A Letter to Heaven

Picture 045-3

If letters can be sent to heaven, I would send one every second of the day to you.

Dear Dad,

Where do I begin? It will be 9 years tomorrow that you left this world and went to heaven. February 10, 2009 was the day my life flipped upside down. It’s a month I always feel creeping up from just my emotions changing and feeling the pain starting to raise to the forefront. Dad, this letter is going to be everywhere because my mind constantly feels like that, just scattered since I lost you. Sure, “time heals” but it doesn’t erase the memories, pain, the fact I can’t just press the rewind button just to have you back for a second (who am I kidding, I selfishly want you back forever), and the agony that I go through every time I think of you. The reality is, reality hits you right in the face and makes sure you feel it all. I remember the day like it was yesterday that you died, I relive every second of it and get weak in my knees. I couldn’t “fix you”, it was just your time but it wasn’t mine time to let you go. I was young. I needed you, I still need you.

Oh, Dad so much has happened since you have gone “home” to the one you love. I know you see it all but its not the same as having you physically here to just run to you in times of hardship, to get your bear hugs in times of worry, to hear your wisdom in times of trouble, to hold your hands in times of fear, to hear that contiguous laugh in times of joy, to see that radiant smile in times of celebrations, & to hear your angelic voice in church that would ease my heart(still my favorite voice of all time). YOU are my heart, my heart that is missing. Dad, I needed you physically here the last couple of years with everything I was going through medically. If it’s one person that understood pain and dealt with it with so much elegance, it was you. I haven’t gone through a quarter of what you have been through in my 22 years of having you on earth. But, you know me more than anyone and how big of a baby I am when it comes to this stuff, I SELFISHLY WANTED AND NEED YOU TO BE HERE. I get so sad at times when I can’t speak to you to calm me down. I don’t mean to just give you all the negative but you were and are the rock of our family. 

90

I don’t care if it’s 9 years, to me it’s as though it just happened. Others may have forgotten you, but one thing I will forever promise you is that Mom, Mia, & Me will always speak of you and your legacy no matter what. It’s crazy to think, but I always say, I wish it was the day you died because I would have felt you, tasted your love, and had the lingering smell of you in my nose…9 years really removes all that and I get so upset because I yearn to have those treasures that people take for granted. Dad, I’m trying to channel you lately, like WWDD(what would dad do?) and I find I fail often because there is none like you. You were SO special and unique. Call me biased, I don’t care but you are by far the best father, priest, man to have walked this earth. You taught me the meaning of so many things that only a special, beautiful, kind-hearted, God fearing man, who loved whole heartily was able to teach me.

You are my best friend, you just knew me without me having to speak. We had this silent language that no one else shared. We had a funny way of communicating, I would speak to you in English and broken Arabic and you would do the same but vice versa. We would laugh for hours because at the end we didn’t get anywhere. I am smiling now just thinking of those moments. You had such a silly side of you that only the family saw that I hold so close to my heart. Anytime I hear a liturgy of yours or a small sermon you use to give, I just close my eyes and try to feel you and be in that moment. When I get that question, “If you could have a super power, what would it be?” I immediately say to turn back time. Not many people would but, I would because than I can freeze time and stand still in that moment with you. Dad, I just miss you if the message hasn’t been clear enough. I miss you every second of my day. I’m over the moon about you. I tear up once a day either about you or my health journey and I don’t care. It’s my way of sending my tears to you and cleansing my heart.

This letter can go on and on because there is no limit when it comes to talking about you. But, tell me, what’s heaven like? I can see you now just singing your heart out 24/7 and jumping to the gates when someone you loved so much passes away. I can see you waiting anxiously to give them a tour of your new home. Do you feel every pain I feel? I know they say you do but Dad, I want to feel you more. I know so many people pray to you but your daughter is selfish again and wants you all to herself. How amazing is it to be with God all the time? I know you wouldn’t come back if you had the chance but, I would jump back into the arms I love. Who do you hang out with most of your days? I can see you now, having everyone gravitate towards you. You had that here on earth even with your quiet demeanor. Everyone that loved you, loved being around you always.

