Miracle lady

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surviving icuWhen I talk about the “miracle lady” I want you to know that it is all by the grace and goodness of God. All the glory to Him.

It all started a few months ago when I went to the doctor with chest pain and coughing… actually to 3 different doctors in a 4-week period.

The doctors

The first doctor was a locum, because my doctor was on leave. She prescribed pain tablets and cough syrup.  I was 18 weeks pregnant at that time and there were not too many options available.

After a week the second doctor prescribed antibiotics as I was not getting  healthy and my doctor was still not available.

Another 2 weeks went by and I went to my doctor. She prescribed a different kind of antibiotics. I had to sleep upright in a chair by that time because I struggled to breathe.

The hospital

A few days later I went for a follow-up at my obstetrician and I burst into tears, I was feeling so bad that he admitted me to hospital for stronger antibiotics and pain medicine.

I remember telling my mother how much I enjoy the hospital-experience on my second day there. You can sleep the whole day and they even bring you food in bed.

After 5 days of not-getting-better they moved me to high-care and the next day to ICU.  My oxygen levels, which should be above 90, were in the 70’s and the chest X-ray didn’t look good.

In ICU

I spent the next 19 days in the ICU, most of them sedated and  on a ventilator breathing on my behalf.

I only remember a few things from the first few days in ICU before the sedation and ventilator. Firstly, I had no appetite, which is very abnormal for me. Secondly, I still struggled to breathe even with oxygen. Thirdly, they drew a lot of blood.

They tried another machine before the ventilator, a mask they put over my face with straps around my head. It blew oxygen out with a force and I was terrified. It felt as if I was suffocating with that big machine blowing in my face.

The last thing I remember was opening my mouth to put the ventilator pipe in.

There were times that  they didn’t know whether I was  going to pull through or not and they told my husband that, if I don’t get better soon, they will have to give me stronger medicine, but that will increase the chances of me losing the baby.

I woke up after 12 days in ICU. The sister told me the day and date and I didn’t understand the relevance thereof. I had a pipe in my mouth for breathing, one in my nose going to my stomach for eating, a drip in my neck, another one in my arm and a catheter.

Then the struggle began to get me off the ventilator, the frustration every time my lungs were not strong enough, the long lonely days with only one hour in the afternoon and one at night to see my family. I was surrounded by many people with no privacy, yet I felt so isolated. I couldn’t talk, eat or drink with the pipe in my mouth and my throat hurt.

By the time I was off the ventilator they struggled to stabilize my blood pressure and my visit in ICU was extended with another two days.

I had two different doctors depending who were on leave and the nurses worked different shifts, the only constant was the physiotherapist. She came twice a day and I started to look forward to her visits. I communicated by pen and paper and she is the only thing I miss from ICU.

Maternity ward

After ICU I went to the maternity ward. I was already 26 weeks pregnant. The only thing they could check was the baby’s heart rate. After all the medicine and trauma his heart was still beating.

In the maternity ward they didn’t quite know how to handle a weak patient from ICU, so they just left me alone for the first few days.

In that time I remembered all the stories the sisters told me about how sick I was. Even the sisters from the pathology lab knew about me… the pregnant lady from ICU. The one almost dying…

The highlight was seeing my 2 year old son for the first time in 3 weeks. I was very emotional and just held him as tight as I could.

Back home

After 29 days in hospital I went home with a portable oxygen machine  and a walking frame. My muscles deteriorated while I was in ICU and I lost 9 kg. One month later I went back to work.

Through this all the Lord was (and still is) so faithful. Many people prayed for me. I experienced two miracles in a short time. Being alive was the first miracle and the perfect little baby born few months later the second one.

The one doctor dubbed me “miracle lady”, not because of anything I did other than survived. My medical report said I had influenza A, ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) and pneumonia while being pregnant.

When something like this happens, your whole life changes. You realize the value of faith, hope and love… not only for yourself, but also for your family.

Your outlook on little things changes. Petty things that upset your day somehow just doesn’t seem to be worthy of getting upset over anymore.

Today, I thank God for the miracle of life, for the privilege of waking up and being able to breathe, and to know He will never leave us.

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15 thoughts on “Miracle lady

  1. Thank you for sharing such an intimate and transformative experience. You truly are a Miracle Lady. The perseverance, hope and sheer guts you have shown throughout this ordeal is immensely inspirational. You give me hope that I can overcome the small obstacles in my own life. I wipe away tears, not because I am sad, but because I am moved by your sheer will to survive and be there for your family. It cannot be easy to come through something like that and take home a tiny baby while still being in recovery. May you and your family receive all the good things you so dearly deserve.

  2. Wow! I’m reading this with tears in my eyes. The only difference between us is that my son had just been born and yours hadn’t… it’s literally like reading my own story! I’m glad you pulled through. If you feel depressed or traumatised, get help. I wish i had gone to see someone sooner instead of thinking I was okay. This whole ordeal is so traumatic <3 Strength to you!

    1. Wow! Things happen so quickly. I also thought I was okay until I remember things. I read your story and am glad you are okay as well. Not always easy just going on with a little one, but what a blessing.
      Thank you for stopping by. Good luck to you and your family.

  3. Miracle indeed! Speechless, I cannot begin to imagine what you must have gone through, and then slowly regaining your health and physical independence. Glad that you are here and baby’s heart is beating xoxo

  4. Wow! Amazing! All glory goes to God! I’m happy to hear about God the healer in your life. And thankful to know your baby is healthy!!! Amen

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