Part 3 — The Finale: How I Became A Motivational Speaker — Learning About Forgiveness And Living A Life You Can Be Proud Of!
Give her anything she wants for pain because I don’t think she’s going to make the night…
I last left off with how I started to improve my life after that February 2017 hospital stay where I walked a fine line between life and death.
After being released from the hospital, I started loving my life. I realized how much life was a gift! I went out and lived… really lived.
But then everything came crashing down on me again in July 2017. I was back in hospital again with another infection, another pancreatitis attack. The pancreatitis wasn’t as bad, but this time, testing found a tumor on my pituitary gland. Doctors still had no idea what was making me sick. I figured after my first hospital stay in February 2017 that I would be fine. I was devastated that I was back in hospital again.
“We don’t know what’s causing it.” The emergency doctor told me. “It’s going to have to happen a few more times for us to figure it out.”
Each time this happened, it was life threatening. Would the next time kill me? My body had technically become a ticking time bomb.
Doctors had no answers as to the status of the pituitary tumor. They said they figured it was probably non-cancerous but they couldn’t say for sure. Specialists came to see me in the hospital. It was frustrating that they had the same response— we don’t know what’s causing it…
Five days later, I was discharged from the hospital. When would it happen again? Would it happen again? Because I didn’t know what was causing this to happen, how could I possibly avoid or change anything?
One day while driving, I heard the song “Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw. That’s exactly how I felt. I had to live each day as if I wouldn’t see the next. It was tough. I didn’t want to make plans, but I still wanted to live my life. In some ways it was a blessing because I had to make the best of every day and in some ways an absolute curse because I didn’t know if or when I would be back in hospital.
That if and when day came at the end of August. I was back in hospital again. Same thing. An infection and pancreatitis. But this time, my blood levels showed that the pancreatitis was three times worse than before with an amylase and lipase number of 7500. That number should never be higher than about 200. Basically, what happens is the digestive enzymes that would normally go into the stomach end up going into the bloodstream. You can just picture the damage that can do to all areas of the body. I was in hospital for eight days this time.
I met with another Pastor after that in the town closest to my house. That’s when I first learned about forgiveness. I hadn’t forgave the impaired driver who killed my Dad or the people who bullied me at work. She reminded me of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s saying that “nobody dies from a snake bite. It’s the venom inside you that destroys you.” When someone hurts you, it’s like getting bit by a snake. It hurts. But it’s up to you if you let the venom spread throughout your body by not forgiving.
Was my lack of forgiveness hurting that impaired driver or his family? Did they care if I held a grudge against him? No. But was it negatively affecting me? Yes.
Forgiving all those people and all that hurt was a very hard thing for me to do. To actually let go, to say out loud what they had done to me. To release all judgement against them. I cried throughout the entire process. But at the end of it, I felt as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
I still had no answers to my health issues, but at least I had moved forward with my life.
But then in October 2017, I was in for the biggest battle for my life. On October 25, 2017, just one day after the anniversary of my Dad’s death, I got sick again.
I knew it was bad when at first everyone was calm and relaxed in emergency, then all of a sudden two doctors and two nurses came running into the room.
“Okay honey, we need to lay really still because we have to get an IV started right away” one nurse said to me.
Everyone looked so panicked. So I looked over at the student doctor who had been assessing me and I asked him “can you tell me what the numbers are this time?” I was referring to the amylase and lipase numbers that indicated how bad the pancreatitis has become.
“Ummm, 2800” he said. But he wouldn’t look me in the eye.
“2800? Well, I just survived 7500 a little over a month ago. I’ll be fine!” I said half jokingly.
But the reaction from the nurses and doctors didn’t indicate that this was minor. When the doctors both left to get something, I asked the nurse “can you please be honest with me? I don’t think the numbers are 2800. You all seem way to panicked for the numbers to be that low.”
The nurse looked away as if blinking back tears. “Add another zero to that number” she said.
“Sorry, can you say that again?” My mind seemed to have a hard time processing this new information.
