We've been working hard at J. Strom Thurmond Project Corps of Engineers getting everything ready for the upcoming summer. Even though we're required to put in a certain amount of hours each week in exchange for a fantastic FHU site right on the lake, we've happily put in extra time to move everything forward.
That came to a screeching halt last Tuesday night.
Back during my Coast Guard career, I was lucky enough to attend and graduate from the Coast Guard's prestigious National Search and Rescue School. One thing that was pounding into my head was it's human nature not to recognize the trouble you can be in, or if you realize something is wrong, you go into denial about it and often it can turn into a life threating disaster.
It started off simply enough, we went out to dinner (pizza) with some fellow workampers. When we arrived home, I started having some abdominal pain and felt nauseous. In what seemed an instant, I started full blown vomiting and extreme pain in the abdomen which left me not doubled but tripled up on the Journey's floor in agony.
Marti was really worried and said I needed to go to the emergency room, but through clenched teeth and tears, I said I didn't need any help and it would pass. When it didn't pass after a few minutes and got even worse, Marti called 911 for a ambulance.
Shortly the ambulance arrived with EMT's and several local firemen. They evaluated me and loaded me in the ambulance and headed for the hospital. On the way there, I passed out. I may have refused to recognize the life threatening situation I was in, but thankfully Marti did.
In the ER, I was given some pain meds and sent for a CT scan. The scan revealed I had (until now) asymptomatic diverticulitis causing the bowel to finally rupture and make my abdomen septic. The result was I was rushed into a several hour surgery which resulted in a large section of intestine removed, the cavity flushed and an colostomy fitted.
If Marti hadn't called 911 when she did, I'd have plunged into the abyss and not be here now.
I've been in the hospital for a week now, with the potential of staying another 5-7 days. It's been extremely painful and has laid me lower than I've ever been before. Thankfully, I have Marti and her sister Gail, (a nurse) and our daughter Heather helping me in the hospital.
The long term prognosis is good, a couple of month for my system to rest and then surgery to the removal of the colostomy and reattachment of the intestine. I've been informed that the healing process is going to be a long, slow process. I'll eventually be able to do some normal light things, but for now and the foreseeable future, I'm pretty much disabled.
The outpouring of concerns and visits from friends and fellow workampers and good wishes had prayers from people around the country have been very helpful to me, especially in dark times when I despair over the whole situation.
I won't be writing too much in the blog for a while, I'll be resting and healing. But be assured I'll be back and reading up on ya'lls adventures while looking forward to ours.