I Could Have Died…

The title of my blog may surprise you this week, but it is true. Nine years ago this week, my life was changed forever. I had an awakening; God gave me a second chance.

On September 12, 2004, my husband’s grandmother passed away. We were able to say goodbye to her before her passing. As I leaned down to kiss her, I told her I would see her again very soon. Little did I know that day would be sooner than I or anyone else anticipated.

As we prepared to attend the funeral, my back and left leg began to hurt. I wasn’t sure why I had the pain, but I kept trying to take hot baths to relieve it. I had trouble getting up the steps of the hotel we stayed at that week, and at times had difficulty walking.

This was the funeral of a woman I loved; there was no sense talking about my pain. The day after the funeral, I attempted to take our middle child, Paige, to kindergarten. I couldn’t walk up the steps to the school and had to ask someone to take her to class for me. I knew something was very wrong, but continued to ignore it.

The next morning, September 18th, I woke up to see that my left leg had begun to change colors. I contacted the nurse line of the hospital to ask what I should do. They informed me that it would be best for me to come in, but because it was 4 a.m., I decided to wait and just put a heating pad on my leg. Four hours later, I woke up to see that my leg had turned purple and I was in extreme pain. My husband and I decided it was time to go to the emergency room. I was unable to walk, and had to be taken in by wheel chair.

The doctors didn’t let on to what their thoughts were, but went ahead and medicated me and got me in to receive an ultrasound. The technician was amazing as she described how an ultrasound works. She told me about the colors I would see on the screen, and informed me that if I didn’t see any colors, then something might be wrong.

As we continued with our small talk, we both saw that the colors had changed on the screen. Immediately she told me she needed to contact the ER doctors and inform them of her findings. She left quickly and I began to pray aloud. “God, I don’t know what Your plan is here. If I lose my leg, I understand. If You have to take me home to heaven, I understand that, too. But, if it’s Your will to keep me here, I will serve You until the day I die.”

I had never prayed out loud like that, with no one around. I wasn’t afraid of the technician coming back and hearing me. I knew I needed to talk to Him right there and then. When she did return, she informed me that I had a blood clot and that the doctors would speak with me more once I got back to the ER.

The doctors let me know that I would need to have surgery immediately to have the clot removed. I was brought up to the Intensive Care Unit and prepped for surgery. While in surgery, our Pastor was contacted.  He immediately came to the hospital to pray with my family.  Pastor Keith was conducting a wedding ceremony that day, and was almost late because he took time to be with my husband and mom. I am blessed to call him a friend.

After my first surgery, I was told that this wasn’t just a small blood clot. The clot had formed in the vena cava (which is the vein near your heart and lungs) and continued down my body and ended near my knee. In total, the clot was about 2 feet long.

I was in ICU for 3 days, and endured 3 surgeries to remove the clot. During my stay, I set off the alarm  on my hospital floor after my blood pressure dropped dramatically. After the 3rd day, I was moved to a regular floor and was prepped for dismissal the next day.

During this time, I had many visitors and the support of family and friends. I remember one of the hospital staff in particular, a nurse named Linda. She cared for me with much love and compassion. Four days after I was dismissed, I found out that Linda was killed in a motorcycle accident.

God spared my life. He gave me a second chance. A nurse who cared for others for over 30 years was taken.

My life had a new meaning.  My soul was awakened by God’s love, mercy and grace. This experience changed me forever. I could have died, but I didn’t. Since that very day I have served God in every capacity I can. I was ready to die and leave behind my husband, my 8-year old son, 5-year old daughter, and a 6-month old baby girl. Thankfully, God wasn’t ready for me to come home yet.

I am so thankful that God awakened my soul to His great love. I pray that you, too, will seek out His amazing grace and mercy in your life as well.

I love you all,
Carey Oswald

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4 thoughts on “I Could Have Died…

  1. Wow, Carey, thank you for sharing your story! You have been blessed in so many ways. I’m so glad our Father let you continue with your life here so we could learn and grow with you.
    Dawn

  2. Carey,
    God left you here because you, my friend, are a Earth Angel, .
    I have been lucky enough in my life to run across a few. And you most deffinently are one. Your place in heaven will be filled with gold.
    Blessings and love
    Bunny

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