Thursday, April 21, 2011
They Did Not Go Bump In The Night
I don't mean scared like "panic attack" mode, or scared like "I just saw a scary movie" scared. I mean frightened by real situations.
*shiver* Those moments shake me to the core.
Like last night, I got to thinking about what would happen if I lost my job. I noticed my breathing was more shallow and rapid, my heart raced a bit, and I suddenly became.. well.. frightened.
Which made me think of other moments in life that scared me to death! Here are just a few I can recollect:
1. Mammoth Cave. I was probably in middle school and on vacation with my family. We were heading to Indiana (where my dad is from,) and we stopped by Mammoth Cave. This cave happens to be the largest cave in the world! Pretty trippy, and it is in Bowling Green, Kentucky. We took this super long tour through the cave. Big open spaces turned into teeny-tiny spaces, which turned into various levels. Needless to say, climbing hundreds of stairs is not fun, but when they are housed in a winding stair case, that you could see through (it had little holes in it.) As we were climbing, I suddenly looked down, and realized, I could not see the ground! I suddenly became paralyzed with fear. I could not move my legs. My mom told me to keep moving, but I could not. True fear swept over my body.
And that boys and girls is how I became afraid of heights.
2. MRI. Not sure if you know this, but I have conquered meningitis three times now. Two required hospitalization. Both required an MRI. Meningitis is the inflammation of the fluid around your brain and spine. A bacteria or viral infection can seep into your body and cause this (often deadly) infectious disease. Due to the infection, you have to have a brain scan. Yuck. I was literally strapped down to a hard board, then this "Silence of the Lambs" cage apparatus was clamped over my face to hold my head still, and I was shoved into this teeny, tiny tube for 1 hour. The sound of a MRI is deafening - it sounds like this:
Needless to say - not a great experience. I totally freaked, both times. The first time, they gave me some type of sedative 1/2 way into it and I slept for 2 days. The second time - I tried saying the rosary.. and well.. though I begged God to calm my nerves, I guess he was too busy to hear that prayer. ;-)
3. Finding out there is something seriously wrong with you. I HATE talking about it, and I rarely write about it. One day I will... but when I got a call from my DOC about the "C" cells multiplying on my cervix. Year after year, and my body not responding to the treatments or surgeries. Then FINALLY a break through. I kept thinking, is this it? Will it take me down? Will it spread through out my organs? And my favorite question of all - Why Me?
4. Hysterectomy. TERRIFIED. I was sooo scared, and truly thought I would die in surgery (don't ask.. who is ever rational before a surgery?) and even went so far as to write my "last wishes" on a piece of paper and left it in my diary by my bed. I was terrified of being put to sleep, so I asked to have an epidural. Unfortunately, my nerves were shot - so much so, that I was shaking. They gave me two shots of Demerol - no changes. Finally, the sweet little guy in the operating room said, "I am going to give you a strong narcotic in your IV.. you will be fine." I remember my doc coming in.. and that's about it. See, I did all of the research before the surgery - and I read one little stat that terrified me - 1 in 4 die. That's too close of a chance. Heck, just a month before, one of my co-worker's best friend died during her hysterectomy. I was not doing well with this. THAT was scary.
5. Flying to Egypt - Alone. Sooo.. meeting a guy for the first time is scary enough. Meeting someone in the middle east - who happens to be middle eastern - and you make the journey alone could possibly send a girl over the edge. LOL It's ever so slightly intimidating, but like all great adventures, I stood brave and did it. And let me tell you, for someone who panics VERY easily, it was one of my greatest accomplishments. THEN to spend the amount of time i did over there, without anyone to prepare me for the cultural differences, was a tough pill to swallow. But i did it, and did it well!
Those are just 5 that really stand out in my head. Sure - I have been in car accidents, and have walked alone down a street I really should not have, or my car broke down in a REALLY bad part of town and was followed by a guy as I was trying to get to a pay phone to call for help.. sure.. those moments are terrifying also.
But the common theme that reoccurs every time is the way I faced those moments. I was scared, but I went into solution mode. I made peace with my decisions. I did what I had to do.
That's how I will face the next challenges I approach. I will survive.
What about you? What were your "scary" moments, and how do you handle them?
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