Saturday, November 9, 2013

My Daughter Almost Died and How I Am Getting Back on Track

I have been living a nightmare for almost 7 weeks. I wrote about ways to keep my head above water when stressed. Well, I mentioned that my daughter was going to have her second brain surgery on September 25th. Very unfortunately the anesthesiologist used an anesthetic that contained peanuts as the base. Kennedy is allergic to peanuts. Thus the nightmare began....

Very shortly after her procedure was over her entire body became swollen especially her nose, lips, tongue, throat and neck. It was the scariest, absolute most terrifying experience of my life. I watched as Kennedy fought for every breath. The team was unsuccessful at intubating her to create a safe airway. She went into stridor and her eyes started rolling in the back of her head. All I could do was assure her that I was right with her and would never leave her side. 

One day I will be able to write an entire post about exactly what she experienced, but for now the wound is too fresh. It brings me to tears to remember what has happened every day for the past almost 7 weeks. In short, she was nasally intubated on life support for over a week. She went down to the Operating Room (OR) after her protracted anaphylactic response truly began to subside. It was an anaphylactic reaction that lasted over 7 days. It was the longest in the history of the hospital. 

She was intubuated through her mouth for over another week on support. Then her father and I were faced with the decision of turning off the ventilator and saying goodbye to my precious angel. The diagnosis was bilateral vocal cord paralysis. The prognosis was that she wouldn't be able to breath on her own again, eat, or speak. In my opinion, there is no option for making her live that way. We prayed. We cried. We screamed. Somewhere in that 16 hour decision making process I realized How can anyone make this kind of decision? So, I went to the drawing board and used my intuition as her mother. I prayed over her... I got onto my knees and it hit me...Her work here isn't done yet.

They sent the chaplain and a psychologist to speak with me about how I wasn't "accepting" what was in front of me. I know that no one understands the bond I have with Kennedy. My special little girl. She is a beacon of light and I could feel that she has something else to do here.  So, I changed my mind and decided NOT to listen to anything they said.

They put a tracheotomy tube into her windpipe on October 3rd. She still had to remain on the ventilator because she was unable to breathe on her own.

Yesterday late late evening we came home. I began to unpack the zillion items one accumulates after spending 6.5 weeks in the hospital and I cried while watching my daughter sit in her "special chair". Yes she has a nurse, walker, a wheelchair, 5 pretty serious medications, and has to be instructed at home because school isn't an option. But, she is breathing on her own, talking, laughing, and eating. All the things they told me with medical certainty she wouldn't be able to do!

Moral of this part of the story is that NEVER listen to anyone other than your own intuition. Had I listened to the specialists. Physicians. Doctors skilled in their fields. My daughter would be dead. ---REAL TALK---

This last part of her story has changed me forever. Every small and large dream I've dreamed will come true. For both her and I. Every single thing I've wanted to do that  didn't even know I wanted will be uncovered through the soul searching process I am on. Something like this shakes you to your core and changes you forever.

Onto FitMama News. The hospital isn't the most conducive place to maintaining health and weight loss. I didn't really weigh myself, but I didn't have to. I could feel myself "filling up". Partly it was because there is zero opportunity for exercise. And mainly because the food selection was my mother (who flew up here from New Orleans) running to the store and buying Amy's frozen dinners and broccoli with gluten free crackers. I did bring a small blender (Nutribullet broke...ugh) and had some green smoothies while I was there! I also have not slept through the night at all. No sleep, bad food, no fresh food, coupled with stress equals creaking muscles, stagnant bowels, and weight gain.

Now that we are home, I am itching to get back into my normally healthy, fit, insanely amazing ways. I told Kennedy that we both have work to do. She has to learn how to walk again and I have to learn how to be my usual fit self again. We are both on a different, yet similar mission. 

Today I have had a large green smoothie and have done 50 kettlebell swings. Not much to most, but a huge step in a healthy direction for my stiff and sore body. I am craving a good 20 minute strenuous workout and green post workout smoothie. 

I have a ton of dreams. A bunch of goals. Maybe you didn't experience your child almost dying twice recently, but maybe you are just ready to enter a new phase in your life NO EXCUSES. Maybe you are sick of waiting on permission from others to truly live your life. Maybe you are ready to kick fear in the face and start a new chapter in your life. I certainly d.o

So join me. Visit the blog daily where I will surely list my entire road back to being supremely healthy and fit and making my dreams come true.

Let's do this! 

P.S. Thank God and the universe for your health (if you have it) and the health of your children (if they have it). If not, then I understand and let's support one another. 


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