courage, I am so happy you have started drawing again.

Elin said...

I cannot believe that anyone can be as strong as you have been. Reading your story made me unhappy about humanity, the unfeeling councillor, the under-qualified nurses, but you? You make up for them ten-fold.

It sounds lame, but I'm glad to be alive if it means I'm from a species who can be so strong.

Hugs from Wales, Elin

TC said...

Thank you for being so brave in sharing your story. Your drawings are absolutely stunning (I'm in love with the otter drawing), please keep drawing... keep healing and know that you and your story will always have a special place in my heart.

Anonymous said...

As an artist, as well as a former patient, my heart goes out to you. I will admit however, my medical problem was not as severe, nor as traumatizing, nor my art as good as yours. The only thing I can ever truthfully admit to is that not knowing is the hardest and scariest thing of all; and the disbelief of others the most grieving, and maddening experience in the world. While having seizures, I was told by a family member, as well as class mates that I was faking it, and that it was just a way to draw attention to myself. The doctor I visited didn't give me or my parents any guidance as to where to look after telling me that my condition was neither Epilepsy, nor Turrets Syndrome. As of this day, through emotional therapy I have been two years with out a seizure. My statements here may not much of a help, but hopefully your experience will motivate patients to stand up for themselves and tell people that they know what's happening; more so than a few of the idiots with PHD's, who just want to prescribe a pill and shove you out of their office. I apologise for such a long-winded rant.

TC said...

Thank you for being so brave in sharing your story. Thank you also for fighting, for being here on Earth; as you sound like an amazing person. Please keep drawing! Your drawings are absolutely stunning and they are only "doodles" as you call them. I am absolutely in love with the Otter drawing. Keep healing and know that you and your story will always have a special place in my heart.

Josie said...

i never comment on things. i usually just read them and go on my way. but after being pointed here by Jen over at Epbot and after crying my way through your ordeal i needed to say something. i cant even put into words how proud of you i am just for beginning to pick your self up from this. i dont know if i could. and i just want you to know you have not failed anyone. and theres always hope. - in not a nearly so horrific situation i was born at 23 weeks. (i could have still been aborted for another 11 days) - and the doctors told my mum i was dead or would soon be and to not even bother holding me. but my mum knew better and wrapped me in her own hospital blanket and held me to her skin for 20 hours to keep me warm - to keep me alive. when i was still breathing by myself the next morning the doctors took over. but sometimes the medical staff of this world have no idea what is going on. here i am 24 years later and just starting to think about a family of my own. and i hope i can show a fraction of your strength. <3

Alison said...

Thank you for sharing this. You are a brave, brave soul and I hope your drawing again will help heal the hurt. You are NOT a failure. Please remember that. We are all behind you.

rainy5982 said...

I am so sorry this happened to you. I have no words to express my anger, sadness, and just all out wrongness over what happened to you. I am thankful you finally shared your story and you've decided to stop punishing yourself. You did nothing wrong and you did everything you possibly could. Unfortunately our medical system is broken because somehow we've been taught that doctors are infallable and the patient is simply a bumpkin who knows nothing. Thanks again for your courageousness and your willingness to share your story.

Jordan said...

I am so, so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story, and I look forward to more of your beautiful drawings.

Love from Ohio, sent via Epbot. <3

Anonymous said...

I was linked this post from Epbot. Usually I never comment, but your story brought tears to my eyes. You are such a brave and courageous person, and you are a really really talented artist! Thank you so much for sharing your story, I know how hard it can be to do that. xxx

So-Sew Me said...

You are so brave and strong. I can't even begin to tell you how much I admire you. I wish you could some how step back from your story and read it from a new perspective. You would see what the rest of us do, you are a fighter and a winner; and you are loved.

KittyKat said...

I couldn't read you pouring your soul out like that and not leave a comment.

It makes my heart and soul ache to read what you went through. I'm glad you've come to a place where you can see it wasn't your fault. NONE of it was your fault.

I wish you peace as you continue the healing process. Having lost a child myself, I know that there will always be pieces of your heart missing, but it's OK to give yourself permission to laugh, to live, and to find joy again doing things you love.

Anissa said...

I also found you via Epbot, and your story broke my heart. Pregnancy is seen as something natural that any woman can do and has done since the dawn of time. Therefore when a woman becomes pregnant we are told to suck it up and deal as everyone feels sick or has the pains and aches and such. I really wish there was more to prepare a girl for this. Shortly after learning I was pregnant (we were actiely trying) I got really sick. I couldn't keep anything down but like everyone told me morning sickness is normal. So I just tried to cope. I even traveled to Africa for my sister's wedding (at ~7 weeks). I lost 8 pounds on that trip and was close to underweight to start with. When I got back the doctor asked me why I didn't mention this sooner as they could have faxed a prescription to me there. I was not a normal case and did need help. But society had trained me that you just deal as all women do. I'm so glad I was with a doctor who was willing to listen and help me (unlike the people you encountered). It's scary how people who are supposed to be there to help you can be so arrogant or uncaring that they actually hurt you more.

As for the comments people gave you about children, that's also so awful and don't understand why people think it is there right to judge you or ask such personal questions. I had 2 miscarriages (that's another story but the lowest point was when they left us waiting in the ultrasound waiting room with the other pregnant couples and then a doctor came and sat down there to tell us we lost the baby; no office privacy or anything!) and people really don't know what to say so they say the most awful things because they want to help. "It just wasn't the right time yet," "you'll have more kids," "now you'll have more free time," (and my personal fav) "at least you won't lose your pretty figure." I wish they would see that they don't have to cheer you up. Just a simple "I'm sorry" and "can I help" do so much more...

I'm sorry I didn't mean to go on and on. I just wanted to say that your story will be one I won't forget, and I look forward to seeing your beautiful drawings and hoping time helps you heal.

Stoich91 said...

Woot! Epbot groupies, unite! ;D

What a touching and horrific story. You are truly a brave, sweet woman and your drawings are...incredible...that's coming from a picture-book crazy person who is only impressed by Caldecott worthy artists! :D Thank you for being brave. Thank you for inspiring all those in the medical field to remember that perfect is not possible, but striving for perfect is mandatory. Thank you for reminding patients to be strong-thinking individuals who should engage in healthy debates with their doctor when they do not feel comfortable. Thank you, thank you, thank you, from all of us.

xoxo

Leah said...

I also followed Jen’s link from Epbot.

I just want to say thank you so much for sharing your experiences & showing how amazingly strong you are. I’m also in awe of the love you and your husband share which is clear to see in your story. I can’t even begin to imagine how you feel but I hope that your wonderful drawings do help you with your ongoing recovery & regaining your belief that none of this was your fault and that you never deserved any punishment for the repeated failings of so-called medical professionals.

xo

Midnight Ramblings said...

I am so sorry for your losses, and for the trauma you have been through. Thank you for sharing your story.

CJ said...

I'm also a Epbot reader who was linked here. I'm not great with words but I gotta say: I'm so sorry you went through that Hell. (It honestly had me feeling ill as I read how you were treated... It was not right and not your fault.) I think you are really brave to be here sharing this with us! And thank you for doing so.

Anyway, I've looked at your other blog posts and I really like your art! I know I'll be checking back to see your updates. (My personal favorites are the Adventure Time art.)

*internet hugs*

Alice Fraggle said...

I also found my way over from Epbot, and I wanted to send you some virtual hugs. I am so glad that you are here, and that you are going to draw again.
Thank you for sharing your story.
Hugs,
Alice

MichelleH said...

