i had plans for the day before Good Friday. the whole of the Easter weekend is always busy, from the friday morning to sunday evening. every year i hope to go to a tenebrae service on the thursday night, contemplating the gathering darkness that preceded the sham trial early on the first Good Friday morning and the crucifixion that followed.
there was a large delivery, three cartons, and hundreds of greeting cards to scan and verify against the accompanying invoice. to that point i hadn't managed to carve out the time to make a good run at the task. it was first thing in the morning and i'd made coffee in the french press at the sink. i gave my boss her coffee and when she turned around and asked a question about something unrelated to what i was about to do, i completely blanked on the answer. it was as if i were looking at a piece of paper with the answer printed on it in a sentence, but with the key information cut out with some kind of precision knife. i apologised for not being able to answer her question and went to the kitchenette to get my coffee.
i was sprawling on a gurney, being examined by ambulance officer, when i came to, barely realising that i'd been unconscious moments earlier. "where am i?" -- my boss "you're in the laneway behind the shop. how do you feel?" -- "woozy. what's... what happened?" -- ambo #1 "you passed out at work mate. do you remember your name?" -- yes. date, yes. where we are, yes - laneway behind work, name of shop, street, suburb.
en route to the hospital once i'd been manhandled into the ambulance, i learned more about what had happened. my boss had her back turned to the kitchenette working on her computer while i'd been sorting out my own coffee when she heard a thud; when she turned, i was collapsed against the bookshelves that back onto the back wall of the shop, my arms crossed in front of me and teeth clenched, in the throes of what looked for all the world like a profound seizure.
by noon i was in the emergency department at a nearby hospital, being lined up for a ct scan and mri; with staff trying to work out whether the seizure i'd been admitted for was correlated with the high blood pressure that was now being observed. (even now it's uncertain whether or not the seizure was caused by the hypertension, caused the subsequently observed hypertension, or simply revealed underlying hypertension.) i was eventually moved to the neurology ward of the hospital and it wasn't for another three days that i was eventually discharged.
i had friends at church praying for me, my Bible study group praying, friends from church visiting, and my sister and her family visiting too. i was only in hospital for three nights but the outpouring of care from my friends and family, both at work and church, was palpable and very encouraging.
from the day of my seizure until my return to work, it was five weeks almost to the hour. i was ready to go back to work. another four weeks and one more day and here i am.
more thoughts to follow this month. i'm hoping to write each day. that's the plan.