It was a scorching hot Minnesota summer day in July. I looked my husband of 28 years right in the eyes and said, “No, you don’t need to come with me honey, they are literally just taking an x-ray of my head.”
Boy, was I wrong! I certainly could have used him.
I remember getting into my car to drive 11 miles to CDI (Center for Diagnostic Imaging), when suddenly a rush of fear ran through me. I pulled into the parking lot and looked at the empty passenger seat next to me. Why had I given my husband the instructions to not come with me? I was trying to calm down with self-talk, “Jodi, you are being silly and everything will be okay”.
It took all I could muster up to get myself out of the car and walk inside. As I approached the front desk to check in, my heart was racing. I could feel my heart pulsating in my neck. Being greeted with a smile calmed my nerves a little, until the moment they called my name.
I froze for a minute.
The nurse repeated, “Jodi?”
There was a voice inside my head, “What’s wrong with you? Calm down. Everything is going to be just fine.”
The nurse must have seen the fear in my eyes, because she immediately tried to diffuse the nerves. Her calm voice explained that she would just be starting an I.V.
I should have researched more about this, “x-ray of my head”. Why did I need an I.V.?
My nurse calmly explained they would be taking some images and then they would dispense a dye through my I.V. before taking more images. The contrast would help to diagnose anything they may find.
The nurse began to puncture my skin and failed to insert the needle into my vein. After the 3rd attempt, she successfully placed the I.V. in my arm. We were ready to start the imaging.
If you have ever had an M.R.I., you are aware, they place you on a table and slide you into a large cylinder or tube.
I have heard of others having anxiety (something I felt I did not have any problem with). I had even witnessed other’s experiencing a “panic attack” (which I admit, I was always uncertain of the authenticity)…until NOW.
As I started sliding into the tube, I panicked. My chest felt tight, my breathing was sporadic, I could feel my heart pulsating in my neck again and tears were freely falling down my cheeks. What was wrong with me?
There was now a group of three incredibly kind staff members working with me. They so patiently tried to talk to me through this simple procedure. They would slide me into the tube only to slide me back out, following my demands.
They tried everything. They strategically placed mirrors inside the tube, so it gave me the illusion I was not enclosed. They had two-way speakers up, hoping the talking and continuous conversation would calm my nerves and they gave me a stress ball to hold onto in hopes that if I repeatedly squeezed this ball, it would relieve some of my tension.
Nothing was working. After they slid me back out for the forth time, I was no longer going to be in control of the situation. The voice still sits as clear with me today as it did on that day.
“Jodi, if we slide you out of this tube again, we will have to reschedule you. We can sedate you and get you in an open-ended tube.”
There was NO way I wanted to come back!
“Figure this out! What is wrong with me? Face your fear.”
They slid me back in and as crazy as this may sound to some, I turned it over to God. I laid inside this tube and prayed for strength. I started reciting the Lord’s Prayer.
“Our father who art in heaven…”
Somehow, the next thing I recall is staff members running into the room cheering me on and pulling me quickly and efficiently out of the tube.
I burst into full blown, hysterical tears. I mean so ridiculous that I am sure every staff member at CDI talked abut their high maintenance patient at the dinner table that night.
Let’s rewind eight months earlier.
My oldest daughter, Morgan, had graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. (yes, she did become a Badger fan and Packer fan overnight, something I’m not real proud of). She had been In a meaningful relationship with a pretty good guy all through college. They had graduated and moved in together. It was getting real serious. They had numerous talks about their future together and I even received sneak peaks of ring designs. The excitement of a wedding was becoming a reality…when suddenly, he broke it off. The timing and the reasons don’t matter, what matters is that my daughters heart was broken. I mean, the real hard stuff. The raw pain that is so deep, it takes work and time to crawl out of bed. She was devastated…I was devastated.
A few months later I was sitting in the stands at Ohio State University. My son was participating in the Big Ten Championships. He was a Division 1 wrestler competing for the University of Minnesota. First match, as a matter of fact, first minute out on the mat and he suffered a horrific injury. His right hamstring had completely detached from his pelvic bone. He didn’t know the severity of the injury yet. With the adrenaline flowing, he tried to stand up and continue his match. He thought he had blown out his knee, because as he would try and take a step forward, his knee would hyper-extend. The fact was, the hamstring was not attached to the pelvic bone anymore, so the knee would turn itself inside out. Jake had spent numerous hours of training, practicing, sacrificing all of his young life for this moment, and suddenly it is all taken away in one split second. A dream, a goal—-SHATTERED. He was devastated…I was devastated.
And yet, a few months later, I am tested one more time. My youngest daughters exposed to a traumatic event that will detour the path she is on and start her journey on a downward spiral exposing a severe eating disorder. Her challenges become my challenges. She was devastated…I was devastated.
My spirit is crushed. I have NEVER needed to be so intentional about happiness.
Fast forward to July and the purpose for my fear filled visit to CDI imaging center.
I am sitting at a movie with my husband. We’ve got this beautiful theatre in our town, stadium seats that recline with plenty of leg room and space. All the comfort you need, but me, I’m having trouble getting comfortable. Something is wrong, suddenly I feel nauseous and it sounds like a train is running through the left side of my head. The theatre starts spinning and dizziness over takes me. There is a dullness on the left side of my head. I have to get out.
My husband, Will, sees panic in my eyes and guides me out of the movie. We get outside and all I want is to get home to my bed. If I just lie down, I know I will feel better. I resist my husband’s demands to go to the ER. I just want to get home.
After countless doctors, specialists and tests, ideology is unknown as to why I lost hearing in my left ear and why I developed tinnitus (ringing of the ear or the hearing of sound when no sound is present). Could it be stress? Could it be the burdens my children had to face? I’m not certain.
What I am certain of is that there are challenges in our life and things we have no control of. What we do have control of is making ourselves a priority. Making time for self-care and self-love. It was an awakening and a time to become the best version of myself that I could be. It was a time when my marriage was challenged. If I couldn’t show up for myself, how could I show up for my husband?
We had always had a strong marriage and I was so grateful for that, but we needed to pull ourselves together. Life is so SHORT…it was time for us to take action and S.P.R.I.N.T.
S.P.R.I.N.T. came alive through this grueling year. Will and I needed to become intentional about different elements that we thought were critical to living the happiest, healthiest and extraordinary life. We invested in incorporating them into every day.
So, what’s the deal with S.P.R.I.N.T.?
S.P.R.I.N.T. is an acronym that represents the themes Will and I focused on every day to help us turn ordinary days into extraordinary ones and we want to share it with the world. Why would we not want to help others increase happiness, health, fulfillment, passion and potential?
N—nutrition and well-being
Intimacy: A process where I truly feel seen and connected to my partner.