Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Life Changing Moment (Part 2)

To read A Life Changing Moment (Part 1) click here.

As the day progress, the bad cloud never lifted. At some point it changed from my fog of sleeplessness to a gloomy misty rain of denial to a dark storm of reality. Carole*, while being kept alive by machines, was gone. A scan had found she had no brain activity. Her family had arrived and suggested that anyone who wanted could visit her, before they turned off her life support. I contacted students that she was close with and told them the shocking news. Many, just home for summer break, came rushing back to say goodbye. Her friends from graduate school, and classmates from her undergrad and high school arrived. Tears were shed and hugs were exchanged and many people went into her room to say goodbye. In fact, I believe everyone who was present, did. That is, everyone,


I was scared. Petrified.

I couldn’t.

I didn’t.

The next few days are a blurry mess. I felt as if I was just going through the motions of daily life. I had still not caught up on my sleep and desperately wanted too. While my schedule had eased, sleep was not easy to come by. Instead, I had fitful nights of little snippets of sleep, mixed with crazy dreams, and waking with high anxiety. I still wasn’t feeling well, and my symptoms seemed to be getting worse. I was hot, then cold. I awoke covered in a cold sweat, and my stomach was tied in knots. Often I felt dizzy and lightheaded and those random body aches became more regular. All the while, I was trying to trudge through my days.

One afternoon, after leaving work early, I went to my boyfriend’s condo to take a nap. When I woke my feet were a pale shade of purple and were tingling. I was dizzy and was having a hard time breathing. I called my boyfriend in a panic and we went to the hospital. They checked me out from head to toe. I got an EKG, and an ultrasound. I peed in a cup and they took vials of blood. They poked, they prodded and I didn’t care. I just wanted to know what was wrong with me. Multiple tests were done and everything came back normal. There was no concrete answer and as I was being released, there was just a simple suggestion, that perhaps I had a panic attack.

The next morning, I decided to see a counselor and as I talked, in-a-stream-of-consciousness-sort-of-way, about what had transpired during the pass few days, I acknowledged something that I could no longer ignore. I tried – Oh how I tried to suppress it – but it was there. That terrified voice screaming inside my head saying “Remember – you had the same symptoms as Carole!” “You’re next!” “You are going to die!”

to be continued (the last part, tomorrow)...

*names have been changed.

Recent Comments