A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Near Death Experience

One year ago today I went to the hospital. I had been sick with a cold for a few days but now I was feeling very poorly with no signs of any improvement. My wife drove me to urgent care (the emergency room) as I could not get in to see my doctor on such short notice. They laid me out, interrogated me, inspected me, injected me with an IV, withdrew blood and lastly did a chest x-ray. The doctor came back with the results. I had pneumonia among other things. I was given some medication and sent home feeling better than when I came in.

The next morning I felt I was on the road to recovery but by the afternoon I was worse than ever – down for the count. Coughing literally brought me to my knees on the floor. I was so weak it was all I could do to move myself about. We went back to the hospital. My wife helped me into a wheelchair by the curbside then went to look for a parking space. I sat there slouched in the chair, eyes closed, head hung down unaware of my surroundings. I heard a male voice asking me if I was okay. I don’t recall what I said if I said anything at all. He said he was going to take me inside out of the cold. He must have taken me to the counter as I could hear a female voice and the two of them were discussing me. The woman asked me who I was and what was wrong. With no energy to raise my head or even answer, I flopped my arm up on the counter. The hospital wristband from the previous visit was still attached. By then my wife returned and took control.

Punctured with another IV they added a stronger antibiotic into the mix. After a period of time I was sent home where I gradually got better. I took several weeks to get my strength back and feel normal.

I was to see my regular doctor for a check-up after a week. He read the reports mentioning “Pneumonia? People die from pneumonia.” He said it not only once but three times. Days passed and his words continued to echo in my mind. The seriousness of all this really began to manifest itself to me. I had never been so incapacitated, so utterly helpless in my life. I thought back recalling what it says on my mother’s death certificate – “respiratory failure from pneumonia”.

A year later and I am now deathly afraid of ever catching a cold again. A week ago Sunday I was in an indoor arena watching my grandson play soccer. There were way too many people packed in such a confining closed-in space. Scores of little kids with runny noses coughing and wheezing, running about touching everything. Infected parents sitting in the stands breathing on me, everyone spewing germs into the air I was breathing. Early in the week my throat felt funny. I nipped that in the bud but have been dealing with nose problems all week.


  1. Generally people have a cold, then it goes into a flu like process, and matures to pnemonia. Are you saying you had a cold and bingo it went to pnemonia?

  2. You are correct. I suppose the "feeling poorly" part was the flu like process as you said. It was all very nasty and I'll pass on ever doing it again...hopefully.


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