A few years ago, I began to experience dizzy spells from time to time. It would usually last an entire day, but I would generally feel better the next day. It happened about one day a month at first. I chocked it up to genetics, as my grandfather had struggled with vertigo during his lifetime, or even hormones, as they can do crazy things to us as we age. The dizzy spells began to come more frequently and more severely over time, and they became more and more debilitating.
I woke up feeling dizzy one morning a couple of years back, but I went through the motions of my day the best I could. With four kids, there’s little time to stop and focus on my own health issues. My husband works a part-time evening job, so he was working that evening when I went to lie down on the bed to try to right my spinning world and ease the accompanying nausea.
Lying down didn’t help, so I decided to get a quick shower and get ready for bed. While I was showering, I felt an overwhelming sense of nausea, and then everything went black as I fainted and crashed to the floor. When I began to regain consciousness, I could hear my kids banging on the bathroom door, asking if I was okay. I was so weak that I couldn’t speak very loudly, but I was able to ask them to find a key and come in to help me.
I don’t know how long I was out of it, but the first thought to enter my mind when I regained my senses was this, “If I die tonight, I’m not afraid because my daddy is waiting for me.” My dad had been killed in a DUI a little over a year before this. I can’t explain the peace that flooded me in that moment, knowing that whether I lived or died that night, everything was going to be just fine. I fully realize that Heaven is about much more than being with my dad again, but the Lord was sweet to give me that thought and the peace that I needed in what would otherwise have been a very scary situation.
I was lying naked in my own vomit when my precious 10-year-old daughter was able to get into the bathroom. She helped me off of the floor of the shower and into the tub to wash myself off. My husband Trevor got home while I was in the tub. I could hardly open my eyes, and every time I tried to move, I threw up more. Trevor called my sister, an RN, and she urged him to rush me to the E.R., in case I had hit my head when I fainted.
Trevor loaded me into the car. I kept a bucket with me because the nausea wouldn’t let up. When we got to the E.R., Trevor ran in to get someone to help me out of the car. They came out with a wheelchair and rolled me straight to a room. I must’ve looked frightful, because they wasted no time in starting to work on me.
Someone immediately came to my bed and took an x-ray of my chest. After that, they rolled me down the hall for a C.T. scan. They had to stop and let me vomit into my bucket before they could even get me into the machine.
When I returned to the E.R., the nurse started an I.V. with fluids and meds to ease the nausea. My mom and sister had reached the hospital by this time, and though I couldn’t keep my eyes open for long at a time, I could see that they were terrified. I heard the nurse ask my husband if my coloring looked normal. Apparently, I was a strange, pale shade of yellow.
When the I.V. fluids and meds began to kick in, my coloring improved and I began to feel like myself again. The nausea and overwhelming fatigue subsided, and I was able to sit up and talk. It was by this time the early hours of the morning, and I convinced my mom and sister to go on home for the night.
The E.R. kept me over night. They performed every test on me that I could imagine. They ran blood tests, they checked my C.T. scan for brain tumors, they did an ultrasound of my carotid arteries, they did an EKG, and so on and so on. I felt like quite the guinea pig.
The next day, the doctor came in to release me. Her diagnosis: vertigo. She referred me to a neurologist and sent me home. I was relieved and frustrated at the same time. Vertigo caused all of that trouble and expense? I dreaded to see the bills.
The neurologist referred me to a physical therapist to help me with exercises to treat the vertigo. I never made that appointment. I googled some exercises and did them myself at home. They seemed to help a little, but the dizzy spells continued until God revealed the real cause—my diet. I was eating all of the wrong things and not getting enough protein. My body was starving for good nutrition, and the symptoms were getting worse.
I completely changed the way that I eat, and the dizzy spells have stopped. I haven’t been dizzy in over a year now. I feel better than I have ever felt, and I praise the Lord for the wisdom that He gives us to fuel our bodies the right way.
Have you ever had an experience that made you really think about entering eternity? Looking back on my night in the hospital, I realize that I wasn’t truly near death. At the time, however, no one knew what was wrong with me, and the flurry of activity around me in the E.R. was certainly unnerving, especially for my family.
My favorite verse the last few years has been Romans 8:28:
I wear this verse on a bracelet that my friend gave me, and I have it on a plaque above my fireplace. I cling to this verse and believe that it’s true, even when it doesn’t feel true. That’s what faith is all about—believing God instead of our circumstances.
Our circumstances can really stink sometimes. Our loved ones can be killed; we can struggle with health problems; financial disasters can devastate us; rebellious children can break our hearts; the list is as long as there are people on the earth.
But God is good, and His plans for us are good, and He will never leave us. He is trustworthy through the best of times and the darkest of times. And though I want to live on this earth long enough to raise my children and enjoy my future grandchildren, “If I die tonight, I’m not afraid.” Can you say that, friends?