Shannique S NDE
I had an ectopic pregnancy and my fallopian tube ruptured. I was bleeding internally. My body was going in to shock. I bleed 2 liters of blood in my stomach, and was given around 5 blood transfusions. Two I know of for sure because they were given to me in the recovery room. The doctor said I was lucky because if we didnít come in when we did and the tube ruptured at the house I would have died there from hemorrhaging. It appears that my tube was leaking on Friday. That is what started the pain. When the doctor opened me up she said I had old blood and huge blood clots that had settled under my stomach, and the new blood was settling on top of my stomach. The cut was a big cut because they had to get in quick. I have 15 staples from one side to the other. They do not look like regular thin staples. They look like thick staples that would be used in carpentry. Iím assuming this is what a C-section must feel like. The doctor said when she opened me up they couldnít distinguish my organs because of so much blood. So they washed my insides.
NDERF Note- The following was shared via email:
The day I almost died~In American Samoa.
by Shannique S
July 11, 2007 Wednesday
Hello my family and friends,
I shall share with you my story of July 8, 2007. Although this unknowingly started 5 weeks and 2 days ago, it brought me here to July 8th. A day I will never forget. So when July 8th of next year comes around, and the year after, I will forever remember the day I almost died.
Friday July 6th was a normal day for me, at least I thought. I went to work, called Yaya to wish him a ďHappy 17th BirthdayĒ and after work I went to softball practice. After practice myself and 2 of the girls, Sally and Galu just sat out there on the field and talked for a while. We got up to go and it was hard for me to stand up straight. Yet, I thought nothing of it. I drove to drop them off at a house they were going too. While driving my stomach began to hurt all over. My sides, up top, and down below. I get to the house and go straight to the room, falling on the bed. I was moaning in pain. I was doing those breathing techniques we learn while in labor. I tell Paki what was wrong. I take a muscle anti-inflammatory pill and fell asleep. Paki was thinking maybe I pulled a stomach muscle at practice.
I wake up the next morning on Saturday July 7th, and get ready for work. The constant pain had subsided and my stomach only hurt when I pressed on it. I went to work. I would occasionally press my stomach on the counters edge to relieve some of the discomfort. I went home and everything was better then Friday nights episode.
Sunday, July 8th I go to church with Keona. She was 5 months to the day. No constant pain of any sort. In the evening, we all take a ride to the P.O. Box. I received a letter from my mom, June, and my cousin Monday. I figured I would write them tonight and drop it in the mail before going in to work tomorrow. Yet when we arrived home, I could hardly get out of the truck. The pain was like it was on Friday night after practice. My stomach looked bloated and awkward on top just below my rib cages. I was thinking maybe I had a bladder infection or a urinary track infection. Yet this time the pain had me in tears. So, we go to the hospital. We drove up to the emergency entrance it looked crowded, so instead of stopping I say, ďLets go back home and Iíll take some antibiotics and see how I feel tomorrow. So we kept going, back to the house. Once again, I am back on the bed, moaning. This time Paki says, letís go back to the hospital. So we are on our way back. All the people who were there the first time seemed to have disappeared. We go in, and it is a small area. Paki had to go pay 20 dollars to get me a medical card. In the meantime, I was sitting in a chair and a ER nurse was taking down my complaint on why I was there. He asked all the normal questions, name, age, reason for coming, last period, etc. He asked do I think I could be pregnant, and my response was, ďNo, I had a tubal ligation done March 28th.Ē While talking to him I felt really hot and light headed. I felt like I was going to pass out, so I laid my head on the desk while he went to get a wheelchair. There werenít any rooms available. I was sitting in the hallway, which didnít seem long at all when a Dr, comes and ask whatís wrong. I tell her the same thing, my stomach is hurting. By now, Paki was back with me and they took me to a bed. While Paki and I are trying to guess what could be wrong the nurse brings a cup for urine. So Paki helps me to the bathroom. I pee in the cup and we come back out handing it to the nurse. We go back to the bed I was assigned too. They are not rooms. They are beds next to each other separated by curtains. We were sitting there saying, ďwhat ifís????Ē Before we could finish complete thoughts, the nurse was back, but this time she was not alone. She had a doctor, and the nurse says, ďYour pregnancy test came back positive.