I was really touched by Ashley's post about being contentedly flawed. I've been reflecting since I read her post and watched this video.
I have a big, scarred, scary-looking belly. I've been thinking about it quite a bit in the past few months too. I've not talked about it before, but November marked the 10th anniversary of my near death experience.
I've been wanting to share just because I thought it would be cathartic to tell my story. There is so much and I don't know what to tell and what to leave out. On top of that, in the 9 weeks I was in the hospital I was out of it a good deal of the time so I'm not even certain of the time line of all the events. Here's the briefest synopsis I can give.
Not to be dramatic, but I did almost die. I had a portal vein thrombosis. After being hospitalized and put on heparin for about a week, I had some invasive procedures to break up the clot (to no avail). The procedures included injecting a solution directly in and around the clot in my liver. Turns out I have a heparin allergy and instead of breaking up my clot, the heparin was creating more and more clots. My liver was punctured during the procedures and long story a bit shorter, I ended up bleeding out into my abdominal cavity. Cue the dun-dun-duhhhhnnnn sound effects.
Mike and Michelle were in the room when I coded.
CPR started, I was intubated, my parents (in the waiting room) were notified for consent, and I was whisked off for emergency surgery. Careful, cosmetic-surgery-like cuts were not a consideration. It was a crude cut meant to get in fast so the surgeons could to find the problem and hopefully save my life. *Spoiler Alert: They saved my life.
The scar is not pretty. It spans from my sternum to down past my belly button. The scar tissue inside is so dense that my abdomen is really hard from the calcification. It makes my belly look like I am pregnant (which is so ironic since that won't ever happen). I've learned to get over it. I'm working on embracing it. After watching the video about being flawed, I wanted to stand up and show off my scar too. When I looked at all the pictures I took, I thought my belly looked like an upside-down heart. Maybe that's a sign that I should just love it and everything it represents.