Life and death can be intense to consider.
It’s a fairly typical Canadian afternoon in June –overcast with a sneaky hint of sunshine coming through the clouds. This is perfect weather for me to go out this morning and trim my pole beans, harvest some peas and shallots for making dinner later, and get my composting done.
Now I’m back inside doing laundry and drinking my third cup of coffee while catching up on friends’ social media (and looky-loo’ing those of strangers, because hashtags). I’m also considering my life and what I want in the next 45ish years, should I be blessed to get that many more.
My last post dealt with my health. Well, the questions continued and resulted in an eye-opening experience that set my brain in motion on the above topic; life and death. *Note: It’s also why I’ve been delayed in writing. I thank each of you who keep reading these and are patient with the gaps between posts. It means a lot to me!
I rode in an ambulance two weeks ago when I slid to my kitchen floor.
I could hear the sirens coming; knowing it was for me both calmed me and sent me into a panic at how serious this was. The Paramedics strapped me on their gurney, locked my front door, got an IV started in my arm, and we were off to the hospital.
My blood pressure had crashed. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest while someone was intermittently kicking me in the shoulderblades and kidneys while wearing steel-toe boots.
When I apologized to the Paramedic for calling (yep. Sure did. God forbid I inconvenience anyone even while almost dying), she said I was waxy-grey and I was definitely a case of needing them; not like the hangnail patient which they had attended to prior. Seriously.
I wanted to shower before they got there because who wants to be picked up while wearing cat pyjamas and yesterday’s eye makeup? I had to give up that idea when I admitted to myself this was ‘kind of a big deal’ when my situation was quickly progressing and I was losing consciousness.
At least my pants were cute?!
Once assessed in hospital it was determined I had suffered an anaphylaxis episode. I now have an EpiPen with me 24/7 and am in the process of getting a MedicAlert bracelet. *Anyone know where I can find a pretty one? If I have to wear it all the time, it better to look good.
This was one of the most terrifying things I’ve experienced and I am so glad I had enough sense left to grab my phone when I felt my legs start to weaken. My boyfriend got 2 short texts of “I need you” and “I’m having trouble breathing” before I called 911. I can’t even fathom the horror if he had come back from seeing his friends to find me in, well, a much different condition than when he left.
Many are not as lucky.
This is my PSA to always have your phone a) charged up, and b) nearby, especially if you live alone. You just never know.
I look at the simple tasks of gardening and house chores a little differently now. I’m not saying I’m doing cartwheels about mopping my floors later. I am, however, very glad I’m still here and able to do it between the simple pleasures of reading, looking at my flowers, and most especially the time I spend with people I enjoy, insuring they hear I love and miss them when we are together and apart. I now give hugs like I may not get the chance again.
Tell your people how much they are appreciated for being in your life. Stare up at the beautiful sky, breathe deeply, and stretch that gorgeous face into a giant smile. Life is so very, very good — even when it’s not. Because tomorrow is waiting for you. You get to start again, however you want.
Live with your whole heart because one day, it will stop. Make sure every beat counts.