Thursday, August 6, 2009

Romantic Gestures: I Am an Unconventional Girl

Are you ready for something ridiculous? I woke up at 4:00a.m. to make my 7:00a.m. flight on Tuesday last. I got to the Vegas airport at 6:00a.m. sharp (Vegas time) and got to the ticket counter at 6:10.

Guess what?

That was too late.

"Oh, this is the Vegas airport, honey. We like you to be 90 minutes early."

WHAT?! I should have woken up at 3:00a.m.? My bad. (I'm sorry; some of the bitterness hasn't receded yet.)

I had a meltdown. It was ugly. Having gulped down some caffeine that early morning to be energetic for the drive, I was....energetic. I was jittery, jumpy, emotional, stomach-cramped and frighteningly alert. I simply sobbed and shakingly wiped my tears as they fell.

The next flight they could get me was five hours later. Five hours.....which meant that I would arrive in Jacksonville at 10:30p.m. Abby is in Tallahassee, and that's a 3-hour drive....are you doing the math? Right. Thankfully, Abby and Eric put me in a hotel--a really nice hotel--for that night.

So--moving on. After a lone night's rest (severely underrated), I returned to the airport to greet Abby and her four beauties. It was exciting and exhausting. We got home to St.George at 2:00a.m. on Thursday early morning/Wednesday late night.

The next day was spent recovering; Abby somehow let me have a 3-hour nap to combat the migraine that was the result of my 2:30a.m.-7a.m. sleep. I had planned to do a short run that night (Thursday), but was convinced by Phill and Abby to rest some more. I rested that day, and I rested on Friday, at least as much as you can with seven children (under 8) in the house!

The only thing I forgot to do was drink water. That's all.

So Saturday morning I was actually excited for my 10-mile run! I had been flying/resting for a week, and I was ready to run. Never mind the fact that I had a wedding to shoot at 9:00 that morning; I was sure I would be done with enough time left to get ready and get out the door.

My run was glorious. I had put out water stops, but only felt the need to drink about one-third of each bottle I had set out. (And here we can see the delirium starting...) I felt sleepy, but able. I finished with only 15 minutes to spare before I had to get in the car and go to the wedding. Abby (who is an angel in human form) made me breakfast so that I came home, bolted down a bowl of oatmeal, two poached eggs, and 2 chocolate milks (wait, no water? that's water). Then I jumped in the shower (pretty literally), got dressed, and went out the door.

The wedding was beautiful; only 3 hours of shooting, actually. The groom begged me to eat, which I did....somewhat meager portions, and (you guessed it) no water.

I came home and threw myself into being present with the kids. I felt some guilt for not being there from 6-12, and wanted to let Abby rest if she wanted. How I forget to re-hydrate, I just don't know.

At around 11:30, I was ready to go to sleep. I laid down and noted that I was awfully tired. Phill said something, and I looked up at him. There were blue flashing lights in my eyes--sort of like when you look at a light directly, and then look away.

"What's wrong?" Phill said, with far more anxiety than I had ever heard in his voice.
Then the picture in my eyes was jumping. "I don't know. I don't know. I don't know." I said.
I thought to myself, "Maybe if I change position, this will go away." I rolled over, and--

that is the limit of my memory. Phill says that immediately every muscle in my body locked up, my jaw opened as wide as possible, and I began to shake. He yelled for Abby to call 911, and moved me so that I would not choke on my vomit. (I know, I know, gross.)

When I came to, there were several people in my room asking me questions I couldn't answer, such as, "What did you do today? Where are you? What is your last name?" Apparently, I asked Phill what color he was "White, sweetheart.", and asked several times what was going on, without retaining the answer. I do remember once asking, "What happened?" And Phill leaning over me with a shaky smile and wet eyes, saying, "You had two seizures, sweetheart." I don't remember being moved from my bed, but I do remember how it felt being moved from the house to the outside--the air inside was a little too cool, and artificial; the air outside was balmy and close. I don't remember the majority of the ride to the hospital, but I do remember the paramedic next to me on the way--he looked like Santa Clause, and he was very soothing. I remember two priesthood holders in the doorway of my hospital room, the scent of one of the paramedic's perfume, and Phill's hand on my arm. I don't remember my body taking two bags of saline (that's 3 liters, folks) in less than an hour, coming home at 4a.m., or anything until later the evening of Sunday. (I was given anti-anxiety medication; apparently that's how they treat seizures....I slept and slept and slept. )

I do remember the feel of Phill's basketball shorts under my hands as I lay in the hospital. I sleep in undergarments; Phill had hastily dressed me before the emergency people had arrived.