Picture 044-3

Your family misses you, Mom, Mia, & Me.  We hold you forever in our hearts and talk about you constantly. Jack, is a mini you with his singing and knows you as “Gido in heaven” he is so much fun, full of energy, and has a silly side like you did. He would have been by your side in the alter. And Livy, shes amazing Dad-has the purest baby heart. She’s obsessed with Jack, kinda like Mia was with me 🙂 She smiles all the time, nothing bothers her (yet), and she too loves to sing. Their crazy Aunt Monka always has dance parties with them. I know you’ve never formally met Mikey but I know you know him from up there. He has been my rock through my medical journey, he would have been the “deacon” son you always wanted, haha. Mia is still the funnier one (but I’m still the stylish one lol) and such a great mom, wife, and sissy.  And than there is Mom aka Kooky, still our superwoman, amazing, God-fearing, strong, loving, caring, will do anything for any of us anytime. She is simply the best woman and with every great woman has a great man.

abouna fam

Well Dad, I’ve spoken your ear off per usual. Continue to keep us all in your prayers. Continue to hold our hands through this life, teach us to be more like Christ and to love just like you loved. Your deeply missed that my heart aches. But, I will just forever and ever hold on to the memories. You are forever imprinted in my heart and soul. Until we meet again…

I love you so incredibly much, Deeg.

Love always & forever,

Your Mone-ya-ana-ya-mone-ya-A

116

 

Advertisements

Winter Break

It’s like school all over again with looking forward to “winter break”

Foyer of our pent house

My husband each year takes about 2-3 weeks off work from end of December to first week of January. I look forward to this each year like a little girl waiting for Santa to come bring her, her gifts. We always enjoy these weeks off because we are dedicated to just each other and having fun. We always try to take a mini vaycay (driving distance) of some sort. This year we went to D.C. granted we’ve been there so many times, this time around it was different as we focused on what we wanted to do. It was just us roaming the city, indulging in great eats, and staying in our killer pent house in our hotel. Thanks, hubby!

See my husband and I along with a very close couple of ours were suppose to go to Japan mid November. However, we had to cancel it due to my surgery. Granted my doctor said I could go & that he would give me phone numbers of doctors out there “just in case” and well I didn’t want to have an “just in case” moment and get stuck in Japan. I just didn’t want to risk it and have my husband and I worry the whole time. Thankful, we got our money back easily with a doctors note so I truly felt that was a sign from God. So, those 3 weeks plus D.C. were our “vacation” and time to enjoy.

We did so much, from celebrating 2 Christmas’ since we actually celebrate ours in January 6 & 7 since we are Coptic Orthodox. We went to the city a lot and enjoyed the Christmas cheer, hung out with family and friends, and best part sleep in:) D.C. was amazing, as I mentioned my husband surprised me with the pent house which I didn’t want to leave! It was absolutely beautiful and amazing to feel pampered after going through my UC difficulties, surgery, and adapting to this new chapter. Even more my hubby deserved it as well with all the caring he does for me and working so hard. It was much needed for the both of us. We had some of the best food, went to a Knicks game with bomb seats (yes, they lost–whatev lol) , visited the Bible museum (amazing & recommend) and we got to stay an extra night due to a snow storm (woot woot)!!

It was hard to see the weeks turn into days and before we knew it, the 3 weeks were done and Mikey had to return to work-was not easy especially for him. But, it was 3 weeks that had us laughing, enjoying each other, and having fun after 2 months of a lot of challenges, changes, struggles, and highs and lows with my health. It’s so important to put yourself and spouse first and to remember to “date” all over again especially when life gets rough.

Life isn’t easy but it’s always a sweet ride when I have him by my side…

Xoxo

Dear Little Moniqua,

unnamed

Dear Little (six year old) Moniqua,

There’s so much I want to tell you. You were born into a loving family that loved you tremendously. However, your life was different than most children surrounding you. You were immediately introduced to a father who was special and different than most. A father who was the founder & priest of St. Mary’s Coptic Orthodox church. Because he was a priest, you had to share him & your mom unwillingly with others who loved them just as much as you did.  You also met him with health issues that with each year would get worse which oddly enough was in a sense “normal” as it’s all you knew. Crazy to think.

