Unexpected Circumstances


What happened was not anyone’s fault. It was not because of what the surgery team, or the hospital, or Mercury — or I — did or did not do. It was more just a clusterfuck of normal, acceptable and carefully calculated risks gone awry. Two weeks post-surgery, I ended up back in the hospital, via the emergency room. (I got some new bracelets and a gown, a mid-century scratch print in pale blue, gray and teal.)

Here I was earlier on that day, patiently healing away, legs elevated to combat the cartoon-like swelling in my feet and legs, memory foam pillow held over my stomach with just the right amount of pressure to ease the mild, persistent nausea, likewise, ice pack on brow to numb the headache.


Unfortunately, inside my body was bleeding inappropriately, unknown to us. I was feeling increasingly crummy — a new kind of crummy — and short of breath, and very pale. Fortunately, my daughter, a nurse practitioner, was with me that day and recognized that something was seriously wrong. She coordinated with my doctors and we hied ourselves to the ER.

I wound up losing half of my blood volume and developed severe anemia —though it took eight hours of testing in the ER and two more days of various hospital tests to arrive at this diagnosis, and to rule out all others.

wheelie_ ceiling01

I was sad and frightened and angry and very uncomfortable that long first night, and Wheelie came out to keep me company. Also the hospital had shitty wifi.


After ruling out embolisms, transfusing two units of blood, determining the internal bleeding had likely stopped, that my shortness of breath was getting longer, that there had been no damage done to my heart when it was trying to maintain me with half a blood supply, and that all other systems were, um, regular, I was released back out into the world.


I don’t think home has ever looked so welcome.




26 thoughts on “Unexpected Circumstances

  1. Sheila says:

    So glad you are home again and on your way back to recovery! Don’t you just hate it when your body decides to rebel against your plans? It’s like it has a mind of its own.
    Take care of yourself and we’re all out here sending you positive vibes.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Thank you, Sheila. I’m enjoying positive vibes in my morning coffee right now :)
      It was a rude detour, like waking up in a bad dream. I was fortunate to have my daughter and husband there.

  2. Elizabeth S says:

    What a Frightening experience for you Nancy but Thank GOD that your daughter was there at the right time to get you into Emergency and cared for. Your photo of you in the hospital bed speaks volumes and yet I can only imagine how weak and rotten you must have been feeling then and how relieved and grateful you are to be home.
    I’ll be keeping you in my thougts and prayers for a speedy RE-recovery!

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Frightening, yes, Elizabeth, but as you say, I was seen to and helped all the way.
      Many thanks for including this hijacked miniaturist in your thoughts and prayers :)

  3. brae says:

    How utterly terrifying! So glad you are back at home, and hopefully that is the last of the scares. Sending you lots of gentle hugs and well wishes.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Yup. She works for Hospice primarily, and also in chemical dependence. It’s great having one’s own medical professional on hand in a crisis :)

  4. azteclady says:

    I am so sorry you had to go through that, and so glad you are now better, and back home.

    Here’s sending healing thoughts, and wishes for a much smoother recovery from here on out.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Thanks, ‘Clady. I’m working on making lots of good new blood right now, and entertaining myself by reading up on the process. Truly fascinating :)

  5. Jodi says:

    Dear Nancy,
    I regret to inform you that in spite of our high hopes, you did not make the final list for “Hip Replacement Poster Child”. We do, however, appreciate your ability to quickly recover from this complication, and hope that the whole episode will soon be forgotten.
    All The Best,
    Poster Patient Board

    P.S. Enough excitement, okay? Time to get fully recovered and back to regularly scheduled life achievements!

  6. Bennie says:

    I’m so sorry you had this setback. I’m glad it was caught in time and that you sought treatment. Rest up I hope you feel better really soon. I’ll keep you in my thoughts.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Thank you for your kind thoughts, Bennie. Resting is my favorite occupation right now, along with drinking water and practicing walking without a walker.

  7. Shelleybweb says:

    I take my eyes off you for a minute and you go gallivanting off to the hospital! Thank goodness I was wearing jeans as I almost stabbed myself in the thigh with scissors when I jerked my table reading your post! Okay, I’m almost calm now. Please continue to take good care of yourself. I shall continue to send lots of good healing thoughts your way.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      I know Shelley, and I apologize for my waywardness. Some people never learn.
      I’m making blood even as we speak! That and learning how to walk without waddling and moving all the right parts pretty much fills my time. I think your healing thoughts count as extra, thanks!

  8. Megan Wallace says:

    Oh shame, Nancy, I’m so sorry! Glad that you made it through and that you are on the mend once again. Please rest up and eat your spinach.

  9. Luci garvin says:

    I’m a bit late as always….by now hopefully all is well…..circumstances like these whose hands weren’t clean……God Bless and with God and your doctors, I am sure everything has been made well…….the miniature world misses you….
    I can just imagine your bed pressing mind is busy creating a mini hospital room complete with bed pan..🤔😳😊

  10. Jeanne says:

    “Oh no!” I said to myself as soon as the top half of the photo appeared on my screen, “no no no!” That finger monitor is rarely a good sign.

    Wishing you far fewer views of hospital rooms and many, many more of your own peaceful home and garden, complete with purring kitty!

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