I have started writing the book that I’ve felt I needed to write my whole life long. It’s kind of scary, because I don’t know how to write a book and I’m not really sure if people are necessarily interested in the “sorted details” of my story…
This is going to be a HUGE step of faith for me, but I feel like the time has come to finally put it all “out there” and answer this call. Please keep me in your prayers if you happen to think about it. This journey is going to be a long one, and one that will bring back so many memories that I remember choosing to forget. And so it goes….
“I was born a poor black child” Oh no, wait, that was Steve Martin’s line in the movie, The Jerk. Sorry, I couldn’t resist! I hope that brought a smile to your face and I hope even more that I just didn’t blow it and loose your readership, lol.
So, where do I begin? I guess I could begin by telling you that I am a Miracle. Actually, the truth be known, I am a “Perpetual Miracle,” if there is such a thing. You see, by all odds I should have been dead many times throughout my life. The most recent near-death experience, being liver and kidney failure due to Hepatites C that I contracted using IV drugs back when I was fourteen.
On October 7th of 2010, I went to work feeling a little “off kilter.” It had been a crazy morning. I remember laughing with my son about how much I was shaking trying to put on my makeup. I didn’t give it too much thought, however, because the drugs I was taking (Interferon) for the Hep C made me shake all the time. This time was different.
When I arrived at work (don’t even remember driving there) my husband took one look at me and asked if I was ok. He told me to go home, but I said “I can’t drive” and went and laid on the floor of our break room and went to sleep.
He called my doctor, who instructed him to check my vitals and keep a watch over me since I was due to see her the next morning. I don’t remember getting up or going home–or even going to the doctor’s office with my son. By the end of the day, I’m told I did not even know who my husband or my son were. They were terrified!
Once I got to the doctor’s office I began to get violently sick and was taken to a local hospital, where they discovered that my ammonia levels where through the roof and my liver had totally stopped functioning. I was dying.
At this point I was totally yellow, unable to eat, drink, walk, or go to the bathroom on my own. The only words I could say were the occasional “okay” in a soft and childlike tone. It was also at this point that my kidneys failed and my chances of survival grew dimmer by the hour. But, God had other plans…
I had three doctors at that time. One was my Primary Care Physician, one my Oncologist/Hematologist, who had seen me through a year of blood transfusions and at times, daily shots of Nupagin to try and keep my white blood count above 0.04! Finally there was my Liver doctor, who was of the opinion that I was not even a candidate for a Liver Transplant!! Things started happening when the Oncologist and my PCP went over his head and demanded I be taken to Tampa General Hospital, which was the closest Transplant Hospital in the area. This call saved my life.
Once at Tampa General they had to stabilize me and go through the phases of testing to qualify me to be a Liver Recipient. This process seemed endless. By this time, my kidneys were also in extremely bad shape and the Kidney Dialysis began on a daily basis-I was swelling up like a water balloon and my body was so full of toxins that I vomited so violently and so much my eyes were and blue and purple (which did not match my skin tone of yellow) I was a mess. They thought that I would probably need to have a Kidney Transplant as well.
I went from total immobility to learning to talk, eat (clear liquids only), walk and write again. I remember how hard it was to even sign my name to the never ending volumes of forms and releases I had to sign. It was terrifying to read all the disclaimers and potential things that could go wrong–pretty scary stuff!
It was at this time that my faith reached levels beyond my belief. You see, I was already a Christian. I had said the “Sinner’s Prayer” and was living my life for the Lord. My very being revolved around serving God and helping people. I attended church, served in many areas, tithed, and prayed like a warrior, but my faith was being tested to the max and I’m happy to report that I passed the test! I had told so many people that being a Christian is not about “Religion, but instead, about a “relationship” with Jesus and my relationship with Him had become more real and tangible than ever.
It’s a very surreal feeling to know that you are dying. To know that they only way that you will be able to live is for someone else to die. The emotions that swirl through your mind are extreme. I remember feeling like a “murderer” at one point, just by asking for a liver–emotions run wild when you are close to death.
The “over-the-top” change for me came about in a prayer when I pleaded with the Lord to “Not just let me lay there and die” I knew that I was going to Heaven, but selfishly, I wanted to live. I wanted to see my “baby boy” get married and have children. I wanted to grow old with my husband and play with my grandchildren, and oh how I wanted to just be with my kids and my mom and…. The reality of it all was that it may not happen.
That prayer changed everything! It was my moment of surrender. My moment of complete abandonment to self and my desire to serve Him even in what may end up being the final days of my life. He answered that prayer. It no sooner left my lips when He started sending me people to pray for, people to encourage and an opportunity to be “Jesus with skin on” to the patients and medical community at that hospital in Tampa. I chose to look at this experience as a short term mission trip, and that, it ended up being!
There is so much more to this story, but I’ve been told that “blogs” are supposed to be short and concise. I’ve far exceeded that already–it’s just who I am. So, I’ll stop here and continue this journey again later. If you’d like to see a Miracle with your own eyes, go to You Tube and search for Mona Giordano: Miracles Still Happen. It will give you a visual on how amazing this story really is. And I hope you’ll join me for….”the rest of the story”
My family–2 years post transplant! Thank You, Jesus!