This is very difficult to put into writing--not the actual death experience which was beautiful and a peak experience in all of life and ever--but the memories of all that occurred leading up to it and following. Such hardships and trials! Yet God shone through, always, for me, with consolations and letting me know intimately His Real Presence.
The day of the surgery, I was being prepped. The surgeon told me that he had to change the type of rods he would install--7" long, two side-by-side. He said given my height he had planned a larger rod, but now that he saw that I had small bones and was quite thin, he was changing the type of metal and to Zilke Instrumentation.
Then he told me I would feel as if I had been kicked in the back a good one, by a horse, after surgery. He thought I'd be hospitalized 5-8 days, and then he gave me the statistics of post-surgery success. He said 25% would not have any pain again after surgery. The next 65% tend to have some slight residual pain now and then but nothing that limits them from normal activity.
He said unfortunately 10% tend to have pain after surgery that seems unable to be corrected. Of course, he said with my age (36 then), healthy lifestyle, and attitude being quite positive, he had no reason to believe I would not be in that top 25%. I felt so, also, for I always looked to the good and strive for high achievement. I had my children to rear and much hope for the future.
So, I mentally readied myself for surgery while drinking a couple of gallons of a horrible liquid to empty my system. I missed my children but knew they were having a wonderful time with my parents at their lake house. I had brought to the hospital a tape machine and blank tapes to talk to them and send. Later I would realize the children were not understanding what I was undergoing. The surgeon had instructed the nursing staff to post a sign on the room door for all visitors to check in at the desk first, as he had asked if there was anyone who I'd not want to come.
My ex-husband had continuously harassed and threatened even though he had not wanted to remain married and had been with several women throughout our marriage and following. I was careful to not let the children know the name of the hospital, but the eldest knew the city, perhaps overhearing my parents commenting.
About an hour prior to surgery, the phone in the room rang. I had been bed-ridden from the pain and sedated on morphine since being in the hospital, but I picked up the phone. I heard my ex-husband's voice, and I froze. He told me I'd better make sure I flew the children back and had them delivered to his apartment for their visitation, as he refused to change the weeks. He then told me he hoped I died.
Then he hung up.
A friend came to the hospital and waited through the seven-and-a-half hour surgery. She received word that I was in recovery, called my parents to tell them I made it through all right, and returned to her home with her husband.
Next I will write about the events in recovery, but not right now. There is so much more that transpired, and it is so clear and coming forth--things that would not mean much to a reader, but that my soul needs to process. As I mentioned above, I've never written this out. And I'm leaving out some that is also painful but unnecessary.