PostHeaderIcon 3. After the First Surgery… Who’s Tracee?

As you all can tell, I’ve been putting this off…  My next few entries are my hardest, both emotionally and eidetically (memories).  As before some, if not most of what I share with you will be other peoples recollections that have been shared over the last year and some more recently by request.

They performed the Emergency Surgery and I woke up on Saturday.

It’s all Fuzzy… Wuzzy had a bear, but he was hairless, wait, what was I talking about?

You know how they say “Waking Up is hard to do” (Or was that “Breaking”)?  Waking up after the first surgery was a night terror, one that I couldn’t wake up from.  I still have bad dreams about waking up like that.  It’s like bliss and then all of a sudden Atlas puts the world on your shoulders and your’e being flattened to the floor.  I am no Titan.  It is a psychological weight so heavy that you feel it.  You know those advertisements that use the phrase “Depression hurts”, I don’t remember waking up hurting, I remember waking up broken.

Of all the stupid things I could have worried about at that time, the first words out of my mouth were “Call Marco!!!”.  Now Marco is a wonderful guy, and had been my manager for the last 10 months.  I was sure I was losing my job, my benefits wouldn’t cover this, my body had failed me, I had failed my family (By having Crohn’s, how stupid is that – And yet I still suffer from that thought daily).  I had to stay there, with a ventilator on and whisper thinsg.  I saw my world crashing around me.  Mostly it was an emotional crash, but I physically crashed.  I lay there feeling broken in body and mind, and my spirit was… well I thought it was in the same boat.

To Quote my Parents: “Sunday afternoon, for whatever reason, you came out of sedation enough to gag on the breathing tube, and pulled it out. The doctors had hoped to keep you sedated till your second surgery on Monday, but now you were awake and struggling, frantic. You were overwhelmed by what had happened to you, having missed two days of your life, and were extremely concerned about the immediate future. What was going to happen to you. Would LANDesk fire you because you were so sick? Would insurance cover the cost of hospital and surgeries? How would you be able to meet your family’s needs? We and others assured you that companies typically didn’t work like that, that you would be ok with employment and insurance, but it was difficult to tell how much this reassured you or not.”

You just need to calm down…. HA!

I had been through some tough times and during my surgery my doctors had Resuccitated me twice.  I didn’t find this out until a month or so after being released.  I was “Circling the drain” as my surgeon so kindly put it.  With all the stressors, I was focusing on the “here and now” and not the “what had just happened”.  Some people thing that might be my pragmatism kicking in, but I think it was my pessimistic side.  Lucky for me I was a moron and I had  pulled my ventilator tube out.  This meant that the doctors woudo delay the surgery to let my throat “heal” before they could re-insert the tube .  So in the meantime I had to calm down.  I had a day to think about everything, give up and leave everything in everyone else’s hands.  You know what does come clear, how mad I was, frustrated at my circumstances, my curse, my crohn’s, my bad fortune, even the people around me who were trying to help.  I was blinded,  I’m sorry for my foolishness.

Sunday things were different I had had time to think, and while I was still in bad shape, I felt more calmed.  I had time to reflect on the things that had happened to me and my experiences over the last few days.  I also had time to remember that something wonderful had happened to me while I had been in surgery.  My mother was there and I got her attention.  The attending nurse helped me speak by lifting up one side of the breathing mask a little.  In as softly loud of a voice as my wracked wind pipe could muster I told my mother “Mom, I saw Tracee Thomas, and she wanted me to make sure her mom knew that she loved her.”  The was the extent of our conversation since they wanted me to be rested and stable for the operation.  My mother left shortly after.

Who is Tracee Thomas?

In many ways the correct answer to this question is “I don’t know”?  Carol and Ernie Thomas have been our neighbors since we moved to American Fork, Utah my senior year of high school.  I knew their son James and their daughter Susan, but even then they were older than me and I only knew them in passing.  I wasn’t aware of it but they had more children and one of them was a daughter Tracee and she had passed away on Wednesday.  When I was down during the first surgery I met Tracee, having never seen her before I new who she was, and all she did was tell me to let her mother know that she loved her.  How much that has changed my life.  It’s a short intro but I’ll cover it in the next post.

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