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The Week I Didn’t Die

October 11, 2012 14 comments

(Courtesy, Jack Brauer, Mountain Photographer)

Without getting into a lot of rather gory detail, it’s been a tough week.  Almost died.  Recovered.  Came home.  Now I’m typing these words.

In a nutshell- last Wednesday, an undiscovered ulcer went suddenly and completely awry at the same time, coincidentally, a little case of pneumonia set in.  You haven’t lived until you‘ve tried to breath with pneumonia in your lungs and a bunch of staples in your abdominal muscles.  There were machines doing stuff I never imagined possible in strangely, seemingly disconnected places like nasal cavities and stomachs.

Who says antibiotics don’t work?  I’d like to thank three specific kinds of antibiotics very, very much.  You know who you are.

Spent seven days at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington.  I am not the most gracious hospital guest in the universe.  My immediate goal on these sorts of occasions, is to get out and fast, which was not possible this time.   But they put up with me, saved me, fixed me, put me back together again.  Every single one of them has a heart of gold, as far as I’m concerned.

So, a week later, I walked into the faintly crisp, cool autumn air and took what seemed impossible a few days ago- a deep breath.  And I felt newly alive and grateful for it.  What an amazing gift; to be given a new life right in the middle of my favorite season- which just happens to completely represent what is now the autumn of my life.

See, that was the part in the old Sinatra song where I started getting bummed out about those damned seasons of our lives.  But, no damn it!  It is a beautiful season.  It’s pumpkins, and fresh, cold mornings.  It’s scary ghosts and little kids in ridiculous little costumes.  It’s apple cider and scare crows and romance and straw and the Wizard of Oz.  It’s not the harbinger of a fast on-rushing winter.  It’s the precursor to snow and Christmas and laughter and hot chocolate and fire places and the stinging feel of fresh cold air against the tiny little patches of skin you’ve accidently left exposed.

So thank you Commander of Fate; Oh Great, Holy Handler of the Cosmic Tumblers.  Whoever puts together these strange combinations of challenges seemingly designed to break us- but don’t.  Thank you for the joy and the utter gift of a second shot this late in life.

Thanks also to painkillers.  Winkin’ at ya.