People and their comments about having kids! They're so insensitive...I often wonder what someone would do if I told them I COULDN'T have kids and burst into tears. I think it's incredibly rude to ask someone such a personal question, and yet I'm too polite to be rude in return! haha... Stupid people...don't let them get you down...their lack of manners aren't your fault! :)

DebbieP said...

I was directed here from Epbot. I have no words to compensate for your pain. Thank you for sharing. Keep drawing. You will be in my prayers.

Just For You Sweets said...

I'm here from Epbot as well. While I was reading your story, I went from shaking with anger to sobbing. I don't think there's anything I can say to make you feel better, but know that you're now going to have at least one more person supporting your endeavors as you continue to heal. I pray that you find the peace and comfort that surpasses all understanding.

Myra said...

(Excuse my language)
Fuck those doctors and fuck those people who are telling you that you HAVE to have children. The only people that can make that decision are you and your husband. The rest of them are trying to push their wants and needs on you, and you DESERVE better than that. I have had good and bad doctors, but I will say, that I have refused to go back to the bad ones. You are an amazing survivor and you deserve happiness and sucess in your life. May God grant you a yeat of joy for every minute of sorrow.

Anonymous said...

Nothing original or unique to say, just sincerity and support beaming up from my spirit to yours. Here's to artists fighting a block together.

Sam said...

Aa s friend of Epbot/Jen, we can tell you that YOU MATTER. Your art matters - does it have to be drawing? No. Try clay. Try sewing. Try scrap booking. Try anything to get these feelings out. They are valid feelings. You are valid. You are kind. You are smart. You are important. And you have more "friends" then you think. The road is long and hard but your husband is there, we are there.

Maple Girl said...

I came from Epbot and I am amazed at your strength. What a story! There are no words but you shared your grief in such a way that hopefully we can share it with you and take some of the weight off of your shoulders. I like your drawings and I would love to see more.

Sending you love and a hug.

Maggi Shelbourn said...

Like so many others, I followed the link from Jen at Epbot. I am still in a state of disbelief as to how our healthcare sytem has become so flawed and the depth of the trauma and pain you went through. I, too, want to tell you that IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! Please don't punish yourself any more. Enough is enough. I don't know many people who would have been able to live through such an ordeal and come out on the other side with the grace that you have. Keep drawing...everyday...for the rest of your life. Sending hugs and prayers and healing energy from California. Maggi

Gail said...

I just want to echo the comments here: you are incredibly brave for sharing this story. Thank you for doing so! As others have said more eloquently, this ordeal was by no means your fault! Your doodles are absolutely lovely, and I hope they continue to help with healing and growth. I will definitely be following your work from here on out!

(also linked from epbot)

Erin said...

I wish there were something I could say to heal your heartache. But, alas, there are no such words. You are a hero in my eyes, though, for having the strength to share your story with us. You will be in my prayers and thoughts often.

Nightfall said...

There aren't sufficient words to convey. My fiancee got cancer and died slowly over about 8 months (he was 32 years old) and I had the same PTSD symptoms you describe. People say I'm strong and I never believe them knowing how small and hopeless and broken I felt. One foot in the front of the other. It's been 9 years now and I finally almost feel okay.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for being brave enough to share and letting Jen of Epbot link to you.

Jessica W. said...

Thank you for sharing this. My heart and soul ache for what you have been through, at the same time I am so impressed by your bravery and your courage. I look forward to seeing all of your 365 drawings.

Sarah said...

I admire you so much for having the courage to share your story. It hit home for me because, like you, I'm the type of person who doesn't like bothering people with my problems. I now consider myself warned, so thank you.
My emotions took a few hits while I was reading it, but I actually started to cry when you said you stopped drawing and why. I can't imagine how bleak life would be if I couldn't draw or sew or create, especially after what you've been through. Often, making or drawing something is my main coping mechanism when things go wrong. I'm so glad that you are drawing again. Your "doodles" are gorgeous, too. Not everyone can draw like that. It's so sad to think that that talent wasn't used for so many years.
My aunt had trouble having a child and she is one of the nicest people I know. Bad things happen to good people, but it doesn't mean that it's their fault.
I'm still in high school, but I'm definitely considering going into the medical field. If I do, I swear to you that I will never belittle someone's pain, physical or emotional.

Ana said...

I also came here from Epbot, and I wanted to say that you are a courageous, brave, and inspiring woman. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I hope this project helps continue the healing you have already managed to start, and the years to come bring you more and more happiness. You do deserve it.

Kathryn said...

Thank you for having the courage to share. I lost a baby of my own and I can say without a doubt that you are a mother. You have not failed. You were failed. I am so sorry for your losses. It's so hard to find the words to describe how wrong it is to lose your babies and to be treated so horribly, I am so sorry. Your art is beautiful and I hope it is healing for you. xx

judi said...

I'm also here from Epbot. It's funny the things we blame ourselves for. My son was born 11 weeks early because I had HELLP syndrome and had to have an emergency c-section. Had I not, I could have suffered a stroke, my liver could have ruptured, etc. Because he was so early, his lungs weren’t strong enough to allow him to breathe on his own. Because he was intubated, there was a portal to his body for germs. He ended up with a staph infection in his blood and spinal fluid. His neonatologist had a rough week where she was always afraid she would have to greet me with bad news when I came to visit. Fortunately, my little guy was a fighter. Even though he’s healthy now (only suffers mild asthma symptoms) and doesn’t remember how rough his start in life was, I blame myself for everything he had to suffer. He had to go through every poke and prod because of how my body responded to being pregnant. Had I been “normal,” he could have been born at full term and healthy. He has life because of me, but he also almost lost it because of me. I suffered depression for a few years after his birth and attempted suicide once. In the end, life is what matters. Life is the miracle. Not just new life… but MY life and YOURS. Almost everyone has a story. Living is a choice between letting the story define us or bringing meaning to the story. I let my story define me for a while and I succumbed to the feelings of guilt. Your story, however, is full of meaning. Embrace the freedom that comes with forgiving yourself – even if that forgiveness is unnecessary. Allow yourself to find the joy that you deserve.

Anonymous said...

I'm here from EPBOT, and because we can't say it enough, what happened was NOT YOUR FAULT. Not even a little bit.

And that counselor was nuts. I've worked as a hospital chaplain, and my instructor would have kicked her out of the hospital on her butt for saying what she said! No one can tell you that your reactions and your feelings are wrong. How you feel is how you feel, period.

Thank you so much for sharing your story and your beautiful art. I wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

You can probably guess how I found this post. :) Thank you so much for sharing your story, and a huge congratulations on coming back to yourself. All this time between now and then hasn't been wasted, you were healing from something horrific, both physically and mentally, plus a huge betrayal by those who were supposed to be taking care of you.

I'm furious on your behalf, and hope that your original doctor, if she is still allowed to practice, learned a valuable lesson and changed EVERYTHING about how she practices medicine.

Your art is beautiful. Thank you again.

Barb

Mellie said...

Thank you for sharing your story. It's heartbreaking to hear what you and your husband went through, and I'm amazed by your strength and courage. Your art is beautiful, and I hope it will bring you joy every day!

Michelle said...

I don't often comment on blogs, I read far too many, but I did link here from EPBOT also, and simply want to say thank you for sharing, tell you your drawings are truly beautiful, and let you know I'll be praying for your healing.

I believe in you.
Michelle

Awesome Mom said...

I came from EPBOT. I wish I could give you a big hug right now. It is horrifying that the trust we place in medical professionals could have been abused so thoroughly. You are not a failure! Biology just dealt you a crappy hand and it sucks so much that you had to go through this.

Katherine Leigh said...

I teach nurses at the College of Nursing at the University of Utah, and I just wanted to assure you that no student with such a pessimistic attitude toward their job will graduate. This generation of nurses is better prepared, better taught, and more devoted than any previous generation.

