I write about angels that aren’t angels, but the truth is that I sincerely believe in angels, although not like those I write about. I believe in spiritual entities that we can’t see but who work through others and our own “instincts”, if you can call them that.
Today was one of those days that left me grateful to all the angels who watch over me. I don’t know them by name, but I know them by the love they show to me and my family. Every night, my main prayer is simply “God, please protect us from all evil and harm.” That’s it exactly. I don’t pray for money. I pray for the means to achieve my dreams. I don’t pray for fame. I pray that I can make a difference in the lives of others. Often, I pray for others, that God will show them the way out of their troubles or that he bless someone with better health or a healthy pregnancy or the means to help themselves. We don’t get what we want but what we need.
Today, I was led to where I needed to be. I had planned my usual morning trip to my horse and then return for afternoon working. Except that I needed to clear out some junk from the garage that needed to go to the recycle bins at the public works parking lot. I knew I’d forget and the junk would sit in the truck bed until I needed the space for something else, so I opted to go there first. I’m glad I did.
It was chilly but without a wind, that 30 F is tolerable. I was getting a little light headed by the time I finished tearing boxes apart for the cardboard recycling and my hands were freezing, so I blew on them to warm them up. I starting driving away with the light-headedness and had to stop at the stop sign before heading out on 26th street (a semi-quiet street as this town goes). Whoa! I searched for my phone but didn’t find it and cursed myself for leaving it at home when I really needed to call my husband. I couldn’t get the middle section up to lay across the front seat of the truck and didn’t feel like I wanted to climb into the back. Rather, I opened my door and hung my head between my knees. That didn’t work, so I climbed out and laid flat next to the truck before I passed out. It’s a quiet parking lot, but a woman pulled up and asked if I needed help. I thanked her and said I should be okay in a couple minutes.
I was breathing hard and thought I was feeling better, climbed into my truck and started to drive north on 26th. Main Ave. wasn’t far, just over the railroad tracks. Home is only a few miles away. I thought I might be able to make it home but I was sorely wrong. I barely made it to the stoplight on Main when I realized I wasn’t getting far. Luckily, the light turned green. I turned and drove only past where the two lanes of Main merge on the quiet stretch out to Expressway.
My mind was blurred. My eyes unfocused. I couldn’t get enough air. I was going to faint, but I was not going to do it behind the wheel. As soon as I reached the end of the merge and reached the wide shoulder, I pulled over. Immediately, I climbed out and laid down beside my truck. Getting flat was my only concern, as well as getting help. I thought I had left my cell phone at home, so had no way to contact anyone. Despite the confusion swirling through my head, all the years of CPR/1st Aid training whispered hints of “Get help!” and “Lie flat.” and “Stay safe.” I didn’t know what was happening to me. I was scared more for my health than my safety next to the road. I couldn’t call anyone, but they would see me.
I don’t think I was lying for long on the shoulder of the road–bundled up for the weather because I had planned to go out to my horse–when a police officer drove up and asked if I was all right. He asked if I had fallen out or if I had done it on my own–luckily, I had crawled out on my own. He said a man had pulled over and was watching me and he saw that while he had been at the stop light. From a distance, he didn’t know if I was a bag or a person. He called an ambulance and covered me with his coat. Meanwhile, I was freaking out because my hands had gone numb and tingly and I couldn’t feel them. It wasn’t a cold kind of numb but like when you lose all feeling in a limb and start getting it back, but without the pins and needles. I also brought my breathing back to normal. (The ER doc later said that hyperventilating can cause this, but I was freaked out when it happened.)
By the time the EMTs arrived not long after, I felt much better. However, when they asked me to sit up to get on the gurney, my head swam. I had to lie down immediately. My first ever ride in an ambulance, something I never wanted to really need.
In all the tests performed, nothing was amiss–blood sugar normal, blood pressure normal, everything. Their only suggestion was an anxiety attack. I’m 39. I have never had such issues, even when I was under the worst of stress in my life and some stress was finally lightened from my mind in the last week.
After returning home three hours later and gobbling down an entire #2 meal from McD’s plus a pumpkin pie (about two meals worth of food for me at once), I sat down and did a little research on a hunch. I believe this was one of the more severe reactions to the generic escitalopram (active ingredient in Lexapro), which matched with many of the severe symptoms known. I only take 5 mg, the lowest possible dosage, but I’m sensitive to medication. Now, I’m scared to take it. I don’t want to go through this again. I also want to get rid of the frequent headaches–I don’t get headaches except on this med. And I can live without the nausea. For the 8-10 months I was off the med, I didn’t get lightheaded any more either. I went back on because of the stress of this past summer getting to me. (btw, I’m not afraid to admit I have issues with depression. It’s manageable with the right help…getting my horse back on track is part of that, but that’s a post for another time.)
I was in the right place at the right time to get what I needed and perhaps to have avoided a tragedy while riding horse or in more difficult circumstances. My angels were with me today, in the form of that voice that directed me to the recycle bins before going out to the barn, the woman who checked on me, the stoplight turning green just as I reached it (I don’t believe in coincidence), the man who pulled over but never got out of his vehicle, the police officer, the EMTs and ER staff, my husband and sister (who together went to get the pickup and take it home and she just happened to be in town today at the right time), and even my mother, because I was cleaning out the garage so she could fit her vehicle inside while she stayed with us tonight.
Everything happens for a reason. Unfortunately, this event is going to cost $$$, but things could have been worse. I managed to park the truck rather than faint while driving for one. That seemed like an impossible task when my head was clouded when I was fighting the feeling of passing out coming on. I certainly wasn’t lucid until some time after lying flat. I don’t know why this was meant to happen, but I always try to see the positive side–I’m alive.
It’s a little amusing to me that a week from tomorrow I go in for CPR/1st Aid recertification (ten years running!). You never expect to use the knowledge on yourself.
And some people wonder where I get some of the ideas in my stories