Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I noticed it just a little after noon. Panic welled up in my chest. It was hard to breathe. But I worked to calm myself down. Took some slow breaths. An hour later I was on the phone to Joe, "I think it's back, come and get me right now."

Twice I've face life threatening infections, once the flesh eating disease and once it's cousin a weird form of gangrene. I fought of the first infection suprising the doctors and myself. Everything returned to normal. That was 11 years ago. The second time was a mere 18 months ago, and this time I ended up in a wheelchair and weak as a kitten. Both times the infection started with a little 'tickle' in my skin. A little after noon, the 'tickle' was back. Near the same area as last time.

All I wanted was to get home and get Joe to take a look. He knows how to recognize the first signs of the infection. So do I but it was in a place that I'd not be able to see. (Don't ask, it's not relevant to this story.) Joe picked me up and I left the office. I told no one. I called a couple of friends on the way home to tell them. I needed to talk and Joe couldn't. He just focused on the road wanting to get home quickly.

Then, once home, he touched the spot where the 'tickle' was and I could feel, and he could see, that it was nothing. Probably just the heat of the day. I collapsed almost in tears on my bed. I didn't want that fight again. I didn't think I'd win a third time.

I'm writing this several hours later. Calm has returned to our home. But I want to state something. Last time I got sick I could walk before the illness. I've been in a wheelchair for almost two years now. And I was just as frightened, just as concerned. My life was as precious to me now as it was then.

There are those that think a life with a disability is a devalued life. Well, not to me. I valued it just as much, maybe more, than I did before. The idea of 'death' did not seem as an appealing 'release' from a life of disability. The stereotype of 'a life not worth living' is hereby declared 'crapola'. I am thrilled to be getting up tomorrow and getting going.

Roll on!


andrea said...

Okay, but Mum says have Joe keep an eye on that spot!

Anonymous said...

Would a mirror (or a set of mirrors) help? Or even a video camera hooked up to your TV set (do you have a camera, at least at home?).

Of course, a second eye is always a great idea for something this important. But so you'd have a way to check for yourself in a pinch, while waiting for Joe to take a better look.

Take care of yourself. I'm glad this time it was nothing.

I assume you know of the organization "Not Dead Yet" which makes some of the same points you raise here.


Nicole said...

I'm so glad it was nothing. Thanks for sharing your feelings. I wish there was some way to make your blog mandatory reading for the masses. You touch my life each day. Thanks!

Jessica Bettcher said...

I am relieved that it did not come back again. I have only met you once, but in that one meeting you touched my heart. I hope that you stay healthy, and happy.

lina said...

Crappola with a capital C - glad to hear you're ok!