The situation and circumstances began over and over again. Thinking back I can relate it to the movie with Chevy Chase ‘Ground Hog Day’. Every time I asked a question about when my daughter would get to the hospital, the answer seemed to be even longer than before. I believe that mentally I was so tired that I didn’t know if I could wait that long for her to get there. The need to have her near me and see her beautiful face was urgent. I didn’t know if I could make it that long.
I was initially told that perhaps I was having a stroke. My speech was becoming impaired. My blood pressure was significantly high. My right arm was becoming like a dead weight and had something like pins and needles. It all seemed so surreal. However the maddening part of it all was that I could not control what was happening in my mind too.
I recall the guards in the emergency room getting ready to hold me down on the gurney in the tiny sterile room. There were two, possibly three guards coming toward me, and I heard and saw my husband saying that he could not do this. He later told me that he held my hand, but could not hold me down because of my fear of being restrained against my will. I was told that I needed a CAT scan of my brain immediately, and I was refusing. I recall the medication Versed being verbally thrown around in the emergency room while I was on that gurney. Nothing seemed to make sense. Everything was a blur from that time on.
I was told that later an MRI on my brain was also done. Structurally everything appeared to be well. However mentally my mind was decompensating. To see the mind, body connection and to actually live through that experience is remarkable. The brain is truly a structure in our body that is such a mystery that it scares some people. However much research and understanding must take place so that as a society, empathy and compassion and knowledge can move forward and be utilized.
So finally my daughter got to the hospital, and I was later told by her that the elevators would have been too slow to get to me. So there was my thirty-year old daughter running up many flights of stairs. She was on my speaker phone, as I was wondering if I could see her face again. She was breathing heavy and going as fast as she could. I don’t recall the exact moment that she came into my room. I do however recall her decisively telling me to breathe. She was instructing me – telling me “Look at me, Mom. Breathe in (she would demonstrate), now breath out (a full cleansing exhale)”. She was truly helping me. I so needed her at that moment. Upon her recollection, she said that I was not breathing when she arrived.
The torture came to my mind then, though… As I was breathing with her, I lost the capacity to follow her instructions. I could see that she was trying to help me, but I was no longer able to be a part of her, for her to be a part of my life or my being. I watched her drift away as she was telling me how to breathe. My conclusion was that I had either died, but that could not be (she was still so close and could be seen). Instead I decided that I had truly lost my mind and that I would never be able to communicate effectively with those that I loved ever again! Truly a frightening thought. I began yelling over and over again, “I’ve lost my mind”. Then somehow peace came over me.
My husband said that when our daughter was breathing with me, the nurse slipped a drug into my IV to help control my undeniably scary and over-bearing thoughts that were plaguing my mind. So finally comfort and sleep was able to overcome me. Thank you God, with my whole being, for helping me through this strengthening (though terrifying) experience. You truly are amazing!
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Nejron