Life Blood

Lumbar fusion

Well a lot has happened since I talked to you guys last. I did have my lumbar spinal fusion on the 30th of November. It went well. They found some weird stuff going on in my spine. The longitudinal ligament that runs up and down over the discs, had apparently turned into the consistency of leather and was incredibly difficult for my surgeon to cut through. I guess I am a mutant. He said he’d never seen anything like that before, and could possibly be a manifestation of some of the Fluoroquinolone damage that had been done to my body. This is not the first time I’ve heard this type of thing after surgery. After my wrist surgery, my Doc told me he’d never seen tendon like that either. My TFCC had stretched so far there was no tension holding the bones together. He said it was almost like dried out rubber bands because it hadn’t torn but it was completely shot. My facet joints showed wear and tear, which we kind of expected with the instability issue going on. A fairly serious complication arose when they found some huge blood vessels in the way of the area they were operating on, and as a result I lost a little over 2000cc’s of blood by the time all was said and done. They did their best to avoid a blood transfusion, but ultimately it had to be done. My blood pressure was too low, my heart rate was too fast, and my blood levels were off. 

Blood donation

Blood donation arm

Thankfully, right after the transfusion, I did feel significantly better. It’s a really strange thing to watch someone else’s blood flow into your veins, though I am very thankful for the technology. When you really need it, it’s a miraculous thing. I found myself dealing with another complication with my bladder. It just up and went on vacation. For some reason, the communication between my bladder and my brain just quit after surgery. My bladder went no communicado. I was left in a very bad place because of this and I honestly was really worried that something was terribly wrong. I felt like I’d completely forgotten how to empty my bladder. This is very distressing when you feel like your bladder is ready to explode and leave body shrapnel all over your hospital room. Thankfully my Mom was able to get in touch with some ministers from my church, and I was administered to with blessed oil.  I once again felt intense heat washing over me, and I knew it was the Holy Spirit. I know those prayers were answered, because I was able to empty my bladder again and we are now back in a good working relationship. I know this was a miracle. 

I am usually violently ill from anesthesia after surgery, but this time around I have not been. This is just beyond awesome. It was one of my biggest worries. I firmly believe God opened the way for a very gifted anesthesiologist to be the one on my case. My best friend happens to have some really good medical connections. She worked for my surgeon for just short of 20 years, and has some great friendships and working relationships with people connected to that field. This wonderful anesthesiologist is one of those connections, and through a chain of events that only God can orchestrate, he managed to get on my surgical case. I am sure that was a blessing from God. It also helps tremendously that my surgeon is fantastic. I had phenomenal nurses, who happen to know my sister in law, because she is in nursing school and works on the floor I was on. I even was treated by a few physical therapists who know my brother through physical therapy school. My brother is a year out from having a Doctorate in physical therapy. These are all huge blessings. 

I’m sitting in my comfy chair, wearing super soft pj pants from my bestie. I’ve had calls and texts from my best friends, and even meals and visits from my awesome friends and family . I truly feel surrounded in love. There are blessings all around me. Even though I am in pain and I need help, there is still so much to be thankful for. My poor husband cleaned up a huge mess I made last night, and he wasn’t upset at all. He actually laughed. I dropped a plastic container of tomato soup out of the fridge and it EXPLODED. It was everywhere. I was even mad at myself and yet my husband just shook his head, laughed, and got to cleaning. It even managed to get onto the back inside wall of the fridge. I felt so bad, but he took it like a champ. I’m so thankful that he grants me so much grace through times like this. 

It is always very hard for me to ask for help. Being in situations where my independence is revoked and I can’t take care of myself, is really hard on my psyche. I have to tell you that this sparked some thoughts. The truth is that I would have been in very serious trouble, if someone hadn’t been willing to give their blood for my need. My body was really struggling. I felt pretty awful before that transfusion, and I could feel how much I was struggling. I felt out of breath, my heart was racing in the 120’s even when I was asleep, I was very dizzy and very weak. My doc’s and nurses tried everything they could to avoid having to do a transfusion. They flooded me with fluids to keep my blood pressure up, and it was still 80/40 a good portion of the time. Nothing could help me begin to truly heal, like blood would. My bestie Claire, the one with some great medical connections, was sitting in my room the day one of my surgeon’s partners came in and made the call that it was time to surrender and accept that I needed a blood transfusion. She’s worked with my spine surgeon and his partners for many years, and it was great that she was there when one of them came by to see me. I know that was no coincidence either. The doctor came to the door and said, “Claire?!” She jumped up and hugged him and they got to talk for a bit, then they both started to talk about how I was doing, and he made the call. It was perfect timing. I also thought it was great that Claire got to say hi to a good friend of hers. Within just a short while, a blood transfusion was started. I turned a corner after that, and I was finally able to move forward in healing. 