You were a shy, sensitive, introverted, quite girl in school only. You didn’t have many friends due to personal struggles (educational wise) that truly had an impact on you and your self-esteem. Nothing was your fault, it’s just how God created you-imperfectly perfect! Despite you being the above, you were one of a kind with the sweetest soul even if you came off “uninterested” according to older people from the church. I understood what you were doing or feeling but they may never have or do and that’s ok. You didn’t feel comfortable in school, although you were a very studious person throughout your education in general & you felt people were taking your parents away from you. You weren’t the type that liked the limelight but also had no choice because of who dad was. So, the way you dealt with it was to “blend in” and not be overwhelmed with people.

Ironically enough, you were the complete opposite when at home, church and around your friends. You were loud, fun, sensitive still, and a little rough around the edges if anyone messed with someone you loved (sorry lol) but loved whole heartily. Even though you didn’t care to have many friends at school, you were blessed to have many within our church community. You were also known as dad’s third hip, you were completely obsessed with him and loved to be carried by him and him only. Even though it was tough for him to carry you as you got older. I’d say you have been through more things than a typical baby, toddler, kid, teenager, & adult has. You’ve seen alot and dealt with alot which has shaped the adult Moniqua into who I am today.

You wished for alot during your years of growing up one was personal and the other was not having dad sick and always in and out of the hospital. Despite all that you still had a great childhood. Mom & Dad spoiled you like crazy and you all would go on great memorable vacations! One of the best vacations you took with the family is to Jamaica, also one of Dad’s last ones before he past away. It was hands down such a great time. Granted you always dealt with being overweight and yo-yo dieting, you still faced your struggle senior year in HS and with years found the right formula and lost the weight and maintained it all by your self, personal trainer, and just modifying but not eliminating. GO YOU!

Losing dad was your biggest struggle and loss in life, one that you still struggle with time to time today and that’s ok. Another life changing event was getting diagnosed with UC, oh little Moniqua, I would have never thought you would get that in a million years especially a year after losing your father. Boy, was life testing you and despite having hard dark days, you made it through with the help of loved ones & God. You went through many relationship changes from colleges until your first year of marriage but in all that you met the love of your life, Mikey. Got married, enjoyed the sweet & sour of life’s obstacles, vacationed, and made endless memories.

Together, we were put to the test again with dealing with my UC. We conquered it once together and than again with my first surgery. You don’t know this little Mon but you prepared me subconsciously by making me find my voice, I now stand up for myself, advocate, and speak my wrongs & rights.  You’ve continue to help me be sensitive to my own needs but moreover, others needs by listening, being there for others, and loving unconditionally. You made me strong by getting through all what life threw at you. You taught me to love myself and to be thankful for my uniqueness. You’ve given me joy from all the sweet memories I sit back and remember. You have built me up by helping me to show my emotions, to be vulnerable but not weak, & to never compromise my values & morals. Even in your toughest days, you still never gave up something I hold on to into my own journey today.

So, I thank you little Moniqua for paving the way without knowing. For being that fierce little girl/young lady. For being unique and standing out in your own little way. God truly from day one made me beautiful, inside & out. We may have not known the path that life was going to take us on but He knew and still knows today. I’ll forever have growth to do as life is a constant work in progress. Cheers to holding onto my inner child, celebrating my present, and looking forward to my future with all my loved ones.

Love always & forever,

Adult (31 years old) Moniqua

un1named

xoxo

Awareness

un10named

Two weeks ago, was IBD awareness week.  But for me, it is always awareness day.

IBD week was so important to me because it was a week for all people who suffer from IBD, to come together and finally bring a voice to this silent disease. For me it was finally telling the world, “Hi, its us, an invisible disease that sucks the life out of us daily” and to show the world what this autoimmune disease face is all about. Granted I’ve removed my colon and got “cured” it was still a huge part of my life that impacted many aspects in my life: socially, mentally, relationships, emotionally, & my self-esteem.

