Today, I turned 47. There won’t be a huge party, there won’t be a cake. I’m all for those kinds of celebrations and in years past, I’ve had parties of all sizes, cakes of all varieties and memories that I’ll never forget. This year, the celebration is of a milder sort. I put my TV stand together and finished setting up the big screen and sound system I bought for myself. I’m going to enjoy a movie and the dinner my sister cooked for me.
You see, at the age of 41, on July 21, 2009, while I was waiting on my son to get out of camp, I suffered a brain hemorrhage. I knew what was happening to me immediately because as a claims adjuster, I had paid for several funerals of people who didn’t survive them. I managed to drive myself to the emergency room because: (1) I didn’t want my child to walk up to the truck and see me dying, and (2) I knew that I had, at most, 10 minutes to get myself some help before I was at the point of no return. By the time I made it to the ER, which was a 10 minute drive, things had progressed to the point that I was vomiting. I kept telling the doctors and nurses that I was having an aneurysm. They kept telling me that they would run tests. I kept protesting. I will never forget the look of unadulterated fear on the face of the doctor when they turned me over after the spinal tap. I heard her tell the nurse that she had never seen that much blood in anyone’s spinal column. All the color drained from the nurse’s face because it was then that they realized just how close to death I was.
I have never experienced pain on that level. I was in labor for 36 hours and gave birth to an 8 pound, 22 inch child. Today, he is 6 ft. tall and weighs in at 225 pounds. I would gladly give birth to him at the size he is TODAY rather than go through the pain I experienced on July 21, 2009. I was transported to a Dallas hospital and was immediately sent to ICU. I lay there four days. I went through a battery of test raining from and 8-hour MRI to an angiogram. I was bedridden until January 2010. I was unable to make it to the bathroom by myself for weeks. I did nothing but lie there. Somehow, my sense of hearing was heightened to the point that if the cat walked across the room, I would cry from the pain. I didn’t regain peripheral vision until May 2010. Not at any point did I doubt that I would recover. I knew that I would make a full recovery. My faith would not allow me to believe anything else. Today, I have no residual affects.
Birthdays are extremely special to me. Don’t take them for granted. Life is entirely too short not to enjoy every single minute that you’re granted. Love your family and friends and love them hard. Celebrate life to the fullest.