Hope that helps -- having suffered my own medical nightmares, I appreciate your bravery.

All the best,
Katherine

Lisa Gibson said...

Thank you for being willing to share your story. I too came from Epbot. Again, it isn't your fault. You are obviously a strong woman. I know you probably don't always feel like it but that is part of being strong - pulling yourself up and just keeping going. I hope that by sharing your story you will feel the love of all these strangers and that in some way will encourage you. I look forward to seeing your drawings for the next year.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I wonder if having a traumatic experience, like the one you had, sort of stains a lot of the actual events as they unfold? So you just see angry doctors and silly nurses, because you were going through such a huge life changing event.

Of course, they are still your memories and the way you told the story is your story. I just know that sometimes when crappy events unfold, we often don't see any of the normal or good stuff that went along with it. Instead, it becomes one big ball of crap.

Food for thought. Which is why health care professionals need to understand that their actions can be perceived in so many different shades (and moods).

J and J Mommy said...

Again, here from Epbot, and I just wanted to echo what so many others have said -- that you are a brave, amazing human being with a beautiful soul -- and the strength you have for sharing your story is awe-inspiring.

We are made to feel so often that we can't "trust our gut" and are belittled when we KNOW something is not right -- be it mental, physical or emotional -- and your story is ultimate proof that no one knows us better than ourselves.

Let no one take that from you -- and know that as others have said -- depression lies to us, makes us feel guilt, shame and regret for things we had no hand in, and every day it is a struggle to silence that voice...but I have faith that you will.

Sending love and light to you and your husband

Heather in AZ

Leigh Ann said...

Dearest . . . I just . . . there are no words . . .

I Love you! You are brave and beautiful and everything that is good. You are a complete soul who never failed at anything, but who was tragically failed.

Your art is beautiful and touching and is a great blessing to us all, as is your story and your courage.

Thank you for sharing. With MUCH Love, Leigh Ann

Sharyn said...

You story made me cry because it was so awful. Your art made me cry because it is so beautiful. Your strength is something we can all aspire to.

I know my fellow Epbotters. A wave of love is coming to you from all over right now. Please know that for every uncaring person you encounter, there are so many more who esteem you. If you feel low, just let us know and we'll help if we can. If you feel good, please share that, too, and we'll revel in it with you.

Take care of yourself, and thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

Stella said...

Like so many others, I was linked here from Epbot. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story, though it must have been extremely difficult. It was very inspirational and moving.

Just remember that NOTHING was your fault, and that so many people are standing behind you.

Stay strong and keep creating beautiful artwork. Do what makes you happy and don't let others' insensitive remarks influence you.

I wish you all the best.

Beth said...

Another virtual hug and small bit of understanding. I share your history of sucking it up, laughing it off because really, what is the other option? and trying to not be a complainer. I think there is also a natural inclination to minimize injuries and pain just to make it go away. I've spent the last 7 months dealing with something that should have been minor that was caused by a stupid accident and one of the things that stuck with me when I told someone...I'm lucky it wasn't worse and people are worse off than me...she said "yeah, but people have it better too". You have the right to your pain and the right to not be "fine" even if that's what everyone expects to hear when they ask if you're ok.

Good luck and I hope that you can start to put back the pieces.

Tiffani said...

Also saw the link from Epbot and wiping away my tears (at work, kind of hard to explain) I can't believe what you went through and you have my most sincere sympathy, for everything. They should have listened, so easy to do but you are an amazing woman, and so strong! You are not a failure in the least and I'm glad that you can start to draw again. I wish I could just give you a giant hug. Y

You deserve a future of nothing but happiness!

(and your husband, pretty freaking awesome guy!)

Michelle said...

Linked from Epbot, and like so many others echoing that this experience was not you fault. I might comment again in the unlikely event i ever find words strong enough to express how amazingly strong you have been to get through this, how much you deserve to go on and live the life you fought so hard and suffered so much pain to cling to, and live it with happiness and joy.

I will check back every day to see every single one of your drawings, as i'm sure many people will.

Sarah B. said...

I too followed the link from Epbot. I usually don't comment on blogs either but how could I not when you so openly shared your story with the world. As I wipe away my tears, I just want to thank you for sharing it. I too am a compliant patient and you've inspired me to take more of a stand in my own health. Thank you for that.

You are one amazingly strong, brave, woman. I'm glad you've found the ability to draw again, your drawings you've shown here are beautiful!

Sending love and happiness to both you and your husband!

~ Kellie said...

I felt like I was reliving my nightmare in yours. Mine was a little different as I wasn't pregnant (still no kids and none in my future).

Back in February of 2005, my (female) doctor told me it would be okay to take my birth control pill non-stop through three months with no "break" for periods.

In April I had started fainting in public. On the street. On the subway. Shooting pain in my calves and then bouts of dizziness that didn't stop and just got worse each day.

Finally, after 4 office visits and fidning nothing, my doctor told me she was sending me to the hospital one more time (third time) for one more test (an MRI). I asked her why. She was hesitant to tell me but she mumbled that she suspected I either had MS or a brain tumor and "at this rate, if it's a tumor we're looking at about 3 months." I was 25 and she gave me 3 months to live.

Thankfully, my smart boyfriend told me I really should stop taking all medication and give my body a rest. At first I didn't listen to him but I did and by the time I got the results of the MRI - that I didn't have a brain tumor - all of my syptoms were gone. I basically had been "overdosed" on birth control pills.

When I went back to the doctor for a follow-up visit two weeks later, symptom-free, she asked me if I had any more dizziness. When I told her no and that I had stopped taking my birth control pills, she said, "Good for you!" and then tried to sell me some paintings she had done over the weekend for $1200.

My parents and I were planning my funeral and she was painting.

Anyway, I didn't mean to make this about me. It's just that your description of your fear was so real to me, so memorable. And I know that your fear was/is different than mine was/is but still....

just remember, you did not fail...you made it.

You have helped so many people already with just posting your story. I love your idea of the drawing. Don't punish yourself. If anything, you know how short life can be. Live it completely!

Thank you.

-- Kellie

LutherLiz said...

Grace, peace and healing to you. I wish I could say or do more, but this is my prayer.

Jan said...

I have no words that do justice to your story. Thank you for sharing it. I hope all the joy and contentment possible comes to you and your husband.

Sending best wishes from Edinburgh, Scotland.

Melissa said...

Saudade,
I keep trying to come up with the right words for how your story made me feel, but there are none. How awful! I'm glad you are past it and better now, and so terribly sorry you had to go through it in the first place, sorry your husband was in a position to fear for your life, and had to see you in such pain. I hope and pray that you only have happy and healthy days ahead of you!

Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm afraid I'm bad with words, and I don't really know what to write, I saw your original comment on epbot and I really wanted to comfort you.
I can't believe how much you have been through, you are amazing. Thank you so very much for sharing your story with us, it's so powerful, moving and utterly heartbreaking, you are so incredibly brave and your courage is inspiring.
I can't really sum up in words what I want to say to you. I just want to hug you. Never forget your a beautiful person.
Love and hugs from Lucy, England

Anonymous said...

Saudade, this was so heartwrenching to read...I have also been ignored in the ER, to the point where my blood pressure was 42/20, and I was minutes from death.

This part of Desiderata has helped me, and I pass it on to you:

"You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Strive to be happy."

Dana Strotheide said...

Girl... I don't even know what to say. I'm so glad you shared your story, but I totally understand the pain and fear and shame that you put yourself through for years. While I personally haven't had to go through shitty doctors and the fear of death, I've dealt with it with both of my parents. I know the pain and agony your husband went through too, sitting there helpless. I'm glad you're getting better. Just know that whenever you feel down, there are thousands of people you've never met who love you and care about you and would do anything to help, myself included.