It felt so amazing to share to the ones following on instagram what “A day in the life of a chronic illness life…” looks like. Each day I shared a post on my account (@beautifullymade91886) and on today’s blog, I’d like to recap a bit and go into detail on what each post meant and why I picked the post I picked for that week.

unn7amed

Day 1: I posted a picture from the Chron’s & Colitis Foundation explaining the week of awareness and how important it is to educate others around you. The week also helps possibly finding more medications to help with IBD and in my case, all the medication on market failed on me and as a result I had to get my first of three surgeries done in October. I don’t want to sound negative but I don’t bring awareness to find a cure because I doubt there will ever be one as it’s in our immune system, something that is out of our hands.

unn3amed

Day 2: It was an informational graph of my personal journey with UC that I made on the CCF site. I thought it was really neat and a great way to provide facts on my personal path with this chronic disease. It was also a great way to educate people and moreover a keep sake for myself to have.

unnamed

Day 3: This post was very personal and during my time of having UC. I posted a picture of the last medication I was on before my surgery called, Humira. Humira, is a TNF medication that has many side effects. It’s an injection that I would give to myself either through my stomach or my thighs. I even up the dose of my intake to weekly with 2 injections once a week and it still wasn’t working. Instead it gave me site reactions, huge red raised marks that itched a bit but moreover made me feel self cautious with how it looked when I was in public. Out of all the meds I’ve taken surprisingly this was my least favorite in all aspects and I was so happy to no longer take it. I still get annoyed anytime I see the commercial for it because they portray it as a healing medication and it is for some but not for me :/

Day 4: Indicating how important the use of a restroom is for IBD patients as well as having an ostomy bag. I was given a card after my surgery to show in case of an emergency like TSA questioning it or if I really need to empty my bag. A card I wish I had was one when I had UC that basically said this person as a chronic disease and needs the bathroom immediately which was my life 24/7.  I would cut lines, beg store owners, use the men bathroom, or have an accident because there wasn’t one near by. Which brings me to the next point of, there NEEDS to be more restrooms especially with transpositions like buses and subways. People like myself shouldn’t have to beg a restaurant owner or cafe to use their bathroom even if you aren’t dinning there. That is why awareness is KEY!

Day 5: I was very graphic and honest about my new life. I showed Mr. Safety aka my stoma (he was all clean, lucky for you guys lol) and the squad of supplies it takes to change him and make sure he’s doing well. Yes, my life has changed in that I have no pain but doesn’t mean it is still easy to have a bag attached to you, empty it out (which can take awhile esp in the middle of the night), still having to be careful of foods I miss, like salad, working out, & just adjusting to something attached to you. I still have my moments of wishing this and that and that’s ok because I am the one that is dealing with it. But, I still push to make sure I do what I love and that is being open, honest, educating, and bringing awareness.

unn2amed

Day 6: This June, I’m participating in my first ever walk for Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation called “Taking Steps Forward”. I am so excited to be part of this amazing cause and to have all my close family & friends participate with me. I’m doing this walk for many people I know who have opened up to me about suffering form either Crohn’s or UC and felt alone as I did for a long time. I’m doing this walk to again educate others on this silent and invisible disease and bring it to the forefront for all to see. Many people graciously donated and exceeded my goal, which I am so overwhelmed by and thankful! However, my goal isn’t about the money because again I don’t think a cure will ever happen but I believe more people will know about this disease and we will have better medication and accommodations in general, God willing.

Day 7: The last and final day of IBD awareness week, this last day was dedicated to my amazing squad: my angel-my dad, my husband, mom, sister and super close friends. To have a chronic illness one needs all the love and support they can get and God has blessed me ten folds with my loving squad that pushes me, lifts me up, loves me, holds my hand, & forever there for me. I’m SO blessed with the best of the best!

unn9amed

My goal is to continue to be that loud voice to this chronic, silent, & invisible disease. I know I’ve used those words many times throughout many of my post and blogs but that is exactly what it is and because it has these characteristics, I will make it my duty to than shed light and educate others. To advocate and help others who also suffer from this. I am an opened book, there are no “dont’s” with me. To all who have opened up with me since I’ve started my blog and redirected my insta account, thank you! Thank you for being so brave, honest, and trusting me with your journey.  Believe me when I say your strength pushes me to do this until I make a small difference in this world. To the ones who constantly shower me in love through, texting, messaging, comments on FB/Insta, personal talks-thank you for your words of encouragement and sincerity- you make this difficult journey worth sharing. I’ve also been blessed with making new fellow-friends be it UC or ostomates through sharing my journey. We may never meet but I feel so connected and blessed to have this community that understands me.

