I Lived

One afternoon after having had biscuits and gravy for breakfast, I started having pain in my stomach. It turned into agonizing pain and I had to go the hospital. By the time I got there, I couldn't even walk because the pain was so great. They gave me an ultrasound and then called in a surgeon. Then they told my husband to call our pastor, that I was going to die. You cannot believe the amount of pain I was in. I had gallstones that passed into my pancreas and completely obstructed it. A pancreatic enzyme was leaching out into my entire body and was digesting all the cells of my body.

I was placed into a general medical ward of the hospital and the doctor told the staff to just make me comfortable until I died. He came into my room and told me I was going to die and to make arrangements and gather my family as soon as possible. He then placed me on pain medications and I was given all I wanted on demand by IV drip at my control. No other treatment was given to me. The normal level of the enzyme that was leaching into my body was about 45, my level was over 13,000. I found out after this that this level is unheard of in the medical journals.

In the next few days, my liver went into complete failure, also my kidneys, also my gastrointestinal track, not to mention my pancreas. Curiously, my lungs didn't fail at all, but the doctor assured me that they would. Also, my brain didn't seem to be affected. My cardiac condition started to fail as well. My pulse and blood pressure steadily went down, down, down. My doctor did nothing about any of these things, he said there was no hope, so he didn't treat me at all. Looking back, I should have been in intensive care at the least, but the reality was, that no treatment was given to me at all. As far as my doctor was concerned, there was no hope.

My pastor came to visit and told me that our church was praying for me and that other churches became involved and started to pray for me also. I said, "that's nice." I felt completely at peace with all of this. I could tell I was going to die, that my bodily systems were shutting down. I was getting so much pain medication that I was hallucinating, but that was okay because I knew they were hallucinations. My family was concerned about this, but I wasn't. I was totally ready to die and had no fear at all. I was looking forward to it and was talking to God about it and told Him I was ready and He could just take me anytime He wanted to. I felt a little bad about leaving my two teenage children, but figured they would be taken care of without me. I was so ready to die and go to be in heaven and with Jesus that I was happy about the whole situation.

My blood pressure and cardiac output were failing by the minute. The nurses only came to take my blood pressure once a shift, and I wasn't even on a cardiac monitor, because I was a "do not resusitate". Every time, once every 8 hours or so, when they took my blood pressure, it got lower and lower. Then a nurse came in and took my blood pressure when I was in a very peaceful and pleasant mood and was talking to Jesus about how I was just about to come and see Him, since I knew I was fading away. He wasn't talking back to me though. I felt so comfortable and at peace and was so looking forward to passing away from this life to the next.

So this nurse comes in, one I never saw before, and she was sort of a fuzzy looking person, and she takes my blood pressure, and it's 20/0. She tells me that her reading was 20/0 and says, "this can't be right, there must be something wrong with this blood pressure cuff." So I said to her, "No, it's right, I'm dying, it's okay". I knew it was time for me to die; I mean, I just knew this and was fine with it. She says, "No you aren't. I am going to get another blood pressure cuff, you just wait for me to come back." I tried to call her back and tell her that the cuff was correct and don't bother to get another one, but she was long gone by then. I knew the blood pressure cuff was accurate; they had been using it on me all along.

So she leaves the room and I start to feel very confused and talk to God and say, "Hey, I'm ready to go". And the nurse comes back into the room and takes my blood pressure again with a new blood pressure cuff I guess, and gets a reading of 120/70. She says, "See, you are just fine". She leaves the room and I never see her again. I think she was my angel. The next day my kidneys start to work again, the liver test start to come back toward normal, my gastrointestinal track starts to work again. The liver enzyme levels start to drop, and I start getting out of bed and walking around again. The pain starts to subside and I start to not taking the pain drugs. After about 10 days I get discharged from the hospital absolutely just fine. My doctor told me that I would be sorry I didn't die, that I would have such horrendous problems after the enzymes devoured my cells and organs that I would have nothing but horrible medical problems for the rest of my short life. And, of course, he was wrong about that.

I never have had any of the problems he told me I would have. I have to be honest about this entire event. I was so ready to die and then I was very sorry that I didn't. I actually got mad at God about this. Thank goodness that He loves God and understands our stupid feelings that we get from time to time.

I eventually came to understand that God wanted me to stay in this life for His own reasons. I thank Him for that. I don't really know the reasons, but I now try to approach each stranger I meet with the suspicion that this is either an angel or a person who needs to have an encounter with an angel in human form. I have found that just a smile at a stranger can change their life, or at least make their day a little bit better somehow.

And now it's been over 13 years since this all happened. I did nearly died once since then, but once again an angel saved my life. I don't know why, but I do know this...it's the small things, the small kindnesses, the small smiles, the little generosities, or the big ones, that can change someone's life for the better. It's forgiving a small problem, or a big one. It's that no matter how small and insignificant we are, or how big and important we are, that God uses us and His angels to make this earth and life a better place if we will only let it.

And now, I still look forward to the day I die with nothing but pleasant feelings. I anticipate that moment with great joy. I have no fear at all about death. Still, I know that God wants me to take advantage of every moment I am alive to somehow make better each and every moment for those around us to be better no matter the circumstances they are in.

And I know, that each day in my life, I may be entertaining and meeting an angel and never know it. So, each moment and each encounter in my life, and in yours, should be lived in with this in mind.