I Ruined Everything … Or Did I?

In the middle of the night, my youngest taps me lightly on the arm. “Mama, Karalee’s sick.” Oh, no. They won’t be able to go to church camp. They wanted to go so badly. I never should have let her go into Wal-Mart. She must have picked up a germ. I’ve ruined everything.

I rush to the girls’ bathroom to greet Karalee resting on the floor. “I’ve been sick once, Mom. I think I made myself sick.” Yes, she has a nervous stomach like me.

She’s feeling a bit better. No fever. I place her on a living room couch, opposite me, and I cover her and give her the pink bowl … just in case. I start praying. Not only will the girls miss camp, but my husband and I will never make our two-day Disney vacation. We didn’t purchase insurance. We’ll lose everything. I’ve ruined everything.

We wake the next morning. My daughter feels so much better and had never became sick again.

“Mom, it was just my nerves. And Mom, I prayed, and I went through all the Bible stories that I know while trying to fall asleep, stopping and falling asleep at Jesus telling the little children to come to Him.”

I didn’t ruin everything.

We place the girls on the bus to Colorado.

We start packing for Disney. We board the plane to Florida. I’ve been fighting a headache with Excedrin for a few days. My face feels flushed the whole flight there, and I’m feeling like I can’t get enough cool air.

Our first day in the park, I’m still fighting a headache with Excedrin–just trying to cope. It’s hot out, but we manage fairly well, moving from one air conditioned attraction to another. At 5pm, a huge thunderstorm rolls in, and we make our way back to the resort. After supper, I stay in bed with my head booming through the thunderstorm.

I awake the next morning feeling slight head pain but feeling very weak. We eat breakfast, arrive at Epcot. I’m hiding my condition fairly well, hoping to overcome–not wanting to ruin everything. While waiting for the park to open amongst the thousands of surrounding feet, I start feeling like I’d better sit down … on the ground. What choice did I have? Sit or fall. The park opens … wobbly standing, I get my husband’s attention–I tug at his arm … “I can’t … I’m not feeling good … I need to sit down again.” My heart breaks as I watch all those feet pass me by, beating us to the rides. I’ve ruined everything.

Three precious women who work for Epcot surround me. “Are you okay?”

I tell them how I’m feeling. “You’re dehydrated,” they say. A wheelchair pulls up. “This little girl wants you to know she’s praying for you. Isn’t that sweet.” I turn around to see a precious child and her mother standing there, with looks of concern, assuring me they are praying. I thank them. My heart is overwhelmed.

“God bless you,” I say. We serve a good Father … our amazing God. Thank you, Father. You never abandon me.

I’m wheeled to the bathroom … the three women never leave my side. I walk into the bathroom … and instantly have to lie down on the floor. My husband expresses his concern about me lying on the very public bathroom floor and its condition.

“If I stand, I’ll hit the floor,” I say. It seems clean. Who cares? Lord, let me survive.

“The bathroom floor was cleaned very good last night,” the Epcot lady says. She takes my feet and elevates them. “The color is coming back into your face.” One lady gets me a sugary drink. Another lady takes my husband out in the hallway and talks his head off, trying to distract him. But after an hour has passed, I’m still not able. “Do you need the nurse?” one lady asks.

“I need the nurse,” I say in defeat.

Miserable at Epcot

At the nurses’ station, the nurse feels with the combination of the heat and the effects of caffeinated Excedrin that I was quickly dehydrating. She says she will take my blood pressure. “It’ll probably be very low,” she says. “Dehydration causes low pressure.” I nod in agreement. She takes it. “It’s very high,” she says with a look of dismay. “Since you are thin, and fairly young, and high blood pressure isn’t your normal, I think you need to go to the hospital.” Oh, I’ve ruined everything.

A young Nicolas Cage inserts my IV into my left arm throughout the bumpy ambulance ride. “You’re using the best arm. My right arm is near impossible to use when I’m dehydrated. And you look just like Nicolas Cage.” I couldn’t resist.

“Everyone tells me that,” he laughs. I try to laugh. I’ve ruined everything. “Don’t worry. I’ll get your IV on the first try.” And thankfully, he painfully does.

The doctor greets me. “You’re blood pressure is very high. No rides at the park for you. See your doctor immediately when you get home and be monitoring your blood pressure.” I’ve ruined everything. I’m hydrated now, but I didn’t even receive anything for my high blood pressure–the very reason I came to the ER. All afternoon in the ER, and no solution for my problem. I’ve ruined everything.

“My flight home is in the morning. Can I fly home?” I ask.

“Yes, you can fly home,” the doctor says with a grin.