In my life, I have found the same truth rings true when it comes to my spiritual life. There are times when I am struggling. I fight a losing battle. I feel guilty and unworthy and dirty before God. I feel convicted of my own sin and I crumble when I fail. The only way to find peace and healing, is to accept that every single effort I put forth, will always fall short without the blood of Jesus. I will mess up. I will fail sometimes. I will struggle. The very beginning of my spiritual walk, was accepting that I fall short and that I need a Savior who was willing to shed his blood for me. I cannot make it to heaven without that epic blood donation of Jesus. Jesus gave his life and his blood for us. I had to accept that I needed a soul healing that only the blood of Jesus could provide. His blood embodies the grace needed to enter the kingdom of Heaven. His blood bridges the gap that I could never jump by myself. I knew this when I was baptized, and yet I still fight my same nature today. I’m always having to remind myself that Jesus gave his life so that I could still have a chance. He knew I wouldn’t be perfect, and yet he did it anyway. He bought us with his blood, while we were still sinners in need of his mercy and forgiveness. When I truly ponder this, I feel peace wash over, I accept that I need help, and I accept his blood being the key to my soul healing. The blood of Jesus washes me clean and frees me from my sin. 

I sat there in my hospital bed watching blood stream down into my veins. Blood that wasn’t mine, blood that was sacrificed by someone else. I have donated blood in the past, and it’s good to know that you might be able to help someone. I wanted someone to benefit from what I gave. Jesus wanted that too, but on an unfathomably more grand scale. He wants us to benefit from his sacrifice. He wants us to have a chance to be healed, redeemed, and saved. His sacrifice is the manifestation of a love we can barely begin to understand.  I imagine it brings him incredible joy when a soul makes it to heaven, knowing that his blood is what has made it possible. I just want to thank Jesus for sacrificing his life and allowing his blood to heal me and wash me clean. 

My oldest son asked me if it was weird to have someone else’s blood going into me. I told him that it did feel pretty weird to think about. Ironically I do have donor bone in like 4 places in my spine, cadaver tendon on my knee…and yet this weirds me out a bit. I can’t explain it really, it just felt a bit strange. I also felt a little like I wished I could thank the person who donated it. As weird as it felt, I also am incredibly grateful for the advances in modern medicine. I would have been much worse off if this technology wasn’t available and if generous people weren’t willing to sacrifice some time and blood for those who need it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve signed paperwork about blood transfusions before surgery. I mean at least 21 times in the last 7 and a half years. I’ve never thought it would be necessary. It was a bit of a shock to actually have to face one, but I’m so glad it was possible and I would benefit from it so much.

My sister took these pictures of my kids and my husband visiting me at the hospital.

in the hospital

Not super flattering for me haha, but I love the pictures anyway. My cup runneth over when I think of how much my family and friends mean to me. I don’t deserve it, but I am so thankful for them. Thank you guys so much for your prayers and support. They mean the world to me. I am still very much at the beginning of the healing process, so I don’t know how regularly I’ll write at first. I take naps and my body dictates my activity level, which has meant that I don’t have a ton of energy right now, but I plan to get right back to writing regularly very soon. Huge hugs to you guys! 

I absolutely love this song, and I hope you will too. All my hope is in Jesus, I’ve been washed by the blood.


18 thoughts on “Life Blood

  1. So glad that all this has turned out well for you. I love reading your blog. I’m also thankful that my husband has just reached a milestone. He has donated 60 pints of blood plasma in six years. When he goes into Lifesource about once a month he feels useful and very satisfied. I hope you continue to heal and it will the end of your struggling with this.


  2. Wishing you well from a fellow Floxie, I was severly damaged as well in 2007. Your encouragement to others means a great deal! Much prayers and thoughts coming your way Sweetheart!


  3. My Son received blood and blood products numerous times and also received a donor heart. I’ve often wonder how it feels to know that someones life ended, so yours could continue. He is also a Floxie.


  4. I just finished reading your book and laughed and cryed as I read it. I too took Cipro in August 2016 and it has changed my life completely. It caused extensive damage to both shoulders, hips, and knees in tendons, ligaments, meniscus and cartilage. I could empathize with your story as I went from an avid cyclist, personal trainer and indoor cycling instructor to an invalid. I now sleep in a hospital bed in the room that used to be a home gym and my wonderful husband does all of the chores and helps with the daily things that I can no longer do. I make it through each day remembering that God loves me and knows what I am going through. There are still so many things to be grateful for in the midst of this. I am very grateful that I can still walk even if it is for very short distances. We purchased a wheelchair for my last birthday. I trust that God will use this trial to glorify Him and that He will bring good out of it. I have seen some improvement in my condition and am trusting God to guide me with decisions regarding my health. Your spiritual journey and faith in God is an encouragement to me! I pray for your continued healing.


    1. Jean, thank you so much for sharing some of your journey with me. I am so sorry you are having to endure this. Sometimes it’s just unfathomable how many of us have been hurt by these antibiotics. I am so thankful that God promises to work everything together for our good. We know that even in this, there will be blessings and hopefully one day triumph. Right now triumph is one day at a time and one hurdle at a time. I am very glad we aren’t alone. Huge hugs. Please keep me posted on how you are doing. I pray for all of those who are experiencing this.


  5. Prayers for your continued recovery! I am always so inspired by your faith and and perseverance! God bless you this holiday season!


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