I had cold symptoms for 2 weeks that started with a sore throat but mostly involved just a dry cough. I continued to work but towards the end of the first week of symptoms, the cold seemed to move to my right side; I had a swollen eye and my ear was plugged. Two days later my left eye also was affected. My eyes were red but it didn’t feel or look like pink eye so I continued to work through the second week with no improvement but no new symptoms. I was still running, swimming, socializing and found a new place to live for me and my girls for April 1.
Saturday night, February 22, I walked into our downtown and back (an hour total). It was 10 pm when I returned and I felt a bit chilled. It had been drizzling, I walked home quickly so just thought I was little sweaty and cooling down. I sat on the couch and put a blanket around me and then I got a bad headache, which is very rare for me. I found some Tylenol but it did nothing. Three hours later I took Ibuprofen. I was still chilled and shaking and thought I was definitely coming down with the flu.
I continued piggy backing between Tylenol and Ibuprofen getting no relief. I had no appetite all day Sunday and mostly slept but managed to have some soup Sunday night. It did not sit well. I called in sick for Monday. I slept 10 hours through the night and into the next morning. Monday at noon I tried to make a smoothie. I would get up from the couch and put one ingredient in the blender and have to sit back down because I thought I was going to pass out. I did this 3 times for each ingredient. My oldest daughter came home for lunch and blended it for me and brought it to me. I could barely drink it. I slept and then threw it up. I was not able to eat anything else after that and by Monday night I couldn’t even keep fluids down. I texted my boss that I was not able to come in Tuesday either.
Late Tuesday morning my boss contacted me to see how I was doing. I had slept 11 hours, had no energy or appetite and was still nauseous. I told him I thought I should go to the hospital. He offered to drive me. I told him that I thought I needed to call an ambulance because there was no way I could even sit up to be a passenger in his vehicle, i was still vomiting even though there was nothing in my stomach and I could not envision being able wall into the hospital and wait.
The paramedics tried to measure my pulse and oxygen level in the ambulance. They placed the oximeter on every finger and thumb of each hand and were not able to get a reading. They took my blood pressure when I arrived at Emergency and it was 82/51. My temperature was 38,3. A nurse was assigned to stay with me and she said she would not leave my side. They placed me in an isolation room, started IV fluids and they took blood. They moved me to another room where the doctor came and told me that I was a very sick woman. She said that my kidneys were shutting down. She said for a young woman like me that was very concerning and that I would have to stay in the hospital for at least a couple of days until they figured out what was going on. They started me on 2 different IV antibiotics.
I remained in Emerg for 11 hours. I texted my girls and my boss and then I had a long time to just lie and think. I thought about my life and was very grateful for the life I had been given and the life that I led. There was no one that I felt I had wronged and needed to apologize to or that there was anything left unsaid in any of my relationships. I was concerned for my girls and what they would do without me. We were moving April 1, would they still go; I hoped my ex would pay for their needs but I had my doubts and I wondered how they would pack everything themselves. I suspected my friends would step in and help. I wondered if my ex and Janice would move into my place and look after my girls but I doubted that. I was disappointed that I never did get the money my ex owed me and wondered what would happen to our court case; maybe my lawyer would carry through on behalf of my estate so she could get her bill paid, too. I wondered if anyone would step in to advocate on behalf of my youngest daughter to ensure she received from her dad everything that she needed and was entitled to receive. I knew there was nothing in him that would say, “I calculate that I owe your mom $117,000. I will provide each of you with half of that money.” Nope, he would be dancing on my grave and would not give up a dime without being ordered by a judge to do so.
These were all just thoughts that didn’t matter. They floated through my mind and left. I never wanted to leave my girls or leave them in a precarious position with a parent who didn’t want to parent but I was content to die. I was at peace. There was nothing I felt I still had to do. I tried my best to do what was right for me and my girls in the time that I was given and I did my best. I wondered if anyone at my volunteer job, as an advocate to help others fight poverty, would know what happened to me. I didn’t want them to think I just quit. I left all my unfinished business behind though and started to focus on the hope of seeing my parents, my grandmother, my dog who just passed in the summer and my pets before him and my very good friend who had just passed 2 months earlier as well as 3 other friends who were in my mind at that time. As sick as I was, I was ready to let everything on this earth go.