Everything was going fine this morning preparing to leave for my trip until I coughed a dry cough – red alert. It was a clear sign my cold had crossed the imaginary barrier of my throat and entered my chest – chest cold, red alert.
The monkey tossed a wrench. But was I reading the sign correctly?
I don't know why, but this photo seems appropriate. (Creative Commons: soldiersmediacenter)
I went through my routine. And when the driver knocked, I hugged my wife and left. And the first thing I did when I got in the car was take a Xanax. But it was too late. Each suppressed dry cough was like someone shaking me to wake up.
The closer we got to the airport, the greater the thought of “turn around” became. Turn around. Turn around. Go home. Do not go, turn around. TURN AROUND. BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN.
At least a dozen scenarios played through my head of what might happen – what I would do when I got to New Jersey and this chest cold turned worse. What would it be like to be in the cold weather, a hotel room, sick? What would it be like to have a dry hacking cough on the plane and have people stare? What would it be like to go through security and have to open my bag of CF paraphernalia and explain it?
How would I get home? How would I get home?
Too overwhelming, go home.
As we exited the freeway, I felt warm. And as we got closer, hotter. When we were about a mile away, I knew I couldn’t get on the plane. My face was flush, my heart beating in an uneven drum beat – hard beats, ready to release blood into my lungs.
When the driver pulled up to Terminal 1, I told him I was having a panic attack and couldn’t get on the plane. I asked him if he could drive me home or send another car to pick me up. He was very nice and said he could drive me home. But he suggested we wait five minutes, take a deep breath and see if I changed my mind. I called my wife and told her I couldn’t get on the plane. I had made my decision. No sense waiting five minutes.
The driver took me home. I handed him an extra 40 bucks. And in the dark of morning, I wheeled my suitcase into the house.
Now had I written this post this morning, the title would have been: This blog post written by the world’s biggest idiot. I felt that way for making the decision not to get on the plane. Wimp, wuss, were a few of the words I used. However, the cold worsened throughout the day. I’ve had a dry cough and been out of it, tired, groggy from the stress and the virus.
But, for once, I made a correct decision. An uncomfortable decision, but the right decision. It didn’t feel like it at the time, but it does now. I’m fighting a chest cold, which may put me in the hospital. I have no doubt had I gone, I would have been in deep s**t with this thing.
So, the part of me that felt like a complete wuss at the airport for not getting on the plane, now feels good because I made the difficult decision not to go and to ensure I was in the best position to fight the cold and, with luck, stay out of the hospital. That is yet to be determined. It’s 50/50 at best right now.
Here’s my last thought tonight: I hate cystic fibrosis. It can kiss my ass.