My world kinda changed last Friday. It had to be something big for me to come back to blogging. Maybe this was the kick I needed. Friday, late afternoon, I was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. I was vomiting, had diarrhea, and my body had seized into one huge charley horse. If you've ever had one, I want you to try to imagine what it feels like to have your entire body (and I'm not exaggerating) cause such pain that death looked good.
Not being overly dramatic, trust me. But it does bring me to this post. Something happened during this event that has never happened to me before and I wanted to share. I debated it because I know that not everyone shares my views (a few do, I guess). But, I'm going to tell you what happened, and you can draw your own conclusions.
I had been in active gastro distress for about 5 hours. There was nothing left in me. Every time I'd lie down, I'd be forced back to the bathroom. This isn't anything new - we've all had the flu or whatever - so except for feeling crappy, I was okay. But then my body seized. And I mean, it seized. I fell off of the bed and was literally watching my body go rigid. I couldn't stand up, I couldn't do anything except scream in pain. And I don't mean an "hey I hurt myself" scream. I mean a howl.
We have a different situation here at home than most. Dave can't use the stairs and I was up in my room. Plus, where his room is located makes hearing me difficult. I had no idea if he could hear me and all I could scream "was call 911." I didn't get any response and I knew that if I didn't call them, something unfortunate was going to happen.
At this point, I am lying on the floor thrashing in pain, trying to reach my phone on the nightstand above me. I finally knocked it over (as well as my coffee cup and a can of soda - all full) and was barely able to press Siri to call 911. Understand that this pain was unlike anything I'd ever tolerated - and I've had needles stuck in my eye. My body was beyond responding to me. All I could do was moan and scream.
I was able to get 911 on the line and dropped the phone on the floor and rolled toward it to talk to them (yes, it was on speaker). I told the guy I was dying. And I was. I knew, in the back of my mind, that if I didn't get to a hospital soon and get some help, my heart would likely seize as well and that would be it. The dispatcher was amazing, and once I realized he had the info he needed, I drifted off. I literally drifted away. I remember two things: one, I knew I was dying and two, I was okay with it.
My life didn't flash in front of my eyes. I didn't think of Dave or my children. I felt a calmness that I can't even figure out given the amount of pain I was in. I just knew that this was "it." And my mind went somewhere, and it was a good place. No, I didn't see a light or tunnel, I just had a certainty that I was going to be all right. In fact, I was so assured of it (somehow) that I began to actually look forward and was intrigued by what was next. It was the most astonishing feeling I've ever had. On the one hand, I knew I was in danger and in pain - on the other, I knew that if the EMTs didn't get there in time .... it was going to be all right.
I haven't a clue how long this all took - Dave was at the foot of the stairs and let the EMTs in - he may have a better idea of how much time elapsed. All I knew was that I was lying in my own waste, contorted, and yet ... I knew it was okay. When the EMT's arrived in my room, I 'returned' (if we want to call it that) and with it came the pain, the disgrace of being soiled and naked in front of these strangers - all that comes with that. The peace I'd felt was replaced with pain and all I knew was that it wasn't over.
My life wasn't over. Not this time. I'm honestly not even sure how I feel about it. You have to understand that there was such calm, such peace. My physical body was being tortured, but yet .. it was okay. And as I was lying in the ER and everything was being done that needed to be done, I flashed back to that moment and was just astonished at what had happened. Ian came to the hospital and I stupidly confided that in him. It's surely not what he wanted to hear, but I felt like I needed to somehow memorialize what had happened. It was THAT profound.
I stayed in the hospital not quite overnight and have spent the past few days regaining my strength. My body felt like a truck had run over me. All of my muscles hurt. I lost ten pounds in it all.
I have often said that most feel that we are human beings with souls. I believe that we are souls with human bodies. And I am more sure of that now than I ever have been. I was ready to go, I was happy to go. Going was easier than staying. But it wasn't time. I've read so many of these kinds of experiences, that it is almost insane that it happened to me. But, it did. And while I have always been accepting, I now know that there is no fear in it. No pain. Death doesn't frighten me now at all.
There are several medical issues that I need to have taken care of - nothing severe, but definitely important. I am working on that. With respect to what happened - I'd started a new antibiotic, which could have caused it, or it could have been as simple a thing as food poisoning. Either way, my white blood cells were trucking along at 21,000 - fighting like they meant it. I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful that nothing more came of this.
More than anything, I am just happy. Happy to be wherever I'm supposed to be, doing the things I'm supposed to do. Happy knowing that, God willing, I will be okay no matter what.