I was sick. I was completely out of my mind. The swelling in my throat began to sabotage my breath. I blinked back the moisture that threatened my eyes.
I grabbed for something stable as the room spun and my vision closed in. There’s a good chance that nobody in the all-white, sterile office noticed what was happening to my body. They couldn’t hear the blood pounding in my hot ears or feel the sides of my throat stick together as I swallowed repeatedly. I looked from the doctor to my wife, Kim.
She didn’t see my legs turn to jelly.
She was probably spiraling in the same way. I shook my head to clear the tunnel vision that threatened to set in. I couldn’t black out. I had to be present, I needed to hear what the doctor had to say. And I knew that with this new information, my priorities had to change.
This was in early 2007.
We’d left for the doctor’s office that morning totally unsuspecting. My wife was seven months pregnant with our third child – a baby girl.
After running the routine prenatal tests, the doctor came in with a solemn look.
“You have preeclampsia. You need to immediately observe strict bedrest. If you don’t, you may have a seizure and lose the baby, or possibly die yourself.”
“My wife is going to die. And we’re going to lose our baby.” I kept thinking to myself on our way home.
Have you ever experienced this kind of abrupt disruption in your daily routine?
Most days are normal.
The world turns.
Everything is fine.
And then one day, you get the kind of news that snaps you out of your routine coma. Your perspective transforms into a kind of tunnel vision. Your feet slam onto the ground of reality, and the air is knocked from your chest. It hurts, and you’re scared.
But at the same time, you experience a sort of redemption. When that ‘tunnel vision’ hits, there’s only enough room and light at the end of the tunnel to see the things that are truly the most important to you. The faces that bring meaning to your life, the ideals that you strive to become and achieve…those things consciously become your entire world.
All I knew is that we had two other young kids, I was working full-time and there was no way I could keep working.
I was not about to lose a baby over money.
So I committed then and there, I was going to take care of my wife, two rambunctious toddlers and my unborn baby girl, whatever the sacrifice.
I wrote an email to my two Filipino VAs to explain what was happening. I let them know I couldn’t work and that they wouldn’t be hearing from me much. I asked them to continue to do what I’d taught them and try to keep the business afloat. I asked them to take over things I was currently doing in the business.
I asked them to do their best.
And then I got to work on my new full-time job as caregiver.
You won’t believe what happened next. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow. This is where Filipino VAs get really really good for both you and me.