We are stronger than we think, we are warriors and nothing can break us!

xoxo

The Last Option

unname3ed

Had this near my bed at the hospital. He’s forever with me ❤

October 3, 2017 my first surgery ever.

As mentioned before the word “surgery”, was a word I would dodge in everyway possible. I didn’t want to accept it or do it. I didn’t think I was even that chronic, I guess I was slightly in denial of my situation. I wanted to just be “normal” and not have to deal with this. I wanted to do the things I once did and that I took for granted. But, I had to face God’s will and trust that this is the right decision for me and my future. I prayed and cried when I knew that this was my fate. I prayed daily to God to make it super clear for me (and boy He did), I cried because I was terrified to have 3 surgeries and even with the amazing support I had I wanted my dad physically here to hold my hand. I cried because I no longer wanted to be in pain but knew with this option I still have a long journey ahead of me. I cried because that’s how I show my emotions in good and bad.

I had about a month from when I made my appointment to meet with the surgeon and discuss wether or not surgery is for me. I met with him the last week of September but it seemed like a lifetime to get to that date. I finally got to that date but despite this being a major appointment, it was also a major hassle for me as my appointment time was at 10am (I didn’t think that through) and as previously mentioned I would run to the bathroom from the middle of the night until like 2pm next day so having anything earlier then that was a nightmare for me. So, I literally asked God that if I am meant to get this surgery that He than gets me to NYU with no accidents or urges to and than back home. I asked Him to allow this day to be free of pain even if my anxiety was sky high (natural that will cause my UC to trigger more but clearly being anxious is part of the disease SO that’s out of my hand) and that when I need a bathroom to have it near by and available. Not your typical prayer but truth is besides that day, it was my regular prayer when I had to leave my house. Also, this day and most days, I never would eat until I was settled near a bathroom so per usual, I would doggy bag my breakfast, snack, and lunch to eat when I can. Unfortunately, most of my days were not as easy as this particular day not because God didn’t love me because it wasn’t anywhere near that but this was my cross and disease so natural all these ugly symptoms came with it.

Anyway, back to that day, I got to my appointment safe and sound with no bathroom needs until I stepped into the building which I was able to make it to a bathroom. I had went to the bathroom at least 5 times before my appointment. As I was waiting for Mikey (he went to park the car), I sat quietly alone with 3 other people in the waiting room just crying my eyes out and praying to God to give me the peace, understanding, and comfort I desperately needed. As I was waiting 2 people out of the 3 who were a married couple probably in their late 70s were sitting a couple chairs down from where Mikey and I were. As I continued to pray and cry, the wife came up to me (keep in mind we never spoke to each other at all) held my hand and said ” You are in great hands, Dr. Remzi is a great surgeon. He did surgery on my husband a couple of months ago and his phase 2 is tomorrow.”  As she went to go back to sit, I just smiled within my heart and cried more from the overwhelming love this lady so willingly gave to me and how God was quickly answering my prayer again. I thanked them so much for giving me that message as I so needed it. I knew my surgeon was top 5 in the nation but it was so nice to hear from a fellow UC-er. The fact he told me he felt great and it was the best decision he has made, truly increased my hope which I needed. So to keep track that was answer #2 that God gave me (the first was getting to NYU with no bathroom urges). As we were still waiting, this man in a suit walks in (he had walked in earlier as I was waiting for Mikey to come) and Mikey knew him from our Egyptian community. They said hello and he asked Mikey if he was ok, Mikey explained to him it was me and he told me with no hesitation that Dr. Remzi is a great doctor and that I’m in good hands. He knew this because he was the head of the surgery department and told us if we need anything at all to let him know. Blessing #3.