LeAnn Woodward said...

Wow...

I spent my entire lunch break not eating but reading, Jen sent me and I am moved to tears.

What an amazing & strong woman you are! I was fighting with you in the ER! I could feel your strength to stay alive and I was so angry at those doctors and nurses who didn't give you the time you needed!

I am so sorry for the loss of your two babies. So many people don't understand the pain of losing a child prior to birth. It's devastating and I have lived through it myself. I have three healthy children so I feel really blessed but I did lose two others. The pain will always be there and there is space in my heart they will always live.

I pray that you find your happiness again and that you heal through your writing and your drawing. Continue to be strong, find joy and humor and always remember the love you have around you!

God Bless You!

Kimmiejo said...

Another epbot reader here. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you find peace, healing and comfort. Your experience has taught me a very valuable lesson. I have experienced a bad doctor and bad office staff that have now caused me to question myself everytime I might have an issue. I will remember your story and remember that my instincts should not be ignored.

Alyx said...

I can't even imagine what this must have been like but I'm so glad to hear that you're making your way through the pain. Please keep holding on even if it is only one day at time, sometimes that's an amazing achievement it itself.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I hope you will find that the sharing helps bring relief. You are a strong and admirable woman.

Your husband sounds like a wonderful man.

Strength and good wishes to you both.

Nicola said...

Oh, Saudade. None of it was your fault. Nurses screwed up. Doctors screwed up. But you did *nothing wrong*. You went for help when you needed it - it's not your fault that you were let down so badly. Blame is an awful, bitter thing: please direct it outwards, at the medical staff, and not inwards, at yourself.

The URL for your blog ends in blogspot.co.nz - if you are in New Zealand, I urge you to make a complaint about your gynaecologist to the Health and Disability Commissioner. Those complaints are taken very seriously by doctors.

Hugs from Christchurch.

me said...

Your story moved me to tears. It takes such courage to share and I don't even have the words to express how much it matters to me that you shared it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Emmalyn said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story, and I am really glad to hear that you're drawing and creating again! Best wishes to you and your husband. You deserve it. c:

Lauren said...

I am sorry you had to go through all that you did. (hugs)
There is nothing I can say that will even start to truly acknowledge your pain.
(hugs)

Anonymous said...

Your drawings are beautiful and your story is heartbreaking. I hope your story helps others so they don't have to go through what you did. Keep drawing and inspiring others to stand up for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Your story touched my heart.

Anonymous said...

As an artist who has suffered from depression, I understand why you stopped drawing. I hope that you can find that peace that comes when one creates.

You are brave for sharing your story, and thank you for sharing.

I'm glad you had your husband through all of this. Hoping the best for both of you.

Erica T. said...

I really have no words other than to tell you that even know you don't know me, I would like to hug you. Thank you for sharing your story as a warning to us all, and for sharing your beautiful drawings. Please never punish yourself again.

Oh, and please give your husband a hug from this stranger on the internet.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being brave enough to share your story. I'm just a random stranger from the internet, but I'm so happy to read that you've stopped punishing yourself and are going to start drawing again. I've seen a couple of your drawings and they are gorgeous. As Erica said, please, don't ever punish yourself again. You don't deserve it.

Eskimo Pie said...

I got to this story and your blog from EPBOT. I've never cried hearing about someone's bad experiences, but yours really hit me. After hearing so many horror stories about being pregnant and being poorly taken care of in a hospital, i've been quite nervous to even let myself get pregnant. I've heard stories of how well a couple of my friends were taken care of too, so I know it's not all the time that you end up with poor doctors or nurses. Still though, I'm so sorry that you had to go through this. My sister almost lost her baby because of an infection she didn't know she had. However, her not getting help was her own fault, as she didn't go until the pain was literally unbearable. I hope the drawing helps you, and that your wounds fully heal one day. Thank you for your bravery in writing this.

Carmen said...

I understand (a little) about not being listened to when you are in pain or need medical assistance. You want to scream that you're not making it up, that you have better things to do with your time than be rushed to the ER for some made-up reason, and that it is REAL! I'm glad you and your hubby fought to survive and that things turned out well for you.

I also hope that grief counselor never counseled another person in her LIFE! She seemed especially mean.

Anonymous said...

I also read you blog post via Jen's at EPBOT. Your story is so heartbreaking, but it is very apparent that you are an amazing, strong and much loved woman. Thank you for sharing your story and your art. Sending virtual hugs from Washington State!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story, as hard as I am sure as it was to share given what you have been through. I linked here from Jen @ Epbot, and while I could say that everyone has their sad story or sad experience, no one should ever go through what you and your husband went through EVER. Thank goodness you have such a loving and supportive husband or who knows how much worse it could have been, if that is even possible. Your story is a great lesson to others in all those points you made at the end, about trusting yourself, being an advocate for yourself or your loved ones, and switching doctors if you feel uncomfortable or feel that you aren't being heard. Thank you again for sharing your story, and I hope in addition to the drawing that you continue to heal and never have to experience that kind of physical or emotional pain again.

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how I felt after reading this, I don't have the words. I do want to give you a virtual hug and say how strong I think you are.
I know several friends and family who are in nursing school. I am going to share your story with all of them. I think it is so important for any one in the medical field to know your story. Thank you for sharing something so personal and painful!
May you be blessed in everything you do. (((HUGS)))

Anonymous said...

I have nothing to offer up but heartfelt sympathy and honor of your bravery and your husband's stalwart love. Please give one another strong hugs from South Carolina for everything you went through.

Brandie Moody said...

I found this via epbot. My heart goes out to you. My pregnancy loss doesn't even begin to touch your's. I did refind my art after mine. It's helped me deal with a lot. Your drawings are beautiful. You have a talent. Thank you for sharing.

Crystal D said...

There are no words to fully express how your story has affected me, but I will start by saying "I'm sorry". I'm sorry that you had to go through that horrific experience when you didn't deserve it and did nothing wrong. I'm sorry that your trust in doctors and nurses has been proven wrong. I'm in a similar medical situation (although much less severe), and I know that it feels horrible to argue with a "learned professional" like a doctor who doesn't believe that you're in pain. Lastly, I am a therapist and I am sorry that you were subjected to a heartless person posing as counselor who told you were wrong for laughing and experiencing what you were feeling. If I could slap that person across the face I would because no one should ever make you feel that, especially someone whose job is to make you feel validated, appreciated and understood. I am so happy that you are drawing again, and shared your story with the world because people (including myself) need to hear this and learn how to advocate for themselves in medical situations. I'm sending you a big hug from Okinawa, Japan.

Anonymous said...

There are no words to fully express how your story has affected me, but I will start by saying "I'm sorry". I'm sorry that you had to go through that horrific experience when you didn't deserve it and did nothing wrong. I'm sorry that your trust in doctors and nurses has been proven wrong. I'm in a similar medical situation (although much less severe), and I know that it feels horrible to argue with a "learned professional" like a doctor who doesn't believe that you're in pain. Lastly, I am a therapist and I am sorry that you were subjected to a heartless person posing as counselor who told you were wrong for laughing and experiencing what you were feeling. If I could slap that person across the face I would because no one should ever make you feel that, especially someone whose job is to make you feel validated, appreciated and understood. I am so happy that you are drawing again, and shared your story with the world because people (including myself) need to hear this and learn how to advocate for themselves in medical situations. I'm sending you a big hug from Okinawa, Japan.

Rachel said...

