My dear friend Bob said miracles sometimes happen in three’s, and he was right. Last week I had two wonderful miracles and then on Saturday July 19, 2010 my life changed forever. It was the worst day of my life and best day of my life. I had to work at 11:00 am. I was having breakfast with Chad before I started my day. I had two chocolate rice cakes with natural peanut butter. I eat peanut butter all the time and the more the better. While I was eating the rice cakes I started to have a tickle in the back of my throat that made me choke. I thought I swallowed something wrong. My lips started to burn and my eyes got itchy. I took two Benadryl as I thought I was having allergy symptoms.
Chad was painting the kitchen and had run out of primer. He said he would just run to Elizabeth the town next door to get a gallon. I was on my way to work and had to drive through Elizabeth and realized they were having a parade. I called him to let him know and suggested he go to Galena instead. By the time I got outside of Elizabeth I couldn’t breathe. I called Sheila to cancel my appointments as I told her I had to get to the hospital. I turned around and called Chad and asked him to meet me at the gas station as I needed to get to hospital, as soon as I hung up I was no longer able to breathe. I pulled over and pressed the OnStar emergency button. I couldn’t speak as my chest was rasping and I felt like I could breathe only through a straw.
Poor Sheila called back when I was trying to explain landmarks next to my car. I tried to silence the phone but ended up answering it. She had to endure listening to me fight for my life. Sheila said that although I couldn’t hear her, she was shouting into the phone that I wasn’t alone and that she was with me. My phone then disconnected when it fell to the floor and she was left hanging.
Exactly one week ago to the day I had a vivid nightmare that I was choking. Chad said in my sleep I yelled “No, no, no,” and then gurgled like I was choking and rasped, “Help me.” He was so disturbed he woke me up. I was terrified in my dream and even more so upon waking.
When I was in the car I knew that I was dying. I was not afraid to die. I was heartbroken thinking of my children, my dear Chad, my nephews and my family. I sent love into the future so that if I wasn’t here anymore that they would have all the love that I had to offer. I didn’t think about my bills, my house being a mess, that I had flabby thighs or about work. All I cared about was the people that I loved. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to say goodbye and it broke my heart.
My throat felt like I had shards of glass compacted with fur in it and I seriously considered jabbing a pen into my throat. I learned about Circothyrotomy’s in my Army medical training. You make an incision in the throat just below the Adam’s apple as a last resort to get the airway moving.
The OnStar operator was able to give my exact location along with the make and model of my car. Within two minutes the ambulance arrived. When the paramedic opened the door I barely whispered, “Help me.” She put her hands on my shoulder and said with compassion, “Everything is going to be okay.” Tears poured down my cheek as I believed every word she said. She was the most beautiful and calming angel on earth and forever I will be grateful to her.
Chad was looking for me and found me as they shut the doors to the ambulance. He left the house without his wallet and an empty tank of gas. He had to follow the ambulance and dig enough change from the car to get enough gas to make it to the hospital.
When they restored my breathing with epinephrine and nebulizers she told me that she was surprised that OnStar had gotten through to 911 as the county system was down and having problems. She then stated that they were so close to my location because they were lining up for the parade.
I was in the hospital until about 3:30 in the afternoon. I asked the nurse if my anxiety caused me to think I was dying and she simply stated “No, it wasn’t, you were close to that.” I have an allergy only to walnuts and have had issues with them. I have never any issues with any other nuts. I eat peanut butter often and never would have thought that anaphylactic reactions could happen overnight.
Everything fell into place that day in a remarkable manner. I know I have angels watching over me. I know that the universe is a loving and compassionate place. I am forever changed.
What I learned on Saturday forever changed my life and ultimately made me a better mother, girlfriend, daughter, sister, aunt and medium. Never take anything for granted. Enjoy the way leaves on the tree look twinkling in the sun, love your fat thighs, don’t worry about bills and money, love your family with all of your heart and say everything you need to say to the people you love. I now know why lotto numbers aren’t important, or why what the stock market does doesn’t matter. I know why when spirits come forward they apologize and only convey messages of love. I am so grateful for every aspect of my life. I am thrilled to be me, happy to be alive and so grateful for my family, my friends and my life. I will take all the good and the bad and I will even sing in public. I don’t care about meaningless problems anymore.
I am so grateful to the universe, my friends, and my clients. I am in love with life and in love with myself. I know this experience was meant to be and I am still weepy at times thinking about the what if’s. Chad has been my constant source of strength with hugs and consideration and I owe him such gratitude. Thank you all for your messages of love and well wishes. I wish you peace.