So something pretty wild happened to me this past weekend. What I thought would be a restful and relaxing weekend away on the Croatian coast with the church I go to ended up with me in a hospital bed. Let me explain.
I’d been losing a lot of blood the past two weeks. As you may know, losing a ton of blood is not so good for a human. I’d lost about a whole liter of it! This caused me to start feeling dizzy around last Wednesday and Thursday morning, but I brushed it off. After all, it went away come afternoon. But on Friday, the moment I stepped out of my cousin’s car and onto the Croatian coast for the weekend, the dizziness became stronger.
I walked up the steps to the building we were staying in and had to squat down because going up the steps only made it worse (it was only like 5 steps). I walked up a few more steps (couldn’t have been more than 10) to the room I was sharing with my two cousins and that caused pounding to occur in my already aching head, heavy breathing, and furthered my heart palpitations. But it was nothing right? I’d get over it. It’ll go away, I can last a weekend.
Ha, wrong. I did not last the weekend. The rest of the evening was manageable, but the next morning I didn’t feel so hot. I didn’t look it either with my pale complexion. At breakfast, I remember sitting there seeing the world but feeling like I wasn’t really there. The dizziness had gotten stronger. When talking with other people I had to lean against rails and walls because the mere act of speaking put me out of breath. Same with singing during worship time. I had to prop myself up against a big pillar that I was lucky enough to have sat by.
I texted my mom about all these strange feelings and she called me after the service when I was out by the sea with my friends going through some discussion questions. My mother was worried, to say the least, and urged me to tell my cousins so that we could go to the doctor. She ended up calling them for me and we left to the nearest hospital in a nearby town.
That hospital was old and had a weird set up. They took my blood and told me I had a severe case of anemia. Long story short, we went back to Crikvenica, said goodbye to everyone, and drove to the hospital in Ljubljana. I can’t say I was too upset about this because there was nothing I could do to change it, and at that point I was beyond ready to get better. What made me more emotional was seeing how sorry everyone felt.
We arrived at the hospital around 9 pm. While there, the doctor told me I would have to have a minor operation in order to get the bleeding to stop and also a blood transfusion to get my levels back to normal, which were apparently so low that I could have died. I wasn’t scared during this process, I was just ready to feel better! So for the first time in my life, I stayed a night in the hospital. And now, I’m with my aunt and her family in a village close to Murska Sobota recovering for the week. I’ve been here since Sunday afternoon.
Throughout this process, my family here in Slovenia has been so helpful. I felt a bit bad that my cousins had to leave the retreat early with me, but they didn’t seem upset. One of my cousin’s had to drive a whole lot. To the hospital in Croatia and back which was around an hour and a half, then to Ljubljana, another two hours, then to Murska Sobota, another two hours! One of my other cousins had to do some translating for me and kept me company before I was moved to the hospital. And my other cousin provided emotional support by being with us through it all even though she didn’t have to be, which meant a lot. And each of them had to go through quite a bit of waiting around.
Now I am staying with my aunt who used to be a nurse. She’s provided her home and food and also helped me obtain medicine that will regulate my hormones and balance everything out. So I’m feeling grateful!
Some people wondered why I hadn’t said anything sooner? Why wait until it was so bad? Well, to be honest, I was being dumb thinking that it would pass away. That everything would just magically disappear in due time. I thought surely I could get through a weekend. I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone. I didn’t want to spoil anyone’s weekend. I didn’t know how serious my situation really was. It’s a good thing my mom woke up at 4 am that Saturday and told my cousins what was going on because I can’t say whether or not I would have. At least I wouldn’t have emphasized it like she probably did.
While this whole experience has been very new and very unexpected, some good has come out of it. But I will leave that for the next blog post! (;