STEVEN JERAL HARRIS
EMERALD BLUE OKIKI
This brings back old, unwanted, memories. As I sit in bed waiting for some test results, my mom helps me catch up by filling in the blank areas. First, she had found my unconscious body on my bedroom floor, yet I wasn’t having an attack, which is very odd. She then tells me she tried to wake me up several times before she called 911. Then the ambulance came and raced me away to the nearby hospital.
They shielded my face with oxygen although my breathing at the time was normal. When we arrived at the hospital, that’s when I became conscious again. I remember waking up, dazed and confused, and getting rushed off into the emergency room. I try to remember what happened before the hospital but the memories seem suppressed.
Soon the blue sky becomes bright pink out my window. Still, hours later, my mom remains overly concerned about the whole situation, although I keep telling her I feel totally fine.
‘I was scared to death,’ my mom presses on dramatically at my bedside.
‘Mom, chill, I’ve never felt better.” I reply honestly for the thousandth time. ‘Just stop worrying.’
Usually I have a splitting headache after a seizure, but today I feel abnormally energized and content. Finally, the long wait is over as the doctor enters the room. My mom stands to her feet, timidly, to greet him as he approaches.
‘Dr. Richards, please tell me something I want to hear,’ she says, almost pleading.
‘Good news,’ he says while flipping through some papers on a clipboard. ‘I have the results from the EEG test. The electrical signal we recorded in her brain shows she didn't have a seizure. Actually, I don’t see any sign of them returning anytime soon."
My mom’s tense body relaxes, as if a weight has been lifted off her shoulders.
‘Thank goodness,’ she says in a relieved tone. ‘I needed to hear that. But why did she blackout?’
‘That's why I’m baffled,’ his eyebrows go narrow as he begins to massage his graying beard. ‘You did tell me that she was outside today. It might've been a slight heat stroke.’
‘But she was barely outside. That doesn’t make any sense,’ she says curiously.
‘It doesn't take much to faint sometimes Ms Lancaster, especially with someone who is known to have many medical conditions.’
He looks over at me with his thin rectangular glasses resting at the tip of his nose and asks…
‘How do you feel Iva?’
‘I feel great,’ I respond with a big cheerful smile.
When his gray beard stretches from ear to ear, I get the assumption he knows something I don’t.
‘Thank God it wasn’t a seizure,’ my mom says, more relieved. ‘She's hoping to attend school soon, so that’s great to hear."
‘Well, it gets even better. You told me that she suffers from bone deficiency and arthritis, correct?’
‘Yes, she does.’
‘"When was her last bone density scan?’ He questions with a bright smile.
‘I’m not sure, year maybe.’
‘Well, I have those results too,’ he notifies, unwilling to stop smiling.
Again, I get a sense he knows something I don’t.
‘Her bones are fine,’ he explains. “Better yet, the blood test shows her immune system is no longer insufficient. In short, she's absolutely healthy.’
I glance over at my mom just in time to see her face fall flat.
‘How— how is this possible?’ She asks in total awe.
‘I’m trying to figure it out myself. This is highly uncommon. I’m interested to see how she stands on her feet.’ His bright eyes meet mine. ‘Iva, if you may.’
I look over at my mom with uncertainty and back at the doctor again.
‘Okay,’ I reply modestly.
My mom walks over to my side and I grab her shoulder for additional support. I position myself toward the edge of my bed and gaze down at the shiny floor tiles below. I slowly slide off cautiously and brace my legs for the impact. I feel the cold floor at the bottom of my feet, yet somehow I’m standing by myself effortlessly. My eyes fall down at my feet to make sure I’m not going insane.
My mom's eyes connect to mine and suddenly both of our jaws give out. The doctor comes over to me and places a hand on my back.
‘How do you feel Iva?’ He asks softly.
For a moment my tongue remains frozen in place. As I finally start to speak, my words stumble over one another.
‘I— I— I feel fine.’
I begin to bounce on my heel with joyful laughter. I shift back at my mom, whose eyes are swelling with glistening tears.
‘I want her to stay the night,’ the doctor clarifies. ‘I'll have them run extra test in the morning, just to be on the safe side. And I can also—‘
‘I don’t understand,’ my mom interferes bluntly with tears coming down her face. ‘What are you telling me doctor?’
‘What I’m trying to say, Miss Lancaster, as far as I know right now, there is nothing wrong with your daughter.’
My mom's watery gaze meets mine. This moment is so incredible it feels like a dream come true. I realize, as I feel the warmth from her hug, this is really happening. My emotions erupt when I hear her crying in my ear. A second later, tears of my own flow down my face. This is truly a dream come true for me.
I finally know what it feels like to be normal.
Most people will never overcome my illnesses. It takes a second opinion to fully convince my mother. They rate the odds of me defeating all these sicknesses, at one time, somewhere between impossible and never happening. I’m one of those few patients they call unbelievable and extraordinarily fortunate.
Dr. Richards sums up everything in a simple term. He says I have an extremely rare case. He calls my case, a miracle...
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