Like I’ve said before, my blog is the best and easiest way for me to spread word to family and friends about certain aspects of my life. And as many of you already know, my life has taken some crazy, unexpected turns lately. I have heard some interesting rumors about myself through the grapevine and have finally decided to write yet another post so many may know exactly what’s going on and no longer have to perform any guess work.
So, I’ll start by saying that yes, I am home from Africa. Shouldn’t be (in my opinion) but I am. God has a plan for me as cliché as that sounds, and it apparently wasn’t in line with mine. I was engaged before I left, to be married in September. And I planned on living in Tanzania until August 23rd. None of that is happening now. I’m no longer engaged, and I only spent four weeks in Africa. Because of my last post, most people already know what took place for me to have to come home. I had two heart attack type episodes where I passed out completely, all within 48 hours and was medically evacuated back to the states. A lot of people ask me, “Did you see it coming?” and my answer is NO. No one did. Even my cardiologist here in Utah who has been over my care since I was diagnosed with heart disease at the age of 11 doesn’t understand how any of it happened. The circumstances were not ones under which I would normally give out. I was slightly dehydrated but that’s about all we can come up with. Lab results also showed I was depleted of Potassium, but that doesn’t make sense either considering I inhaled approximately 10 bananas a day and was fed lots of green veggies for dinner… And the fact that it happened two days in a row and I felt perfectly fine both times makes no sense to anyone. Basically, it was a perfect storm. There were things at work beyond my understanding or knowledge and I’m still trying to grasp it all.
As for the engagement…
This is part of the story I have yet to detail publicly, until now. Before I left to Africa I was head over hills in love. In fact, thanks to my journal, I know how hard it was to get on that plane and know I wouldn’t see Spenser again for four months. It was miserable, but I did it. And once I got to Tanzania, and fell in love with its people, culture, and my team, I didn’t want to leave. It quickly became home for me and I was extremely happy there. That doesn’t mean I didn’t miss home and I didn’t miss Spenser, because believe me, I did. But I knew I’d see them again so I put all my focus into what I was working on there. I was just starting to delve into some really important projects when everything happened and I was sent home. So you can imagine my disappointment when I heard I’d never complete what I started. Now, in case I didn’t mention in my last post, when I passed out the first time I hit my head REALLY hard. I woke up in the hospital with my first concussion , and it hurt like the dickens. All I remember from that day is throwing up due to the head trauma. The second time I passed out I didn’t hit my head but my doctors here think I had seizure like activity that resulted in amnesia. Yup, amnesia. I’ve grown to hate that word haha it’s caused a lot of confusion over the past 6 weeks. Here’s the deal. When I think back to those days in the Arusha and Nairobi hospitals, it’s a total blur. I remember I was there over the span of three days, and I remember who I was with, but the exact details and events of each day are a complete blur. What I wrote down in my last post is mostly what I know from the people who were with me when it all took place. As for my own memories, they are very limited. And not just from that weekend, but from what we’ve been able to calculate, the five months prior to my departure. When I woke up in Nairobi I felt sick about coming home to America, to a fiancé. What I didn’t necessarily realize at the time was WHY I felt that way. It took me a while to see that I was missing lots of memory and that even my day to day short term was botched. I had to REALLY try each morning to think about what took place the day before. That problem lasted about three weeks. What was most frustrating for me was not being able to make sense of my own thoughts and feelings. I felt like my brain was completely out of sorts and I was not only thinking differently, I was saying weird things, acting strange, and feeling off. My neurologist said those are all normal symptoms for a brain recovery, so at least I was ‘normal’ to some extent. However, to this day, I still have missing memories. Lots of them have come back as my brain has healed, especially if someone shows me pictures or tells me of a particular event. Then the memory usually floods in, but with very little detail.
Ever seen the new movie The Vow? Well, story of my life. I called off the engagement because I don’t remember falling that deeply in love, receiving my ring, or planning a wedding. I know who Spenser is because I knew him much more than five months prior to my trip. But those five months were vital to our relationship, that’s when things really took a turn and started moving forward. THAT’S WHEN WE MADE THE DECISION TO GET MARRIED. And I don’t even remember it…So, you could say we’re starting from square one, but things are going great and moving forward at a startling pace. I’ve gone back to my Africa journal, and the emails I sent him while I was gone, and it’s obvious I had strong feelings for the man. And the more time I spend with him now that I’m home it’s obvious why I felt that way. We’re not engaged yet…again. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens soon. We are taking our time, neither of us feel marriage is something to rush, especially after all that has taken place.
So, it’s been exactly a month now since I got home and I’m really waiting on one big, important thing. Surgery! Until I know when I'm getting the heart surgery I can't plan a wedding, I can't get a real job, and I can't move forward with school (because all of the above are going to be affected by a four month recovery)...ya, it's super frustrating. I'm kinda just floating right now and I pray it doesn't last much longer. I'm ready to be back on my feet, planning my next trip to Africa. So, if I have any say in it things will start looking up and making sense here real quick. But until then! I'm just grateful to be alive, with plenty of time to take naps, watch movies, and blog:)