Chapter One: Transformation Begins in an Ambulance
What if someone told you that your life was about to change and everything you had been wanting was now about to appear; your dreams were going to come true and love was about to get even bigger. Life was going to expand in such grand proportions that you would be in a daze for most of the reconstruction and would be unable to stop its rapidly moving flow. It was going to be so powerful that letting go and going with the massive flow would be the only way to survive this eruption of dreams becoming reality.
This happened to me and it was nothing like I expected it would be. It was more.
Our reconstruction began on May 5, 2013 as my husband Steve lay in the back of an ambulance as it rushed, with sirens blaring, to the nearest hospital. We were soon to find out that he was in critical condition. Our transformational journey began right then and there as I followed my dying husband’s ambulance, driving as fast as I could with my heart pounding, mind praying, and stomach churning to a destination that would not release us for many months to come. There was no going back. The ambulance signaled the quickness the flow would take and then each day thereafter the uncertainty of the changing of a life.
An illness he had battled for three long years was finally now ready to shift. Steve had been sick on and off for those three years and was eventually diagnosed with parasites in his blood. It was an unconventional diagnosis and treatment plan. It worked in the beginning, but after a year of treatment for the parasites, and many ups and downs with his health during that year, he gradually declined into a severe enough state that I knew it was time to seek medical care other than the doctor that had diagnosed him and then became disinterested when my husband began to decline instead of improve from this very unconventional diagnosis and treatment plan. We were at our wits end, not knowing where to turn. Believing that parasites were difficult to treat, and having no medical insurance made the issue even more exasperating to decipher. When and how would we get the help that we knew we couldn’t afford, but so desperately needed? The morning of May 5th determined it for us as he lay weak, dehydrated, and unable to walk because of his severe weakness. A hospital was now the only place to go.
I was quickly told in the emergency room by the doctor that was on duty that day that it could not be parasites. He seemed very certain of that. I was tired, scared, worried, and now very confused. The entire next few hours became a blur as I listened to doctors and nurses tell me that he was so severely dehydrated that he shouldn’t be alive. People with sodium levels that low from dehydration rarely survive. I couldn’t imagine why his sodium levels were that low. He had been drinking a lot of water at home. They discovered he was also malnourished, even though he had been eating. The mystery of his illness was building and I was becoming very scared.
By this time, Steve’s mom and my children had joined me in the ER. None of us could believe the severity of his condition and how he could be so close to dying. A sodium IV was started immediately and he was quickly transferred to a step down level of the ICU. At that point, the daily grind of doctors, nurses, IVs, and tests after tests after tests began. I slept in his room with him, ready to assist him with every whimper. I was completely exhausted, but I had to stay strong and aware for him. I rarely slept. He was in pain, hallucinating from the morphine, and scared. I wanted to comfort him no matter how tired I became, so I pushed through the exhaustion and only focused on being as present as I could be. I couldn’t think, I could only respond to the task in front of me. It was becoming a very long and tiring week; our first week of hospitals, doctors, and tests.
On the second day, his sister flew in from California and his step dad was on his way from Argentina, where he had been on a business trip. His dad was also on his way from Virginia, arriving that evening. We were all forming a brave and loving stronghold as we waited for the doctors to figure out the puzzle pieces. Little did we know, this family bond would need to last for the next two months as my husband took a long and much needed inner journey.