It was three years ago today that I woke up in the I.C.U., unaware of my surroundings or what happened.
As I slowly came to, the TV next to me was turned to the news, and the weatherperson kept talking about the Memorial Day weekend. It then dawned on me that it was Memorial Weekend…May 26 to be exact.
Then I started freaking out because the last thing I remember was being in the emergency room on May 14, getting treated for chest pains. I remember the nurse giving me an I.V. to bring down my blood pressure, and then she placed a nitro tab in my mouth…and that was all I remember.
It was twelve days later and I had no idea what had happened.
Then I realized I had a breathing tube in my mouth and I was strapped to the bed. It felt like forever until the nurse came in, and I couldn’t even talk with the tube in me. I couldn’t get any questions answered and I was so scared.
I’m telling you all of this because it was also three years ago that I got a new lease on life. I shouldn’t even be here writing this post.
My heart failed once on the table. I spent three weeks on a ventilator because my lungs were too weak to breathe on their own. Finally they did, but I was barely getting 60% oxygen, so I still needed help breathing.
When I think back to three years ago, waking up so scared and not knowing what happened, then finding out how close to death I really was. Realizing I still had a lot of work ahead of me if I wanted to live.
And I did so want to live.
I am so happy to have had these three extra years. I hope to have many many more. But it hasn’t been an easy fight.
I want to thank my friends Rhonda, Carol, and Patti for visiting me in the hospital for the two months I was in there. It was nice to see some friendly face amongst all the nurses and doctors.
But to truly make it to today, I had to really make some hard changes in my life. I had to give up drinking alcohol. Unless I have to try a drink for an article, I don’t drink anymore. Water’s my choice. I had to be more active, which is hard with MS, and even harder when I had to deal with the cancer last year. I have to remember to take all my pills every day. If I don’t, I really feel it.
I’ve had to work to increase my stamina, which is still not at its peak since the cancer treatments, but it’s getting there. I have to push through the fatigue that comes from both the MS and the anemia I have.
But I’ll gladly do it all because even on my really bad days, I’m still alive. And I intend to stay that way.
So no invites to sky diving or bungee jumping, mkay?
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