Monday, April 16, 2012

Answered Prayers

Dear Friends and Family,
I wanted to write a small blog to say Thank you For your prayers.
I am home, resting comfortably after a rather big surgery at John’s Hopkins on April 3rd.
The doctors put in a gastric pacemaker, which is not an FDA approved device. It’s something they do in patients of last resort. They thought it would help me be able to eat something. It had been about 2 years since I’d eaten normally. I have a 6 inch vertical incision right at the top of my abdomen and another five inch incision on the left lower abdomen. They are both sore.
Well, I had the surgery and after the surgery I experienced a lot of immense pain and nausea and was a bit discouraged as I couldn’t really eat anything. Well, finally after about a week of surgery, I tried a little bit of jello and it stayed down
Well, the day they let me out of the hospital, the doctor told me to try to eat whatever I wanted…just take it slow. . We were nervous, but the doctor told me to give it a chance and try what I could. So I did.
On the way home from Hopkins, Dad stopped and got me my favorite snack. I ate my favorite Rita’s Custard, and for the first time in years, I wasn’t sick. I couldn’t believe it. I cried.
Then later on the next day, I didn’t feel any nausea, which was so weird. I have lived with debilitating and chronic nausea for years. I have lived where smells would make me vomit, and for the first time, I didn’t feel that way.
So mom made me some creamy crab soup…just what the doctor said I could have, and I tried it. I had it and I didn’t get sick. I didn’t even get one bit nauseated! I cried again! I couldn’t believe it!
To top that, the next day, my parents asked what the one thing I wanted was. It was a McDonald’s McDouble Cheeseburger. That’s what I have been craving. Well, I tried it. I chewed each bite 30 times like the doctor told me to. And I didn’t get nauseated. I just cried and cried.
So far this operation has been a complete success.
I have 2 large scars, and one of them is bleeding badly. I still have the PICC/Central line in to make sure my nutrition is okay, but I think that I will be able to get that out once my body is a little stronger.
The doctors are still scared a bit, as am I, because I do still have chronic pancreatitis. Pancreatitis occurs when people with chronic pancreatitis eat. If I start eating again, I have a higher chance to have my chronic pancreatitis flare up again. We are scared of this, but we aren’t too scared, because we have the best doctors and the best family of care at John’s Hopkins University Hospital. We also obviously have a Great God and Healer.
I have always believed that God could and would heal me. I believe He is doing that in His time. I have never lost faith in Him. It just keeps growing stronger. I’m just SO Thankful for my pastors in Texas who have never quit praying for my healing, and for my pastor here in Maryland and his wife who have always prayed for me too. My grandfather Kelso, also, as well as all of the many people who have believed in my healing for years. I know that the Lord is working a miracle and I’m not discouraged or worried about what could happen, even though the doctors have mentioned the possibilities. I believe that God has my future in HIS hands. I am not worried about what I can’t control. I leave it all up to God. He’s got me this far!!!
Through this, I have been able to witness to many nurses and the doctors and I am so blessed to have been through this process. I can truly say that God is healing me and I can see how persistence, prayer, and His faithfulness is working a miracle…a true miracle in my life.
I still face a lot of pain and I will have to face the unknown future with pancreatitis but God is so good. He has allowed me to taste food again, and when I was told there was no hope, God never gave up and your prayers are what broke through.
I always promised God that no matter what happened, I would serve him. I still am going to do that. I’m still going to serve Him no matter what. No matter what I walk through…good or bad, happy or sad. I am so happy that God is the Lord of my life. I have never given up and never will. No matter what battles I continue to face or what victories the Lord decides to bless me with. He is the true God. The one that is in control. I can’t wait to use my life to serve Him more.
I personally thank each one of you who are reading this. If you have taken the time to read through this, that means you are someone that loves and cares for me and has said a prayer for me and that means more to me than you could ever know. I love you for your faithfulness, and I hope you know that I am praying for you. I keep a prayer journal with all of your names in my journal and I pray for God to bless you. I spend time in prayer, and if there is ever anything that I can pray for in your life, I promise to do so with all of my heart.
Please continue to pray that things work out correctly In my body. I have a lot of metal and devices that need to keep working correctly. I am so thankful for technology. It’s pretty neat. It’s nerve wracking to think about and easy to worry about but just pray that I can get home soon to Texas and that everything will be an easy transition.
In addition, I want to thank 3 people. First of all, my mom and dad. They are my heroes. They have been with me through this from the moment I came here hopeless, and the many trips to Baltimore and stays in the hospital and visits with the doctors. I thank my parents for being what every child wants a parent to be. Someone that sticks by them and that holds them when they’re sick, no matter if they’re 6 or 36. My parents visited me in the hospital, stayed with me overnight when I had surgery, walked with me through the hallway and took care of me, even though I’m their 36 year old child. The third person I thank is my husband Kevin. It has literally killed him to not be here during my surgery time. But he has been there every step of the way, through phone calls and talking to me and to my parents. Kevin is my angel and our story is a real story of true love and what it means to stick by each other when times get tough and life doesn’t turn out how you plan.
My life is sweeter than it’s ever been, and I tell you this just as sure as I sit here today. I am thankful, so thankful, for the fact that the Lord has answered your prayers and has shined this blessing upon me. And I promise that no matter what happens in the future, whether He continues to bless, or if I have to face more, I will always serve Him because Life is nothing without Him. There are no blessings without Jesus in our lives. I am so blessed, but only because He is the helm of my life.
Thank you…each and every one of you who have said a prayer in my life. Thanks to the doctors at John’s Hopkins who are filled with nothing but love and compassion.
Thanks to my parents, sisters and Kevin and my family in Texas who love me more than anything.
And thanks be To God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! I love you all!
In Him,
Ami McCarty

