Thirty-five years or so ago, I woke up one morning, sat up and discovered that I could not keep my eyes open without the room swirling around me.
I thought, "I must have sat up too quickly." I decided to lie back down and try that act again. The next time, however, I opened my eyes without sitting up. The same thing happened. The room just swirled around and around. I thought I was going to have to throw up. The dizziness stopped only when I closed my eyes again, but even so it took a few seconds to subside.
"My God!" I thought. "What's going on?" I was scared, really scared. Somehow, tho, I managed to roll off the bed onto the floor, knock the telephone receiver off its cradle and dial "0".
[This was in the good old days when, if you dialed "0", a real live person actually came on. I doubt if I would have been able to dial "911".]
I told the operator that something was really wrong, that I didn't know what it was, and asked her if she could possibly call my husband at work to have him come home and get me. She asked what the number was. I probably couldn't remember the number in my befuddled and bedraggled state of mind, but told her where he worked and his name.
Somehow or another, she was able to reach him. He came home, got me dressed and out to the car. I couldn't stand. I couldn't walk. He must have carried me. I don't remember. He would have placed a very large bath towel on my lap during our trip to the doctor's office, probably, but I don't remember. All I remember for sure was thinking every second that I was going to throw up. Oddly enough, I never did!
When we got to my doctor's office, a nurse was waiting outside with a wheelchair. I remember being wheeled in, but that's about the last thing I remember. Things happened pretty quickly after that.
Dr. Cowling's office was right next door to Sharpstown Hospital, and that's where I woke up fully a day or so later, feeling perfectly fine and ready to get the heck on out of there and go home! I don't remember any tests being run or drugs being administered, none of that stuff!!
You know, I've thought briefly about that episode maybe a time or two over the years, but it wasn't until this past week or so that it all came back full bore to the front of my memory banks.
I had called my friend, Jennie, just to see what the news was her way and how she was continuing to recuperate after her latest cancer surgery, and was distressed to hear her tell me of something 'new' going on in her life ... an episode of dizziness - she did throw up! - that was completely outside her realm of previous experience. As you might imagine, she was very interested in hearing what had happened to me years ago.
Well, the upshot of this whole story is that an MRI detected a benign tumor in the right side of her brain and she is scheduled for surgery Wednesday to have it removed. I spoke with her on the phone yesterday. She didn't really have much time to talk. Relatives are arriving from everywhere to try and give their support.
[I've had to pause - every so often during the creation of this post - to close my eyes and say yet another prayer for my dear friend who has undergone so much. My logical mind tells me that this tumor is benign, that this next surgery should be a 'piece of cake' - and I don't mean in the slightest way to belittle the fact that another part of her body will be bored into and an unwelcome intruder removed ... ... I guess what I really want to say is, "Get rid of it, Jennie. It's benign! It's 'nothing' in the larger scheme of things!!"
But this time it almost sounds like she's 'had it' with her body being investigated, poked at, bored into and carved up like --- sorry, I can't finish the simile w/o introducing something macabre, and that's the last place I want to go with this post!]
She's scared, yet she took the time to send me a message explaining that her e-mails might be on the wane for a while and signed it, "Love, Jennie".
One of Jennie's more recent e-mails had the subject of "Friendship" ... it's worth sharing. I'm going to copy here for you some of the (imo) more important points.
Take the time to live! Do not value the things you have in your life, but value who you have in your life.
Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
Learn to write your hurts in the sand, where the winds of forgiveness can erase them away, and to carve your benefits in stone.
We all love and care about you, Jennie.