Ē NO WAY, it couldnít be possible. Was I that teeny tiny, less then one percent chance of a person that a tubal ligation didnít work for. So now we are off to the ultrasound room. Low and behold, in my left fallopian tube was an embryo at 5 weeks, 2 days old. Yet I had a period June 13th, so how is it possible. To explain that, when pregnancy occurs, the embryo implants in the uterus. At that time a hormone is released to stop menstruation. Well, since the embryo did not implant in my uterus, there was no releasing of the hormone to stop my periods. Yet since my tube was blocked, there was no way for the embryo to get out of the tube and implant for a normal pregnancy to began. So there we were, seeing the gestation sac and embryo on the screen. The doctor wanted to wait a little later when I had a full bladder to make sure she was seeing the right location of the baby in the tube. She took different pictures. So the plan was to redo the ultrasound later to confirm the location. However, when I sat up I told Paki, ďI feel like Iím gonna pass out.Ē And thatís what happened. I passed out. I remember being in this what seemed like a tunnel filled by a bright light. Extremely bright. Picture flying right by the sun but without the heat, and the light being given off is white, not yellow. Or the color of a white full moon on a clear night. I was going really fast, flying like superman through this tunnel. There was a sense of comfort, and peace. I was not afraid at all. I did not feel fear, or the sense of missing anything. It was amazing as I sit and think about it. Then I heard little kids laughing which made me turn around and go the opposite way. That is when I thought I opened my eyes to Paki saying, ďitís going to be o.k., just relax.Ē Yet he said my eyes were open the entire time. Iíve heard stories of people who have died, and white lights, and tunnels. Do I believe I died for those 5 minutes, I donít think so. I think the bright white light and tunnel are things that happen before you actually die. Although I didnít make it to the end of the tunnel to find this out because of the childrenís laughter, I do believe there is something more out there in a world that we only hear about. I was almost there. Paki said the whole time I was passed out, my eyes were wide open and my pupils werenít dilated. I had loss color in my face and was pale. The doctor had called some code and all these different people were in the ultrasound room taking me off that bed which couldnít move and putting me on a gurney. I kept going in and out, hearing people all around me. I was rushed into the operating room for emergency surgery. I remember being placed on a cold table, my arms being stretched out and strapped down. I can only hear around me, my eyes closed the whole time. Then I feel a mask on my face and someone say breathe. Thatís all I remember until trying to wake up afterwards. My throat sore from being incubated. I was convulsing from the affects of the anesthesia, attempting to vomit, but noting was coming out. And every jerk of my body made my incision hurt. My only desire was for all this to end.
What had happened during the visit in the ultrasound room is my fallopian tube ruptured and I was bleeding internally. My body was going in to shock. I bleed 2 liters of blood in my stomach, and was given around 5 blood transfusions. Two I know of for sure because they were given to me in the recovery room. The doctor said I was lucky because if we didnít come in when we did and the tube ruptured at the house I would have died there from hemorrhaging. It appears that my tube was leaking on Friday. That is what started the pain. When the doctor opened me up she said I had old blood and huge blood clots that had settled under my stomach, and the new blood was settling on top of my stomach. The cut was a big cut because they had to get in quick. I have 15 staples from one side to the other. They do not look like regular thin staples. They look like thick staples that would be used in carpentry. Iím assuming this is what a C-section must feel like. The doctor said when she opened me up they couldnít distinguish my organs because of so much blood. So they washed my insides.
Finally after recovering from the anesthesia is when it hit how serious this could have been. Paki said during the surgery he kept going back and forth to himself that if I died, how is he going to tell the kids; Yaya, Noralia, Leilia, Nikko, Mathyus, Brandon, & Keona, or my family? That we just started our lives together. That if I died would it be Godís will, and how could he have faith if I died. He was in tears most of the night and still comes to tears when you talk about it or ask him how he felt. Iím not sure at which point he made phone calls, I just know I told him to call my mom and dad, call my sisterís. I told him I know if we were in the states, theyíd all be here, even Jilai. There are no phones in the rooms here, and the cell phones werenít getting any signals. During the surgery, Pakiís parents were here and also his cousin Charlotte and her dad. Once I came out o.k., they went home. I was sooo out of it though. It still brings tears to my eyes thinking about it. Paki says that would have been our other daughter, so he named the embryo Heavyn.
When the boys came to visit, Mathyus asked me, ďAre you dying?Ē Paki says, ďWhat do you know about dying?Ē Then Mathyus starts crying, and saying, ďI love you mommy.Ē He was showing so much passion and emotion. I couldnít believe my 3 year old was feeling like that. Where as Nikko was asking if they were going to Pizza Hut. Mathyus sat next to my head and rubbed his cheek on my face and kept kissing me. I couldnít help but cry and share in his emotions. Knowing how close my kids came to being without me. Paki said, ďthat one is the one who is going to take care of you.Ē Referring to Mathyus. He cried while leaving saying, ďI donít want to leave you.Ē He kept saying he loves me.
