A New Heart...A New Life - Part 3

 In our lives, there are human angels who come to us when things get difficult, and when we question whether or not we can go on.  These angels give us love and kindness and show us the reasons why we must keep fighting.  For me, at this most difficult of times, my angel was (and still is!) named Tracy Coates.  She and I had been friends for a while, and she has always been a great conscience for me in the workplace.  But, little did I know, that when I was beaten and scared, and full of anxiety for what would come next, Tracy never left my side. She was there to listen to my rants, catch my tears, and remind me why life is worth living. And there was one incident that sealed Tracy's place in my life.
     
     On the afternoon of December 15, 2016, I was in my hospital room after surgery. I was a little peeved because they would not let me have a Diet Coke, and was rather grumpy.  Tracy was sitting beside my bed, tryng to keep my mind off my Diet Coke-less state, and I was feeling physically okay because they had given me a nice dose of painkillers now that they didn't need for me to be awake while they tortured me.  So - and I am now describing something I have no memory of - Tracy says that my eyes rolled back in my head and I was unconcious. To me, I was in a semi-sleep kind of state, where I could hear everything around me, but could see or feel nothing. In a moment of clarity in that situation, I realized that I was dying. It didn't hurt; I didn't see a bright light; my Daddy wasn't reaching out to me at the end of a bridge.  It was so uneventful that I might have missed it completely, had I just known in my head that it was happening. I heard Tracy yelling at me, and I wanted to answer, but I couldn't.  I heard commotion around me, with nurses talking loudly about a crash cart and medical terminology. I know that they did a lot of stuff to me, and I know that it lasted a few minutes, but I felt nothing. In my head, I was thinking, "Oh, so this is what death is like.  It is over, and I am okay with that.  I had a good run, although I wish that I could have done more." Now, to be honest with you, I had died before.  In 1996, while giving birth to twins who did not live more than a few hours, I had lost most of my body's blood and almost my life...but this was different.  At that time, I had heard my Grandmother (dead since 1983) and my best friend Mark (sadly, passed in 1995) arguing about whether I should come back or not. Mark finally won, saying that I needed to come back for my (then) husband. Apparently, my now ex-husband didn't think that was a reason to stay with me.  At that time, I did not have any real knowledge of dying - I thought that it was a dream until later when I woke up.  NO, this time was much different because I knew that I was dying. I was not angry or sad...I really felt peaceful about it.  Then, I heard my cadiologist - Doctor Little Prick - running into the room.  Although I was busy dying, I heard my Mother (who was in the corner in a wheelchair) say, "Lisa, that doctor looks like Travis Tritt, doesn't he?" The doctor was saying that my blood pressure was 10 over 5, that I was almost gone, but there was one last thing that he could try.  If it didn't work, then he would have to code me. At this point, I am describing what Tracy told me later, because I have no recollection (thank goodness!) Doctor Little Prick took a large syringe with a needle that was very, very long, and very, very big, and (Tracy left the room, but knows what he did) pushed it through my body into my heart, where he was able to draw out a small amount of liquid.  I heard him say, "I couldn't get a lot, but I think that I might have gotten enough.: Then, I woke up. He looked at me and said, "You scared the HELL out of me! I have never lost a patient, and I thought you were going to be my first!" I laughed. He did look like Travis Tritt.

     As Tracy rushed back into the room, I remember thinking, "That woman is an angel!" She had tears running down her face, and I could tell that she was worried, but she tried her best not to show it..  All I saw was her smiling at me, taking my hand, and saying that I had scared her a little bit.  From that moment until this one, I know that Tracy is my angel.  Seeing her face every day makes me smile, and hearing her stories about her grandkids makes me feel like I am a part of their lives.  She lived through death with me, and now, she lives through life with me.

     Next...what follows death?  Life...A New Life!

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