I wanted to thank you for writing this. I think you were meant to - you are already touching many people, it seems, and reminding everyone of the importance of standing up for themselves in the medical world. As a counselor, it is always good to be reminded of the complexity of emotion and individual experiences. As a mother who has lost a child and almost died with another, also from medical neglect, my heart completely goes out to you. I want to hug you so badly. I hope you continue to find some peace on your grief journey, as, I know, it never ends.

AnE.Anne said...

Thank you so much for deciding to post about your experience. I've worked on the surgical floor of a hospital and if there's one thing I cannot stress enough it is: be your own advocate and have family/friends to advocate for you whenever possible. I have worked for some amazing doctors and nurses, but I have also seen failings and misses. The difference in having a family member with you can not only be the difference between discomfort and comfort but sometimes life and death. That being said, sometimes it's the things like Thanksgiving meals that can make a huge difference to a patient and I hope that anyone in the health care field, reading this, understands that. I worked with nurses who did. And they were always the most technically proficient and competent as well. Not everything about patient care can be found in an anatomy/physiology textbook. I am so sorry you had to go through something like this. I also tend to be a pliant patient, but I will always remember this when I feel the need to speak up for myself in a medical situation. I think it is amazing that you are drawing again! I like to write and find I can measure just how bad off I am emotionally when I can't even do that; to express myself. Your drawings are beautiful and you seem like a truly beautiful person. -Support and well-wishes from Seattle(ish)

amanda said...

Found your post from epbot. I am so very sorry for your losses. You are absolutely brave for putting yourself out there and opening up, and I sincerely hope you can find a measure of peace. (You may have also saved someone's life by sharing your story!)

You are not at fault or flawed or a failure. I know that can be easy to hear with your head but quite difficult to believe with your heart, but it's still true.

Wishing you peace, happiness, and a calm heart.

delilah s. dawson said...

You're awesome, in the old-school sense. That's all.

Shawnette said...

I am a doula, and work with a lot of L&D nurses-and just like all humans, some are great and some are awful.

Luckily I'm a pacifist, because right now I want to go find one of the awful ones and punch her in the face.

If you need to connect with trauma counselors that special in birth and reproductive trauma, I can hook you up.

Anonymous said...

I also linked from Epbot, and I also never comment. I've been pacing around ranting for a while now, so hopefully this comment won't be too long :)

You are amazing. Not one tiny bit of this was your fault. You are so very strong and wise; you have dealt with all of this amazingly well, including nearly going crazy. I would think most people would just plain go crazy. Your husband is also amazing. So many marriages don't survive the death of a child, much less the associated trauma you went through.

Now for the rant. Your story illustrates wonderfully why I never went into medicine, although many people said I should. I don't want the responsibility for someone else's life. I don't think I could handle the guilt when something went wrong just because I'm an imperfect human. I seriously hope the guilt haunts the medical people you encountered, and that it reminds them everyday to listen to patients and remember to care.

The 2 I find most incredible are the obgyn and the "counselor". Your obgyn wouldn't listen to your family medical history of pregnancy - how totally ... word! Unprofessional, at the very least! And that "counselor"... how do they let people be counselors that lack basic human compassion?! And, of all things, the ICU is NEVER the place for a counselor, except maybe for family members. ICU is for live or die patients - the absolute most mental health care you would need would be making sure grief wasn't sapping your will to live. The rest should wait until recovery, like a day or 2 before release... I'm so mad at them! There are mistakes from human imperfection, but this is more like malpractice, and they should not be allowed to practice any type of medicine!!!

OK, rant over. As to the people that say you should have done more, they're the same sort that say ALL accidents can be prevented. They're wrong. You did what the experts told you to, as we're taught from a young age. And what they told you nearly killed you - NOT YOUR FAULT!

As for the "when are you having kids" people - we've supposedly moved beyond seeing women as nothing more than wives or mothers. Oh, and for the record, you're an awesome mother. You did everything as you were told to the best of your ability. The fact your children did not survive doesn't change that one little bit.

Lastly, I have a suggestion. You can stop reading there if you want, I'm really hesitant to think I could help when you've done so much yourself. I'm assuming you're in therapy, and I wanted to suggest a program called grief recovery. I suggest it because it helped me so much after my dad died, and I've seen it help others in different situations. You have had so very much happen, but grief recovery would help with the grief element, at least.

Let me say one more time, you're awesome, and I'll be handing this story on as a warning to other patients and doctors. Sorry to write so much!

Anonymous said...

I found this link on Epbot as well, and I just wanted to say that I too cried all the way through this story...your bravery and strength is so inspiring. You've given hope to so many who desperately need it. I hope you and your husband have a long happy life together. Keep loving and keep drawing. :)

Amor vincit omnia.

Kristin said...

I am one of many who has shed tears at your story.
I think that your plan to start drawing again is wonderful and the picture at the epbot site was wonderful.
One day at a time. Depression is like cancer and you have struggled for a long time.

Obsi said...

{{{huge hugs}}} I don't know what to say, but your story is so horrific.... It saddens me so much when people suffer like that - especially from their suffering being ignored :(

I think you're amazing for having pulled through and been able to talk about it. I imagine it must have been so terribly hard to do.

My heart aches for you, and I hope you can find some healing in your art - you definitely don't need to punish yourself. You've been through enough already - it's time you let the sunshine in and don't feel guilty for it.

ugh - now I'm crying :) I just wanted to add my comment of support to you!

Melinda said...

I'm so sorry you went through that, your story is heartbreaking. I had a bad experience with my last OB and I can in the tiniest sense feel what you went through. I think you are incredible and oh so strong for sharing that so candidly. You weren't condemning, just telling it how you felt it. ONe of my saddest experiences is trying to tell people what happened to me, and having them look at me like I'm exaggerating or lying somehow. I hate the trust the doctor over anything else mentality--they're just people too, they make mistakes, they aren't God. I'm praying for you to feel happy, to heal even more, to find peace and maybe a really good answer to throw back in those people's faces who ask you about having kids! ;) Much love from Washington.

gmrchick73 said...

Also read your blog from a link from Jen at Epbot. It's so amazing how people we never meet face to face but only on the wonderful interwebs can help us through the worst of times and cheer us during the best of times. I can't imagine what you have gone through both physically, mentally and emotionally. I'm exciting to see more of your beautiful drawings as you continue to heal. God Bless you and your husband.

AnotherDreamer said...

I just came here through Epbot, and I wanted to thank you for sharing your story. I know it must have been hard.

Learning when to be your own advocate is a hard lesson for so many. My trials didn't result in near death, nor were they so traumatic, but it was still a hard lesson.

I'm sorry for what you went through. My uterus only ever killed, and tried to kill, my children. I can't imagine how much worse your situation must have been.

You are such a strong person.

Ann said...

Your story is heartbreaking, but I thank you for sharing it. It is obvious that you have helped a lot of other people feel like they aren't alone, including myself.

You are strong and you are wonderful. Don't ever feel like less of a woman! I don't know you and yet I am proud of you and the pain you have endured.

And your drawings are lovely, and I have only seen a few. I will be following your blog for the next year to see them all.

Melissa said...

I'm so sorry you had such a horrible experience! I read this first, but now I'm off to look at your drawings. The one Jen posted was beautiful!

Melanie RG said...

I do not know what your emotional anguish feels like, but I do know what your physical pain felt like. I too have had a ruptured uterus. There are no words to describe that pain, so I will not attempt. Luckily for me, I knew something was dreadfully wrong and had a great doctor who listened to me and acted immediately. My rupture was very small and during labor and I have my child (he turned four today on 8/8, how serendipitous). Through caring and listening doctors I was able to have another child, a little girl, although I began to tear again. Both through c-sections, both hard labors, but I do wonder would we all be here and healthy if my doctor hadn't fully trusted me to tell her when something was wrong that all their machines could not detect.

