I Woke Up

It was December 26, 1991.
I awoke from a very deep sleep and I could no longer feel my legs, feet or fingers.
Wow, whatís going on! This is really weird.
Maybe if I take a shower it will wear off.
I shower and everything feels so heavy. I can barely move my legs. I am so tired.

It was a Saturday, the day after Christmas, and I know my doctorís office isnít open, if I even have a doctor.
I think to myself of my husband taking me to the ER with our two year old son and it all sounds too stressful for me.
I opt to ask my cousin to give me a ride there just so I can have things checked out.

We get there and they took me ahead of most of the other patients and started drawing blood, asking if I had been sick with the flu anytime recently.
The hospital I went to actually had an in-house MRI.
The next thing I know Iím being shoved into a tunnel with sounds that remind me of Woody Woodpecker.
I feel trapped and claustrophobic.
Next thing I know theyíre putting an apnea monitor around me and shipping me to a room.
They said I was confined to bed, that it would be too dangerous for me to move around, that this machine was monitoring my breathing, and if I should stop breathing they would know.

Then an intern that had never performed a spinal tap is attempting to withdraw spinal fluid with the guidance of another physician.
One, two, three attemptsÖ.. no success.
Finally the doctor thought he should step in and relieve me of this torture.

As I was lying in that bed I was planning my escape.
How could I detach all of the wires without them making a sound and just go home?
Everything will be ok tomorrow.
What in the hell are these people so freaked out about. Iím ok.
I think theyíre going way overboard if they think Iím just going to sit here and wait for them to take care of me: They must be crazy.

Finally a flock of family members come in; theyíre looking in my eyes with depth, like the way you look at someone thatís dying.
Now I know something is definitely wrong.
I ask them, what are you guys doing here?
Not a mutter. Just deep stares and silence.
I believe someone even tried to hold my hand. Way too strange.
I donít want to hold anyone hand or be in this hospital.
I want to go on with my day.
Finally a doctor comes in and states they believe I have Guillanne Barre Syndrome and they need to closely monitor me to see if this numbness will move to my respiratory system.
Then they can install a ventilator and, if need be, they can airlift me to a specialty hospital.
All of this seemed too unbelievable for me.
I tell myself I will try not to damage any of the circuitry and I will attempt to remain patient.

Finally, I am alone, left to feel what is happening.
Iím not normally into feeling, I have always avoided it.
It seemed to always get in the way of what I needed to do for my life.
I always felt you were weak if you had feelings, especially if your feelings were for yourself.
In the silence I couldnít help to feel.
Tears flowed from my eyes, and I realized my own mortality.

I awoke one day after being transferred to another hospital as whatever was going on with me hadnít affected my respiratory system.
And I could walk, although I could only feel from my chest to the top of my head.
Everything felt so heavy and I would sometimes get stuck walking and would need a push to keep me going.
I had severe migraines from the numerous spinal taps.
I felt weakened.
I remember looking out the window of the hospital (the same hospital I was born at) and I could feel.
I could feel so intensely that I didnít have words to explain what I felt.
I was It was so ironic that my physical body went numb, but my emotional body could feel to some deep level that it had never felt before.
In those very dark moments I learned what mattered more than anything in my life.
I could reflect on the person I was and aspire be better; to no longer take my life and vitality for granted.

At that time and throughout most of my life I really didnít feel like God had much use for me or was too busy to care.
And I felt like a one person army ready to take on whatever came my way.
I could do this easily-do this because I wasnít connected emotionally very much.
I had reckless abandon for life and for most of what I to.
My priorities were whatever I wanted.
I never thought of a master plan for life.
I lived for now and if this would put me where I wanted to be, I was there, regardless of who stepped in my path.
I needed be brought to my knees to come out of the warped fog I was living in.
I was given the opportunity of transformation into what I believe is the person I always was and am meant to be.

It often seems our life experience can leave us hardened an avoid the opportunity for deep reflection.

I woke up and knew what mattered.
In the silent darkness I yelled at God and begged for my life.
I screamed for the opportunity of living that somehow would be different, that I would never forget what I was feeling now.
That I would never miss the opportunity to touch another and forget what it was like to be SO desperate, helpless, while feeling misunderstood.

After the release from the hospital came the opportunity for deeper soul searching.
I was unable to attend to the needs of my 2-year-old son and spent most of my day looking at a ceiling plotting my own demiseÖ an end to this wretched pain that consumed me.
Reality always told me I couldnít leave a legacy of suicide.

Bizarre things were happening that I would attempt to explain to anyone that would listen.
I was able to look at the sky and see what I believe are neurons or energy particles.
I was able to look at people and instinctively know their emotional pain; bus stops seemed to be the most painful places to glance, their pain seemed so intense.
It was very overwhelming, but I never questioned my sanity.
It seemed to be one of the darkest periods of my life.

In retrospect it was an opportunity for true change.
Had I not been brought to this I would not have found myself.
Oftentimes people come to me that feel so hopeless, helpless or they may be dying.
I attempt to convey to them that itís important to find the bigger meaning of our experience, regardless of our present circumstance.
I attempt to walk this path while never forgetting to appreciate my family, health, and experiences.
Iím still awake!

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