You are one moment away from miraculous change.
This Christmas I experienced my own Christmas miracle…the gift of life.
This is not a sympathy post. This is a clairvoyant recollection of a terrifying experience geared to promote deep and real gratitude for this simple yet profound gift we have…life.
For the past six years I’ve had reoccurring pinched nerves in my neck. It’s clockwork. After a long flight or aggressive overhead quick movements I exasperate the injury and I know what to do to recover.
This time was different. My neck was locked up in all three plans of motion. I couldn’t move from sternum to chin. Stiff is an understatement.
Christmas evening, my dad drives me to the ER. Swedish hospital ushered me into an exam room and began their process. They asked all the right questions and I think it is business as usual. Give me a muscle relaxer of sorts and send me on my way.
But since I mentioned my pain was 360 of sorts they wanted to be thorough: EKG, CAT scan, x-ray and blood work to rule out any structural injury and or pulmonary embolism. As each test came back negative I breathed deeper thinking I’m closer to leaving.
Then the nurse came back and was ready to inject pain medication via my IV. Meanwhile, I asked where my dad was and she said she would grab him after the injection. Come to find out he was outside the exam room the whole time and could hear the enoire assessment.
As she injected the first of three pain doses she asked me questions about my life; easy ones I should be able answer regardless of intoxication. Then the second dose flooded my body and I started to feel a rush of heat and panic. As she injected the third dose I said, I don’t feel right. She asked what I meant and all I remember is grabbing the rail of the bed attempting to scream for my life but I had no voice, no sound came out and everything went black. You know those nightmares where you need to run but your legs are cement or you need to yell but your mouth is sealed…it was happening in real time.
I slipped out of my body. I floated away. I could feel it. It was as if I was watching the team of eight doctors and nurses work on bringing me back and all I could think was: I’m not done. This isn’t my good bye. Meanwhile my dad is in the other side of the door & could hear everything…I can’t imagine what he felt or what he experienced…
I come to. I see many strange faces and hear many voices asking if I know where I am, what day it is, and my name. Well, I can’t speak my mouth is numb, my body is in shock and my brain & heart have been deprived of oxygen for almost two minutes. I’m freaking out!!! I try and breathe deep, I hear my dad, he’s there over me and I start to bawl. Tears of fear, joy and gratitude all at once.
This wasn’t my good bye. This was my wake up call. An aggressive one. A clear cry for change.
As the doctors purged my system of the drugs and flushed it with saline and water, I too was trying to rid myself of everything. A cleanse I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. I had to stay over night for observation of blood pressure, new medication and cognitive connection.
On a side note, the staff at Swedish Hospital is the best I have ever experienced. Luckily, I haven’t been the patient but with family and friends I have wit messed my fair share of sub par health care. This was the polar opposite. As my dad said; there is no better place to have a medical emergency than in ER. And he is right. I had a team of angels watching over me as I went thorough anaphylactic shock.
So, here I am, 48 hours after my almost good bye and I’m still processing the heaviness of it. At first I brushed it off like it was no big deal. People go through this all the time, but they aren’t me. They don’t get to dictate my feelings over my experiences. I do. I am entitled to feel what I need to feel to process my emotions about my life.
I have a basic right to feel. I have a basic right to express my thoughts. I have a basic right to share and covet what I deem appropriate.
The clear message I feel and see as this experiences starts to tapper is gratitude. We talk about it a lot. We see it all over social media. It’s catchy and on trend. But is it embodies into our soul. Do we truly cultivate gratitude for the most basic rights: breath, body and spirit?
I treated my body horribly for years: eating disorder, body shaming and anger that I didn’t have what someone else did. This wasn’t gratitude, this was neglect and disrespect.
I’ve made huge steps in the past four years; clean of binging and purging, no bull shit 10 day to lean diets and more importantly choosing a wellness lifestyle that is tailor made for my body and soul.
We have the power to decide each and every day: grateful or not.
I am grateful.
I am blessed.
I am commit to myself, my values and my loved ones.
I choose to see the silver lining.
I will love over judge.
These moments are life’s wake up calls. I am grateful I was at the right place at the right time to experience this trauma so I can use it to evolve and refine how I approach life.
Gratitude. It’s real. It’s powerful. It’s a religion. It is what I choose.