“It’s not 2800. It’s 28,000.”
I started to panic. My heart rate went up.
“Honey, we need you to calm down. This is why we didn’t tell you those numbers. We need to get this IV in you right away. Please lay still and take some deep breaths. You’re heart rate and blood pressure are rising!”
I was scared. I was alone. Again. My Mom was five hours away and had just had knee surgery. She couldn’t drive. My Husband was at work.
The painkiller was injected. I felt that feeling of my head about to explode and things going blurry. I was taken to this hospital’s version of ICU, a room right outside the nurses desk.
At one point, I was sure I heard the doctor say to the nurses “give her anything she wants for pain because I don’t think she’ll make the night.”
I lay in that hospital room, alone. It was dark. At least this time I was at peace with everything. I had gone out and lived life over the past 8 months. If it truly was my time to leave this Earth, at least I had no regrets. I had lived more in 8 months than I had in 38 years. I was afraid of what would happen and I didn’t want to die, but I was at peace with what ever happened. But I prayed to God anyway that if He saw fit, could He please spare my life one more time? I was really enjoying life and I wanted to go back and live. Also, if He was to let me live, could he please help the doctors figure out the problem and resolve it once and for all.
I texted a friend. I needed someone to talk to. Plus I also worked for him as a DJ at the time and figured he should know that I probably wouldn’t be able to work for a while. Also, I was scared, I was weak and so very tired. I had no energy left to fight. This had been a long, hard battle. I was drained physically and emotionally.
My friend texted back “listen, Amanda, whatever happens, God is strong enough to carry you through; even if you are not. He fights for us when we have no fight left, he carries us when we are done carrying on, he is able to make us strong for the moments we need strength. With God, we don’t often get what we need until we need it.” He assured me that several people from various different churches were praying.
I held tight to that message as I gave in to the sedative effects of the 2nd dose of painkiller. God, please…let me wake up alive… was my last thought as my body gave into the sedative effect of the painkiller and my eyes slowly closed.
A nurse woke me up around 6 a.m. It was time for the next round of the pain killers and antibiotics. That meant I was still alive! This nurse also attended the same church as me. She mentioned how she had been praying for me all night and how she had prayed over me as I laid sleeping. I appreciated her kindness. This nurse made me feel as if everything would be okay.
The next morning, once the blood test results were back, both doctors came in to see me. This time, they both had smiles on their faces!
“Well, I’ll be honest” said the older doctor. “I didn’t think I’d be talking to you this morning, but I’m happy I am! I don’t know what all those people are saying and praying, but tell them to keep it up! In all my years as a doctor, I’ve never seen anything like this. This is a true miracle. Your numbers dropped from 28,000 to 1800 over night. That’s unheard of! You’re going to be here with us a while yet, but I think you’re going to pull through young lady!”
Nine days after I entered that hospital, I was walking out the doors. Something no one expected to see. Again, I was completely normal. No diabetes and not needing to take enzymes to eat.
Before I left the hospital, the student doctor on my case came over and gave me a hug with tears in his eyes. “When I first saw you in emergency, I honestly didn’t think I’d actually see you walk out of here. I thought for sure you would be the first patient I ever lost. I’m so thankful that you pulled through!”
The next day, I was sent for an MRI. The doctors figured that after so many severe pancreatitis attacks that there would be nothing left of my pancreas. Especially since a large portion had died during the first episode. They also wanted to check on that tumor on my pituitary gland.
A week later, I went to see my family doctor to get the results. As he looked at the computer screen, he said he needed to double check that he had the right results for the right patient. The report surprisingly came back saying that the pancreas had completely regenerated itself. It looked brand new! The tumor on my pituitary gland had shrunk and was hardly noticeable at all. But the gallbladder appeared swollen, so they may have finally figured out the problem. I was scheduled for an endoscope the following week where they put a camera down your throat to investigate and see what they can find.
After the endoscope, the surgeon told me that he recommended they try taking the gallbladder out and seeing if that relieved things. But he said it could be a six month wait for surgery.