I arrive home, see my doctor, and she puts me on blood pressure medication. That’s the second time in just a little over a year where I feel the Lord has used dehydration to alert me to a greater problem within my body … a little over a year ago, dehydration sent me into the hospital where I discovered my appendix was about to rupture. If it weren’t for dehydration, I would have been sent back home to face disaster. And now … dehydration alerted me to high blood pressure. My top number’s been up to 184, while my bottom number’s been up to 106. Without dehydration, I would have been spinning wildly on Epcot’s Mission Space ride–a ride that someone has no business on with high blood pressure.

The girls are due to arrive home from camp that afternoon, and I’m still fighting a terrible headache. I take another dose of Excedrin and find relief. I make it to that bus to greet and welcome home the girls. Thank you, Father.

“We had the best time, Mom.” They chat all the way home, never ceasing. Karalee said, “Mom, they played the best song at worship. It made me cry. I felt so close to God.”

“What’s the song called?” I ask.

“Good, Good Father,” she says.

I smile.

I didn’t ruin everything.

**I’ve been on high blood pressure medication for a week now. It’s up and down, no stability yet. I’ve continued to fight headaches. My doctor gave me a better medication for headaches that is working, and it doesn’t contain caffeine (which works against high blood pressure). I’m refraining from caffeine. But things are improving. Lower pressure, fewer headaches. But I ask for your prayers. I want off this medication, if possible. And this is the first day in over a week that I’ve awaken without a headache–I’m praising our good, good Father for that.

15 thoughts on “I Ruined Everything … Or Did I?

  1. Oh, Shelli! What an ordeal.

    On ruining everything…I will tell the outlines of a story. Bear with me. It's short.

    Many years ago, I was working personal protection for a couple, in a country far from here. One day, going to a social event, the husband wanted to be the one to go up a flight of stairs first, with his wife beside him, and me following. He didn't want the muscle going into the room first.

    It was a mistake; I let him dictate MY job. They met people they did not expect, and were both shot to death. I was wounded. More than clients, they were friends, and even more than friends. I loved them.

    I thought I ruined everything, and was haunted by the memory, until one day, not too long ago…he came up to me in Wal-Mart, hugged me, and said not to grieve. That nothing good is ever lost.

    And then he disappeared…not fading out, like the ghost I suppose he was, but swishing between two racks of ladies' jackets (we were buying winter clothing for Barbara, who saw him too).

    Love transcends all, but sometimes it's too fragile for our childish, clumsy hands, and we think we've broken it. But God can pick up the pieces, and glue it together again, so that in the fullness of time we can see it in its scarred and eternal reality.



  2. I've been blessed most of my life with good health. The times I have been ill I've gotten a tiny glimpse of what many people have to live with day after day after day. And you realize what a precious gift good health is.
    Feel better soon. Have a cookie.


  3. Yes, Terri. Me, too. I've had near perfect health until I hit 45. Good health is a precious gift, indeed. And I've eaten a ton of peanut butter cookies, using Kathy Macias's recipe … 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg … 350 degrees for 10 minutes. So yummy!


  4. Shelli, I admire how you see the gift in having had the dehydration which alerted you to something even more serious. I hope your headache stays away, dear friend. I'll go in my woman cave right now and say a prayer for you. I'm familiar with the feeling of faintness, and it's good you've take it seriously. I've sustained minor head injuries while fainting–now I pay more attention to the warning signs.
    Blessings & hugs ~ Wendy ❀


  5. Wendy, my grandmother would fall and hit her head. When I feel faint, I stay low to the ground. 🙂 I'm sorry the post was a bit long … but I'd been absent a while … had some explainin' to do! 🙂


  6. I knew something was up with you recently…not seeing you on the blogs, FB or Twitter. I almost emailed you and then said to myself–she's probably on vacation. Glad you are feeling a bit better. I will pray that those in charge of your care can get to the bottom of this. Surely they've done a complete blood work on you, I hope. One time I was anemic and had no clue. Get well, my friend.


  7. Melodie … I figured you knew something was up. And you were right … I was on vacation! 🙂 They did a complete work-up. Only my potassium was off at the hospital, but that was because of my dehydration. They did a CT Scan that came back normal. I was thankful for that. You were thinking of me … that means so much. Thank you, sweet friend.


  8. When I was pregnant I had episodes that required laying down to prevent falling down. Even in a public bathroom. Nobody stretches out on a bathroom floor for fun. I hope I — and you — don't have to do that ever again.


  9. Shirlee, were the espisodes because of your blood pressure or something else, like nausea? I'm still trying to figure out the link in what's causing the headaches. When I first wake in the morning, my bp is low … but that's usually when the headache hits. I wonder if the drop from higher to lower could be causing it. I'm supposed to talk to my dr soon. I've got more questions for her! 🙂


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