While in the ER, the doctors developed possible diagnoses, none of which ended up with me walking out but instead leaving in a body bag. My family was called in. My children, who only a few short weeks before had lost their father, were faced with the possibility of losing their mother.
Finally, some of the initial blood work returned and it was determined I was anemic. Now, I admit saying to the doctor, "I'm female. Aren't we all a little anemic here and there?" With a furrowed brow, she said, "Not like this. You've bled out over half of your blood volume. We will be transfusing you. Prepare to stay over night."
I remember looking at her, with a confusion beyond reason and asking, "Where did it go?"
It was during this time that I closed my eyes and again breathed a prayer, "Lord, if I get a second chance, I promise to give back."
From my previous writings:
It had been arranged that I would stay at a bed and breakfast in town. It became clear early on that it was more bed than breakfast. However, it was clean and the water was good. There were laundry facilities and the proprietor allowed me to store things there when I was back in Ohio. There were several other itinerant specialists such as speech pathologists and occupational therapists who also stayed there. It was in some ways, more like a dorm. I called it Susana’s Sorority, Susana being the owner. She, like many people in Alaska, had come looking for opportunity.
The morning was dark. The sun didn’t come up until almost 9. Then it was a huge fiery ball hanging low on the horizon. It seemed as if it were close enough to touch. Over the next couple of days, that sun gave me a false sense of daylight. The next few days were grey.
The soil wasn’t like anything I’d ever seen on the farm. It was silt, like a sandy kind of mud. And everything was covered with it. Soon everything I owned was covered with it. I quickly learned to pare down what I hauled around with me. No more purse, I didn’t really need that lipstick after all. I had a duffle bag with wheels that I loaded stuff into, including a blanket and pillow in case I was stranded out in the bush. I was frequently seen slogging it through the mud, struggling with each step.