I am still sheepish, but recovered completely. I am still a bit traumatized by the fact that I forgot so completely to pay attention to basic self-care that my body had to give me an unforgettable reminder. I am a little afraid of myself; carefully keeping count of how much water I am getting, how much I am eating, how much I am sleeping. Last night I went to bed at 9:30. The few nights before that, it was 10:00. Considering that my "normal" bedtime is 12, and that my sister is visiting, this is rather unusual. I still feel shaky remembering all of this, but I also know that things could have been much, much worse. I have also had the great blessing of having dinner brought to me by ward members Sunday night, Monday night, Tuesday night, and Wednesday night.

Are you wondering, yet, where this gargantuan story is leading? There is an end in sight.

Today, Phill called me around lunchtime.
"I bought you something."
"Yeah. Something that will make you feel less nervous on your runs."
He came home with a Camelbak. It holds 2.5 liters. Which means that I will be hydrated while I run, and I will not have to set out waters the night before.....and I will not be seized by dehydration.
"Phill, this is one of the most romantic things you have ever done for me."
"Yes. Right up there with the time you bought me a terabyte for my photos. And the Carbonite gift, too."

You may think my love language is Receiving Gifts. But I beg to differ, and actually, I would suggest a new love language--Back-up. Whether it is back-up for my photos or for my health, or back-up in the form of making sure I am modest among strangers, this is the most far-reaching and effective way that Phill shows me how much he loves me. That is the romance I like.


Lara said...

Rachel! When you posted something about drinking water on FB, I never dreamed it was that bad. Holy Cow, girl!

I am glad that you are feeling better. I am also glad you have Phill to make sure you're covered (in more ways than one!).

midRae said...

Please Rae, you are an inspiration to me so please, please, take care. I am cheering for you all the way.

leslie the licorice stick lady said...

Whoa. I get headaches when I don't drink enough water, but wow, I've not had a seizure from dehydration before! All that build-up on little water and sporadic sleep, I guess makes sense to have your body say, "Hold on dearie, what are you tryin' to pull," but, wow. I am glad you're okay. Take care---literally!

Bridget said...

Gosh Rachel! I'm so sorry that you had that experience! Sometimes I go through the day without water BUT it's never ended that badly for me! Camelbacks are great! I had one when I trained for my marathon and it made things SO much easier. What a great husband you have!

Christine & Brian said...

Oh my goodness Rae! That was a terrifying cautionary tale. Brian often forgets to drink water and gets migraines. I'm glad you're doing better though, and that was incredibly romantic of Phil, what a good hubby. :)

My Family said...

Seriously I feel like an a@@ for my comment of FB, I am sooo glad you are OK, I bet your sodium levels were really low too (that can cause seizures too, especially in runners). I often times have to MAKE myself drink water, I sometimes forget but boy do I feel like crap when I don't get enough. What a scare, you have a wonderful husband and what a blessing you had family there with you at the time.
How thoughtful of Phill, I think thats very romantic, he truly loves you......I need to talk Cody into getting me one of those :)

Kristy said...

Nuts! Who knew dehydration could cause seizures? I didn't...I'm amazed you weren't dying of thirst before you got to that point!

Kelly said...

Rachel my dear, I'm going to KILL you!!!
I hate thinking about my Rae in the hospital. But I am SO glad that it happened when Phill was there and that he was paying attention to you.
How many times have you been in the hospital in the last couple of months?! Man, Rae! Please let me know sooner about things like this. I WANT to be a good friend! I love you. I miss you.
Feel better!

MAG of Marie Photographie said...

Wo, wo, WO! I'm so glad you're okay! I think I'm off to drink a glass of water right now!

Anna said...

Scary! So glad you are ok now. Acts Of Service I think fits with Back Up. He takes care of you, and that is romantic, really. Take care of yourself too. Now I'm going to go get a drink of water- cause WOW.

chucknorris said...

YES! Go Phill! And we all love the way you write things so eloquently, even if the subject matter is a freaky and frightening seizure!

Melissa said...

I am SO glad you are all right. I've forgotten to drink very much water on hot days before, but never dreamed it could have consequences like that. Thank you for learning a great lesson you can share with the rest of us.

You seem to do a lot. As long as that makes you happy--and not ill--that's a great thing! Your pictures are excellent! Keep up the good work!

Crystal said...

Whoa!!!!! crazy crazy stuff. glad you're ok!

The Leishman's said...

Babe's!!!!! Im so very glad that your ok!!! What a sweetheart Phil is... Your are a very lucky girl=) I love your stories, sometimes I feel like Im reading lines out of a Stephanie Myers book.. Yes dear, your that good! I love you completely! All my love.....


mandy said...

Oh my word!! That is crazy. I am glad that you are feeling better. We need to get together! You should totally come see our new house(when it is all unpacked:)