My Darkest Day

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written for my personal blog. Many people have asked when this particular post would be published. I appreciate your interest in my story.

***

God intricately designed our bodies with sleep being a necessity.

Sleep not only solidifies memories and stores vital information, it also miraculously aids the brain in tossing out useless data as well.

Since I was getting very little, to no sleep at all, my mind was a landfill.

Every mundane thought and insignificant bit of information constantly replayed in my head. woman standing near wall

It was information overload that finally ushered me into my alternate universe. I  could endure no more on my own. 

It was bizarre living on the other side of normal. Physical and mental fatigue had finally taken its toll.

The long nights were eerily dark—much darker than ever. The fierce pain surrounding my aching joints jolted me awake if I succumbed to slumber. The jolt pushed adrenaline throughout my body, but had no effect in assisting to ease any of the pain. It was a vicious cycle.

In my particular case, the effects insomnia produced over an extended period of time fostered an entirely new illness. It was just what I needed—high blood pressure. (Sarcasm intended.) I’m not sure which was worse—horrible pain stemming from rheumatoid arthritis or HBP. 

I placed the symptoms of high blood pressure on the back burner, not knowing the coexistence of these two major issues were a recipe for disaster. The stress of both were killing me, but I didn’t realize it, until that fateful day…

***

It was Friday afternoon, and before the end of the day on April 28, 2017, God reminded me it was He who held my fragile life in His Hands.

Placing my faith and trust in Jesus Christ when I was a child assured that if my soul left my body, I would immediately meet my God in Heaven face to face. There’s much comfort in that fact, but like most every one of us, I still didn’t want to die.

***

I was at work, and can promise you, this was not where I wanted to die.

It was a few minutes after 4:00 p.m., when suddenly, there it was–the unmistakable feeling of impending doom…

I never imagined what this particular moment would entail, but for me, the events transpired quickly, but also in super-slow-motion.

A chilling sensation inundated my body.

The coldness inside my body wildly contrasted the scorching hot sensation  smothering the outer layer of my skin.

I felt as though my head would explode, and my chest would implode.

     The sound of my heart was pounding loudly in my ears.

To this day, the muffled sound of being submerged under water still plays vividly in my mind.

As my vision blurred, a drowning sensation slowly filled my lungs. 

                               I was keenly aware, but wildly unfocused.

I thought, “Oh my God, this is it!” 

I’d never fainted before in my life, but felt as though it was inevitable. Sheer determination and genetic stubbornness kept me from going down for the count.

I stopped dead in my tracks as my eyes focused on the floor for what seemed like hours. It was probably more like a minute and a half. 

I stood motionless, placing my right hand on my desk trying to regain entry into the real world. 

It was then I whispered, “God, I know You’re here.” I hadn’t talked to God in awhile but was confident He heard me. At this point, I wasn’t asking anything of Him. I was merely letting Him know that I knew He was near. 

If this was the way I was going to die, there would be no struggle. I had mentally, and physically passed the point of exhaustion. If ever I existed in an alternate universe, today would be that day. 

I waited for my life to flash before my eyes as I drowned, but immediately began rationalizing how impossible that would be with no water in sight. sea water blue sunThe only water nearby was in the silver Yeti cup on my desk.

I hate to disappoint, but the whole “life flashing before your eyes” thing? It just never happened for me. It just wasn’t my time to go.

The ladies in the office knew I hadn’t been myself over the past ten months, but neither of the them knew the seriousness of my situation. I’m sure they wondered what was happening on this particular day, but I preferred keeping it to myself.

As I finally uttered spoken words, my voice sounded muffled—as if I was under water. 

“I need to leave,” I stated calmly.

Unsure if coherent words even exited my mouth, I glanced upward. One of the ladies interrupted me—her voice also sounding muffled. I’m clueless what she said to me that day,  but I did sense her concern. We never spoke about it after this entire ordeal. (So weird…)

In the meantime, I refocused my eyes back toward the floor, I noticed a pink plastic-coated paper clip next to my feet. It perfectly matched the nail polish on my toes. I smiled thinking this would be the last thing I thought of before entering into those Pearly Gates.

“Seriously?” I wondered.

What in the world is that doing there? I didn’t notice it a minute ago.”

