Premonition the noun from Middle French or Latin praemonere “to warn in advance”.
When I was about ten years old I was always riding my bicycle around our neighborhood. A ride on my bike was total freedom and it was one of the best feelings I remember from my childhood.
It was a beautiful summer day, not too hot as I would always set off in the morning. The sun was shining like a big yellow bursting ball in a deep blue sky. I remember the day because it changed me.
My parents were working and I was enjoying the day riding. I wore flip flops and just as I was turning the corner to reach my house, my flip flop got caught in the chain of the bike. Everything twisted and I fell (hard) onto the street.
On the old broken up asphalt, dirt and rocks I was stuck. I tried to speak and I couldn’t at first. Then I found my voice. I softly raised my tone to utter “help” repeatedly, but there was no one around. That sun was now beating on me and I felt sick, hot and dizzy. My knees stung like scraped knees do and my head and arms tingled, a sensation that was foreign to me. I couldn’t get up.
I tried to lift my head, to no avail. I remember turning a bit and seeing a small child through a screen door looking at me laying on the ground and thought if I could only get there for help. I could not.
I must have passed out, as the next thing I knew my mother was standing over me with some ladies from the neighborhood around her. I heard one say “her head is bleeding, there is a pool of blood”.
Not knowing how I got home, I was laying in my mother’s bed, holding a cloth on my head insisting I didn’t want to go to the hospital. I hated hospitals. My mother cleaned the wound and picked out all the debris embedded in my skin from various places on my body. She was a nurse, nothing phased her, but this must have been an exception. I heard some neighbors talking about how much blood was on the street. No mother wants to hear that about her child.
I was steadfast in my opposition to going to the hospital. I knew something was going to happen there I didn’t want to see or be around. I just knew, it was my first real premonition.
After a few hours, perhaps it was a shorter amount of time, she took me to the Emergency Room. I was adamant in my discontent at her choice. That happened often when I was a youngster, I was my mother’s daughter after all.
After my initial triage, more ice, bloodwork, and a cat scan, I began to vomit. The ER was packed with patients. I was miserable. I was just outside the main area by the entrance door on a gurney waiting to be seen. It seemed like forever, I knew it had to be at least 3 hours when I realized the time. ( some things don’t change with healthcare!)
All I kept thinking was I want to go home, I hate it here. I wasn’t scared, I just didn’t want to be there. I find it so ironic that my career led me to that same hospital some thirteen years later and it would become like a second home to me till my retirement.
Laying on the stretcher, repeating my distain to my mother about being there, it did no good. She went to check on the backlog and then it happened.
I was alone, feeling cruddy and angry she brought me there, I wasn’t a happy patient, never was and still am non-compliant in a hospital setting.
The double doors my stretcher was next to swung open and through those doors a man who had just shot his wife stomped through, screaming “someone help me, I just shot my wife”. The image seared in my mind. He was a huge guy, had to be over six foot three in height with broad shoulders. He had on dark pants and his tee shirt was soaked with blood.
All I could see of his wife was her long black hair dripping blood, as she was slung over his right shoulder and there was a bullet hole in her back. I looked around in dismay. All of a sudden I saw nurses running, gathering things all the while this man was yelling at the top of his lungs, “Help me”.
I didn’t have fear of blood, but I had never seen someone shot before. I remember the hole in her back was wide and bloody. Her dark hair was matted, tossed over her head as she was slung. Droplets of blood trailed his foot steps as he walked into the ER. It is so vivid all these years later.
They all rushed to help her, I’m sure taking her into a trauma room. I have no clue what the outcome was with the entire situation.
The doctor finally saw me and looked at my head, told my mother I didn’t have a concussion (not so sure about that) and I could go home. I was unimpressed with his clinical skills. Yes, I thought in those terms at ten years old. My mother asked a few questions and I was discharged.
I knew after I fell off my bike that day, laying in my mother’s bed that there was going to be something at that hospital I didn’t want to see. I have had many premonitions in my life. Looking back as a parent now, of course an emergency room visit was the responsible thing to do.
Was this traumatizing at the time for me, yes. I think it did scare me on some level, but the ironic thing was that I felt validated in my mind that I had been correct in my premonition. At ten years old, an adolesant’s mind is not fully developed. How could I have known such an incident was going to happen? There were and are no answers.
One thing I did learn was never to wear flip flops while riding a bicycle.
Through years of trauma and regular life experiences, I have had premonitions that have happened. I don’t share them, I just experience them as if they are a regular parts of my being.
I have learned to listen to myself in situations that present themselves and act accordingly. One must listen to really hear.
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”.