The first part of October I got another respiratory infection, it seemed to have gone away and I was off at my usual pace very soon after finishing a round of antibiotics.
A very enjoyable visit from one of our children who lives on the West coast, a trip to San Francisco for another daughter's birthday and a visit with some of my husband's family.
Life moved along and I just kept blowing off that pesky little cough.
There were things to do. Another trip in order to take care of some unfinished business on the East coast. No time to stop and nurse a dang cold.
Then Monday morning I was awakened by a strange voice, restrained, with a tube down my throat, 1800 miles from home.
As a nurse explained where I was, and why, I started fighting as reality sunk in.
"This had not happened to me."
"Me, almost die? Not me."
"Not me, I was living life."
And that strange voice again:
"Stop fighting so you can breathe good enough and in the next two hours we'll pull the tube."
My mind screamed, "the hell with that, it's coming out now."
The restraints on my wrists left that thought as just that, a thought, not an action.
In the next few hours I was in and out of consciousness. All I wanted was to see the faces of my daughters, one more time, just one more time.
There was no bargaining, just a sheer sense of fighting like hell to stay on this side of consciousness.
Life had almost ended permanently. For me four days had gone away, zappo, never to be gotten back. I'll gladly give them up for a few more 24 hours on this earth.
There's so much I don't remember. After getting off my flight last week I finally gave in and decided to get treatment for this "minor cold." I ended up in the ER with a pulse-ox of 69. They admitted me and I was stable for about 16 hours before I crashed around midnight last Wednesday. (if there was no OND, that would be why..lol)
Monday morning while staring at the white board on the wall in my ICU room I kept trying to absorb the fact I had lost four days.
Four days? That board couldn't be right, it was only Thursday. I had a flight to catch back home on Sunday, but Sunday and that flight had come and gone while I was unconscious.
But I was still here, that meant everything.
As my mind ever so slowly came back to life, it raced with thoughts of people I would have never seen again, never said things to that matter so much.
Suddenly hugging my husband, my children, my step-daughter, petting my dogs, all these things became worth more than anything in the world.
Many people here who I've been blessed to cross paths with, online and in person, crossed my mind.
The weird thing is that I thought of people I've had disagreements with, because any disagreements or slights whether real or imagined just fade away in any importance.
They mattered. I mattered. Petty shit just didn't matter, I hope it doesn't ever matter like I once let it.
My thoughts the last few days have mainly been ones of gratitude, but my feelings are all over the place.
The first night I was off the respirator I was terrified to go to sleep.
Among other family members my sister flew out here and brought a picture of my daughters. At moments I look at it and smile feeling so much gratitude, other moments I bust out in tears, my precious babies I came so close to never holding again.
The feelings keep coming and going in waves.
They say it will be a long recovery.
This weekend is my birthday, I will not gripe about growing older, I'll fully embrace it.
Many of the friends I thought of this last week I was supposed to see at the SF Kossack holiday party this weekend, that was my birthday present from my husband.
So many in this community that would have been there, or not been there, mean so much to me, for the good and the bad.
I won't be there, that makes me sad. On the other hand, I'm just damn glad to still be here.