Question Answered

By Linda Nidiffer

All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.

Last week I asked the rhetorical question about should I keep my focus more closely related to my hearth and home or should I keep my focus on wider things.  I probably wrote that on the day before Mothers’ Day, because on Mothers’ Day I got my answer.  I got up early and while Tom was still sleeping I went to pick up a few groceries.  Tom woke up and slid out of bed—not fell—but slid.  His legs weren’t working right.  

Now here is what I love about my neighborhood.  Tom called the first number in his contacts list that lived in Mt. Vintage. He called Rodney Ashcraft.  Rodney didn’t ask any questions, just said, “I’ll be right there!”  Thankfully, I had forgotten to lock the front door and Rodney was able to walk right in and come to Tom’s rescue.

As the day continued Tom continued to lose more feeling in his legs and just generally felt weaker and weaker. He was a flat out mess. I did the stroke test several times: smile at me, talk to me, blah, blah, blah, we know the drill.  He passed every time, but continued to deteriorate. Okay I am officially scared and by evening we call 911.  Oh how I hate that number, but how I love it too!

A few minutes, and I mean a very few, later and our house filled up with Merriwether Volunteer Firefighters. They came in their own personal vehicles and also their fire truck.  They were making their assessment, with the help and supervision of our cat Lilly, when the Edgefield Ambulance came rolling in.  My cul-de-sac hasn’t had this much action ever: lights flashing, sirens blaring, burly men, and beautiful women—we had it all.  As they loaded Tom into the ambulance the Chief noticed that the unofficial supervisor was still at work and they should probably not drop Tom.  He pointed to the window and there was Lilly watching every move that every person was making.  Everyone laughed but I told them that she was really the predator in the family and she was memorizing faces!  

After seeing four of the emergency room doctors who all shook their heads in puzzlement, I finally left Tom to come home.  I want you to know that there is very little traffic at 1:00a.m.  I was in bed by 2.  They called me at 6:30 and said come and get him he is up and walking!  How could that possibly be?  

People, our bodies are amazement.  They are sturdy beyond belief and as delicate as a butterfly’s wing.  There was nothing wrong except his magnesium level was too low. Now personally I didn’t even know that we even had a magnesium level, but there you have it.  Apparently if you don’t have enough of this nutrient you can become so weak that your limbs won’t move. Who knew? This is not uncommon for people who have suffered an organ shut down and a reboot.  

So many thanks to Rodney and our amazing first responders. You got to see what happens to a person who doesn’t have enough magnesium in his body. I hope you never have to see it again.