Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Heart's A Stereo

Thursday I had the feeding tube put in, which meant one full day of no food or drink of any kind for almost 20 hours before the procedure, followed by about an hour and a half surgery (under general anesthesia), and waking up in the recovery room hungry, thirsty, in pain  and more than a little confused about what exactly had just happened to my stomach muscles.

Steve met me back at my room and stayed with me for a bit, and I was so grateful he was there because  the after effects of the procedure were WAY more painful than I had anticipated.  The doctors told me to expect to be "uncomfortable", but these felt like labor pains - contractions that ripped across my abdomen every few minutes.  It makes sense, I guess, because to insert the tube, they have to cut through stomach muscles and into your actual abdomen, then stitch in three "tacks" that hold the tube in place for a couple of weeks until scar tissue forms and the tacks can be removed.  I'll spare you the pictures, but the pain was much worse than anything I was emotionally prepared for.

As Steve left to go home that night, I thought about the next day with some trepidation. We didn't expect this surgery to be that big of a deal, so nobody was scheduled to come see me until my brother was going to pick me up after radiation treatment later that afternoon.  In the morning we thought there would be people training me on the use of the feeding tube, but this turned out not to be the case - the training would happen when a Visiting Nurse came to see me at home that night.

All that would happen during the day was that nurses would periodically check my vitals and the "button" site.  They wouldn't even tell me when I was scheduled to be released, but assured me it would not be until much later that afternoon or early evening.

By 10am yesterday morning, I was a wreck.  I hadn't slept much at all the night before, and my mind was racing with all sorts of awfulizing thoughts.  The combination of lonely, scared and in pain had reduced me to silent tears that I would sneakily wipe away whenever the nurses came in to check vitals or something.

So there I was, sniffling away, feeling sorry for myself, wishing I could call someone and chat, but my cell phone battery was lower-than-low and I needed to save the juice, when "BINK" - my cell phone chirped at me that it had a text.

It was from Heather.  "Check your email," it said, simply.

Thankfully, I had brought my Kindle Fire with me, so I clicked on her email, opened the attachment, and found this:



Operation Spiritual Airlift from Heather King on Vimeo.

Even though we are separated by many miles - from coast to the coast - my amazing friends got together and showed me that I'm never truly alone.  Suddenly, I wasn't scared anymore. They reached through the pixelated miles and gave me a virtual hug that made my spirit soar.

Thank you, Heather (click on the link to her blog to read about what gave her the idea to do the video, which involves a little connection I have with her daughter Elsie Jane), Lisa (from Smacksy), Maggie (from Maggie, Dammit), Eileen (from Calandro Clan), Becky (from The Tales of Married Mikkimoto), Ann (from Ann's Rants), Jessica Bern (from Bern This), and Lee (from so many things I linked to her Twitter account).  And, as I understand it, Lee's fabulous husband for his editing talents.

Consider Operation Spiritual Airlift to be a roaring success - just when my spirit was about as low as it has been through this whole journey, there you guys were.  JUST EXACTLY when I needed you.

Words fall so short for how much you all mean to me, but I did manage to take this pic from the hospital yesterday -- that smile on my face?  You put it there:



48 comments:

  1. I love love love the video. It made me laugh and cry in the best way. Know that for everyone that appeared in the video, there are dozens more out here rooting for you. I think of you every day and am sending my best thoughts your way. Big gentle around the shoulder hugs.

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  2. Ouch, sorry about the pain, but my gosh Ellie, you do look lovely in that picture, and you have all of your hair!

    And what a radiant smile, a beautiful gift from loved ones and to loved ones. Thank you.

    Hugs,

    Mike L

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  3. If only we could take the pain away.

    xoxoxo

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  4. Happy tears for you, Ellie, and for those goofball friends who made that awesome video.

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  5. and you know what? There are more layers to this story. You see, the video gave us some trouble. Day after day, we'd say we were about done and then something glitchy would happen. My Internet going out for a couple of days, for example. I'm not complaining about the making of the video at all, my friend, don't you dare think that. I'm saying that it all worked together to arrive to you at the perfect time...even though I tried to rush it a million times. Wow and cool and I love you!!!

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  6. what Kathryn said.

    what tenderhearted love... So cool. Not only a great family, but awesome friends. You're blessed! It'll be good to get past this feeding tube distraction... it will soon be painless and your nutritional balance will improve... unless you are using it for Starbucks double lattes and Wendy's Frostys. Sending healing thoughts to you.

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  7. you have brought me to tears. I'm so so happy this came at the perfect time for you. we just love you so much, Ellie and it was a joy to do this for you.

    Thinking of you always (well I have your picture on a stick so it's hard to ignore you)

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  8. I love this! What a wonderful bunch of women! Friends get us through the worst of times. Love to you, and love to every beautiful woman on the video! I wish I could have been on it, but then again, I could never lip sync to this! xoxoxo

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  9. This HAS to be a God thing...especially to know it was sent at the VERY minute you needed it. Girls...you rock, and on this day you became angels. I love this idea, and so glad you all did it. And Ellie...you are on my heart so much. May God continue to carry you and send you that peace and smile every single time you need it!

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  10. Amazing. Wishing you strength & love in abundance.

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  11. Awesome. Creativity is inherently healing, what we are meant to do, how we are meant to live. Glad you've got such friends. You are indeed blessed!

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  13. What awesome friends - like extended family. What an awesome God to pull timing like this off!

