I’ve never been so sick as I am right now.
I can’t feel my fingers and toes.
My legs feel like they’re going to collapse.
My eyes are swollen shut.
My mouth is a mass of ice crystals.
I feel like I’m drowning.
But I’m not.
I’m in a new hospital room with two doctors.
My first doctor tells me I can call him and tell him I need urgent blood work.
I don’t have any blood work, but he does have a history of heart problems.
My second doctor, who’s not as familiar with the symptoms, tells me he’s got to be very careful about what he does.
He’s got a history with the heart.
I tell him my dad was in cardiac arrest while I was still in elementary school.
He tells me, “My father was in a coma for four days after his heart stopped.”
I have a feeling this will be a long day.
I call my dad, who is still recovering, to see what I can do.
I talk about what I’ve been feeling and he says, “It’s very rare for someone who is dying to have this type of reaction.”
That’s the first thing he tells me.
I ask, “But I can die?”
He says, and I’ve lost it: “I can die.
It’s just a very small number of patients.”
I tell the doctor, “I have a lot of stuff I need to do, but I don “t want to have to do everything right now.
“”I want to be prepared for the worst,” he says.
He reminds me that we need to be careful.
He says I don”t have to be afraid of dying, that I can just do the best I can with what I have and I’ll be OK.
I try to explain to him that this isn”t the time to be scared.
I”m trying to be patient.
I want to stay focused on what I need.
I have to learn how to work with this, because it”s a big, big deal.
He doesn”t think I can handle the stress of the day.
He calls a nurse and tells her to call me if there’s any changes he”s going to need to make.
I explain what I”ve been feeling, and she asks me to call my mom.
I need her to get me a phone call and come pick me up.
I pick up my mom and drive out of the hospital to meet her.
I told her to come pick up.
The nurse walks over and says, I”ll see you in the car.
I will take you to your house and take care of you.”
I feel terrible, but then she asks, “What are you doing?”
She goes over to the bed and puts my phone in my hand.
I say, “You want me to stay there and watch?”
She says, You want me?
No, I don;t have time to watch you.
I get in the truck and drive off.
As I drive out the hospital, I hear her say, I can wait here.
“I call her back.
She says it is the last time I will see her.