(Continuation of From Heaven to Hell....below)
The doctors came into my room and said they were transferring me to the rehab hospital so that I could begin getting my body back to normal. I said a courteous thank you and tried to appear happy with the news. Inside I thought, "Rehab, are you frickin' kidding me? I can't go to the bathroom, it hurts to breathe, I can't move my body and you want me to start rehab? Hello, I damn near died, can't I just have a few more days here first?"
The transfer took place early that evening. I was placed in a room with an elderly lady who moaned and cried all night. I lay awake crying and thinking that I must be in hell. The nurse came early the next morning for shots, blood, and vital signs. It did not go well and ended with my husband demanding a transfer to another facility. The director came to see me and transferred me to the very end of the hall in a room by myself and promised she would personally oversee my care. So, I stayed.
I convinced my family to go home that day and rest. I spent the whole night alone, awake, crying and talking to God. I promised Him if He would help me or send His angels to help me through this I would never question Him again. I needed His strength and wanted Him to reveal His reason for returning me to endure this painful journey.
I fell asleep around 3:00am and was awakened at 4:30am for my shots, meds and vitals. I don't know what happened in that hour and a half, but when my eyes opened, I felt calm, at peace and on a mission. As soon as the nurse left, I started writing down my "The Rebuilding of Pam Plan". (A lame name I know, but I was on a lot of meds and it was hard enough to think let alone be creative!) I wrote down steps needed to regain my physical body, grow my spiritual self and obtain the skills I would need to fulfill my mission. I would start immediately after breakfast. I was ready to leave the pity party. As soon as my tray was removed, I moved my bed to make myself sit up right. Damn, that was painful, but I was ready for the first step.....to get out of the bed by myself. It took over two hours to get from the bed into the wheelchair next to the bed. I am not sure I have ever endured so much pain, but when my butt hit the seat of that wheelchair, I felt extreme joy. Step 1 was done, I could check it off and move on to the next.....my journey had truly begun.
The weeks that followed were filled with visits from family, friends and caregivers. I continued to progress and check off milestones on my plan. I finally reached the point where I could walk short distances with a quad cane but still required a wheelchair as my primary mode of transportation. During my stay at the hospital, someone from my past came back into my life and forged a very special place in my heart. The fact that we weren't really friends in the past but that she took time from her family and extremely busy life to visit me is indicative of her character and heart. Kathy's visits brought me so much joy that I can never thank her enough. I will forever be grateful for visits from my first angel on Earth. I will feature her story in a future blog because her story is truly amazing and deserves to be shared.
As the day was nearing for my discharge, I began to feel extremely anxious about not being under the constant care of a doctor. I was not looking forward to the months of home health care. My prayers were answered when my second angel on Earth called to say she was dropping everything to come stay with me as long as I needed her. My cup runneth over........how on Earth did I deserve to have someone this special and loving in my life? Merida drove from Arizona to Austin so that we would have her vehicle (she has a SUV and we only had cars) to load the wheelchair into for my many doctor and physical therapy appointments. She cooked, cleaned, nursed and chauffeured me for months without ever a complaint. (I am extremely thankful for her husband Bryan as well for letting me share her for so long. I give him hell, but I love him dearly.) Most importantly Merida loved me unconditionally and put up with me during one of the darkest times in my life. She is my best friend....my sister....and I am blessed to have her in my life. I cried for a week after she left because I missed her companionship and love. But, I was being selfish and it was time to check another step off my plan.
I am still not sure what I hope to accomplish with these posts, but they are my story about the journey that has defined my last two years and will continue to mold the rest of my days. It has been said that many who experience near death experiences either contemplate suicide in order to return to the nirvana state, divorce or become extremely driven or spiritual. While I do not know what the future holds, I am currently a more spiritual and driven person who is at peace with the concept of death but not wishing to speed up the process. I am not the old Pam nor do I wish to be. I know my journey has been hard on my friends and family as they cannot understand the drastic changes in me. I cannot explain it in terms that they can understand. Heck, I don't fully understand myself. I wish every person on Earth could experience the Heaven part of my journey without having to endure the Hell.
I am at peace with where I am now in my life. While this journey has been one of the most painful physically and mentally that I have ever had to endure, I am thankful. Prior to the accident, I was just existing...now I am living. I value true friends, great loves and a fabulous family more now than ever. I try to appreciate the beauty of all things and people God created and don't take anything for granted.....remember, tomorrow was never promised. I continue checking off the steps on my plan as I prepare myself physically, mentally and spiritually for my true mission in life.
Thank you for taking the time to read my posts. I pray that if you ever find yourself in a similar situation that your journey is as blessed as mine. TYJ!
Be Bold. Be Fierce. Be Grateful. Live life gloriously Free!