On Monday April 16, 2018 I woke up feeling good. I ate oatmeal with sugar in it and drank some green-vegetable juice. Three days previous to this I had more junk food than usual. That morning, after a few errands, I stopped by to say hi to a friend at a small restaurant in Salem, Oregon.
I remember feeling stressed and depressed about something and sitting on a tall chair when I started feeling horrible anxiety, difficulty in breathing, a weak sensation, and finally a feeling of starting to pass out. It was frightening and something I would not want anyone to go through.
I informed my friend that I was feeling horrible and I felt like I was going to pass out. I fell backwards from the tall chair and hit the back of my head on the floor. The next thing I heard was someone calling my name a few times, "David! ... David!" I was lying flat on my back with this huge bump on the back of my head. I started pulling myself up from the hardwood floor noticing a few people around me. My friend (who was really a guy I had met a few times) was there checking to see if I was okay. I often debated Christianity with him. He wasn't a total believer and I was. We would do that in good taste and respect each other.
I told him stuttering and straining, "I heard you guys calling my name, that's what made me regain consciousness." I continued watching a few people in a small fog as I rose from the floor and stood there nerve-racked and extremely worried. My friend responded, "I wasn't calling your name and they don't know your name ... are you okay ... do you want me to call 911?" I looked at him and said, "Then it must have been Jesus calling me ... it had to be Jesus." I know I was out of it, but I do remember hearing someone call my name. Those words were clear.
I asked someone to help me use my phone to call my wife at her school where she was having a busy day as usual. I was scared, I couldn't even text a word on the phone. I went to my contact list and then I handed the phone to a person checking on me. I said, "Call ... my wife ... this school ... come now ... emergency." It was difficult for me to put sentences together and pronunciations. This person was helpful and did what I instructed. I sat there while my friend and a few others kept an eye on me. When my wife got the message, she dropped everything at her school to rush over and pick me up -- I truly love her.
When she finally arrived, I was still struggling, but slowly recuperating. I was still hyperventilating and worried about the unpredictable result. The more I thought about it the more stressful and anxious I got. The only names I could remember were, Loni (my wife), Jake (my son), Matt (my son), and Darci (my stepdaughter). My skull had been rattled first-rate when I hit the floor. I could feel the bump on the back of my head.
When my wife was driving me to the hospital, she was doing a great job calming me down. I started praying, and asking Jesus to help me, to guide me. I also started thanking Jesus (God in Spirit and flesh) for everything He had done for me all my life and even now currently. I started reflecting on many things while I was not totally conscious -- not sure if that makes sense, but it did happen. I didn't want to die, I wanted to do more in my life -- I love Jesus and what he stands for. I love my family. I love life.
The next thing I did was text the four people that I'm closest too and that currently know me the best. They say it's good to have at least five of those people in your circle throughout life. People that you know will be there for you when needed.
Here's what my group text read to Loni, Jake, Matt, and Darci. "Loni is taking me to ER - Please pray for me - I love you guys." I wanted to send that to them. With a concussion I couldn't concentrate more than that. Loni explained everything to them once we connected to the Wi-Fi at Salem Hospital since the tower connection was not good. Everyone of my close family members responded promptly with concern. Matt left his school where he was teaching when he heard. He came down to stay with Loni and I at the Hospital. And if the other two could have come, they would have -- I'm positive. We explained to them that it wasn't necessary for them to be here -- Loni would text updates on my status.
The funniest part of this was that when we arrived at the ER the receptionist expected me to answer several questions. I was sitting on a wheelchair with a concussion. I was straining to find words. My wife answered most of the questions. I could not function well. Just notifying my family was a relief, as I knew they would be praying for me -- I had to trust in God for the rest of the outcome.
By the time the ER doctor arrived at my room, I was exhausted. I regained my consciousness to where I could speak semi-normal again. I answered questions for an initial nurse, a document specialist, a blood-work nurse, and finally the doctor.
The doctor ordered an EKG (electrocardiogram - checks heart), some blood tests, and my vital signs were also checked. I had been meaning to get an EKG, but hadn't done it. I remember one of the first questions the doctor asked me, "Have you ever thought of killing yourself?" I responded, "No! I love life, I'm an author, and I have seven grandkids." I guess they have to ask standard questions. Either that or it looked liked I was so depressed and down that it might have given him that impression.
I've made some poor decisions my entire life as some of you might have read in my autobiography, "Half Blind with Full Vision", but my choices as far as eating have been some of the worst. I feel that what happened to me that morning was due to my eating habits that I have been trying to improve over the years.
After an hour wait to get in and a three-hour wait for everything else, plus the test results, I walked out of there with a normal heart (praise Jesus), high blood-sugar (not too good), and the other tests came out good (yes). My diet has to change to bring my blood-sugar down.
My wife and my two boys, Jake and Matt, had a long talk with me that night, I am so grateful to have them in my life. Tough love is something that's not always good to hear. After the talk, it reassured how they continue to love me. They will help me make better food choices and also improve my well-being. I know it has to be me that does this, but with them, it's much easier. I'm ready to take action, I don't want to end up in the ER again.
I've been learning about Growth-Mindset from Jake's leadership group on Facebook, Let Yourself Be Great! I can definitely apply what I've learned to make myself better in many areas of my life.
The doctor recommended that someone check on me throughout the night to be sure I didn't act in a strange way. It would take time for my head injury to recover. Concussions are serious and so are unhealthy eating habits. Loni had to return to work the next day, however, Matt was able to stay with me on Tuesday just to be sure I was going to be okay. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I love you guys and appreciate you so much.
My head is slowly improving. Right now, almost three days later, if I stoop down, the pressure hurts my head. If I cough the pressure hurts my head. I'm still a little weak and my head feels like a sponge a bit. I'm so thankful that God made our bodies in a way that they heal in time.
This incident disrupted a new project I was working on, hopefully I can get back to it soon. I'm on the fifth page of a new book.
I would ask that you please pray for my health to improve, and that God gives me the strength I need to take care of myself and to make good choices, not just in eating, but in other areas of my life as well. Thank you.
I hope that my emergency-room story can help someone out there from going through what I did last Monday. Start taking care of yourself now. God bless.