I saw something yesterday that mentioned the Beauty & the Beast TV show was celebrating it's 20th Anniversary.
20 Years? Has it really been 20 years? *thinks* yeah, just before my 15th birthday. That would be 20 years. Jeeze.
20 Years Ago...I almost died. And that moment is inextricably entwined with the Beauty and the Beast show.
I was 14. I was a tiny little thing, maybe 75lbs soaking wet. And I was very sick. What I remember of that time is mostly from people relaying it to me later. It started out as the usual fall cold, morphing into what parents & Dr thought was the usual fall strep throat. Only I kept getting worse. My throat swelled shut, I stopped being able to swallow ( still have trouble), I was too weak to even cough. My fever stayed up, I was spending hours in the shower, trying to feel cooled off.
Blood tests were run, meds were given, needles were jabbed. Still no answers. And here is where my memory is sharpest.
I was lying on the hide-a-bed in the family room, watching tv. I remember it was the aforementioned Beauty and the Beast. and I remember my vision tunneling down, to where all I could see was their faces, and all I could hear was the soft murmur of their voices. I stopped hurting. I stopped feeling feverish. Nothing mattered but those murmurs.
I remember loud voices, being moved, bright lights, sharp pain, sudden cold. It's all a jumble of light and sound and sensation. No meaning to it.
What I know now is this: I was watching tv. My mom came into the room, and I was lying there, eyes open, not noticeably breathing. No chest movement. She screamed for dad, they rushed me to the ER. I was running a fever of 107. I was limp. My BP and pulse were very low.
Stuff was done. I dunno what. Tests were run, Mono was confirmed (after 3 other mono tests came out negative.). Parents were given the option of admitting me, although the Drs felt the worst was over. Mom says now she wished she'd had me admitted, because although I did start to improve after that, things were still very touchy.
Sent home with lots of medicine with codine in it. I developed a mild codine addiction from that, something that challeneges me occasionaly, even now.
Still couldn't swallow, was nearly admitted to the hospital a few days later for severe dehydration. But we managed to get babyfood and water into me.
My birthday was less than a month later. There is one picture of me from then. I'm like a walking skeleton. My eyes are sunken in, my skin hangs on my frame. I look like I'm in pain, even smiling.
I'd had brushes with danger and death before and since the slipped xacto knife in animation class, the diving board accident, the leap into the abyss of depression...
But I've never been so close to, and so aware of, the moment when my soul was about to leave.