Love each breath

My friend Lara introduced me to Broadcast, a few (or maybe more like 8 or 9?) years ago. Their music is amazing, full of talent and ingenuity. The news of Trish Keenan's passing is profoundly sad. It's also a personal reminder, one that conjures tears in my eyes as I remember my own pneumonia experience.

About 10 years ago I got sick, an immediate, sudden sickness one night while at school. I left class and threw up on my way home (throwing up while driving = fun times) and stayed in bed for several days. I went to see the RN at my doctor's office, who said it was the stomach flu and gave me antibiotics. (Huh?) They didn't work and a few days later I still couldn't eat or drink anything without throwing up.
I drove myself over to my parent's house and asked (begged?) my mom to take me to the emergency room. Lots of blood tests, some IVs and after being admitted to the hospital proper, they still had no idea what was going on. Then I developed pneumonia from being in bed so long. I had x-rays daily, antibiotics via IVs, potassium IVs, blood tests a couple times a day and . . . nothing. I had a fever of 102+ the whole time, I think. It didn't change despite the change in medicine.

My mom stayed beside me day and night and I think she went out into the hallway when she needed to cry.

The guy I was dating at the time didn't call or visit and we still dated for a few months after that.  (Note to self, that was stupid and he was totally not worth it.)

I don't remember much about the whole hospital experience except asking the EMTs about the floor mats in the elevator. They had the day printed on them: Have a great Wednesday. I wondered who changed the mats every day.
The EMTs were taking me to a different hospital, one with a better pulmonary specialist.

From Twine

The doctors kept a comforting smile, even when they said they didn't know what else to do. 

Somehow I made it out of there alive. One day, out of the blue, the fever disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. I could finally take sips of water and it stayed down. Do you know what it feels like to drink water for the first time in close to 2 weeks? It's heavy, slimy and thick. The minerals and additives are apparent and it leaves a slick coating on the tongue. That first sip is an experience you don't forget.

A couple days later my dad brought me my first meal. You know what he brought? Spicy vegan chili. I didn't eat it, not after 10 days of endless vomiting, but the effort was thoughtful and definitely memorable.

So this news reminds me that the past 10 years have been (and the future ahead is) my second chance. I need to look at the tiny scars from the probing needles that dot my hands and arms and feel each breath with gratitude. I need to keep the thankfulness and love in my heart with every pumping inflation of my lungs. I need to embrace every single moment for there was a time when those moments seemed uncertain.

And a few links to distract you from the heaviness of my story:
  • So maybe not uplifting, but it's important we all know about the deregulation of GMO alfalfa. (!!??) Boo hiss!!  Onto the uplifting:
  • A little signature on an email I recently received took me to Small for Big. Through them I found Romp. So much cuteness packed into that shop. Sister store to the equally fantastic Twine.
  • I just spent the past half hour reading this and looking up all the references I didn't understand and adding any Bill Murray flicks I haven't seen to my netflix queue. Yes, Bill Murray, America does need you to make us laugh.
  • Another post by me, today. This one is not all personal mushiness like the story I just shared--Visit me at Modish for Petals and Pedals: Rooftop farming's leading female: Annie Novak.

1 comment:

Ashley said...

"This news reminds me that the past 10 years have been (and the future ahead is) my second chance."

... Which is exactly what the meaning of your name (the French translation) has to do with -- rebirth. Sweet! (My name's meaning isn't nearly so interesting or prophetic ... but it's not bad in a tree-loving sort of way!)