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Update before Surgery Tuesday!

Dearest Friends and Family,
I wanted to write a quick little blog to update you on things going on in my life and to remind you to pray for me on Tuesday, which is my surgery date.
I go to Johns Hopkins on Tuesday at 5:30 a.m. and my surgery is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. I am pretty nervous because I am going to have a gastric pacemaker put into my stomach. I will be spending several days in the hospital after the surgery.
The doctors believe that the gastric pacemaker will help me with the nausea, vomiting and pain. They aren’t very hopeful that I’ll be able to eat normally again or at least for a while because I still have the problem with the pancreas.
To make a complicated situation understandable, I basically have 2 problems --- one with my stomach and one with my pancreas. The doctors at Hopkins are taking them one at a time, and they’re going to address the stomach first. They are doing this pacemaker surgery and then they’re going to assess the situation. They want to get me to the point that I’m eating but my situation is more complicated than just a one step process. They may have to fix multiple problems in the process.
So we’re trying the pacemaker first and we’re going to see what happens from there.
Right now I am being fed through my veins. My feeding tube had gotten infected so they had to go in and pull it out and give me a PICC line, and nurses come to my home once a week and help take care of me. I am doing fine and will have this line for up to a year so they can continue to feed me while they’re trying to get my issues taken care of.
I am nauseated all of the time and in constant pain, so I’m hopeful that this pacemaker will work for that. As for eating, I’m not sure when or if that’s going to be addressed right now. It’s one thing at a time, and we’re focusing on getting rid of the vomiting and constant nausea and pain with the pacemaker. So please pray for me.
I’m also really struggling with missing Kevin. He has been so kind to support me while I am needing the treatment at Hopkins. My parents have been so wonderful to let me stay with them and they take care of me so well. I love my parents so much. They are wonderful to me, but I am missing my husband so much. He is the light of my life and I’ve only gotten to see him one time since February. I am hoping Kevin can come back here in a few weeks, but the tickets are so expensive right now. Things are so up in the air right now. I’m not sure when I’ll get to go home or if I’ll need to return home and then come back here for more surgery or not. It all depends on how this surgery goes. I miss Kevin but I’m so thankful I have him in my life. I am so blessed with such love.
Thank you for reading this. I know it’s all complicated but I’ve tried to simplify it as much as possible. Thank you so much for the prayers. I know they make a difference. I also pray a lot myself, and I try to pray for my friends, too. If there is anything I can pray for you, please let me know through an email or facebook message, and I will pray for you. I really mean it. There is nothing I’d rather do than pray for my family and friends!
I love you and thank you for loving me and praying for me.
Say prayers Tuesday and I’ll be updating you!