10 years ago

July 8, 1999. 4 months after my precious Sweet Pea was born. I felt horrible. It was the worst case of bronchitis I have ever had. NyQuil was not taking care of the fever that kept creeping upwards. I felt like I couldn’t move. So I resorted to going to the doctor.

I was probably one of the last patients he saw that day. He agreed that it sounded like bronchitis, and wrote me a prescription. Except…. he wanted me to get a chest x-ray just to make certain.

We went, took the x-ray, and the technician told us to wait until we were cleared. So we waited. And waited. And here came, not the technician, but the doctor, who says, “you don’t have bronchitis, you have an enlarged heart.”

There began a whirlwind of an experience. They did an ultrasound scan which shewed my heart wasn’t enlarged, but that I more than likely had pericarditis, an infection in the lining around my heart, which was causing the pericardium to fill up with fluid. I was immediately admitted to the hospital and a specialist was called. He said I needed this certain procedure that he could perform better at his hospital across town.

So they called the ambulance. At this point, while we are all waiting for the ambulance to come, the doctors are taking turns listening to my heart. I seem to remember that they were listening for a certain sound. But you start to get a little anxious when 3 doctors are standing around you.

It took forever for the ambulance to get there and to get all the paperwork filled out. In fact, Dale took Sweet Pea to a friend of ours and beat the ambulance to the other hospital. (ROFLOL)

Then there was the procedure. I remember being put on a cold metal table and my hands restrained. They took my glasses off, but I still saw the needle. A very large needle. If you ever meet me, I’ll show you. They inserted the needle, and I could feel it. AND. THEY. DIDN’T. BELIEVE. ME. But they gave me an extra shot of sedative just in case. I still felt it, though.

They drew off 1100 cc’s of fluid. You know the 2 liter coke bottles? Roughly half that. I know, because I saw it. And I saw my husband’s worried face in the doorway. And then I conked out from the sedative.

I was in Cardiac ICU for four days. I had an amazing nurse that wasn’t even supposed to be there, but was.

There is so much more to this story, but I’ve already written a book. The point of this story is that I came very close to death 10 years ago, and I am still here today. I try to live my life to the fullest, and I try to live the way God wants me to. I know I fall short quite often, but I am very thankful that he gave me a second chance.

Okay, I have to go teach school now.



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