Looking back into the previous semester, I realized I’ve been blessed more than I ever thought. I have definitely grown up much more than I ever would have if I stayed in Malaysia during my college years. However, my well-being wouldn’t have made it this far if it wasn’t for the abundant help I’ve been getting from all the people at Luther. Around October last fall, I was admitted to the medical center nearby our college because of an unpleasant incident…which wasn’t all that unpleasant thanks to the help I received from caring friends.
I remember waking up on a Sunday morning feeling extremely drowsy from the NyQuil I had taken the night before. When I tried getting out of bed, I found my vision getting blurrier with step. I wasn’t able to walk very well because I couldn’t control my legs. I remember walking towards my dresser, when all of a sudden, I started seeing people around me like my family, friends, etc. The next thing I know, I’m lying on the carpet with a hammering sensation in my head and my arms and legs stinging from having grazed the edges of the furnitures as I fainted. I was terrified because I couldn’t move, so I yelled for help, but of course it was no use seeing as I couldn’t yell as loud as I wanted to. After a few minutes, I mustered up the strength to lift myself from the ground and walk to the toilet. My vision started getting blurrier again, and the next thing I know, I was surrounded by my floormates. It was the first time I’ve ever fainted in my life.
There was a sharp pain in my head from the hammering again, but at least my vision got better because I could recognize the faces around me. One of my RAs, Kacy, was there because she had heard me scream. Kacy did her best in calming me down and was there the whole time I wasn't able to move. I was crying for no reason, probably because I was scared. She assured me it was all going to be okay because she called security to come help. When one of the security officers arrived, the both of them helped in checking my condition, if I could breathe properly and if I could move any of my limbs. I couldn’t at first but after awhile, I could raise them slowly. The security officer then decided to call the paramedics to help me, and they arrived as soon as possible. The paramedics had devices to check my blood pressure, heart rate, and such. Once the procedure was finished, two of them lifted me ito stretcher that was on the first floor. I was then strapped tight and carried to the ambulance that was waiting outside of Ylvi. That was another first for me, being inside an ambulance.
Upon arriving the Winneshiek Medical Center, I was led by the paramedics to the closest emergency room and they did a check-up on me. I first had to change into a hospital gown, and then I had to provide them with a urine sample, and let them take a bit of my blood. Later on, the nurses brought in all kinds of tubes and wires into the room. My left arm was injected with a needle that’s connected to a tube that channeled saline into my body. My chest had stickers on it attached to wires connected to a heart rate monitor. It was really cool, to be honest, despite the condition I was in. The nurses then asked me a series of questions to figure out what my condition was. They couldn’t diagnose anything from my blackout, but they suspected it was dehydration and the prolonged effect of the NyQuil. The nurses were very hospitable throughout the time I was there. They dimmed the lights whenever I was going to rest, and they came to check on me as much as possible, and to made sure that I stayed hydrated.
After the diagnosis, the hospital even contacted the Student Life office to report my admittance to the hospital. One of the Student Life representatives even came to visit me once they heard about the news. Thankfully, I was able to go home after a few hours of my stay. I was accompanied by the Student Life representative who offered me a ride back to campus in case security did not come to pick me up. She was very friendly and like the nurses, made sure I had everything I needed in order to get well soon. Security arrived immediately after she made a call, and I was escorted back to Luther.
My experience was definitely very well managed by Luther and the medical center, but great things come with a price, especially when it comes with an ambulance. The total bill was about two thousand dollars which was impossible for a part-time employed international student like myself to pay with all the taxes included. However, more than half of my bill was paid by the insurance company—Healthsmart Benefit Solutions—so I was left with about seven hundred dollars remaining to pay. Thankfully, I also had my scholarship to cover most of that cost, which leaves me with only about a hundred dollars that I’ll have to pay! What more can I ask of anyone?
This experience has made me realize that despite not being in my home country, surrounded by people I know and can be assured of, I am not alone in this big, different country. I have more friends than I know at Luther College to help my stay in the United States as worthwhile as possible. Thank you, Luther.
P.S. Whatever happens, get your friend to drive you to the hospital instead of the ambulance…thank me later.