Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dying

I remember being just a little less than a mile out from the finish line. I saw this tall building and remembered from last year that the finish line was just down this road straight to the building and then a right turn, and a sprint away. I could do this. My ankle hurt like it never had before, but I was almost there. Other than that, I was just a little tired, but I felt fine.
Then I woke up. All these medical people in red vests around me. I was lying down on some sort of cot thing. A man was trying to force me to drink water, but I felt nauseous and I couldn't drink it because I was fighting the urge to throw up. I gave in and threw up, all over myself. But it didn't matter because I was just stuggling to get air into my lungs. People were asking me questions but I couldn't hear. I couldn't feel my body. They wiped the sweat and puke from my face.
How long had I been here?
What happened?
Did I finish?
Where was Shannon?
How was I suppose to get a hold of her?
What time was it?
How serious was this?
Was I going to die?

All these questions were being tossed around in my brain, but my mouth couldn't speak words, so I laid there with a lifeless expression on my face. I raised my head to see if I was really touching my feet together and wiggling my toes. Sure enough, I just couldn't feel it.
Nurses would walk by or come crowd around and smile, and I'd try to smile back, because it's the polite thing to do, but I couldn't tell if it was working. My lips were numb.
They told me later that I had crossed the finish line, but I looked like a drunk, crazy person, so they came out and put me in a wheelchair. Apparently I threw up. They were asking me questions like, where do I live, and what was my name, and I answered. I have no recognition that any of this happened. Someone told my friends looking for me that I didn't look too good at the finish line, and learning what I did, I'm so embarrassed. Who saw me? I was so out of it.
They tried to sit me up, but I was dizzy, so they laid me back down. They stuck IV's in my arm, but I guess it wasn't working on my right side, so they had to use the other arm. I had never had an IV in my arm before, and I wasn't too excited about the idea. But it was fine, because I couldn't feel. While they were poking me, I thought about dying. Nothing really seemed to matter at that point. I honestly didn't care if I died. It was sort of like I already had. I couldn't remember the last hour of my life. And then I just "woke up". And if I had died, I never would've known. I had no idea how serious this was. I had no idea what happened. My body was relaxed, my mind was sort of in a daze, and the thought of dying didn't scare me. In fact, I felt ready. I thought about heaven and hell, and I didn't care where I ended up. I couldn't picture my life an hour away. Nothing really mattered and I just wanted to die. It's sort of silly when I look back on it now, but it was the weirdest feeling I've ever experienced. NO ONE will ever be able to understand unless it happens to them. And it was weird because the nurses really had no idea what I was feeling. They might pretend like they know, but no one really knows until it's happened to them. For a few hours today, I was not Karalee. I was just some human with a dysfunctional brain stuck in a body.
I laid there shivering from the cold fluid running into my veins for a good three hours. They asked me questions, my hearing was slowly improving but I stumbled to put words together that made sense to answer. I didn't have my phone, but I had Shannon's key to her car. So I knew they couldn't get too far, but I wasn't sure how I was going to get a hold of them, or find them when I got out of there. IF I got out of there. The only number I could remember was my house number in Coeur D'Alene, so we called it. No one picked up, so I tried to leave a message but my words still weren't working so I handed the phone back to the nurse to try to explain.
Eventually I could sit without being dizzy, and I could feel my feet enough to hold me up and move when I told them to. I started to respond to things quicker and my brain started working again. My hearing never fully came back until about an hour ago. The nurse walked with me through the line to get my T-shirt, and help me find my friends. She was nice, I really liked her. I wrapped myself in a blanket and hobbled through the massive crowd. My ankle was even more swollen then on Friday and I could hardly stand to put pressure on it. Even now the swelling hasn't gone down much, and I can't walk on it. They thought it might be a small fracture. Somehow we found my friends, or they found us. And driving home was a fight to keep from puking again. We got home around 5, and I still felt nauseous, but much more like Karalee, with real feeling. I slept till about 7:30 and tried to eat something. Now I have a massive test to study for, for tomorrow, and all I really want to do it die. Literally. After today, it just feels so much easier.

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