This post is going to take may be a little time to do, as I am working through some physical and mental challenges at the moment. I ask for your patience, and for grace. My recent story is not necessarily the worst one ever told, but it’s enough that I need to work through some limited details, and give the impressions from those who were there. I have always prided myself on my way with words, and for the past week or so, the words don’t always come together the way I think they should but I cannot always tell what it is that is wrong with them. It’s off, but I can’t figure out what is wrong.
On Wednesday, December 20th, it was an ordinary evening. I’d worked as usual, I was wrapping presents and had a few cookies to complete. My ultimate goal was to have all of the presents done, and everything ready so I could just putter in the kitchen for things I wanted to do, before heading to my parent’s house on Christmas Eve. This the last thing I remember clearly on my own since Saturday afternoon. From what Hubby has told me, I called in sick from work on Thursday. Apparently I had a pretty horrific headache. I don’t remember this. I know that I slept for most of the day. By the end of Thursday, Hubby was very concerned. My thoughts were unclear, I wasn’t able to recite all of the names of my family members, etc. He was running through standard protocol to see if possibly I had experienced a stroke, but I didn’t match the markers. Things weren’t right, but didn’t have the extent of what that may have looked like yet.
At this point in the evening, I lost control of my body functions. He cleaned me up, and with the help of a lady volunteer got me dressed, so I wouldn’t be the victim volunteer of looky-look-itis, and when the “real” EMTs arrived, together I was loaded onto the ambulance and transported to our local emergency room. Adding difficulty to the events is the fact that we were experiencing very cold, winter conditions. Hubby was having to shovel show onto the walk-ways so that the EMTs had traction. I had a high fever – not astronomical, but enough to be in the 103.9 range. By this time, it was Friday. The next 9 hours was spent at the ER, my parents were there with Hubby, and the emotions of these hours is very important to me, I do not want to share his feelings in a way that wouldn’t do them justice, since I don’t personally have any recall of the events. Suffice it to say that I will NEVER feel as loved by my husband as I know I was loved during those hours when he spoke with God, beseeching on my behalf.
We were now in full winter mountain conditions. Hubby was smart enough to sign up us for special life flight insurance. The chopper was grounded, but due to this coverage, they would be able to take the airplane. If you do not have something like this, look into it. It may save the life of someone you love and prevent a costly price tag to make an already tragic situation worse. The runway was too icy, the plane needed to be deiced . . . once I was ready to go, Life Flight took me to Boise, ID to the hospital. Hubby’s night continued to be long. He had to fight his way back up the mountain, get my things together since we didn’t know how long we’d be away from home. Early Saturday morning, he left the mountain and drove to Boise. This brings me to Saturday afternoon.
I have this odd sense of lack of curiosity as to the events that landed me where I found myself. I have no memory of not feeling well, I don’t remember being sick, going to the hospital, waiting in the ER for 9 hours, being flown to Idaho, and now I have no recall of why was sitting in a hospital room, being asked if I know my name and date of birth. I knew I couldn’t keep anything but ice chips down, the food they were trying to feed me was horrifically awful, and every joint ached like it was on fire. I needed help walking to the bathroom, and nurses do what they have always done, and let you JUST fall to sleep before flipping the lights on in your face, and making you start over again. To be fair, my nurses were wonderful, but at this point, everything hurt and I was so tired I just really wanted to sleep.
The infectious disease doctor did tell me that I was mere hours away from death. Well, that’s new information. Turns out that we all have bacteria on our skin – we all have it – we go through life without it impacting us. Sometimes the bacteria may manifest itself as a form of cellulitis, we’ll need an antibiotic, maybe an anti inflammatory, but for the most part, we get through it. The good news is that the most basic, simple and most common antibiotic on the market can kick this bug’s butt. BUT not so fast, there’s more. There usually is. Once in a while the bacteria will decide to take a joy ride through our blood stream. Mighty nice, right? This is where my story took its own side trip. The bacteria was day tripping through my blood stream, and my immune system put up a HUGE red flag – wait wait wait! This just won’t do! My immune system did what it is called upon to do, and tried to stop the bad guys.
From Christmas Eve through Thursday, December 28, I spent trying to grapple some control of my appetite, to find nutrition that wasn’t offensive, get an MRI to rule out other things and ultimately win the quest to achieve freedom so I could go home. For those who know me well, it shouldn’t be a shock that I am not a fan of pharmaceutical medications, and that being at the suggestions of doctors with whom I am unfamiliar wasn’t my idea of a good time. Antibiotics, OK. Good. Fine. I was on board with the anti-nausea medication, since I couldn’t keep food down, but trying to shove additive drugs into me wasn’t OK. Thank goodness I had Hubby there. He will all be my biggest fan and advocate.
On Thursday, after breakfast (such as it was), I was discharged. I was declared as bacteria free and ready to continue my recovery at home. Somehow that has a simple ring to it, but honestly, it’s not that simple. I couldn’t easily get to and from the bathroom alone. My joints in hands, feet, knees, hips- well everything with a joint – cannot be maneuvered easily. Think most basic cleaning needs, pulling up your clothes, holding utensils to eat, even blowing your own nose. I won’t say I had to go as far as to learn all of these things again, but honestly it is an ongoing challenge. Coming home was a combination of relief and trepidation. I didn’t have the hard work. Hubby helped me get the details for getting to and bathroom on my own, so he didn’t have to help me with that, but all of of the other details were firmly on his back to deal with, and though I cannot help that, it makes me feel badly. Each day is easier than the one before, for the most part other. My hands and feet are in quite a bit of pain, but there are baby steps and I am hoping to start having some improvements, even if they are subtle.
Here is where I want everyone to please, please, please pay attention.
We all have our own thoughts and theories about what happens when we have a near death experience. We don’t know truly if we see a bright light, if there is nothing, if we see our lives flash in front in front of our eyes, etc. We just don’t know. Do I believe my soul will go to heaven? Yes, I do. That’s all I know. Here is what I also know. From Thursday through Saturday week before last night I was comatose. I have no memory about the events that spun around me. For all intents and purposes I could have been taken heaven, and my family would have moved forward through the process of grieving and moving on. I wouldn’t have been the wiser. That’s an important point to ponder. We do not know what what might happen to any of us from one moment to the next in this wild life that we live in. One moment we are baking cookies and the next we have no knowledge of what is happening to our body. Here’s the point that you should really keep in mind:
Do not take one since moment for granted. Not. One. Single Second. We do not not what God’s plans for us to may be. Were the plans for me for me for me, or was plan for Hubby. Don’t know. Honestly, don’t care. The important take away is to live every time moment to fullest. Love, laugh, hug, cry, scream if needed, but don’t hold anything back. Do not live life with regrets, because those are moments you may not ever had a chance to do again. I’m still healing, but I’m still here. Crying, pondering, unsure of what to do with this great mystery I’m left working through. One thing I will not do is waste this opportunity.
God Bless You. Happy New Year. LOVE EVERY MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE! I can’t say when I’ll be back. I have an upright road of healing do to, but at some, I will be back.