Last week I was plowing along at my usual break neck speed wondering why I just couldn’t seem to find the motivation to train, write, pretty much do ANYTHING besides the most basic housecleaning and my nursing shifts but still not taking the hint and slowing down enough to pay attention, when BANG! life literally took my breath away.
I awoke the first time a little after 9 PM, because I was cold and went to check the thermostat; but it was running fine, said 82 degrees so figured I was running a small fever and took some Tylenol, put a cover over me and went back to bed. Some back story here might be appropriate. I have chronic episodes of pain and low-grade fever that are related either to some genetic predisposition to autoimmune anomalies or as a long term side effect of the treatments that kept me alive. I am not sure which, the doctors are not sure which, and I am as I was told actually “an incredibly healthy obese woman for a patient with my history”, and finding the cause is not nearly as important to me as having a happy, functional life. Anyway feeling run down, minor aches and pains or an elevated temperature are not things that send me anywhere normally except my medicine chest and back to bed, after which I wake up, take my veggie smoothie and go train.
This was not one of those times. I had fever dreams all night about fires and suffocating and woke to find I really couldn’t breathe. Dressing myself winded me and just taking a normal breath hurt, let alone laughing or yawning. I wasn’t coughing, nor did I have any upper respiratory things going on more than the normal Arizona summer allergies. The symptoms didn’t add up to me but I knew I needed to finally give in and see a doctor so I headed to Williamsfield clinic, who triaged me and sent to the emergency room.
I won’t go into how long my day was at the emergency room, available beds, staffing and the incredible load any VA hospital contends with means I was there most of the day. So long story short, my X-ray showed pneumonia. Admission was the first option, but I hate hospitals and they were (are always) short beds and I begged to go home, I assured my doctor I had the friend support to be safely supervised and I would return immediately if I worsened. The ED got me my meds, some high tech antibiotics, breathing support, and pain killers and I went home.
My friend who was with me that day was a saint and support and kept making me laugh (maybe just to get back at me, cuz it sure hurt when I laughed). Both our electronics ran out of juice, and there wasn’t much in the way of healthy food choices, but the day could have been worse, after all I got to go home. Once home, my friends and family rallied and I was better taken care of than any hospital could have done. I was/am thankful all the amazing love, support, soup and time.
Which is about where my gratitude stopped. See, I wasn’t going to be released to work for a week, and well I am barely self-supporting, and I like to think of myself as indispensable, and I would be missing 3 days of work. Actually, the truth is, it is hard to find a subsititute nurse if I am not there, and the family truly needs full-time nursing, that’s why they have us. I also care about my patients and like the family I serve, and I have a strong sense of responsibility. If I say I will be somewhere, I expect myself to be there.
Then there was that whole thing of my human “doing”ness rather than my human “being”ness. I was actually too sick to do anything. So I got a little whiny on FaceBook, and more than a little “why”ney during my morning meditation/chat with my Higher Power. I had just gotten the best ever medical news so why this, why me, why now, why can’t I ever just get ahead a little before my finances wobble again….bleah, bleah, bleah. I really went on and on about money, and my kids (who are grown and awesome but can always use your prayers too) and just when I was about to work myself into a full blown pity party I read this blog http://razzzberries.blogspot.com. Yeah. HUMBLED!
And my self-pity is silenced as I stop thinking about myself and start praying for some one else.
Big ol’ reminder of how incredibly lucky I am, and if the radiation damage to my lungs means I am more susceptible to this pneumonia kind of thing, then I am putting on my big girl panties and being more cautious, but also realizing stuff happens. Good stuff and bad stuff, and it really isn’t about me.
I am blessed. I healed quickly, I usually do. I know a small part of this is my cumulative life changes from all the good advice over the years. I eat healthy (primarily organic vegan), I exercise, I am less obese than this time last year; another part is all the threads of love that hold and balance me like a kite in flight; but there is another part of my incredible resilience that I just call “Miracle” . That part is the result of all the prayers, spells, meditations, candles and energy work sent on my behalf over the last couple decades from multiple people of multiple faith paths, and for them I am grateful.
Laurie will be there now each morning, along with you, if I know your name when I talk to the Universe; there with my sons and their triumphs and times of poor judgement; there with my daily stranger and those who I struggle to forgive or be forgiven by; there with me and my gratitude and resolves. I hope you all continue the favor for me because whether you believe in the divine or just in the physics of energy, your words of encouragement and healing have changed my life, allowed my life; but just this month if you don’t have time for an addition, let Laurie take my place in your prayers, because I would really like her to have as much magic as I have had.
P.S. For those with questions about pneumonia click here
Here is Laurie’s blog link again.