Monday December 19th was just like any other Monday. I didn't want to wake up, I didn't want to get the kids ready for school or go to work but since I'm an adult, I did what I had to. I was completely fine all day. Work was work, house work was house work and helping the kids with their homework was all par for the course. I made the fam dinner and had a meeting at church. The meeting was just like the rest of my day, fine. After the meeting, I came home and sat down to eat dinner with a book. About 10 minutes into dinner and my book, a headache struck like lightning. I'm a pro at headaches and realized immediately that this one was going to be a doozy. It was so bad that I didn't even take care of my dinner plate, I just popped three Tylenol and laid down. This is when things get crazy and hazy and not so good. Maybe 30 minutes later I woke up and realized that I had gotten sick. My poor husband, on the couch watching football and absolutely oblivious, didn't realize that this was just the beginning of his life of drudgery and nursing his sick wife. Immediately I started shaking so badly that I could barely speak. Jimmy acted fast and had both the ambulance and my best friend on their way to our house.
The ambulance ride was surreal. I knew I was sick, I knew it was bad and yet I could barely focus on the here and now at the time. I was so cold, it felt like I was never going to get warm again. The EMT was baffled because my skin felt cool to the touch but the thermometer kept saying my temp was 102. This was just the beginning of my medical mysteries. Note to self: baffling medical professionals never turns out well for the patient. Or their insurance company. At this point, all I wanted was to get warm again and go home. I knew what the ER held in store. I couldn't bend my head to my chest and that meant a spinal tap. I had been tested once, several years ago, for meningitis and it was a very unpleasant memory.
If possible, I started to get even worse once I arrived at the hospital. I was so ill that Jimmy overheard a nurse saying they were going to treat me like a chemo patient and automatically put me on antibiotics. This made the spinal tap results almost pointless because once I was on antibiotics, they wouldn't be able to grow a bacterial culture if it was indeed bacterial meningitis. Still, they forged ahead with the spinal tap and apparently, I was a guinea pig for the ER resident. He made three separate attempts to get fluid and caused a leak of spinal fluid in the process. They ended up having to send me to radiology to have a spinal tap done with an Xray. At this point, my mental facilities were almost gone. While I was getting the first three spinal taps, I started to lose my ability to speak. I didn't recognize my husband. Eventually, I became unresponsive. By about 2:30 that morning, they had moved me to ICU and put me on oxygen.
Jimmy spent that night pacing and praying and hoping that I would open my eyes and talk to him. Sadly, for his sake, Tuesday brought no good news and if anything, my condition worsened. The hospital staff wasn't able to tell him if I would even make it.....