Well this is exciting I thought as the red helicopter whooshed into the sky. In the dark I could see all the flashing lights of the fire trucks and the ambulance getting smaller very quickly. You wouldn’t think you would need the fire brigade for a medical emergency but in very rural areas they always come to make sure there is access and somewhere to land. They open gates, pull up fences, push over barns or cut down mountains, whatever is necessary to get you from where you are to the helicopter. There is nothing a big,  they were all really big, Kiwi likes better than to take on the world especially if it involves machines. They were having a blast and all had big grins but were trying not to show it. They opened all the gates just in case. They were all still open when I got back.

The ambulance crew arrived first, both female and rather ancient, even older than me but being Kiwis that means nothing. They were both fighting fit and even though gray haired looked like they could tackle anything. One started making holes in the ends of my fingers trying to ascertain what my blood sugar level was. She was using a machine that didn’t want to know. Several sticky plasters later she did get there and finally announced I was normal. I felt a bit insulted.

The other one had a thing that looked like a hopped up Ghetto blaster with cables which she began to attached to me. It didn’t have any paper which became a medical emergency until some was found. Once it was recording and pinging away happily she began to add telemetry to a pad which blipped and bleeped at her. That was going to be the theme for the event I discovered. I was wired up for three days, had numerous holes made in me and the hospital bleeped or pinged continuously all the time.

The helicopter arrived last and the two man team were very efficient and unlike the country yokels who are all part timers they where a bit more serious about the process. By the time I made it to the helicopter I had another hole in the back of my hand that was an IV inserted in case drugs needed to be administered in flight. They did’t appear to do humor but we got to the hospital in twelve minutes which is very fast. It takes about an hour and half by car, that is if you can get through. In the coldest part of the winter that is not advisable in the dark as the hill, which is about a thousand meters high, is snow topped, steep and rather treacherous. I’m sure the old ladies would have had a go and would have managed but I’m glad they didn’t have to. Coming back in the middle of the day it was hot and sunny but the road was still pretty icy where it was in shadow.

Looking down from Takaka Hill from about half way up

Now why all the drama? As I said its cold the equivalent of February in northern climes. That means clear blue skies and sunny during the day but it is cold at night sometimes below zero. We have had some frosts this week. My house has no heating and I decided to have a hot shower before bed. I had just turned it off when I had a turn. It was definitely alarming and I sat down on the floor with my back against the wall to prevent falling over. I was dizzy. I knew it was serious when I lost the use of my right arm and decided to make a call. Now sitting naked on the floor in the bathroom I needed to make it to the bedroom to my phone. I managed to maneuver myself in that direction on my bottom and the dead arm came with me. It was odd, it was connected but no longer part of me and startled me when it banged against me. It was warm, actually fairly hot but it wasn’t me and just dragged on the ground.

I managed to get to the phone and tried to press the right buttons. With only my left hand that wasn’t easy. I knew what I had to do but wasn’t making sense and must have banged something because it started ringing. A friendly voice recognized me. I explained I needed emergency services please because I was having a stroke. Words suddenly made no sense and I heard someone say some peculiar words. The friendly voice told me she understood and rang off. I was wet and getting cold and needed to get dressed. My discarded clothes where close and I grabbed them. With one hand I managed to get the tracksuit bottoms on then tried the long sleeved T shirt. I got it over my head and could do one arm but the dead arm wouldn’t cooperate. I got a jacket on in the same way and was stuck. I could do anything else. The phone rang and the friendly voice told me help was on the way. I wasn’t sure of anything by then but that seemed a good idea. We were still talking when my phone had a second call. That was a doctor who wanted to assess my condition. I don’t think I made a lot of sense and he told me he was going to send a helicopter to take me to the main hospital. He rang off and I decided I’d had enough.

I asked for HELP. I put quite a bit of energy into that request as you can imagine. It was an emotive plea.

My hand immediately thrust itself into the armhole and everything seemed to make sense again. I was rather shaken but was back to normal. I managed to get to a comfy chair and waited until the ambulance turned up. They must have moved fairly fast but as I said Kiwi’s like that sort of thing. They knew who I was and how to find me. It’s not obvious when you drive into the farm yard where I live. I don’t think I could have explained it. The doctor called again and I passed the phone to the ambulance crew. I didn’t want to talk to him. Sitting still and being very quiet was keeping me fairly busy.

Three days later I’m back, stirred and shaken but still around. I may share more because as you can imagine that was only the beginning but what I wanted to share was that no matter what, if you ask in the right way, you will get what you need. The right way is with your whole Being.

The subtext to all this is something I find rather amusing; in my latest book I describe this exact scenario for one of my characters. They have a minor stroke, what is called a TIA. A stroke with no permanent damage. I wish I could remember that everything I write happens, mind you some of the other stuff….

Be careful what you write

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