Let all of our words help heal you. Let them wash through your veins and fade your scars, the physical and the emotional. Let each post typed be a salve to your broken soul and give yourself permission to let the pieces rejoin. We are holding your hand and loving your bravery.

Jamie Fuller said...

You are strong.

You are brave.

You are a survivor.

You are an important, irreplaceable, unimaginably amazing woman of beauty.

I am flabbergasted by your honesty and strength.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

It must have taken great courage to put words to this story. I hope brighter days are in store for you - it sounds like you have a very supportive partner. And just remember how many "strangers" there are out there who are lifting you up in our thoughts.

jenconbar said...

I am so very excited to watch your journey. Your art is simply amazing!!

Best of luck to you, my dear.

Also - I want to thank you so much for your post; it came on the perfect day! While I cannot begin to compare my silly issue to yours, I want you to know that I found my own courage this morning because you had the strength to share your story.

Two months ago, I went to my doctor, complaining of foot problems. She brushed my concerns aside and told me to adjust my running stance; she said I shouldn't worry about it. I knew something was wrong; but hey... she's the professional, right?

This morning, after reading your post, I decided that perhaps she was wrong afterall. I asked my chiropractor for a second opinion. He gave me a proper examination and told me that my foot was actually fractured.

Thank you so much for posting your horribly painful story (and thanks to my favorite geek-girl Jenn for linking to your page)!

thank you. thank you. thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing; you are so very courageous. Keep remembering that none of this - none of it - is your fault. We all ache for you, and we're all proud to witness you rise above it.

(yet another Epbot reader)
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Abbey said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I can't even begin to know how all of that felt for you and your husband.

I am so glad you are drawing again, your art is beautiful. Please never punish yourself by taking that away from yourself again. Sometimes art is the only way we can truly express ourselves.

You are an amazing woman. Really. You are. I hope your future tears are only tears of joy.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Justine said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I experienced infertility for a few years and it is very hard. People say a lot of hurtful things without realizing, Actually it taught me to be more compassionate because everything in my life had gone like a charm until then. One thing that helped me and still does is Dr. Dan Gottlieb, a therapist who had a radio call-in show in my town. One day he said on the air that he used a wheelchair, I think after a car crash, and at first he was so angry and he wanted to trade places with anyone, homeless people or anyone who could walk. But he came to see that he could still be himself without using his legs to get from place to place. I think that from your being ready to draw again, you are being yourself and I am really glad for you that you are doing that.

I have also been in a situation where a nurse suggested that I wait at home and not go to the hospital until 8 hours later, and I don't know how I knew, but my body just knew that I had to go then, and I did, and I was right. And people said, "if you listened to her, XYZ could've happened." but I always just thought, no, it couldn't, because I was never going to listen to her. We have a lot of wisdom in our bodies and health care providers need to listen. (by the way when I told the nurse, no, I'm going now, she didn't argue. She said, fine, if that's what I wanted to do.)

Mary-Jane Pritchard said...

I know this has been said before, but I feel the need to add my two cents: you did NOT fail, you do NOT suck, you were NEVER wrong and you are doing EVERYTHING you can to cope, to live and to keep going.

I wish I could hug you. I wish I could've punched your nurses and OB/GYN.

And Thank you for sharing, and stopping your self imposed wrongly punishment.

I hope that wherever you are, you are happy and safe and loved :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you ... just, thank you.

Kendra said...

I also experienced pregnancy related medical incompetence and negligence, not to the degree you endured, but I can empathize. I can't draw, but I write, and it took me over five years to come face-to-face with my botched cesarean and write about it with any emotion. YOU are not to blame, WE are not to blame for the sad state our medical/maternity system has come to. We can only support each other. I found some measure of support from ICAN - other women who have experienced unwanted birth surgeries/trauma. I hope you are able to find some peace in your drawing and the act of creation.

Anonymous said...

I, too, was brought here by Jen. You are an incredibly strong woman to share this heart-wrenching story. It is a big wake-up call that we deserve to be heard. I too suffered from mis-treatment and mis-diagnosis that resulted in emergency surgery. It happens much too often and you are a testament that the medical establishments need to improve.

You are an inspiration and I will be following your artwork... keep on being strong.

Anonymous said...

hi im another epot reader that was linked hear and all i can really say is im sorry and to carry on as i say life is a sea of sorrow and pain, and friends are the colorful floaties that keep you from drowning so basically hold on to the ones you love! bless you and may you find complete happiness again soon!

Selena said...

Another EPBoter here. Another one in tears over your treatment. I too came close to dying but have 2 lovely children to show for it. Certainly no where as bad as you but was also blessed to have wonderful people in charge of my care. I am ashamed to think that there are people in charge of the care of a person who is to bring a new life into this world that act the way you were treated. Thank you very much for sharing your story and I hope it goes some way towards your healing

Anonymous said...

Another Epbot devotee... and just want to extend well wishes from Iowa. Your story is heartbreaking, but hopeful. I pray for your continued healing.

Best wishes,
Diana

Mary P said...

Believe it or not, it was the pumpkin pie that made me lose it. Maybe it's just such a human thing, a true thing. I'm glad you got your Thanksgiving, and I'm glad you found the courage to write all this, and to start drawing again. I wish you luck and joy.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story. Doodle, draw, and paint the world with color - whatever makes you happy. You are, quite simply, a champion of life.

Carawat said...

I have nothing to add that hasn't been said before, but I still feel like I need to comment.

Thank you for sharing your story. I can't even imagine what it must be like for you, but I plan on following your artwork because I know you can do it.

gatormommy07 said...

Thank you for sharing your story, I am so sorry for everything you went through. I totally understand how angry you got at yourself for making your husband worried, and scared and sad. I had a bad time of things about 2 weeks ago, not anything as bad as what you went through, but it was sucky. I hated myself, and still do for making my husband go through that. I tried to ignore the pain I was having, and everything, we don't have insurance and I knew it would cost a lot to go to the ER and I did not want him to worry about things like money and stuff because of me. I think everything is okay with me now, but I still feel a huge amount of guilt because of it all. Thank you for sharing your story. I can't imagine that I would be as strong as you are...you are my new hero.

God Bless you and your wonderful husband.

Annie
Lake Wales, Florida

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for what you went through (and, as a junior dr, if I made someone go through something similar :() and I hope that you'll know that it wasn't your fault.

Thank you for sharing your story - you're an amazing person with a lot to live for!

Anonymous said...

I also linked from Epbot. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You have truly touched me. My heart aches for your and all the terrible things you have been through. I'm glad to know that you are starting to accept that it's not your fault. You seem to be a beautiful person. Enjoy drawing. Take comfort in it. Pour out all your emotions into your sketches. I wish you all the happiness in the world. You have earned it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting your story. My heart goes out to you and your husband. God bless you......

Anonymous said...

Your story is heartbreaking, I am in tears :( you are such a strong person. Damn those people who pester you about having children.

karaethon said...

Thank you for sharing this. You are an incredible person, both for having the strength to survive and for being able to share your story with the world. My best wishes to you and your husband both. Your bond with each other is beyond incredible, and I want you both to know I deeply admire your commitment to each other.

I hope for the best for you in your future. I don't mean to be one of those people who bug you about kids (Shame on those people! How dare they!) but I hope you will, one day, in time, consider alternatives. Don't rush into it; I would say put it off long after you make up your mind, just to be sure. But I think someday it will really help you and make you happy. Of course, if you'd rather not, that's entirely your decision and to hell with anyone who looks down on you for it!