Here I am, ready to meet my Maker, and my concern is a stupid paper clip on the floor? It wasn’t funny at the time, but as I recall how sleep deprivation affects the human brain, looking back at it now, it’s actually quite comical. 

No matter how silly, it’s a vivid memory for me. It allowed me to focus my attention elsewhere, and for that stupid paper clip, I am thankful.

I wanted to pick it up off the floor, but instead, remained completely paralyzed.

Moving an inch would’ve certainly placed me flat-out on the floor. Knowing I’d be incapable of making it up on my own, I remained still and immediately thought of the Bible verse, “Be still, and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10 KJV

Everything suddenly quieted in my mind.

The complete sound of silence was deafening.

Still clenching my hand on the desk, I slowly closed my eyes to pray again. It was short and sweet, but this time, I asked God for a favor.

Lord, please don’t let me die today. It can’t be that day. Avery needs her GiGi.”

***

Avery is my granddaughter and was almost four at the time. She lived in Arizona almost 2,000 miles away. The previous months had been some of the most tumultuous of my entire life, but I felt more peace and happiness when Gerry and I booked quarterly flights across the United States of America to visit. 

She captured my heart from the moment she was born. Holding her in my arms triggers a wide range of emotions—even today at the tender age of six (and a half.)

We have a unique and precious bond—ask anyone. I always want to be strong for her. During these particular months, her sheer existence kept me grasping for each new day.man kneeling in front of cross

God answered my selfish prayer that day…

***

It was twenty minutes before the office closed. When I regained the last bit of intestinal fortitude left within me, I loosened the white-knuckle death grip from my desk.

The gloom and doom passed, but didn’t feel I was out of the woods. The will to fight another day mounted as the decision was made to relinquish control of my uncontrollable situation. I finally decided to take the dreaded trip to the emergency room that afternoon.

First, I would need to go home. My husband was there and I wanted him to take me instead of the ambulance. (Have I mentioned I was stubborn?)

I picked up my cell phone, purple Coach bag, and Yeti cup full of water. My heart was working overtime pumping blood to vital organs that day, yet I was determined. I had a new goal in mind—the sheer will to live. 

My brain seemed to be firing—just not on all cylinders. The fact that I was still standing was a complete mystery to me. 

***

My district manager was in a closed-door meeting with five of our staff managers. Without knocking, I unapologetically interrupted.  

“I think I’m gonna leave a few minutes early. I need go to the emergency room. I feel like I’m drowning.” I said it like it was no big deal—a definite misfire.

The staff managers looked at me as if I were crazy, but Mr. Wine was one of few people that knew of my dire situation.

He calmly stood and replied, “What can I do? Should I call someone to get you?”

My heart was beating vigorously, but I was adamant and as stubborn as they come. I told Mr. Wine I wanted to go home and have my husband take me to the emergency room. I thought I’d be fine for the thirty minute drive home—another definite misfire.

Will-power and sheer determination can be a gift, or a curse. I’m not sure what I was thinking. It was a bad judgement call on my part but if it were my time to go, I prayed God would see fit to have my comforting husband by my side. I had a few things I wanted him to tell Avery—just in case…

Against Mr. Wine’s better judgement, he quickly granted permission for my early departure and asked that I keep him posted when I arrived home.

At this point, Gerry had no idea I would be coming home so we could spend our Friday night in the emergency room at the local hospital.

ambulance architecture building business

God always walks before me. During the ten months prior to this day, I often wondered where He was. Looking back, He was with me the entire time. Writing about it grants me clarity. I see God’s constant intervention on my behalf through it all.

My next personal blog post will share when phrase, I’m good, I’m good, was uttered for the very first time. It was on this day—the day I thought I would die. It seems like a strange phrase for such a dark day, but it would be the comical moment that changed the trajectory of my wild ride. 

Be on the lookout for my next personal blog, “I’M GOOD, I’M GOOD,” 

5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)

**As a reminder: I share (or re-blog) posts I publish for Lexington Medical Center’s, Every Woman Blog on my website as well. I’ve categorized these posts separately in a side bar, or foot bar, based on what type of device you are using. They are published between my personal posts according to when I choose share (or re-blog) them. I hope this doesn’t create any confusion. I appreciate you reading them both.**

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