I hate staying indoors, especially when it is sunny and 68 degrees outside in November. I love taking a morning rum, especially when it is barely light and a chilly 40 degrees outside. I hate coming home after a day at work and sitting in the house the rest of the evening. I love taking a walk in the dusk of the evening when it is crisp and the air is invigorating. That is why I was so bummed out after my hospital trip last week.
Last Sunday night, the pain stabbed through my left chest and up through my left shoulder like it has in the past. I took two Aleeve and went to bed. I tossed and turned but slept decently through the night. On Monday, I ran and worked out in the morning and had a little bit of pain in my left shoulder through the day. Slept fine on Monday night. On Tuesday, I started to get the pain back so I took it easy and decided against a morning run. Tuesday night I tossed and turned and felt a lot of pain in my left chest again. I stayed up a good portion of the night. Wednesday rolled around and I went to work with the continuous pain shooting through my left chest. By the time I got home in the evening, I was not feeling well. I started to have a shortness of breath and a headache. Jon forced me to head to the Urgent Care, which was closed. I travelled on to the ER.
There I was amongst a lot of people complaining about how long they had been waiting for a doctor. A woman in a wheelchair rolled up to me and gave me some advice “You are gonna be waiting here for hours – I have been out here for four.” She rolled back to her group and began cursing about the length of time in the waiting room. Turns out she was only 28 (looked 50) and she was a heavy drug user and smoker (at least that was what she was divulging to her group). Luckily, I got in to see a doctor within an hour. They hooked me up to an EKG immediately, which was normal. They did chest x-rays and blood work, which were normal. They were perplexed at how a non-smoker, runner, healthy woman could have such severe chest pain. The doctor decided to keep me overnight in order to have me do a stress test in the morning.
I was in such pain through the night. Morphine did nothing. It was one of the scariest times in my life because I could not breathe in without excruciating pain. My breathing was so shallow because if I breathed any heavier, I felt like a knife was stabbing me in my left chest. Because I could only breathe in a little bit, I got anxious that I would not be able to breathe at all if I laid down and fell asleep. Therefore, I did not sleep all night. I stared at the tv, the door, the machines and wondered if I would make it. Yeah, your mind works in crazy ways at 3 am in a hospital bed. Morning arrived and the new doctor was skeptical of a stress test. First, I probably could not perform it because I could not breathe in enough to stress my heart. Second, he saw nothing abnormal in all of the x-rays and tests so he did not think it was a heart problem. He ordered a CAT Scan for me. I had never had one of those before. Not pleasant. When the nurse shot die through my veins, I immediately thought I would throw up metal and swore I had gone to the bathroom on the machine. What a horrid feeling! Luckily, they were all just sensations from the dye. An hour later, the doctor walked in and informed me that I had pneumonia. It had showed up on the CAT Scan test.
Jon picked me up with Maria in the back seat holding a picture of me when I was ten. She loves this picture of me with my super balls (little round rubber balls that they used to sell at the grocery store for 10 cents). She wanted to know how I was feeling and if I would be ok. She led me upstairs when we got home and put me in bed. She proceeded to bring me two flowers from the yard in a small vase and a bag with her and I drawn on it. She showed me the words that she had learned while I was gone. She is so good to me – a natural caretaker.
For the first two nights, I was miserable. The pain killers could not relieve the pain in my chest, and I sat up most of the night looking out the window thinking of my grandma. I just visited my grandma a few weeks ago when she had pneumonia (could I have gotten it from her?) and she told me that she had such trouble breathing because of all the phlegm in her nose and lungs that she just stayed up all night worried that she would lose her breath. I remember thinking that she had to be scared. Now, I experienced first-hand what she felt. And, I can attest to the fact that I have known all along – you can never truly know what another individual feels in a situation until you are in it yourself.
Jon was a doll trying to calm me down but nothing helped. The kids loved life because Jon and I were too tired to do much but let them watch tv!
Finally, on Saturday night, I slept for a few hours soundly. I woke up Sunday feeling a little better. Jon took the kiddies all day so I could rest. He picked them up from Grandma Meg’s and Peepaw’s house where they had played on Saturday and spent the night on Saturday night. Maria got in a three-hour hike with Peepaw and Mario (Mario, being the youngest, gets Peepaw’s shoulders). She walked the entire way. There is something about the farm that brings out the hiker in her because when she is in Columbus or Cincy it is all stroller for her! Mario wore his Spiderman costume the entire time, which gave the grandparents a chuckle. Jon picked them up and carted them to Uncle Mario’s and Aunt Vicki’s house for a day of four-wheelin’ and spaghetti and meatballs. Maria’s dream come true.
They spotted bucks and cows. They petted kittens and saw the dogs. Maria got her toenails painted in Buckeye colors by Bianca. Mario got to wrestle Big Mario. Jon got to ride his four-wheeler around the farm. A good day.
I sat in bed, laid on the couch, watched Sex and the City 2 and the Turning Point. Thought about cooking dinners and reading more books. Came up with new games and activities for the kids. Went stir-crazy eventually.
I rejoiced in seeing the kids and Jon at 8:30 pm. I made the mistake of walking out to say hi and the chest began pounding again. Mario sat on the couch and told me about the bucks. Maria sat at her desk and did her homework. She is getting so good at spelling her words and figuring out what words begin with a certain letter. She had the letter “f” tonight and was able to spell out “friends” and “fish” and “frame” with my help. The smartest kid ever!
I helped Jon put them to bed, and promised I would read Maria 20 books tomorrow night since we did not read any tonight. I love that she wants to read with me! And I promised Mario that he would wake up with Superhero powers if he slept under his Spiderman cover all night. Within 10 minutes of coming downstairs, Jon and I heard the pitter patter of toddler feet running through the hall – he must be confident that he has all the powers he needs.