Rachel's Story: I'm Going To Try
I met my soulmate very early in life. I was in high school. First time my world imploded was when his military dad got reassigned to another state over 1000 miles away. I turned to anything and everything to make me numb and not feel. I was kicked out at 16 and rented a room at a friends house until I turned 18. On my 18th bday, I signed my first lease. A slow healing process, but still functioning. Working as a waitress, I began dating someone in the Army. Sooner than expected I was pregnant and he deployed. I gave birth to my first child and my beast friend was with me in the delivery room. That was at 21. At the age of 3, she finally met her dad. My company moved me to another city at 24. I built my first home and three days after closing, I found out I was pregnant with my second child with him. She was a high risk pregnancy and I was hospitalized several times. He got out of the military, but would work or help with the bills. He left one month before my due date. I went into labor and had to carry my six year old down a flight of stairs put her into the back seat, called his parents in the middle of the night to meet me at hospital to take my six year old for a bit so I could give birth. They watched her and I spent five days in hospital post emergency C-Section. Went home to two kids to care for. He would come back for a few days then left again. Finally lost my home. Moved back to where I at least had some family support. My dad would at least watch them while I was at work. Went to Nursing school while working full time and taking care of my kids. Graduated Valedictorian. On my way to my very first day as a Nurse sitting in traffic, someone rear ended me going 65 mph. That wreck moved three disks in my lumbar, but I returned two days later. Working 12 hour shifts and lots of OT to care for my kids, I got us back on our feet.
One day after I worked a 12 hour shift, picked up my kids went home and didn’t wake up. My youngest found me not breathing and, at 6 years old, called 911. I was intubation on site and they were able to get my heart going, but coded three more times on the drive to the hospital.
I had caught Viral Encephalitis from a patient and died. They still have no idea how long I wasn’t breathing. I was on life support, system organ failure and septic shock. I was not expected to make it and if I did, due to the long amount of time my brain wasn’t receiving oxygen, I would be in a vegetative state. After 12 days, my kidneys started working again and I woke up. While I was without oxygen before 911 arrived I had stroked out with 6 major strokes So, my left side didn’t move and due to the encephalitis I was having auditory, tactile and visual hallucinations. I thought I was going out on a boat every day, coming back to hospital at night. Up in a helicopter once and I can still describe the movie theater in the hospital that obviously wasn’t there.
2 1/2 months IN ICU and 3 months in Stroke rehab to learn how to walk again. We take so much for granted. I didn’t think I would ever just be able to walk again without thinking ok keep your feet apart. Heel. Toe. Lift your foot ok heel, toe. They (my dad and Stepmom) moved me to something more affordable while I was in the hospital. Once I was released, I still could only walk about three feet without falling. I became a pro at falling. I thought we were going to loose everything. My family couldn’t help and had no room for us to stay with them. We went through no electricity at times no water. Eviction notices. But, I pulled us back up. I was doing hiking trails by the end of the year. When I wake up my left side feels like someone strapped cinder blocks to that side of my body and I’m trying to move it. But, the more I move the lighter it gets. It took me over a year just to be able to get up off the floor by myself. That was at age 34.
My high school love came back into my life and I actually had hope and was happy and was still so in love with him. He was planning on coming down here to SA. He ended up not coming. Then, I was going to go there got as far as selling our house putting everything in a POD and he ended up taking care of someone he met in rehab, then everything was canceled shortly after he got re married. My heart died. No more. I was shattered. This was 2014.
2015, I was T-boned in my car and now give disks are messed up and my left side, nut still working 60-70 hrs a week
At that point I just refused to even date I just worked and took care of my kids until 9/2012. I went on my first date in 17 years- don’t think he’s going to work out but I think I’m finally ready. I just don’t know yet if I have anymore love in me for someone else other than my kids. But I’m going to try.