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.