HISTORY: In late 2012, I began a health journey that has spanned these several years. It all started with a severe hiatal hernia after pregnancies, where my stomach was almost entirely caught in my diaphragm. My stomach had become floppy and the blood was being cut off from it. My life was in danger, so I had surgery that was so complex because of my anatomy that resulted in an unfinished surgical procedure, and a life-threatening sepsis infection. I coded at one point- but I survived. It was a very bumpy road for a few years with countless ambulance and emergency visits, several surgeries with adhesions, and the loss of my spleen and some of my colon. I was on tube feeding and a stomach bile bag for a year before my surgery In 2015 when I had a surgery to staple my esophagus and my stomach in place so it wouldn't end up a hernia again (as apparently the esophagus has a memory and yo-yo's right back up into the diaphragm). This was a rough recovery where I threw up all day every day for a year while working and beginning my journey as a single mom, starting over with my 3 boys and God's grace and providence. I went from a size 12 to a 0 in 9 months and lost my full-time job because they were worried about me as a liability. I had pneumonia 3 times that year, with a few hospitalizations and a procedure to stretch my esophagus. I was on short term disability for a few months. Over the next 3 years, I experienced aspirations and because of an undiagnosed broncho-esophageal fistula (or pathway to the lungs from my esophagus), I had increasing bouts with pneumonia until last year when it was monthly. By April 2019, I had contracted viral pneumonia that the boys brought home from school 3 months prior. On top of my constant bacterial pneumonia, I became very ill and lost over 30 pounds. I had to call on family and ended up in the hospital twice in two months with severe pneumonia and dangerous anemia. At my lowest, I was 84 pounds. The California hospitals could not identify or help with the surgical procedure but told me I needed to gain weight in order to have surgery for my fistula. My family graciously took us into three different homes while I got stronger and was hospitalized again. I recently had 2 1/2 (very rough) months of IV antibiotics at home getting ready for these surgeries. It was put off due to COVID-19 by several months. It is now time for the next steps.
THIS WEEK (Wednesday, JUNE 3rd and Friday, JUNE 5th) 2020: I have been praying to obtain this particular surgeon (see pictures attached of my surgeon, Dr. Bremner, and my advising lung doctor, Dr. Tokman) since last May. I saw him last fall and we made a plan in January for February surgery. The team immediately saw many things that needed attention that no one had identified ever before. Briefly, I have a lower lobe of the left lung full of infection that infects the other lungs. It has become cystic fibrosis tissue and will be removed. The broncho-esophageal fistula will be repaired. What I just described is PHASE ONE on JUNE 3rd. On JUNE 5th, PHASE TWO will be to repair my para esophageal hernia, a takedown of the previous fundoplication, resection of foreign body (mesh around stomach from previous surgery - all messed up), partial gastrectomy with roux reconstruction. This will re-route my stomach to my lower intestine (roux-n-y surgery).
EXPECTATIONS: Each surgery is about 6 hours. I will have a feeding tube for a time, as well as full oxygen for a time, while healing. I am expected to be in the hospital for 1-2 weeks. Each surgical procedure estimates a week in the hospital, so my 2-for-1 may buy me about 2 weeks. I will need antibiotics to fight the infection from the lungs.
CONCERNS: 1) Epidural suggestion (I'd rather not - having past spinal surgery as a teenager. Never had it for natural delivery pregnancies.); 2) Life-threatening reaction to blood transfusions (I experience unbearable pain - like hitting concrete, throbbing in my kidneys, and loss of consciousness, erratic vitals, feeling like I'm dying, Benadryl saved me); and 3) Just desiring that this be a success and I can resume life without aspirations (sleeping sitting up like a princess), no more throwing up, and no more pneumonia. I want life abundantly to care for my boys, and to show them God's restoration and victory in my life.
FAMILY INFORMATION: I am staying with my mom and papa, in Mesa, Arizona. My two younger boys, Jadon (14) and Josiah (12) are staying with us for now. They want to stay here until I get out of the hospital. My son Justin (17) is in California with the boys’ dad, Ricky. Ricky got a job with Tesla Solar Roofing a few months ago (right before the shutdown), and obtained a townhome in Folsom for the boys to live there when they join him after my surgery. I plan to join them as a co-parent when I am off of tube feeding and oxygen, and strong enough. My boys are very concerned about me. Please pray for their peace.
VISITATION: Only one person may be with me on the day of surgery, as hospitals are still dealing with an increase in COVID-19 cases in this area. I’m blessed to even be able to have surgery while the hospital is still in shutdown mode - as I’ve been waiting since February. My mom, Marcy Cox, will be arriving with me and staying until after surgery while I’m in recovery. She will be allowed to come back on Friday for my next surgery. I have added her here to update this site as appropriate. Her email is email@example.com. Unless otherwise announced, visitors including mom, are still not allowed for patients. I’ll miss holding a hand and hearing prayers, but I am so thankful that we have FaceTime!
PRAYER REQUESTS: I again pray for total healing and victory to lead a full life that the Lord has given me...to teach, to minister and to heal. As you pray, please praise! There is such faith and power in PRAISE! I rebuke fear. I have been listening to and singing RAISE A HALLELUJAH as our faith anthem with my boys!
THANK YOU: I am so grateful for such beautiful people of the Lord to pray and believe God's miracles with me! Thank you! I love you!
(Note: “TRIBUTES” here go towards Caringbridge’s ongoing site here to support the website and those who use it. I mention this only because it sounded like some sweet and generous saint intended to unexpectedly gift me (though I’m unsure as I’m new to this site too), but it was gifted to Caringbridge; which is wonderful, as they have provide countless people like me with this platform to communicate when they most need support. If there is another intent to gift me personally, it can be sent to my email firstname.lastname@example.org on Venmo, or by check to 1278 Leisure World, Mesa, AZ 85206. Please know, I am only asking for prayers for my total healing, and my family’s future in Him. Love to you!)