Good morning EXer's!!
I wanted to share a story with you. It’s a story of fear but also one of triumph and the human spirit. Please bear with me, as I wanted to include as much as I could in this one life experience that I have recently faced.
It started with what I assumed was a small cold. So many things were going on in my life at the time that this cold began. My wife and I were preparing our home to care for someone who was about to join hospice, as we agreed to help him and give him the best quality of life for the end of his life.
I live in a high mountain valley and the guy, who I’ll call Don from here on out was originally flown to Denver in a flight for life, before anyone realized how bad he really was. Well, to make a long story short, it wasn’t long before we had to go to Denver ourselves to get the paperwork going and get him back up here to Buena Vista.
We converted our living room to a basic hospital room with the help of hospice and eventually got him here. During this time, this nagging cold that I had continued to worsen, but only in the lungs.
Soon I found that I could hardly breathe! At last I realized that this wasn’t going away without some kind of help so the next morning, my wife and I got up, determined to get me to the hospital. But there was a problem. We had to do intake paperwork for hospice before we could leave.
As we continued onward, I found that I could barely catch a breath. The hospice nurse checked my oxygen level and found that it was at about 85%. We rushed through the paperwork and when we were finished, we began the half hour trip to the hospital.
As luck would have it, on the way we ran into road construction and a one lane road. My wife got out and told the flagger that I couldn’t breathe and he actually waved us through. By the time I got to the hospital, I couldn’t even get enough breath to say my name. It really is horrifying to be in a world full of air and still be suffocating like a fish out of water.
They got me in and used the standard nebulizer technique to get me breathing again. After several tests, more of the nebulizer and a shot of steroids, I was released and feeling better with a script for antibiotics which I started the next day.
I made a doctor appointment a week later and during the wait, my breathing worsened again to the point that by the time my appointment day came up, I couldn’t even make it to the desk to check in, and that was with oxygen!
They checked me out, asked a few questions and sent me home with a prescription for five days of oral steroids. I remember thinking that if that didn’t work, that I didn’t think I could make it through the night alive.
One thing that helped and maybe even saved my life was a breathing technique that I had previously found on Thomas’s page where one pursed the lips while breathing. I used that technique a lot during those scary days. Thank you Thomas for that simple life saving technique!
The steroids worked overnight, making me feel much better by the next morning. I finished the prescription and saw the doctor in a week, feeling pretty good. We set up breathing tests in a month in order to try to make an official diagnosis of COPD.
Over the weekend, my condition worsened and by Monday, I could barely breathe again. I called and got another prescription for steroids to get through to my next doctor’s appointment. So this story is still ongoing.
One might wonder what I was thinking during this process. Was I angry? Sad? Depressed? Scared?
At first I was really scared! But after that, when I had time to reflect, the first thought that entered my mind was that If I hadn’t quit smoking almost five years ago, I probably wouldn’t have survived this event, and wouldn’t be writing this right now.
I realized that the temporary discomfort that I’d gone through in the past when I quit actually saved my life! And the fact that I’d already done the most important thing I could ever do to help my current situation gave me a sense of pride.
Sure, I’d messed up in the past with all of those endless cigarettes I smoked. Sure, I lived the lie of addiction that so many of us have, and so many still do. But I climbed out of that world and entered a world of freedom that was so wonderful!
I’ve been given five wonderful years with no real problems just because I took that one step so long ago. Sure, it was hard but it was so worth it! And not just because of how it helped me now, but because of that freedom that’s just waiting for us! All we have to do is desire it enough and then take it. All we have to do is long for that moment when nothing can stop our desire to be free!
Take that step my friends. Don’t worry about what this person or that person is doing. Just take that step for yourself. You’re the only one that can truly make the decision and the only one that can stop yourself!
Take that dream and turn it into a reality and I guarantee that you will never ever regret it!
I’ll see on the the 20th when I return to share the five year anniversary with all of you wonderfully committed people!
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!