I opened my eyes. Just enough to see....white. All white. VERY bright...lights....some kind of uniforms...and glasses- everyone was wearing glasses.....masks.......no mouths?
I struggled hard to remember... how did I get HERE? I recognised the place- Edmond Memorial Hospital. The Hospital in the town I USED to live in. WHY?!? "Oh, yes", I remembered, "Couldn't breathe....still can't". I was gasping for air, feeling for all the world, like a wet, hot, Indian Wool Blanket had been thrown over my face, and I just couldn't get rid of it.....
They were asking me questions.. I couldn't think.....I had been running- around Lake Hefner...10 miles all they way around.....I had been 1/2 way around when I began to romanticise about breathing.....how GOOD it must FEEL..... to breathe....freely...Now my legs gave out...I was laying on the pathway..people ran OVER me....JUMPED over me....how would I make it back to the car?!?
I have absolutly NO idea how I made it back, but my next memory is of me watering my plants, still gasping for air, cognisant of the fear that if I LEFT- it MAY be a LONG TIME, if EVER, before I would water them again.
I tried to sit up, but was pushed back down onto the Gurney by.....? some person in....white. They called my father- the split second after I gave them his cell number. He was the ONLY family member in town, just then,
my Mother and Sister both being gone...my Sister LIVED in a different State- she never DID come in for this, this......THING....what were they saying... "she has SARS- Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome.....NO- you cannot see her- we have her in a reverse air-flow room...HIGHLY contagious....NO visitors.... Doctor's with her now....her O2 SATS are at 71% (normal, or ACCEPTABLE, being 97-100%)...... her temp. is 107, oral...... I fell back down onto the Gurney... "damn"- I needed a cigarette- probably out of the quetion, though... I opened my eyes to see my Father, dressed in a Space Suit, (they ALL were)and sounding like Darth Vader, entering the strange room...."What in the Hell is the matter with you?!?", he snarled, I recognised this to be his "caring" mode, so I answered, "Well, Dad- I was out running, and I began to think that I should really, really like to be able to breathe....all of the best people do....a fond hobby of mine, and all", I gasped. He grunted appreciativly. I smiled inside- somehow- I get my dry sense of humor from him, and his SARCASM!!! The KING of SARCASM, that's what I have ALWAYS called him, and, often, I find the need to warn others about my inherited trait. I don't know how long he stayed, but at some point, I forced my burning eyelids open, to see....my running partner. Only, he was dressed in white, too, and held a Clip Board and had a Stethoscope around his neck. He was WAY out of context, and all I could do was stare at him, as if he WERE from another planet. "Young Lady", he began, "You are extremely Ill." (No joke!) "You are extremely ill with Lupus and Scleroderma AND Rheumatoid Arthritis, and I don't know if I can help you". WHAT?!? WHAT WAS HE SAYING?!? I looked him directly in the eye, and it would have been SOOOOO much EASIER if he would have STOPPED jumping around like a maniac, and said, "Would you please at least try?" He said that that I was waging a battle of monstrous preportions, against, not ONE, but THREE Chronic, Critical, and, he was nearly CERTAIN in my case, TERMINAL illnesses. That he had recieved the preliminary test results back, and in his opinion, he was ever so sorry to tell me, but in HIS opinion, I had between 3-6 moths, in which to get my affairs in order. I lay back and felt THAT old feeling- the one that MADE me ride that Bull when I was 16, and told that I couldn't-because I was a GIRL; that one that grabbed the hot frying pan full of oil at age 3, because I was told, NOT TO TOUCH... the one that made me divoce BOTH of my ex-husbands (did I mention that they are BOTH Doctors?? NO? Well, they are.) because they each REFUSED to believe me, called me a Hypochondriac- to my face, AND to other Doctors, and (my second husband)had ALL of my Doctors AND my FAMILY CONVINCED tghat I was a Drug-Seeking Hypochondriac-it was ALL in my head-a MANIAC.
"You have THREE, not ONE, but THREE LETHAL diseases- THREE Strikes against you...."
That was over 8 years ago.
YOU DON'T EVER HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT PROGNOSIS!!!
After all, it's just ONE man's OPINION!!!
Three Strikes-and I am NOT OUT!