Saturday, May 3, 2008

Blessings - Thanks to Fletcher Allen Health Care, My Family & My Friends

Please view this short poem by recently deceased and forever lovely Irish poet John O'Donohue

I just adore that poem! A beloved person sent it very recently to warm my heart. Thank you my sweet Pepper.

Can it only be six weeks ago?

Yes. Indeed, it was. Six weeks ago. St Patty's night, it was.

There have been other events that have changed my world. Altering it unabashedly. Crashing through all the nonsense. There was the birth of my two children. I can remember the next morning seeing the headlines of that morning's Burlington Free Press realizing the world had suddenly changed forevermore.

Little did I know six weeks ago, when I drove myself to the hospital in Burlington doubled over in agony I would be changed once again. That the earth, the moon and the stars and all my universe would be changed irrevocably. That my debris field left behind by my inner tornado would ever so slowly bring light and wisdom.

After dinner that Monday night, I felt poorly. I emailed a friend saying I was not going to be able to speak with them later on as I was just not up to it. I sat down to watch a little TV when a searing pain knifed through my lower right rib cage. My breathing shallowed so that I could only inhale about 25% of my normal intake. I was scared.

My thoughts raced and spun at 90 mph. Was I having a heart attack? Was it some weird flu? Why did it hurt so much? What the hell should I do? I kept asking over and over and over...What do I do under such stress all alone...

Okay. To bed I thought. I'll surely feel better in the morning after some sleep. After all, I had broken my left leg 4 weeks before this and I was tired. Crutching it up the stairs I hopped into my room and plopped on my bed. As I lay back, the pain became exponentially worse. My dog, Marley, and my cat, Gretzky, who'd followed close behind up the stairs as they do when I shut down the house each night looked at me and I could sense they asked, "What is the friggin' matter with you?" Marley attempted to jump on to my lap as she could sense my pain, my fears but it wasn't the right time for all that.

As I attempted to lift myself into a sitting position again, I moaned. I knew then nothing was right at that moment. Still what to do... I was alone. Noone was there. I am divorced. My kids weren't coming for a few more days still. Should I call someone? Naw. Don't want to intrude and what would I say?

With my cell phone in hand and 911 in the cue waiting for me to press the button should I pass out, I struggled on.

Thoughts of dying did come to mind then. Dear God I thought, "is this it?" Am I going to fall over tits up on my bedroom floor? Gone. So Suddenly?!

I thought of my two children. I thought of my animals and my family and friends. What is the matter with me? What is this pain? Go away!

In a brief moment of respite, I thought this is my chance. I crutched it to the top of the stairs and like Jack Nicholson in that hilarious stare UP the stairs from the beach in the movie "Something's Gotta Give" I too thought Jesus I don't think I can make that. It looked like an Escher drawing. That staircase went on and on to forever and a day.

Thank God I made it down not one but two flights to my car at the basement level.

In the car, clutching my side, with my face leaning against the side door window, I set out for the hospital in Burlington. I know crazy right? But I thought they'll release me at 3 AM. I'll need a ride home. Who on Earth could I wake in the middle of night like that? So, off I went with 911 in my hand.

As I slowly walked through the hospital doors I stated I was having trouble breathing. I'd oft heard that was the quick way in and it surely was.

After a CT scan, and a million other things the ER nurse explained I would be admitted to medical intensive care and that I should call a close family member and a local friend too. It didn't occur to me then why they asked me to do that. They were in essence saying you are in one helluva lot of do-do and you best notify someone in case you croak. It was that serious.

The ER nurse, kind woman that she was, explained that my lungs were filled with clots and that I had a 5″ pulmonary saddle embolism. All Greek to me of course. I just tried to keep my sense of humor in tact as they hooked me up to more and more intravenous gear.

Three weeks after my release, I had a follow up with hematology. They said that was the largest clot they had seen anyone survive. They showed me how all 5 areas of my lungs had been comprimised with many, many, many clots. They further explained that just one of them, just one, could have been a released and convicted killer.

Every medical person that spoke to me in the hospital and since has remarked I have many, many guardian angels. I lost my mother recently and I believe my Mum reached down with her hands and love and all her might and said NO! It is not HIS time. No. Not yet. He has more to do. More to learn. More love to give. And more love to receive. Not yet. No!

Thank you MOM! I know! I just know!

I could never thank ALL, I really mean it, EVERYONE at the Fletcher Allen Hospital from the most accomplished MICU doctor to the Muslim woman that swept my floor around my bed for all their kindness, care, professionalism, intelligence and love. It was ALL of that and much, much more that saved me.

To my unbelievably wonderful, loving, caring, children who saw their rock Dad bloodied by his battle but NOT willing to yield. It was scary. I know. The tears. The laughter. And so it goes...Thank you my sweet loves so so much!

And my friends. You visited. You rubbed my feet. You made me laugh. You came back again. You cared for my animals. I love you too.

And my extended family. You dropped everything without a blink. You charged up to check on me. To meet and follow up with my doctors. To help me out of the hospital. To cook and feed me. To love me. I love you too. Thank you so much for such unbridaled generosity of your time and spirit.

My cast is off now. Been about two weeks! Walking a mile and a half to 2 and a half a day. Hard to believe I could barely pull myself out of that hospital bed only weeks ago.

Here I am.

Off for a walk shortly. I will carry you all with me. Appreciatively. Lovingly. Passionately. With clarity. With Joy. With Beauty. With Great Blessings.


Christopher and Tig to you know who