    And what an awesome lady you are to inspire such faith and love in people: more people than you can ever imagine. I'm still wiping away snotty tears.... sorry - that was a bit graphic, wasn't it. ;)

    Know that I join dozens if not hundreds of people whom you have never even met, who are in your corner, cheering you on, touched by your transparency, wanting you to not leave us behind because your kind of song is hard to find. Know that all the spiritual power I have to give is behind these three simple but often tritely spoken words (but not trite in this case cuz I mean them!): Get Well Soon!!!

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  14. Been following your journey, singing along literally and figuratively.

    Hoping the pain scoots on out of the frame.

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  15. LOVED this. What beautiful friendships you have!

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  16. I don't know you, but I know Becky, and happily found this post and video. Cheers to you for being such a brave and authentic woman. May we all have such strong women in our lives when we need them most. Wishing you the very best, and a speedy recovery. Humming along with you and your fabulous gal pals...

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  17. I cried my eyes out watching the video. You ladies are awesome for doing this for Ellie!!!!

    Ellie....girl....you hang in there and continue to stay strong. You inspire me so much.

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  18. So dang awesome. So awesome. Thinking about you and wishing you less pain. Prayers my friend. xo

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  19. I'm so glad this came to you just when you needed it. We all adore you ~sending loving thoughts and light your way. xoxo

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  20. Amazing. Love your friendship. You inspire me in ways you will never ever ever know. Stay strong. You are a beautiful woman inside and out. I am blessed to have found your blog. I wish you a fast speedy recovery..

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  21. I just want to reach through this screen and give you a huge hug. I remember those lonely, scared feeling when alone at the hospital during chemo. I want to take it all away for you! I hope that you are starting to recover from your surgery. XO

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  22. Yay! I'm so glad that video lifted your spirits. It lifted mine, and I'm not even the one it was meant for!

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  23. Ellie, that was EFFIN' AWESOME!!! I cried and laughed at the same time, thinking about how your friends banded together and did this for you. What a GIFT! Oh how very blessed you all are to have each other in your lives.

    I'm praying for you so many times a day. You are so brave and SO LOVED. xoxo

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  24. Ellie - yeah. We're never that far away. And you're on the brain and heart a lot. My only regret in doing this video is that Vimeo had to pick that particular freeze frame. I mean come on. Not that I'm not all bad ass and cool and all but uh, yeah.....I'm not. :-)
    Love you sister ...
    xo
    Lee

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  25. the video inspired me and made me realise just how small the world is when you have friends. many (gentle) hugs and much love to you. it will all be ok.

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  26. Oh, this is fantastic and those girls are amazing. Wow.

    Sending you HUGE love and hugs, Ellie.

    <3 Anna

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  27. What amazing, wonderful friends you have! Beautiful and lovely ... ALL of you!
    Lee Ann

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  28. Barbara in ArkansasJanuary 29, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    What an uplift these girls (women?) are! I hope you play it over and over when you are down. Best wishes and positive thoughts to you.

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  29. What a wonderful bunch of friends you have...such a blessing! Hugs & prayers!

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  30. This journey you are on will be so much easier to travel with friends like this. I wish you speedy recover, successful treatment and hopefully back to eating real food soon!

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  31. Friends like these make you a blessed, blessed woman indeed.

    BIG LOVE TO YOU.

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  32. You are so loved, Ellie. What a gift to you, and to us...

    Thank you all...

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  33. First time commenter. Thinking of you and sending you love and peace and laughter!!! xoxo

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  34. You must have been so touched, great inspiring, loving and well timed video :)) You are SO loved my dear :)

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  35. Hey, Ellie: I just came over from Lisa's blog and you don't know me at all (it's not chemo brain) but I wanted to say how sorry I am that you suffered those moments of loneliness and pain in the hospital, but also how cool a woman you must be to have inspired that video awesomeness and to have such a devoted, funny, wonderful group of friends. All my best to you, and I've got to add: the pic of you in the hospital bed is adorable. You look great.

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  36. Uplifting for so many.

    {Ellie, you are so, so very loved.}

    This? Is amazing. Pure amazing.

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  37. Amazing, Ellie. Just lovely. I'm so happy they were there for you. Sorry things are so hard -- hoping there is ease for you soon.

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  38. Hang in there, Ellie. You will get through this, and so will your family. :)

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  39. I'm so glad I came by to check on you today. You are so loved, and you are strong, ya know that right?

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  40. You are very lucky and blessed to have friends like these....I'd play that daily!!! Positive thoughts!

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  41. Cripes I love this! You are so loved my dear :)) Watching it again as it cheers me so.

    The love of others just such a beautiful thing. You have fabulous friends.

    Get better :)

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  42. I have been thinking lots about you and this made me cry and laugh and so happy to know that you were lifted up by some wonderful silliness from friends.

    Praying for you lady.

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  43. Another stranger friend out here in Internet-land thinking of you and your family. Hope you are doing a little better today.

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  44. That was Crazy Awesome!! When I was going thru treatments my mother in law rallied the family to send me funny pictures in the mail, they always seem to arrive and just the right time. Hang in there!

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  45. Amazing, beautiful friends, just like you are Ellie! This brought big ole, sweet tears to my eyes. I'm so glad it came to you RIGHT when you needed it. xoxo

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  46. Oh this made me cry. What a miraculous coincidence you got the text and email when you did. And what wonderful friends!

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