Phone Call and Drive to Hell

Chapter Three

Phone Call and Drive to Hell

“Something is terribly wrong!  I can’t stand up!  I can’t see!  What’s wrong with me?”   The receptionist listened as I described what was going on and placed me through to triage where I desperately asked for help.  I was given an same day emergency appointment. 

Now the really crazy thing…  I drove myself to this appointment – in Madison – a drive of over 50 miles.  Seriously, what was I thinking?  The drive was beyond anything I have ever experienced.  As I look back on this, I should not have been behind the wheel of a car.  But, at that time this was the only thing survival lead me to…

Before I could leave I had to get dressed.  That meant going back upstairs.  I sat there on the floor thinking, how was I going to do that?  Sitting there I began to map this out in my head.  First try was to crawl but each reach towards a new step I would flop onto my side or my belly either staying were I was or slide back down.  Then I thought about grabbing the railing; hanging on to it and putting my hand on the opposite wall I pulled myself to my knees.  It worked, and in a kneeling position made my way to the top.  From there I crawled to my bedroom this time leaning one side of my body against a wall.  It was at this point that I recognized touch of some kind oddly helped to partially stabilize me. 

By the time I reached my bedroom I was exhausted, bruised, and confused.  I’m not sure how I found something to wear, but I think it was the first time I decided stripes and polka dots went well together.   I dressed lying on the floor.  I wiggled myself into clothes encased in a horrible feeling of disconnect from my body and surroundings.  I tried to sit up to tie my shoes but fell over as I leaned to grab the laces.  I kicked those off and scrounged for a pair of slip on’s.  Then on my butt, I reversed my way back down the stairs.  Re-recognizing my discovery of touch, I made it to the front door touching  walls, furniture or anything along the same path.  There were open spaces void of anything to touch and the horrible disconnect reappeared.  I wobbled back and forth, side to side, my vision bouncing and blurring all over the place.  I either had to find something to touch or fall down.  I chose the touch and lunged myself towards the door with wobbled steps in a wobbled world.   I made it.  The prize was my habit of keeping my car keys next to the door.  Imagine the hunt for those! 

At that time I drove an older model Ford Bronco, 4×4, 5 speed.  It was parked in the driveway next to my house.  I froze at the thought of getting to it but not of driving it…  I mapped out my approach to the car.  With my hands sliding along and touching the front porch, I made it to the end.  Then I realized, the Bronco was about three feet from where I was.  With my touch gone, I stretched out my arms, took an uncontrolled step, and just let myself fall onto the hood.  I landed on my chest nearly knocking the wind out of myself.  In what seemed like slow motion, I held on to the Bronco and slid my way around the front of and to the driver’s side door.   I wondered if anyone saw me do this.  Apparently not as the local police didn’t show up from a call that I was going to drive drunk…

The body of a Bronco is elevated so to get into it I always grabbed the steering wheel for leverage and sort of jump into the seat.   Once I reached this point I froze thinking of attempting this.  With survival mode securely attached, all I knew is that I had to get to my appointment to find out what was wrong with me.  I stood there hanging on to the driver’s side door, holding the steering wheel and with everything I had, pulled myself into the Bronco only to fall over into the passenger seat with the stick shift jabbed into my side.  Still, rather than call for help, or panic, I continued on my quest to get help on my own.  I grabbed the steering wheel, pulled myself up behind it and held on.   After what seemed like hours, with hell bent conviction to drive to my appointment, I put the key in the ignition, put my foot on the brake, pressed in the clutch, started the Bronco up and backed out of the driveway.  Once on the street I thought to myself, “This is crazy, how I will ever get there like this?  Still, I couldn’t think of any reason not to begin the most intense journey of determination I have ever experienced. 


This entry was posted in Aminoglycosides, Beginnings, Disability, Disability Noise, Discovery, Gentamicin, Inspiration, Living with a Label, Motivation, Non Fiction, Oscillopsia, Ototoxicity, Perception, re-educated attention, Resilience, Self Help, Spirit, Subject Zero, Thoughts, Tongue Display Unit, Transition, trauma, Vestibular System and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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