It all began two weeks ago when I had trouble breathing. Now when I say I had trouble breathing, I mean I was hunched over gasping for breath, my heart beating out of my chest, the muscles around said chest a vise constricting me, and I was shaking. Did I stop to think this might be a bad thing? No. I thought I had low blood sugar. Yes, low blood sugar.
By the time I reached the kitchen, I was still gasping for air but had a cheese stick to alleviate the low blood sugar. Yes, really. After about ten minutes, I got my breath back and went on with my day which was writing romance. Sitting. Typing. Creating.
I noticed quite a bit of breathlessness when taking breaks. Since I no longer had low blood sugar, I now attributed this to the pain in my knee. This pain in my knee had been excruciating, almost immobilizing me even though PT, massage, chiropractic and ibuprofen had not done much to make a dent in it.
In retrospect this seems silly and even, dare I say it, stupid. But thus was my thinking and obviously not with much clarity.
Fast forward to bedtime. Only taking one break to climb the ten steps to our bedroom, I was once again hunched over the sink trying in vain to breathe while my pulse pounded and my heart attempted to keep up. My hubs who was in bed said very calmly, “you know, if I felt like you, I would go to the emergency room.”
Ok. My husband who NEVER goes to the doctor says this, maybe I should consider it. I did for a brief second before I decided perhaps we should go because maybe I had a reoccurrence of pneumonia. Oxygen did seem in short supply.
At the ER the nurse took one look at me hunched over sweating, gasping for breath and immediately admitted me sans paperwork. I was quickly put on oxygen which brought my levels up from 80 to 92, a pretty good number for Colorado. The doctor and the nurse looked very serious which I found surprising because I was sure I had pneumonia. Long story short, one cat scan later, I was diagnosed with multiple blood clots in my lungs and was being admitted to the hospital.
Because of the seriousness of my condition, I had to go by ambulance to Swedish Medical Center. Since I’m a romance writer I was paying attention to all that was happening to me (I know I’m crazy), I especially wanted to be able to recall the ambulance adventure. I had never been in an ambulance before (and I hope never to again.) I didn’t get lights and sirens because, believe it or not, it would cost $250.00 extra. I was a little disappointed by that. You would think I would be more concerned about the condition my condition was in.
A side note. Sorry ladies, the paramedics were not tall, hot and gorgeous, but they were kind, professional and caring.
If you have to be in the hospital, the tenth floor of Swedish Medical Center is a great place to be. The nurses were awesome. (Now I really hate the misuse of awesome, but these women were extremely impressive and inspired great admiration in me.) In fact, every person who treated me was wonderful, caring and kind.
I found out that nurses (and even one doctor) like to read romance. Whether I’m sick or not, I can talk romance. It’s universal. I found it very cool to be able to say, I’m a published romance writer. I’m many things, but being a romance writer is the most fun and exciting. And I have to say, to write with JA is the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time.
I’m home now, but I wanna shout out to those who took such good care of me and who made something very scary, manageable. Here’s to: Emily, Kim, LaJuanda (I hope I got the spelling right because you girl are a bright light), Michelle, Lindsay, Jayme and Didi. Thanks again and may you never stop reading romances. P.S. Emily, you have a kick ass last name and I just might use it in a future book!
One last thing. If you can’t breathe, don’t waste time like I did. Go to the doctor. Go to the ER. Everyone says I was lucky, but I know God kept me alive so I could continue to write romances!
Breathing better in Denver.
D. P. Fletcher