My First 911 Call

I say my first 911 call because I know there will be more.  I have a terminal illness.  I watched my father live with cancer.  I watched my sister live with cancer.  I watched my mother deal with being paralyzed on her right side as the result of a stroke.  Sadly, I did not pay enough attention to how they lived with it.  I really wish I had been more attentive, and a better caregiver; a much better member of their respective villages.

Here's what happened last Monday.  Because of my treatment the previous Saturday, I knew what was coming.  You learn to predict when the side effects will hit.  I took some Imodium as a preventative.  Choked on the damned pill.  Have you ever seen one?  They're really small.  Leave it to me....  You would think that I could just cough it up, right?  Nope, that sucker was stuck.  So, I called (as well as I was able with a very quiet, raspy voice) to my boys, who were (thank God) home.  David heard me and came running.  He got Jimmy.  While Jimmy tried the Heimlich, David called 911.  Then they switched.  Finally, it seemed to move enough that I could breathe easier.  It was still in my throat, but it wasn't blocking my airway.  We decided at that point to call off the ambulance, as there was nothing they could do, and I seemed to be fine.  They got the word just before they turned onto our street.  The boys watched them go past, turning their lights off.  So, with my really sore throat, I changed my clothes and got myself to work.  Yes, it was scary.  Yes, it will probably happen again.  That's the reality of living with a terminal illness.

Why did it take me a week to write this post?  Because after it happened on Monday, I went to work.  After work, I went to my Uncle Charles' viewing.  It took us two hours to drive there (rush hour traffic), and it was packed.  We stayed until 8:30, which was already past my bedtime.  Tuesday was the funeral.  It started at 10:30, with an hour's worth of speakers before the Mass, then the longest funeral procession I have ever seen to the cemetery, then the reception after.  Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I've been pulled from my regular duties at work to help out elsewhere.  ...and I had to say no to a wonderful woman who I usually say yes to when she needs me to help out.  I felt like I was being pulled in three directions at once.  This week I will manage that better (she says now, lol).  I also did a bit of the grocery shopping, which is unusual.  This weekend was spent resting and knitting some of those cute pink hats that have cat ears for some friends.  I still have two more to knit before this weekend.  I also had physical therapy appointments, and a dental appointment today.  That did not go well.  That's the subject of a complete other post.  Let's just say I'm ready to just let my teeth rot out of my head right now.

Why do I sound grumpy in the last paragraph?  Mostly because of the dental appointment.  I'm incredibly disheartened by what chemo has done.  As an extension of that, those things in the last paragraph that I mentioned that I did last week that made me so tired?  Normal things, every one.  They shouldn't have made me tired, exhausted really.  Mostly, it's because I think it really sucks that two wonderful teenage boys have to deal with this.