The Tower of Terror ride at California Adventure hoists you up, up, up until the ride comes to a sudden stop and double doors open to the outside world and an amazing view of the park and Disneyland in the near distance. Just enough time to take a breath of California air before the bottom drops out of your world and you plunge to the ground, taking away that last breath and leaving your stomach behind. Screams fill the elevator shaft.
That’s what coughing up blood is for me. The bottom falls out of my life in milliseconds. Hope, stability, calm – they leave me in the time it takes to snap my fingers. It’s amazing how so much chemical reaction can take place in the body in such a short period of time, elevated blood pressure, panic, adrenaline and sweat all mixed together in a nice “fight or flight” cocktail – connecting me to my prehistoric brothers. But this ain’t no Woolly Mammoth hunt. The enemy twisting me into knots lives inside and is microscopic. I’d rather face a furry elephant and take my chances with a spear.
When I look at the red blotch on the paper towel, I wonder where this event is going to lead me. Hospital? Cipro Rx? What is the first step I have to take? Email the doctor right after I put the blood through a series of questions.
Is it new or old?
Pure or mixed with mucus?
Volume? Teaspoon or tablespoon? More? These the questions the CF team will ask.
Lesson I’ve learned: get to the Ativan bottle immediately. If it’s a bad bleed, my rising blood pressure becomes a water-filled garden hose left out on a 100-degree day.
The scales of my life needed balancing this week. I was too happy thanks to the Broncos returning to the Super Bowl for the first time in 15 years. There’s a lot of orange and blue in our house right now and we’re preparing for the big game. Should I paint my face? Color my hair orange? These were the tough questions being asked before I sprung a leak.
There is good news. The bleeding stopped the next day and has stayed away. However, it creates a mental state of waiting for it to happen again. Every cough is processed carefully before I get the courage to look at what I coughed up. So far so good.
I just have to make it 8 days to see the Broncos in the Super Bowl. Eight days.