The Crawl – Part 2. Hospital Stay

“Mr. Zima…wake up!”

I was yanked out of my sleep by the voice of the nurse.

Time to have blood drawn. It was 4 a.m. and my skin had that sticky feeling of being in a bed for a week. I just wanted a shower.

Later, my friends came and something seemed off when they spoke to me. As they spoke, I put my hand over my ear. Hand off – loud. Hand on my right ear – all was normal. Hand on my left ear…the voices went mute. What was going on?

On the few times I did try to stand up, I noticed other problems. My right arm seemed to be stuck like a chicken wing.  My mind thought out the command for the arm to move but it just stayed in place. I grabbed it with my left arm and pulled. It moved like I was in an arm wrestling contest against myself.

“How much longer until I get out?” I asked the doctor.

“Maybe in a few more days”.

5 days came and went and I was still there. My beard now covered the healing sores on my face.

Finally came the big day. Freedom! The IV tubes were removed and I was helped into the wheel chair. The doors opened and I could finally see the sun. After I was escorted into the car seat and belted in, we off for home. A slow parade of buildings moved by just outside the window. I was never happier to see the strip malls and fast food restaurants in my life.

Now came the second phase: recovery. This is what I knew. That somehow I contracted Spinal Meningitis. My body was unable to process commands due to my brain being damaged by the swelling. I had lost a lot of weight and was very weak. To top it off, my hearing was gone in the right ear.

The good news: I was alive.


About 1stpeaksteve

Welcome to The Side Wedge! The Side Wedge is a product of the journey through life of Steve Zima. Former professional surfer, a writer, surf coach, and hospitality manager. This is a collection of travel tips, motivation, and stories from my past. Finally, I offer surf coaching through The Side Wedge. Please feel free to contact me with questions if you want to improve your performance today! Thanks for reading!
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3 Responses to The Crawl – Part 2. Hospital Stay

  1. gina4star says:

    Gosh, that’s really scary! I like the good news though, and going through an experience like this must help to put things into perspective! x

    • 1stpeaksteve says:

      It really put a lot of things into perspective. When you think you are going to lose everything and you get another chance at redemption; you enjoy life a bit more. Even when other problems arise.

      I hope all is well with you!

  2. landlockedsurfgirl says:

    So sorry to hear what happened. I hope you are recovering well

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