Also during the time of my Moment of (spiritual) Epiphany, and my introduction to the Bible, I got really, really sick.
Now, sickness wasn’t unusual for me at all. As an infant, I had constant ear infections and ended up taking that nasty pink, strawberry Amoxicillin for a year straight. And after that, it took me almost 25 years to decide that I could eat a strawberry without throwing up.
However, the sickness I had when I was 7 was much different and as far as I know, I had never been so sick in my life. I remember laying on the couch and sleeping through my dad reading Anne’s House of Dreams. The only reason I remember that it was that particular book is because I remember drifting in and out of consciousness and not knowing what I was dreaming and what I was actually hearing — but I remember it being about the old haystack of a man, Marshall Elliot, Miss Cornelia and Captain Jim at the Light House. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you should totally read that book.)
I don’t know how long I was sick, but shortly after I started to feel better — meaning that I felt good enough that I didn’t sleep all day anymore — I received a letter in the mail.
I wasn’t very good at reading at that point, so I asked my dad what this letter said and he told me that it said that I had to go to the clinic and see a doctor to see why I had been so sick a few days before that. I did not like this idea and I think I protested a little, saying that I felt fine now and why did I have to go to the doctor?
But, I went anyway.
Dad took me to the ENT and the first thing they did was to look down my throat, decide that my tonsils looked nasty and then order a throat culture.
My throat still hurt. Having the doctor stick a swab down my throat hurt like the dickens. I gagged and I decided that I would NEVER allow anyone to swab my throat again. (That didn’t last long!) The doctor decided that I didn’t have any infection in my throat and I didn’t need my tonsils out, even though they were hugely swollen. (To this day, the swelling has never gone away.)
The doctor did determine that I needed to have my adenoids removed. My adenoids were blocking my airway, making it impossible for me to breathe through my nose and causing me to snore very loudly. My unprofessional assessment of the situation throughout my life up until that time is that I probably had sleep apnea, which caused me to not get enough oxygen while sleeping, which caused me to panic in my sleep, which gave me nightmares about death and dying.
About 3 months before my 8th birthday, I had my first surgical procedure. (If you would like to see a video of an adenoidectomy, click here. Disclaimer: Please don’t click on the link if you are sensitive to blood, surgeries or other medical procedures. I only included it for the benefit of people who are a bit nerdy like myself and love to learn about these things!!)
Surgery was a trippy experience.
Everything smelled funny.
It was SO cold in the surgical center!
I had to get up at like 6:00 am to get dressed so I could go to the surgical center and put on a funny nightgown so they could put me to sleep again.
As far as I was concerned, that was a totally silly thing to do.
I remember them taking me back into a huge room and laying me down on a long, skinny bed. I brought my baby Rebekah with me and the nurses told me they would take good care of her while I slept.
They put a black rubber mask over my nose and told me to breathe deeply and count to 10. I got to 6 and decided that it wasn’t working.
The next thing I knew, I was in a different bed and I threw up every time I moved. I felt horrible.
A few hours later, Mom brought me home and I spent the rest of the day sleeping on the couch.
And I spent that night not sleeping because I had slept all day.
My throat hurt.
I was hungry.
But I didn’t dare eat anything because it hurt to even think about swallowing.
I was given Amoxicillin in the pink strawberry form, which I didn’t take because I vomited the first dose because I couldn’t stand the taste of it. I was also told to take tylenol for pain, which I also didn’t take because I couldn’t stand the taste of that either.
My first meal after surgery consisted of a banana. I have never again had such a delicious banana.