Expedition:A journey or excursion undertaken for a specific purpose. Merriam Webster
I emerged from bed as usual that morning. As I grabbed my Bible and journal from the night stand, I felt a little weird. Exhaustion set in. I just wanted to get back in bed, but the fighter in me kept moving.
I made it to the kitchen where the puppies greeted me from their cage. My normal routine was to simply bend down to let them out into the yard every morning, but leaning over felt like a chore.
I dragged myself over to my imitation Keurig and slid my mug underneath. I thanked God there was already water in the pot because I really didn’t feel like walking over to the sink. Now, coffee in hand, my Bible, journal and iPhone (for music); I was on my way to my daily morning meeting with God.
I literally creeped up the stairs in search of a quiet spot. I sat and thanked God, still not understanding why I was exhausted. I felt a little cramping, but figured it was nothing. I had a partial hysterectomy, but my ovaries constantly let me know they still work fine! I assumed the cramping was just a normal part of ovulation.
I played my worship playlist and entered into His glorious presence as I fought sleep. I dove into His word and found hope, peace and encouragement for the moments of difficulty I was facing. The obstacles I had been dealt had now stretched into a long season whose purpose was to make my soul weary.
But God filled me with joy that morning. I felt a peace that I hadn’t experienced in a long time. I was so glad to bask in His love.
Once I was done with my special time with God, I quickly jumped up from my recliner, grabbed my items and headed towards the stairs full of gratefulness for my newfound energy. I quickly moved towards the stairs, took a few steps down, then woke up to an aching pain in my left ankle.
I felt confused. How did I end up fallen on the stairs? I noticed my spilled coffee. My journals and bible were scattered. More confusion set in. I couldn’t stop sweating. I was nauseous, more than I had ever been. My head pounded. My chest felt like a ton of bricks suddenly landed on it. My nightgown was drenched in sweat at this point. I wanted to get up, but I couldn’t. I tried to cry out, but the words wouldn’t come out. My ankle hurt. Finally the words formed, “Honey, help, I fell. Someone help.”
Within seconds, my family surrounded me. Everyone with a phone. One calling my other children. Another calling 911. Another calling grandma.
“Do I look that bad?” I thought, “I only sprang my ankle.”
“I’m going to vomit,” Jojo held a bucket in my lap.
“Mom, you are drenched in sweat,” Selina fanned me and helped me with my robe as she spoke with the paramedics.
“I’m fine,” I whispered, “just help me up.”
Ruben ran to get dressed, “Don’t move her,” he yelled from the bedroom.
My baby girls, Starr and Soli sat at the top of the stairs and gazed in silence. I tried to reach out to them, “I’m fine. Don’t worry.”
Starr forced a smile, “I know mom.”
Solimar remained silent. She secured her face with her hands, but slowly moved them to caress mine.
The paramedics arrived. “I’m fine,” the words came out like whispers.
“We need to make sure ma’am,” the leader of the group demanded. “Hold on to my shoulder as my friend pulls you up, we need to get you on the gurney,” he was bossy and I didn’t like his tone.
I didn’t want to go to the hospital for a sprained ankle, so I deliberately resisted. “Ma’am, please let us help you,” he firmly pulled me up as his colleague grabbed me. Together, they somehow got me onto the gurney.
I began to feel better on the ride to the hospital. Selina sat near me as the paramedics checked my vital signs and asked me way too many questions. I just wanted to go back home to change. I realized that I was wearing my favorite nightgown-the one with holes all over! It was a moment of sheer embarrassment.
My chest began to hurt again, but I kept it to myself. I was sure it was nothing. I decided they would put a splint on my hurting ankle and I would be home in no time!
As I was rolled into the emergency room, the sweet nurse helped me into a new bed, then began to ask me all of the same questions I had just answered! I was tired again, “Can’t you ask them, they know the answers,” I referred to the paramedics.
“Your blood pressure is high, its it usually high?’
“My ankle hurts. Can you help my ankle? Yes, I’m on blood pressure meds. I don’t know why it’s hight now.”
My mom arrived. She took over. She is way more commanding than that bossy EMC! I knew that I was in trouble now! “Vicki, you need to tell the nurse everything. How did you fall? Why did you fall?” She was determined to get to the bottom of this. My mom knows how I don’t usually tell the doctor everything. She wasn’t about to let me get away with that.
“I don’t remember falling, I only remember waking up on the steps with spilled coffee on my robe-and a HURT ankle,” I just wanted them to take away the pain from my foot!
The nurse quickly hooked me up to an EKG. She and my mom talked as I prayed for some pain relief!
“Why are you hooking me up to an EKG for a sprained ankle?”
“You are telling me things that cause concern. The doctor will be in to explain.”
The nurse walked out and the counselor that dwells within my mom began to speak, “Vicki, why didn’t you tell the nurse that you didn’t remember falling?”
“Because I didn’t think that it mattered.”
She gave me one of those familiar, my-daughter-needs-psychotherapy-looks and rubbed my head.
The doctor stepped in, “Mrs. Dominguez, do you know what a heart attack means?”
I looked at Ruben’s face. He had been quiet throughout the entire ordeal. He usually processes in silence, but now his face began to speak volumes. I recognized that look. We’ve been down this road before. I wasn’t about to go there again.
“Sure doctor, but that’s not what happened to me,” I wanted him to understand that my Google medical education far outweighs the years he had spent in medical school.
He had a serious look on his face, “We will be keeping you here for a few more days for further testing. We are admitting you now.”
“But, my ankle hurts!”
“The X-Ray shows that your ankle is fine. I’m not the least bit concerned about your ankle,” he was not amused by my childish behavior.
The atmosphere was stiff. Ruben’s face. The doctor’s tone. My denial.
My mom chimed in, “Funny how you wore your favorite night gown today!”
We needed the laugh, though I could feel Ruben’s concern through his smile.
Thus, began an expedition with Jesus that led me to a place within myself that needed to arise.
To be continued….