This has been a pensive couple of weeks for me as at this time two years ago I was hanging out in the ICU of Marquette General Hospital learning a lot about living, dying, choosing, and how important oxygen is. At this same time last year the thoughts were actually too overwhelming for me to sort through and write about, so I let the date pass by barely noted. I took it so far as to let blogging pass by altogether and only wrote 3 posts in 2012. Now I feel just that much farther away from the experience that if feels like a good time to capture some of the memories and begin to share some of my learning. Bear with me please, as this is likely to get long. I’m giving myself full permission though, as pivotal moments in one’s life should not be forced to meet our tweet-sized attention spans.
It is an incredibly frightening thing to not be able to take a breath. I have easily accessible flashback images in my mind of my body bucking, eyes wide, wrists in restraints, as I struggled to suck oxygen into pneumonia-filled lungs. “This must be what it feels like to drown”, I thought. “If I could gasp harder, maybe I could get enough.” But there was no room at the inn… no place to put a breath, even if I could manage to coax it into my crowded lungs.
And then… (more…)