Cancer Journey/ HEALTH/ Music Renews/ Spiritual

Emergency Room Visit & Keeping My Eyes Above The Waves

My second surgery this week went well.  I came home so relieved and with very little pain.  By the next morning (Friday) I was off prescription pain killers on just on Tylenol.   I had energy.  I stayed rested in bed but didn’t sleep much and just felt good.

Saturday morning woke up still feeling quite good.  I wrote about my surgery experience and a hero of mine.  But by 10:30 am, I started having an uncomfortable feeling in my chest, and I thought it strange that it was in the opposite side of where I just had surgery two days before.

I started getting tired and found myself sleeping all day.  I could not stay awake.  I thought it was just from having 2 surgeries in one week, sleeping off anesthetics, etc.

We had a Saturday family night, eating dinner and watching shows together as a family.  As we were watching shows, I noticed my chest pain becoming more and more uncomfortable.  It was pain felt at the top of each breath.  By the time our family show was over, I was only able to get about half a breath before I would feel pain on that left side.  I also had the chills and so I took my temp and sure enough I had a fever.

“You’ve Never Failed, And You Won’t Start Now”

It got worse, so I gave in and called my Dr.  I SO did not want to go into the ER.  I knew it would mean lots of tests.  I knew their first concern would be a blood clot.  Dr. F was very concerned and said to go into the ER right away, and yes, blood clot was his biggest worry.

I hated having to tell my girls that I felt sick and had to go back to the hospital.  My brave 12 year old Colsie wrote this on her Facebook page after we left:

“Everybody, please pray for my mom. She is having chest pains, and is going to the hospital. Hoping its nothing to serious!”
One of my closest friends saw the status and immediately went over to our house to stay with our girls.  That was a blessing & made them feel loved and cared for.
“Your Grace Abounds In Deepest Waters”

By the time I got to the hospital, my breathing was quite painful.  I could not get a sentence out without taking breaths in between words.  I noticed my breathing was more shallow as I was not able to get much air in without a lot of pain.

“You Call Me Out Upon The Waters

“The Great Unknown, Where Feet May Fail”

They took vitals, and my blood pressure was elevated.  I still had fever.  They took blood, a urine sample, an EKG, a chest X-ray & started an IV.  The chest xray showed fluid on that left lung, so a CT scan was ordered to rule out blood clot and see what was causing the fluid.  We had to wait awhile for the CT, as I am allergic to the contrast they inject for that test.  They had to give me a steroid and anti-allergy meds, and we had to wait patiently for them to take affect.  This is when my pain started getting really bad and my breathing very shallow.  It scared me.  I tried not to panic but I had never experienced the feeling of not being able to get air into my lungs, and my body would just not let me breath deep as even just a little air in my lungs would cause excruciating pain.  Later we found out this was pleurisy and fluid on my lung causing all this pain.

“Fear Surrounds”

There was a point I panicked.  I had all this fluid being pumped into me through an IV & I had to go to the restroom. I was hooked up to numerous machines and couldn’t up and go, and my breathing was the worst and most painful it had been.  I asked Todd to get a nurse.  The nurse took forever.  I begged Todd to grab anyone, and felt myself entering full panic mode.  I just couldn’t breath.

“And I Will Call Upon Your Name

And Keep My Eyes Above The Waves

When Oceans Rise

My Soul Will Rest In Your Embrace

For I am Yours & You Are Mine”


Being able to use the restroom actually helped me calm down.  Kinda funny as I think back on it, but it did.  I remember being very deliberate to stop crying and calm down so I could just focus on breathing. It helped.  I had my Doctor paged to get me some pain meds so I could breath easier, but the techs from CT came before the pain meds did.

Not good.

The whole time they were rolling me to CT I was trying not to panic.  I knew I would need to lay down and lay still, but the only way I could find some relief with breathing was to stay sitting up, almost leaning forward. I remember a long hall and seeing my reflection in the dark windows as they pulled me through the door. I did not like how I looked.  A patient.  With tubes everywhere.  Alone…until I remembered I am not.   This is the moment the song in this post entered my brain and it made much sense as to why one of you readers would share it with me earlier in the week and why it was on repeat in my brain all week.  The song is so fitting, as I did feel like I was drowning.  I remembered in that moment “Keep my eyes above the waters” and I remembered to turn my thoughts up toward my God.

Honestly that sweet moment was fleeting, because the worst came when they tried to lay me down for the scan.  I laid down and the same pain that would come when I breathed in, but would let up when I breathed out, came in a full tidal wave and stayed.  I heard a wailing and then realized it was me.  I begged them to sit me up.  I then cried and said I could not do that again.  They called for someone to bring pain meds, then asked me to try again.  I told them the only way I would was if they propped me up a bit on a couple pillows.  They agreed and it worked.  It was still a very painful 5 minutes, but I prayed through it, made myself stop crying, and just did it.

Doc later told me that all the fluid that was collected at the bottom of the lung would come up when I  laid down and that is what caused the pain and drowning feeling.  Glad to know there was a reason I was making all that noise.  Good grief.

“Spirit Lead Me Where My Trust Is Without Borders

Let Me Walk Upon The Waters

Wherever You Would Call Me”


I was rolled back to my room and my sweet husband.  He was on day 4 of a bad cold and it was almost 1:00 a.m.  He looked almost as bad as I did.  My poor man.

