That which does not kill me

So, I’ve been working off and on on this blog entry about the NorthCOM COP conference, and all the thousands of COPS I’ve seen over the past 6 months. But I’m putting that on hold, because I want to write something here, and I don’t want to interrupt it with geospeak, or tech babble, this is far more important. And this has to get out of my head.

In the past 5 months I’ve had two near misses, each one different, and neither related to lifestyle. Back in late March, I had a pulmonary embolism. I lost my breath, my heart pounded, and I thought I was having a heart attack. I didn’t know I was prone to clotting at the time, but I learned pretty fucking quick how it can affect you.

When I got to the hospital, the cool Harley riding nurse informed me that I had a widowmaker, and the fact that I even survived was a 1000 to 1 shot. I bounced around the hospital between ICU and Gen Pop for 6 days, was released and put on a regiment of rat poison to keep my blood from clotting and so that this would never happen again.

Now, this affected me on levels I’m still exploring. I have a daughter whose about to turn 2, and a divorce in the works, so there are a number of activities happening in the 3 ring circus that is Todd’s life. I was released on April 5th, hobbled around for a few days on a walker, got tonnes of crap from those who love me, but thats how you know they love you :).

August 23rd, same year. I think I have heartburn or food poisoning or something. Til I notice my, well we’ll call it stool, is dark black and has a smell like nothing I ever smelled before. I go lay down for a bit, and then 5.9 Earthquake hits. I get out of bed to look for the mushroom cloud and faceplant on my floor. I crawl back into bed, cough up some blood and call 911. Supporting myself on the wall, I slide to the front door and wait. What happens next is a flurry of dropping BP, Saline Solutions, and being knocked out, and waking up in a different hospital two days later. When I wake up, I learn I have a 3″ gash in my esophagus, which I’m still not sure what caused the slice, but something did. And since I was on blood thinners, I was bleeding out internally. The two events are in no way related, other than the medication I was on to stop the first one from happening almost killed me on the second one. Anyway, its 22 days of you’ll be released in 3 days, 4 days, 10 days. I was pretty sure I had died along the way and gone to purgatory. During those 22 days I picked up every complication one can think off, Pneumonia, Blood Borne bacteria, and my bowels shut down (from passing 10 pints of digested blood).

I did a great deal of thinking while I was in bed, well that and bad TV. My conclusion came to I had been living for other people for a majority of my life, and from here on out, I’m living for my daughter first, then me. Well that, and when I do shed this mortal coil, I want to be alert, and have it be quick. I don’t want to be lingered over by doctors until I expire.

My parents are here keeping an eye on me and helping me out a bit, Dr. says I need that for another week or so, I’m not going to argue….I spent 22 days in bed, i’m pretty weak still.

Lessons learned from this….really, the rip in the esophagus has about the same odds as being hit by a car, which is basically what it was. A random event, where internal factors amplified the whole incident. The other lessons I have learned before, life is short and can end at any time, so, make sure those you care about know it, make sure you hug your kids often and well, tell people you love them, and in the end, the job doesn’t mean jack shit, its just what you do for money.

I’m seeing my shrink today for the first time since this happened, so 4 weeks. I have way to much in my head to dump out in a 50 minute session, but her and I will muddle through, we always do.

Not to end on a down note, but 2011 has been a REALLY BAD YEAR, I joke when I say its trying to kill me, but it just might. I could really use a hash mark or two in the W column, these days I feel like the Nationals.

I’ll make it through this, I always do, I’m tough, I’m strong and I have an amazing support network, who will scoop me up when I’m down.

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2 Responses to Unbreakable

  1. John Steffenson says:

    Wow, quite an ordeal, thanks for the post. Hoping the rest of your year is eventless from a medical perspective.

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