Snatched from the jaws of death
Ok, so it's not quite that dramatic. It just felt that way.
I started getting sick the middle of last week. Not SICK, exactly. I mean, I didn't feel sick. I just couldn't breathe.
Being a nurse, of course, I put off going to the doc as long as I could. See, I know too much. I know all the bad things that not being able to breathe means. And I just didn't wanna hear it.
I AM the Queen of Denial, ya know.
When I started getting feelings of impending doom, I figured I'd better just give it up. I woke Ziggy up from a nap and said, "Take me to the hospital". Yea, it was that bad. Pass the doctor and go straight to the jaws of hell...uh...I mean the Emergency Department.
We got there, they took one look at me and I was whisked into the ED faster than...I dunno. I can't think of a fast enough analogy right now. My brain is pretty much in a prednisone-fuddle. Anywho, it was much faster than normal.
Wham, bam, thank you, ma'am. I had a pulse ox clipped on my finger (around 80 percent...not good...not good AT ALL), O2 slapped on my face, a heart monitor snapped on my....ahem....ample chest, an IV stabbed in my hand. Then it rapid succession, an EKG, a chest x-ray and even an in-room echo of my heart.
Surprisingly fast, the 12 year old ER doc was back in my room and this is what I heard: "Blah, blah, blah....white count high....blah, blah, blah....COPD....blah, blah, blah....lungs don't look too bad, but there's a nodule in your right lung about the size of a marble...blah, blah, blah...don't see any local lymph involvement...."
At that point, I shut off and though he hadn't even mentioned the word, CANCERCANCERCANCERCANCER echoed through my head. Kinda like in an empty barrel. Like I said, I know too much. THIS is why I didn't wanna come to the hospital. People die in hospitals.
Of course, he went on to say that "this could be the luckiest day of your life. It might be nothing. But if it is, it's small, it's in a good place (there's a GOOD place for cancer??) and we've caught it quick."
Fuck. I wasn't exactly feelin lucky, if ya know what I mean.
I was promptly admitted and scheduled for a CT scan the next morning at 8. I figured it'd be noon before I got it, but was mightily surprised to see them come for me promptly at quarter til 8 the next morning. That worried me, too. It was too fast.
Then is when everything slooooooowed down and we played the waiting game. Fine time for that, eh?
Long story short, I'm ok. The pesky "nodule" is just a granuloma...old scar tissue from past bouts with pneumonia, bronchitis, etc. I caught some as-yet unidentifiable bug that started the whole process. And I have been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease...not surprising after smoking for 30 years or so. DON'T SMOKE, KIDDIES! AND IF YOU DO, PLEASE TRY TO STOP NOW. I know it's not easy. I quit 3 years ago this month and believe me...if I can do it, ANYbody can. I have no willpower, whatsoever. Zip. Nada.
There. There's your public service announcement for the day.
So I'm outa the joint and back home, hopefully on the mend. I think it's gonna be slow goin, though. I still get short of breath walkin from one end of the house to the other (and we have a SMALL home). I NEED to rest, but I also NEED to move. I just NEED to figure out when to do what. Lemme tell ya, though....I'm feelin pretty damn thankful right now.