The pain meds were brought in.  Good ol’ morphine.  I texted my sister that I was getting morphine and she wrote back “ride the wave, Sissy.”  I think that is funny as it is so fitting with the song that was so on my brain.

Ride the wave I did!  Here are my morphine eyes.  I had instant pain relief and could relax and breathe.

The CT scan showed NO BLOOD CLOT!  Whoo Hoo!  My diagnosis was fluid on the lung, pleurisy, & beginning stages of pneumonia.  I went home with pain killer and antibiotics, and this fun little friend who helps me do breathing exercises.

When I left the hospital, I could only get to 750.  When they saw this the respiratory therapist had to recheck with doctor that I could be discharged.  They still let me go, and in the last 2 days I’ve been able to get it up to 1750.  Most of you reading this would be able to go all the way to the top, no problem.

That was Saturday night.  It is now Monday.  I feel so much better with no pain when I breathe.  I’m not completely normal with breathing, I feel breathless when I lay flat or go down stairs, etc….but so much better!

“And My Faith Will Be Made Stronger

In The Presence Of My Savior”

{click play…this was the song on my brain & it is one of my favs}

Oceans by Hillsong

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine


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  • EllyMae
    November 5, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Oh Amy, I’m so sorry you have gone through these complications. My heart aches for you ,wishing I lived close enough to be a help and take care and make you get “all better”! ( I guess, that’s the old nursing instinct coming out in me!) Definitely will continue prayers for strength and complete healing! Just so you know, you are cared for and loved by many FB and blog friends. thank You for sharing your life and wisdom with us.

  • Miss Rachel M.
    November 5, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Wow. So much to deal with but remember that God has been with you every step of the way and that will never change. You are safe in His embrace! I am definitely praying for you and thanking God for His unwavering presence in your life! Your story has been an inspiration and bridge to God’s love.

  • Kathy T.
    November 5, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Wishing you good health.

  • AmyT
    November 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    PS again…one last thing…your hair looks amazing despite the horrible tubes and hospital gown but the morphine eyes=absent of your sparkle. Hoping you’ll be sparkling again soon. Still, your hair held up!

  • AmyT
    November 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    PS. My support is extended to Todd who deserves a vacation when you get well, and to your girls who are no doubt worried about their Mom. I hope that you all have time to relax as a family and I wish I lived closer to help out in some way. I have SO been there in Todd’s shoes as well as yours. It’s hard being the patient and hard being the caregiver. Your children sound afraid so I’m glad that your awesome neighbor was there to help out. Sounds like your whole family could just use a healthy time and vacation to recover from all of this. I will be thinking of the girls as well as Todd and you. Tell Todd to get some rest also and that I’m thinking of him.

  • AmyT
    November 5, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Amy! Sending hugs. I knew that you had that diagnosis but didn’t know it was so eventful while diagnosing. I had pleurisy this past year and it was horrific all by itself. With all the other stuff you have going on, it sounds like you were a trooper and your sister’s words to ride the wave were just what you needed. I have used the breathing meter contraption after spine surgery and know how hard it can be. I’ve also had intense asthma which requires a “peak flow meter” which measures your breathing similarly and I know how scary it is when you’re maxed out on no air coming in. I got panicky with pleurisy also and went to ER , got CT scan and it was not a big deal for me that I remember but I wasn’t as sick. The pleurisy I had similarly hit me hard and fast and was super painful too. I found that being propped up helped and trying to sleep was difficult. I hope you will find some REST and relaxation and fend off all of this stuff. Your body has been thru a battle this week!! I have to wonder if you contracted pleurisy at the hospital or it’s going around. My partner and I both had it. She has diabetes so it hit her harder but we did get better. Try to let yourself not get traumatized by this all and know that you’re not alone in your suffering and that you’ll be getting well in time. Hang onto Todd and take any and all help from outsiders to get you through this rough patch. Remember…this too shall pass. Try to rest!

  • Patti Smith
    November 5, 2013 at 4:36 am

    What a wonderful song! I’m downloading now 🙂
    So so sorry that you had to go through this very scary time, Amy. As I get older I see medicine in a more realistic light. I used to think of doctors as gods; now I realize that they are far from being God and with Him is where my faith should stay. He carries us through it all, doesn’t he? Stay strong.

  • Rachel dos Santos
    November 5, 2013 at 12:21 am

    I am so blessed that the Lord inspired me to share that song with you. How amazing is He??
    I have been thinking of you and I hope that you continue to improve. A friend of mine was saying yesterday that things don’t come in “ones” – there often seems to be a series of events… as seems to be the case with you – first surgery, then the lung problem, etc.
    Praise the Lord for the way He spoke to you even in the middle of that; the fleeting moments where you were able to think upon Him.
    He is with you.

  • sweetapple3-
    November 5, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Oh, Amy. Good grief!!! My heart hurts to know that you’ve been going through this. Wishing it were different, but gosh…I’m just so proud of you and how brave you’ve had to be. Jesus in you is BIG. And STRONG. Press on, sister. Praying.

    Dana at Happy Little Lovelies

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