Joined: July 2003
|Posted: June 30 2015,6:00 pm
This is an experience I haven't had often and I want to share. Especially here.
I almost died last week. It's not exaggeration. My "medical team" (compassionate professionals, all) were as delicate as possible, but there was no mistaking the underlying message. If I had not gotten a transfusion when I did, I might be a silent voice.
The background. I'd spent two weeks suffering from chronic fatigue, the kind of which made getting out of bed just to use the bathroom a major endeavor. And it wasn't improving. I didn't know what to expect, but finally I sought help from my doctor. This was when I realized whatever was happening was physically obvious--no one had seen the walking wounded with my kind of absolute pallor. Additionally, no one could believe that *other* medical professionals had not only never caught a fairly serious anemia, but had totally missed a drastic drop in my hemoglobin--I'll just say I was bottoming out.
And so I went through the blood draw and waited for Thursday morning, when I would get my doctor's verdict. It came quickly. He was on the phone early, telling me to get to the emergency room as soon as possible, and that I would need a transfusion. I'd like to say I stayed calm, and I think I handled it pretty well, but thankfully I had loved ones around me. My father readily volunteered to be my companion for whatever was to come.
Back to the death aspect. Oh yeah, it was there, and we all knew it--but there in the form of numbers in blood work, not in feeling Azrael ever walking beside me or standing by my bed. And in not feeling Him, I felt His support. I knew with that metaphysical understanding that no matter what had happened, no matter how bad the numbers were, THIS was not the proverbial it. Azrael was elsewhere, in in that way He was giving me the support of...Life?
I'm not even sure I'm explaining myself all that well, but then I'm not sure words can really ever work.
Things are not all roses and cheer, of course. I went in on Thursday, received the transfusion overnight, and was very happy to discover from Friday morning's blood work that my hemoglobin was climbing. But still, no one could figure out why I'd fallen sick in the first place. After a long day of consulting with my medical team and the doctors with each other, the settled diagnosis was "pernicious anemia"--a chronic vitamin B12 malfunction which requires me to get a shot regularly for...well...
Anyway, with plans for a long and open-ended series of regular outpatient tests and procedures and consults, I was discharged on Saturday morning. Believe me, it's so much better to be at home than alone in a hospital bed, even if the floor staff does everything it can!
I'm sorry for rambling (even if it felt great) but I had to mention how it felt to not feel Azrael during this particular experience. Has anyone ever been through something similar?
I reserve the right to be wrong.
Emilie J. Conroy