I turned 51 this year and as a birthday gift, I spent 3 days in the hospital. Yes… 3 days and yes, and it was a gift.
Let me explain…
You see it was my birthday and WordCamp Miami 2019 weekend and we were filled with so much excitement and anticipation I could hardly contain myself! WordCamp Mami 2018 was the first ever WordCamp William and I attended together, and this was like a one-year anniversary celebration! On top of that, we had prepared some awesome STEAM activities for the younger kids attending KidsCamp and I was also going to be one of the speakers at the conference! Wow!! To add to all of that wonderfulness, my youngest daughter was joining us, as well as, my oldest daughter and granddaughter, who were attending a WordCamp for the first time!!
So in the midst of all this excitement and to help with the preparations of packing and loading the car, I picked up a box that was much heavier than I expected. After setting the box down and walking away I felt lightheaded and my heart began to beat faster, no biggie right? Wrong! While it settled down for a few minutes the sensation came back, but this time, I felt foggy almost disoriented and my left arm had a heavy sinking feeling and I lost control of my left hand. Imagine, trying to text someone and looking at your thumb, but not being able to move it or control it. Scary doesn’t even begin to describe that feeling.
One 911 call later, I found myself in the hospital on a three-day stay.
Thankfully, all the test results came back good… CAT Scans, MRI showed no sign of stroke… Echocardiogram showed a strong heart… blood tests – normal, some borderline numbers, but nothing scary. The bad news? I had a TIA, a mini-stroke, which was mos def not a good thing.
So, where’s the gift? The gift, or dare I say, gifts are:
1. I was already on the road toward healthier eating and increased activity, but this has challenged to take it up a few notches…a little bit is not enough. (I’ll keep you all updated on my progress.)
2. It was a wake- up call – I had noticed things were “off” for a while, but I was delaying going to the doctor. Now I know ignoring my health is NOT an option.
3. I saw William’s love for me at work, in full action, and in full bloom during the whole event. He didn’t hesitate for a moment to tell me to call 911 (he wasn’t in the house when it happened – he was getting the car.) I was the hesitant one. He also kept a bedside vigil with me the whole time I was there and canceled the trip (against my protests) – recognizing, my health was more important. My love for him grew even than before. I’ve learned to appreciate him in a whole new way.
4. I’ve resolved to not die with my music still in me. Creativity, in full pursuit – no more procrastinating, which brings me to-
5. Most importantly, I’m here… alive and well, in my right mind able to write this blog post and possibly save another life… including my own.
Which, ultimately, is the goal of this post. I really had no intention of sharing the reason behind my hospital stay or the nature of my illness. Honestly, I did not and do not want anyone to treat me differently or, God -forbid, pity me. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it’s about more than what people may think or satisfying whatever curiosity anyone may have about why I was hospitalized. I know that someday, someone may read this post and realize they, too, need to get serious about their health.
If that’s you and you’re like me, just pushing for “one more day”… or “I’m not feeling, too bad” or “I don’t want to call 911 because -what if it’s nothing?” Please stop.
Truth be told, I had been feeling off for a while and those were my excuses. I almost didn’t call 911 because I wanted to go to Miami and the symptoms weren’t typical of a stroke. I was even upset they kept me in the hospital for as long as they did since I was feeling much better and my tests came back clear. Upset, until I found out that most people that have a TIA have a stroke 2 days later. The hospital was the safest place for me to be – for that, for them, (and for William) I am grateful.
Take care of yourself. I promise you’re worth it.
If you’re the praying type, please keep me lifted in your prayers. If not, I hope you’ve still gotten something out this post.
Either way, as always…
I’d like to say a special thank you to those people who prayed for me and/or reached out to check on me – it means more to me than you know. May the Lord bless you richly for your kindness!