When I got out of surgery, I was in a room by myself. Although there were 2 beds and a curtain to separate the beds, I was alone. There is no phone or television, and the bathroom is down the hallway. I was moved to a room with 2 other people. I am in the maternity ward. There are 3 beds in this room, all separated by curtains. I am in the middle bed. There is a window on the far left wall, and the door is on the far right side. Most of the people over here have given birth, except the 2 in here had some type of surgery too. The lady to my left doesnít say much, and is usually gone from the room a lot. The lady on my right had a hysterectomy, and talks to me on and off. The bathroom across the hall has a shower and 2 toilets. Each stall has a shower curtain for a door. Paki brought me my laptop to watch movies, or better yet to write this letter.
Today is Tuesday the 10th and I am hoping to go home tomorrow. I was on a liquid diet, now that has changed to a soft diet. Paki brought a cooler full of Gatorade, pudding, and jell-o. One of his auntís named Sola (she is married to his uncle) brought me a basket of fruit, juices, chips and candies. The doctor came in today, reminding me how lucky we are. It is a miracle the leakage that started on Friday didnít rupture Friday night, especially during softball practice; or even Saturday night or Sunday day. I was bleeding internally for almost 3 days and didnít know it. They removed the catheter today. I still have this other apparatus connected to my side that says Wound Drainage Reservoir. It is supposed to be pulling out all the excess blood and water from them washing me out. I am just really sore where the incision is. Other then that Iím recovering. I am on antibiotics, and the doctor said Iíll have to take iron 3 times a day for the next 3 months. I walked around today. One of the things that can happen after major surgery is blood clots can break off and travel to your heart killing you instantly. So that is why I had to walk. They call it ambulate so not to get a deep vein thrombosis. Medical terms. Paki spent most of the afternoon here with me and helped me with getting in and out of the bed, going to the bathroom, and taking a shower. Heís been really great, I just love him soÖ.
I know that I am really blessed that the doctor was able to diagnose the problem before the tube ruptured. If she wouldnít have Iím sure things would have been much worse because they would have been dealing with the unknown. Iíve never heard good things about this hospital. But someone did say today after hearing what happened to me, ďyou mean to tell me this hospital actually saved someone?Ē So all the stories from here have been of people dying, and some for no reason. Coming in with ankle pain, and then they are dead. One of Pakiís auntís mentioned they came in for a foot problem and this hospital was recommending cutting the foot off. When they went off island to the doctors, there was nothing wrong with the foot that would require it to be amputated. I am just thankful that I was that someone they saved.
Well, I wonít be playing with the softball team in the South Pacific Games. 3 months of training to have to sit on the sidelines. I have 6-8 weeks to heal. Yet, my life is my first priority, so itís o.k. that Iím not playing. I would say maybe next time, but the games are every 4 years and Iíll be 40 thenÖSome of the girls just stopped by and brought me a card signed by the girls on the team with money enclosed. There was Savanah, Theresa, Princess, Sulu, Jamie, and Christa. (sheís coaching us) Seeing some of the girls was a nice surprise. They said practice was canceled today in honor of meÖ. Being here without those that I know and love, their visit did make me feel special. Especially when all my family and friends arenít here. I will be going to the games though to cheer the girls and Paki on. In hopes they still bring home the gold medal.
Wednesday July 11, 2007
Another one of the players stopped by, Sally. She was one of the girls I sat and was talking to on the field Friday night after practice. The doctor just came in and asked if I wanted to stay another night. Of course my answer was no. Iím ready to go home and be in a more comfortable bed. I miss my kids, my husband. My restrictions are the same as if I gave birth. No lifting for 6 weeks, etc. They are going to remove the staples and the Drainage Reservoir that is still attached to my side. I will come back in a week for her to look at the incision, and then again in 6 weeks. I will be off work for 6 weeks too. She is giving me a prescription for iron because I lost so much blood my hemoglobin went down and so I wonít get anemia and antibiotics so that I donít get an infection.
Most stories have a moral or meaning. I am still in disbelief at how fast everything happened. We always think not me, that would never happen to me. I know I would have never ever thought that I would have a tubal- pregnancy, especially after taking the necessary precautions to prevent such a thing. But to know death was so close. If I would have stayed at home like I was going too, you would never be receiving this letter. And Iíd hate to think that my husband would have to make such a call to my parentís, sisterís, brotherís, cousins, and friends to let them know I passed away.
So as you sit here and read this, just know that although we may not be in touch every single moment of the day, you are very much in my thoughts. Through memories and pictures, and I do love you all. It didnít take for this to happen for me to realize that either; It took this to happen for me to be able to express it better.
May you believe and be blessed; miracles do happen. It happened for me. ♥Always,~Nique~