We finally get called in and Dr. Remzi overhears our convo with the Egyptian gentleman and instantly says “so, you are Egyptian?” and from there that broke the ice. He came from Cleveland Clinic and told us how he had done surgery on our late Pope, Pope Shenouda III and the Pope was very special to my father and my family as we had a close relationship with him so that right there was blessing #4, he had done surgery on a saint who I admire and love. We started to discuss my symptoms and more importantly how often I run to the restroom and bleed and that was at least 20 times a day. This automatically made me a high candidate for surgery. I respected that because he didn’t believe anyone just needed surgery as he took his job very seriously. He and the PA really made me feel at ease and he humbly told me that his track record is a 96% success rate which is amazing! He doesn’t rush recovery or phases in between each surgery (he waits at least 6 months between each). He explained to me how its a 3 phase surgery: the first is an ileostomy where he removes my colon, 2nd is a loop ileostomy where he removes my rectum and makes the j-pouch (basically elongating my small intestine and bringing it to my anus), lastly reconstructing or the reversal which is bringing my stoma inside and no longer having to live with an ostomy bag. However, because he was so qualified and well known, his schedule was booked. He told me that they will do their best to get me in but he is unsure when. As he walked out of the room, his PA turned to me and said “we just got a cancellation for Oct.3rd (which was in a week from when I was there!) and we will most likely give you that day”. At that point it hit me that this is happening. I did not think I would get in that quick but once again that was God looking after me (Blessing #5). I got the confirmation call the next day and my pre-op appointment for the day before my surgery. I was honestly in disbelief that this was happening.

My pre-op appointment was also very emotional for many reasons, it was the last day of my UC effecting me but a start of a whole new chapter the next day. I was so overwhelmed when I met the wound care nurse, she was so sweet but showing and telling me things I’ve never heard of. Granted I prepped myself by following other bloggers who have had an ileostomy and ostomy bag but it’s still never enough. She marked me up where my stoma would work best on my body but she told me to not be alarmed if it isn’t in that location as he may see something different once he is doing the surgery. That day was just a slow and quiet day for me. I felt like I was standing still in time and everyone and everything was just going 100 mph around me. I was on a liquid diet that day, had to drink a prep drink to clear my colon and shower with special soap night before and day of. To make myself feel decent I got a mani, pedi, and straighten my hair…I’m that girl haha. 11:30pm I went to bed.

October 3rd, the big day. I woke up at 6am as we had to be at the hospital at 8am. I was still in awe as to what I was going to get done. We park our car and head up to pre-admission and the water works began. My mom, sister, and Mikey’s parents were all coming to show me love and support. I immediately get called into a room to change and get settle to take my vitals and talk with nurses and anesthesiologists. Mikey came in with me and than my sister and mom came in once they arrived. I was very quiet and just kept praying and asking my Dad to be with me. I got there at 8am and didn’t get taken back until 11:30am. I said my “see you later” and gave my hugs and kisses to Mikey, my mom, sister, and my in-laws. As I was rolled away in a wheelchair crying hysterically (if we haven’t figured out by now–I am the biggest baby and proud lol) by a sweet lady whose job is to literally be an emotional supporter. She spoke with me as I waited for my turn (literally there was a wheelchair ahead of me) to enter the surgical area. A nurse came out to get me, he wheeled me into the room. During those few minuets, it felt like a scene from ER, just madness everywhere and again feeling like I was going in slow motion. He entered me in the room where there were other nurses, the 2 anesthesiologists, and my silver metal “bed” with a foam “pillow”. I got into position and just remembering saying my prayers to God and my army of Saints and lastly my sweet angel, my dad. I told him to please hold my hand through this whole thing. Dr. Ramzi was still not in, so I figured we would wait until they put me to sleep but they didn’t waste any time. The female anesthesiologist asked me if I needed anything before they give me the medication, I asked her if she could just hold my hand and she did so willingly and with a smile. And within seconds I was out cold. I must say from pre-op to my whole stay at the hospital the staff were all amazing! This made it so much easier to get through. 