You're an amazing person, and I will add your blog to the list of sites I check every day. Keep drawing, and keep healing.

Lots of love from yet another stranger from Epbot,
Lindsay

Pease Family said...

Thank you for sharing your story. It takes courage. I am approaching the year anniversary of my own tragedy and I hope one day I can share my emotions as honestly as you did.

I was in a car accident with my husband and our daughters. My 3 year old had unbuckled herself and since my husband was driving, I took off my seatbelt to go back and buckle her back in. Then our front tire blew and we rolled 4 times.

My 3 year old and I were thrown from the car. She died instantly. I was left with a broken back, leg, ribs, shoulder and many internal injuries, including a collapsed lung. We were in the middle of no where. My husband had to leave me with the kids to go find help.

I hope you don't mind us all sharing our stories with you. I know for me I just appreciate you sharing. I, like so many others, want you to know that it wasn't your fault. You are a strong woman, you fought to live for your husband and that makes you a wonderful wife. Keep moving forward!

Here is the eulogy I gave from my wheelchair for my daughter. I share it with you to comfort you. Thank you for sharing your story.
http://benandtricia.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-adria.html

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. You might have just saved a life in the process. I've never had to go to a hospital before, and I'm a generally passive and shy person. You really might have just saved my life by sharing your experience. I love your art and how you share it with us. Draw from your heart always!

Anonymous said...

I found you via Jen Yates' EPBOT blog.
I just wanted to say how courageous and strong I think you are. To post this for the world to see is such a brave and wonderful thing you've done. I hope it helps to heal you and I'm sure it's helping others out here as well.
Your drawings are beautiful, please, please keep it up.
With warms hugs and well wishes,
Julie G. from Iowa

Saudade said...

I just wanted to let everybody know I am reading each one of your comments in batches as they come in.

I wish I could answer to each of you one by one, but let me just keep on repeating how awesome I think you all are, thanks for reading through that long, long post, thanks for taking your time to write back with words of encouragement and personal stories.

I don't think I have ever cried as many good type of tears as I have on the past day and a half.

Words would fail to describe how wonderful I think you all are. So all I can keep on saying, from the heart: Thank You. Thank You, oh SO very, very Much.

Anonymous said...

You are an amazing, powerful woman walking through devastation with grace. I am humbled and honored to have been able to share, even at such a minute level,your profoundly personal story.
I would very much like to hug you and tell you that I love you.

Kim T. said...

I also followed Jen's link from EPBOT over here, and cannot express how much how you were treated angers me. It's appalling.

It is none of anyones business why you and your husband do not have children. I bet there's enough people in this comment section who would be willing to join a posse to go kick busybody ass!

Take all the time you need to get through this. You'll never get over it, but you will get through it.

*hugs* for you and your husband.

Anonymous said...

Another Epbot-er here. I can only repeat what everyone else is saying - you are brave and strong (and so is your husband, bless his heart). You are not at fault in this in any way whatsoever, and I hope your life continues to improve.

I sincerely hope those who ignored your distress and the counselor who only added to it have been severely reprimanded and/or fired... their actions were absolutely unforgiveable.

I'm sure your beautiful drawings will help to sustain your soul in your ongoing recovery.

Blessings and cyber hugs from faraway Massachusetts...

(At Cake Wrecks and Epbot, I'm known as Merry from Annie's Book Stop/Sharon, MA.)

Marebabe said...

God bless you, my dear. I also found your blog by way of EPBOT, and I want to thank you for sharing. You are so brave for coming forward with this, and the ripple effects from your account will continue to spread, and you will help and inspire many, many people.

I’m still dealing with grief from losing my one and only pregnancy nearly 16 years ago. It was a tubal pregnancy, removed in emergency surgery, and my suffering was minimal, compared to yours. When I got to the part in your story about the bereavement counselor, it reminded me of the one I encountered in the hospital. She was very kind and respectful, but her kindness brought on floods of tears, and I had to ask her to leave because “it hurts to cry”. She asked me, “You mean, physically?” Affirmative. Anyone who has ever had abdominal surgery knows that you use your abs for EVERYTHING. I felt that she was well-meaning but clueless. Maybe it was her first day on the job.

It still hurts to cry – not physically, but emotionally – so I seldom do anymore. As I read your story, I felt my throat tighten up, but not a tear. Thankfully, I haven’t been plagued by insensitive people pounding on the topic of Why Don’t You Have Children? But I have often read things online accompanied with variations of “If you don’t cry while reading this, you a) aren’t human, or b) don’t have a soul.” Great. Thanks, guys.

I used to be a singer and a pianist. Majored in voice, taught piano, dreamed of singing lullabies to my children and sharing music with them. Every musical impulse of mine died long ago (I haven’t touched the piano in over 4½ years), but I do believe in resurrection. I have hope that I can someday enjoy making music once again. If you can draw, I can sing. I’ll be back often to see your latest drawings. What I’ve seen so far is wonderful, and I especially like the otter. *Great big hug*

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. You are an amazingly strong woman, not just for surviving and fighting, but for being able to tell your story. I know everyone else has already told you, but none of this was your fault. I'm glad you have wonderful people to support you and I'm glad you're drawing again.

Kimmie said...

Here via Epbot.

What a horrible experience to go though. I can't even begin to imagine how it was for you. I'm appalled (but unfortunately not surprised) by your treatment at the hands of so-called healthcare "professionals".

Thank you for posting your story. Best of luck on your continued healing and your artwork.

Nats said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I am very passive when at the doctors, and this has made me rethink the way I approach doctors when I am uncomfortable. You are incredibly strong, and I admire you.

You are truly talented, and I am excited to see what you will create.

Thank you.

fritp said...

Wow, thank you so much for sharing our story! I was linked to your blog through a friend's facebook page. I felt like I was right beside you taking that journey with you as your husband did. You are such a talented writer. I admire your strength my friend! Here's to a new journey :)

Suzanne said...

I have come here via EPBOT like so many others.

Thank you for sharing your story. Like so many others, I cried as your words resonated through me. My heart hurts for the loss and grief that you and your husband share. Your strength in sharing your story inspires me.

I hope for the two of you all the happiness that you can handle for many long years to come.

Cyber hugs for both of you.

JessicaMarie said...

Like so many people I followed a link on epbot here, and I'm so glad I did.
I'm so sorry for every thing that happened to you, your story touched me very profoundly, it is terrifying and inspiring at the same time. I'm a 28 year old newly wed, and while my body seems to be alright to have children, I know it isn't and I know I will most likely never be a mom. You, my dear girl, helped me be ok with that. I know how much it stinks having people ask when you're gonna have kids all the time, and the berating it brings when you say that they are not a part of your future. My hear aches for you on so many levels and I wish I could give you the biggest hug ever. To make you feel better and let you know you are not alone, and to also thank you for your courage and strength. I can't imagine how hard it was to write your story. So from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! my dear, for all of it. For letting me know I'm not alone, and letting me know it's ok to stand up for myself, because let's face it, we know our bodies the best of every one. I can not wait to see the beautiful drawings you make this year, and to watch your talent grow. I will be back many times...so thank you for that.
Jessica Marie

Maureen said...

Please keep drawing. Your work is beautiful.

Maureen

Alex Dreamz said...

"A year of joy for every minute of sorrow"....
Between the tears from your story and the tears from everyone's comments, I have to stop before the neighbors complain of flooding -- but I think that comment said what we all seem to agree upon -- thank you for your bravery, both in surviving (cuz heaven knows you weren't getting much help with that at times!!) and in sharing, for the benefit of others, as well as yourself.
May you truly have "a year of joy for every minute of sorrow".

bahiaportfolio said...