“I don’t think I have six months to live. Each attack is getting worse.” I said.
My family doctor fought hard for me and managed to get me moved to the top of the list. With the pancreatitis numbers getting worse each hospital visit, time was truly of the essence. I couldn’t wait six months.
A week later, I received a phone call stating that surgery would take place in three weeks time. I was so relieved to hear that and prayed that I wouldn’t have another attack in that time.
Three weeks later, the surgery took place and was successful.
After the surgery, the surgeon’s report came back that I was extremely lucky to have surgery when I did. The gallbladder was so inflamed and full of infection that he estimated I only had one week left before it would have ruptured, I would have gone septic and died. I really only had one week left to live. I looked up at the sky and said a thank-you prayer to God. I was amazed at how everything came together just in time!
After going through all of this, I felt as if I had been given a whole new lease on life! I just knew that I must be destined to do something great! God had answered my prayer and given me a second chance at life.
I started pouring into motivational books and studying all that I could. I received my first opportunity to tell my story at a Teachers’ Convention in 2019. The room was filled to the max and they actually had to turn people away due to lack of space! At the end, I watched amazed as teachers started forgiving people and their hurts. I even heard one lady say that her Dad was in hospital and not expected to pull through. She had been angry at him for something he had done years ago, so hadn’t seen him in a long time. She said it was time to forgive and see him before he died. I sure hope that she did!
I was on a roll and starting to get bookings for both my impaired driving and motivational talks! My 2020 tour schedule was filling up fast! The tour would start in March and would be through the four Western Provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
In February 2020, I had a golden opportunity to take some training from Tony Robbins, one of the best motivational speakers in the world. Even though the cost was steep, I decided to jump at the opportunity and am sure glad I did! The content I started to learn was exactly what I was looking for, exactly what I wanted to teach others! I dove into the content, soaked it all up and combined it with all the other information I had gathered through reading books. I found happiness like never before! I became excited to start teaching all these things on stage!
Then Covid hit and the world came to a standstill…
After months of figuring out how I could offer a virtual experience for everyone, I’m getting close to launching some virtual courses and seminars! Filming is now in progress and a few live seminars are being planned. Details to be released soon! I know there’s a lot of hurting people out there right now and I feel the need/calling to serve now more than ever. While you wait for my official launch, please enjoy this blog and my podcast, which is also called Rediscover Your Brilliance. You can find the podcast on Spotify, Overcast and several others. Check your preferred streaming app! I will be adding a You Tube channel soon as well.
I am able and ready to offer virtual presentations. If interested, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing. Now is a great time to book since I am able to pass along savings due to not having to travel.
Throughout the weekdays, I will be posting different content here to help everyone and updating you on the launch of my virtual trainings. So stay tuned!
I want to leave you with the “Rocking Chair Test.” When you are 90 years old, sitting in your rocking chair looking back on your life, will you be happy with the way you lived your life? Will you have regrets? If so, it’s not too late to change!
I believe God (or what ever you believe in) has given us all special gifts and abilities. Are we going to use those abilities to change the world and serve people as He intended, or hide them away? When you face God (or what ever you believe in) at the end of your life, are you going to say “well, I played it safe, didn’t really take any chances… I wish I would have lived different. Can I go back? I promise I’ll do better this time?” and God go “oh, not another one!” Or are you going to tell God (or what ever you believe in) “Wow, what an amazing life! Yeah, sometimes I failed miserably, but I rose each time I fell. I served people to fullest, I used all the abilities you gave me! It was so great! What a ride!”
The choice is yours. Remember, you are only ever one decision away from changing your life!
Amanda Oling is a motivational and impaired driving prevention speaker located near Beaverlodge, Alberta. Her book, The Impact of One Decision, can be purchased through Chapters, Coles and Indigo bookstores or by e-mailing her at email@example.com. For bookings for virtual conferences, safety meetings or other events, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 780–514–0124.