I spent over two weeks in the hospital and was released just to be sent back the next day due to complications. I then spent another few weeks in the ICU, until I had to be transferred to a long term care facility. I spent a month there regaining my strength, practicing being able to walk again and pushing myself to be able to eat enough since I had spent over a month on nothing but IV nutrition. Once released from the long term care facility, I was hopeful that this would be the end of hospital stays, I knew I still had a long recovery ahead of me. My general surgeon came up with a plan to insert a drain into my abdomen to drain fluid buildup, since all surgeries were on hold because of COVID unless they were seen as an emergency. A few weeks went by and I head to a follow up with my general surgeon all while feeling very light headed and having chills. She immediately sent me to the ER, where they admitted me to the hospital again. While there, she informed me that she had done everything she knew how to do and that she was transferring me to a specialist.
I arrived at Methodist Richardson uncertain of what was to come, but there I met Dr. Cho. He planned to remove 80% of my pancreas and my gall bladder due to necrosis because at this point it was considered an emergency. He also inserted more drains into my abdomen to help with draining fluid. After surgery it was a long road of having to get drains re-positioned or up-sized due to movement or blockage. I would have the drains fixed and be able to go home for a few days up to a week before I was back at the hospital again with an infection from the drains. After months of having many drains, my doctor decided that the fluid buildup had gone down enough to take them out and let my body absorb the rest of the fluid naturally.
I was beyond thrilled to finally be able to get back to a normal life after eight months of lying in a hospital bed or lying in bed at home. My doctors were still unsure about my returning to work or if I would ever work again. This was not the plan I had for my life, so I knew I was going to push myself everyday, never give up and not let this illness define who I am or what I can do. I started back at work part time and slowly started working more and more each week until I was back at full time. I would be lying if I said it was easy, my body screamed at me in pain everyday and I was exhausted at the end of the day. I knew that this was just a part of the process and I just had to keep pushing if I ever wanted to regain all my strength and continue living my life the way I wanted to.
Everything was going great, I had been back at work full time for a couple months and was able to enjoy things I had been missing out on. Last week I came down with a fever, I tried to let it just run its course on its own, but then I began having side abdominal pain. I went to the ER and was transferred back to Methodist Richardson where I had my 10th surgery this year and had another drain placed after being drain-free for months. I met with my surgeon and we decided that the best option for me is to re-do the surgery where they took out a majority of my pancreas so they can remove the excess fluid that has built up again. The surgery is to be scheduled before the end of the year and I will spend many weeks in recovery. I will have to start over my road to recovery and regaining energy after the surgery, but I know it will be for the best and I will bounce back just like I did last time.
Donations will greatly help me pay my bills since I have missed eight months of work this year and will be missing about another month. I live on my own and have help from my family which I am so grateful for, but there is only so much they can help with. This will allow me to not stress about medical bills or how I am going to pay rent. I will be able to allow my body to recover instead of trying to cut my recovery short and push myself to get back to work.
Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this, any donations will be greatly appreciated!
- Kay Massengale
- Laurie Wrubel
- Trasey Allen
- Kimberly Montalvo
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