The updates from the doctor ranged from “It’s good you came in tonight Ms. Davies, you could have died today with blood pressure like that.” To “if the medication does not have any effect or you develop pre-eclampsia, you need to be aware that we will have to terminate the pregnancy.” Eventually he said “looks like you are responding well, you are free to go home” …It was an emotional roller coaster.
I am starting to type, uncertain of how to give a positive synopsis of last evening’s events. I hope by the end I’ve put a positive spin on things because as I recollect in this moment, I am filled with great tension and anxiety. Before I continue, I need you to either be aware of my history, or understand that High Blood Pressure is notoriously known as the Silent Killer. It is the measurement of pressure on your artery walls, the higher the pressure the harder your heart and other organs have to work, which causes damage, weakness and if untreated, organ failure, or sudden death.
Saturday, I woke up with one of those headaches that didn’t go away with acetaminophen (the painkiller pregnant women are allowed to take). I ignored it till mid afternoon, when I was at Walmart, and saw one of the free Blood Pressure machines, and felt that checking it was probably a good idea.
I did. And the reading I got was incredibly high. I didn’t panic yet, but walked around the aisles and then took it again… The reading was even higher! Tears streamed down my face and I began to sob quite loudly. I called the advice nurse from where I stood, and she calmed me down immensely, advising that I came in to check the credibility of the machine’s reading. I left my shopping where it was, dropped off Elizabeth with some friends, and drove myself to the emergency room as calmly as I could.
Of course, my husband was on a plane to Paris, and was unable to be contacted- so there was some extra stress right there. As I lay in the hospital bed, time ticked slowly by, the updates from the doctor ranged from “it’s good you came in tonight Ms. Davies, you could have died today with blood pressure like that.” To “if the medication does not have any effect or you develop pre-eclampsia, you need to be aware that we will have to terminate the pregnancy.” Eventually he said “looks like you are responding well, you are free to go home.” It was an emotional roller coaster to say the least. It was very difficult not to dwell on all the ‘what if’s’ as time lapsed between one update to another.
You could say it is probably up there as one of the most fretful experiences of my life. However, I also have to say that had the feeling I was never alone- have you ever had that? Not an eerie bad feeling- but as though a good presence was in the room. Whether you believe in Guardian Angels, Family members watching over you, or what not, I am sure you’ve had an experience similar to mine. Whoever or whatever it was, it kept me from feeling completely distraught and alone- I was really grateful.
So, what have I gleaned from this experience?
Renewed Appreciation of Health– Not in a cheesy way. But I am ever so grateful the staff were able to get my Blood Pressure down. If this were 100 years ago, I would likely be dead or undergoing organ failure as we *figuratively* speak. Actually I would have had a seizure and died during child birth last time. Are you picking up what I’m putting down? Exactly. Modern medicine is a huge blessing.
Hope– The last few weeks I was feeling quite bogged down in the whole nausea/insomnia issue. I wasn’t really enjoying life, just enduring, and I often absorbed in my own problems. However, I had a realization after I left the hospital that the level of light and joy in life usually is relative to your trust in God, and your conviction that God’s plan for your life truly can bring you joy. Trials are never easy, but facing the future with as much sincere optimism as possible is hopefully one way to decrease my panic attacks, and just enjoy what I can, as I go through the next 22 weeks of pregnancy.
There’s a quote I like by an articulate man, Richard G. Scott “Some people are like rocks thrown into a sea of problems. They are drowned by them. Be a cork. When submerged in a problem, fight to be free to bob up to serve again with happiness.” I’m really going to try be a cork. It’s possible that I will be in the Emergency Room again at some point, it’s probable that my nausea isn’t going to disappear overnight. But it is up to me how I deal with it step by step, moment to moment.
The Lord has said, “Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days.” I hate getting preachy, but that scripture really gave me some comfort last night which is why I shared it with you. I’m really going to try and be a cork. I’m relying on you to buoy me up if I start to sink. And please reach out if you’re struggling yourself!
Here’s to living life with joy- Let’s do this 🙂