I am so sorry that this has happened to you. I don't really know what to say. You never deserved to be punished. No one does, but bad things happen to good people anyway. We all trust doctors and nurses. They are authority figures and we don't want to second guess them. But they are also just people and that means they can be as good or as bad as anyone. I've learned over the years that if I go to a doctor once I don't feel absolutely comfortable then I go to someone else. Your story tells me how important that really is, at least when you have a choice. I'm happy for you now, that you are alive and that you have allowed yourself to do the thing that makes you happy. You deserve to find happiness. Keep drawing and keep moving on.

Lia Joy said...

I really can't think of any words that do justice to what I just read here, but felt I needed to acknowledge that I was touched by your story and know it is one that will stay with me. I'm so glad you are drawing again <3

Anonymous said...

No words just love <3

Anonymous said...

I was going to leave a longer comment, but it just kept getting longer... and longer... and longer...

So instead, please hug your husband for me. Give him a kiss. Tell him you love him. No one should have to go through any of this.

You are also the perfect example of why no one should ever assume anything about another person. People are always so ready to judge or comment on another person's life, but they forget that one person can never really understand everything about the next.

Sarah said...

I don't even have words...but I do have love. Much, much love for you and your husband. May bright, happy days color your future.

Anonymous said...

Decades ago, a midwife I was introduced to socially (who was also an intuitive), said to me immediately--almost without acknowledging the introduction-- that she had seen several women with my coloring have problems with dangerously hemorrhaging following giving birth, and should I ever decide to become pregnant I should be very careful.

Many reasons contributed in deciding against having a child, but seeing the many women with worse health challenges than my own go through major difficulties in order to bear their children sometimes made me feel like a "wimp". After reading your story, though, I see both that while following that original warning may have saved my life, I also stayed in denial about the sense of failure that it engendered.

Sharing your story is a gift to so many of us, and I am one more person who has been blessed by the healing in it.

Running Betty said...

There are 4 people in this house in St Pete who love you up to the stars and don't think you ever failed at anything! I am so glad you are focusing on loving you & trusting you. This was so very heartwrenching to read. It's awful that someone with a heart as huge as yours - not to mention "Mr. Saudade" - had to go through this. Love and hugs from the Darrows!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm over from Epbot.

I'm so, so sorry for what you went through, and I'm really glad you finally realized that you don't need to punish yourself for something that was beyond your control.

Sending a smile your way!

Cera said...

Thank you for posting this and getting it off your chest! I nearly bawled to be honest and I wish I could help you out somehow. I'm definitely subscribing to your blog so I can follow your 365 days of drawings. Please keep drawing and keep fighting!

TariC said...

Another Epbot reader here. Thank you for sharing your story and encouraging us to speak up when we know something i not right with our bodies. I just read your other posts and am so glad you are feeling like sketching again. You have a wonderful gift. I especially like your vinyl Day of the Dead mouse. I have subscribed to your posts and am excited to see what you will share with us in the future.

Rosa said...

My heart hurts and aches for the pain and loss you had to go through. And to blame yourself while going through all this?! I'm so glad you don't feel that way again! I hope the ray of sunshine that led you to drawing again stays with you and continues to encourage you to share your beautiful art with us.

Anonymous said...

Was humbled to read your story, after seeing your beautiful "doodle" on Epbot. I hope that each day you take a moment to acknowledge the courage you possess. And talent, I hope you never silence yourself or your talent again. Thank you for sharing your story. Good luck and may the future hold boundless good health and happiness for you. Xo LW

Katy said...

I just wanted to add my hugs and best wishes in with the rest of your readers. While I've never had an experience like your's - I have been on the receiving end for many years asking why we never had kids. 10 years of fertility treatments and it never got easier. Thank you for your courage - you are amazing. I now have to go fix my make up since I was reading your story at work.

Makir said...

Thank you so very much for sharing your heart wrenching story. I am in awe of your strength and determination. I know that I would not have been able to be as strong in a similar situation.

It doesn't change anything you're gone through, but I'm sorry that such an awful thing happened to you. And I hope very much that things only get better from here on.

Keep drawing.

katinks said...

As a nurse I started to think of what could be wrong from your first symptoms. I am angered that this treatment happened to you. I am appalled and embarrassed that the physician and trained OB nurses did not listen or take you seriously. An ultrasound could have answered many questions. I am not one to say sue the heck out of them as a matter of course, but I hope you are going to sue the crap out of the doctor, nurses and hospital for incompetence.

I want to add that I am so sorry for your losses. I am also impressed with your strength and the strength of your marriage.

indimew said...

I came to this blog post from Epbot and I have to admit, when I was reading I was horrified and sickened by everything you went through. I understand depression, and I understand your way of thinking about being a good girl and not causing any trouble, I too have this mentality. I think I am still in shock after reading your story- but wow how strong you are! You know, your body and mind are two pieces of a great puzzle- and sometimes no matter how badly your mind wants your body to be right, it doesn't happen that way. I'm sorry that you never had the chance to bring a new life into the world, but I can say that you definitely were a good mom and did the best that you could to take care of yourself and the life, not only once but twice.
You were so strong and brave even during your hard times, and you wanted your husband to not be sad even when you were in ICU. Hearing that makes me know that you are one of the strongest, bravest, most compassionate people I have ever had the chance to meet, even however briefly through a blog.
In times of near death- I find the recovery process can be quite arduous, but you become so much stronger for it. I am so glad to see you drawing again- and your art is simply awe-inspiring and amazing.

I hope that you get the chance to read this and remember that every single day is a brand new day, and every moment that passes is a moment you become stronger. I wish you all the best in your life and I also wish that you have the greatest happiness, you deserve it!

Take care!

Anonymous said...

Hi, :) My name is Natalie and I was patched through to your post via Epbot. I am still fighting back tears at your story and as a medical professional (I'm a nurse) I can tell you that your story has struck a chord with me... I have worked with so many nurses and doctors that are exactly like you described, jaded, deaf, uncaring... it broke my heart to read all that you went through with the ones who were like that. But I am also glad that you did have some good ones, some who actually see this profession as a calling, and not just as a way to make money. Your story will forever be etched in my mind, and I just wanted to let you everyone who may read this, there those of us out there that do care, and all we ever want is to see you walk (get wheeled? ^_^) out our hospital's doors with a big smile on your face.
Thank you for your story, it has been a heartfelt lesson for me as a nurse.
God bless you and your husband always!

Karin said...

Came across your blog from NotMom and a few other sources. First thing I have to say - your drawings are fantastic! I find the small stories/character descriptions particularly delightful. I don't often encounter sketches that so provoke the imagination; yours seem to illustrate particular scenes in stories that I half find myself resenting not knowing.

Second - a realization I've come to after my own health struggles and small series of anguish is that - and I wonder if you'll agree - yes, the hurting and the sick and the constant parade of Things Being Wrong is bad. But possibly more painful and worse to go through is the healing, especially mentally. Something happened, and now you must get past it and move on and reconcile what happened with going back to your life (or what life has now become) and through all of this time has the audacity to keep moving along and expecting you to keep up.

...but that is what family and friends and good pastries and indignant cats are for, and eventually you get used to the healing, and it gets easier almost to the point where it is routine, like putting on your slippers in the morning, "yes, this happened; yes, I can still breathe; yes, I know how to deal with this; yes, I can work through my day and this will not dictate all thoughts." Eventually it's almost rote, like a prayer you've said so many times that it's mostly just a rhythm, and you stumble when you try to pick out the individual words. Scars never heal. They might fade, but the skin is still different underneath; mental ones are the same. But eventually you get used to them, and they're familiar, and you expect to find them there, for better or for worse.