I woke up in the recovery room very very out of it and in and out of sleep. I do not remember much or who came to see me during this time. My surgery was about 2 hours and Dr. Remzi had told my family that I definitely needed this surgery as my colon was literally falling apart as he was removing it but besides that all went well thank God. This may sound weird but it was nice to hear that my colon was falling apart to seal the deal that I needed this more than ever, not that I doubted God but it was my way of closing the chapter. I even wanted to see my colon but he wouldn’t let me. Call me crazy but I wanted to physically say good ridden to what was causing me so much agony in every aspect of my life. I mean it was part of who I am today, it was almost like a mini death since it was a dead non-working colon that was removed from me for good. But, as the saying goes, no colon still rollin. So, apparently as soon as I woke up (this I recall a bit) I saw the nurse and said, I quote ” I need to see my dad, where is he?” So obviously the nurse not knowing anything about my dad says, “Yes of course, I’m going to get him and your family now to see you.” As she said that in my mind I smiled as I thought “Oh, this poor nurse clearly doesn’t know he’s no longer alive. But if she can get him, I’m all about it! As I’ve been trying to get him back for the last 8 years!” haha I laugh because it was so pure and innocent on her end and because I was so out of it, I couldn’t articulate that to her. So, my husband comes and than my mom and sister. When I saw them I asked them where dad was so the sweet nurse goes, “Yes where is your father? She’s been asking for him and I told her he would come.” So my sister, Mia looks at me and says “Sissy, you know where dad is, he’s in heaven.” Mia than looks at the nurse and smiles and the nurse looks at my sister with a little bit of tears and says “I’m so sorry. That just gave me the chills.” In the meantime my mom keeps asking me if I saw my dad in my sleep but I couldn’t answer due to the drowsiness I was feeling.

After about 2 hours, they place me in a 2 bedroom room. I emphasis 2 because they have rooms with 4 bedrooms and if I would have gotten that, than Mikey wouldn’t have been able to sleep with me over night (Blessing #6) and that was something I really needed as I didn’t want to be alone. Mikey was amazing and honestly stepped up to the plate as he would take the night shift with me daily and sleep on 2 chairs and deal with my panic attacks and pain from the surgery and meds I was on. He would than go home and work from home than come back at night. My mom took the day shift and would travel about an hour and half to sit with me during the day and also take care of me. I’m honestly SO blessed for my amazing husband and Mom for all they did for me even when I got home as well. My sissy for coming the day of my surgery despite having a newborn and also visiting me and constantly checking on me. Mikey’s family constantly checking on me and his dad and sister visiting me. And than my amazing family and friends who trucked all the way to NYU to visit me and to the ones who came to me once I got home, you have no idea how much joy this brought me. From all the amazing nurses I had, you guys truly give with all your heart and care for your patients as though we are family. All these people are my constant blessings that God has showered me with. I honestly, could have not gotten through this difficult time without all your love, support, and prayers. When I tell you I was and still am showered with so much undeserving love, it at times brings tears to my eyes as I’m so humbled and touched by everyone’s generous love towards Mikey and I. I can’t thank you all enough, I love you all deeply.(Blessing #7)

unnam1ed

Never! Sent to me by my sister’s sister-in-law. Cracks me up 🙂

So, did I see my dad during my surgery as I was asleep? I did. Wether I remember details or not, I know he was in that room holding my hand. I know that because he would have done it if he was physically here. He was the last person I called on before I went to sleep and he is the first person I mentioned when I woke up. I love you, Dad. I love you for constantly holding my hands through this rough journey, for wiping my tears during rough days, for bringing clarity to my confusions, for helping make life changing decisions, for loving me every second and not leaving my side. You mean the absolute world to me. You are forever the first and last person I think of each and every day. I am forever grateful to be called your daughter. You are my eternal blessing…

So that is my UC to surgery journey from start but not yet finished. My next surgery, phase 2 is April 12, 2018 God willing.

unnam2ed

My current life. Mr. Safety all bundled up in his bag.

xoxo