When life attacks

I spent yesterday afternoon in the ER – as a visitor. My wife went there because she had the panic attack of all panic attacks and her blood pressure skyrocketed. I wished I could have changed places with her.

I felt terrible that life had overflowed her bucket with lice, my hemoptysis, her crazy workload, and upcoming trip. I realized I was seeing a version of me when I go through anxiety attacks. It scared me because she’s been bulletproof up till now.

What’s kind of nutty is that I had to take a Xanax when she went to the ER because I had a panic attack. It was amusing when the doctor gave her a dose, too, as I was there to drive her home. I smiled because my little pill had kicked in for my pharmaceutical joy ride to the heavens. Sure, Doc, I’ll drive her home. My rocket ship is parked outside and ready to blast off. Maybe we’ll stop at a bar on Mars and knock down a couple of Xanax chasers.

It’s amazing how life and work become so overwhelming and hard to keep up with some days. My sincere thanks to the corporations for ratcheting up worker productivity the last few years. Companies may be right that high productivity is profitable, but they fail to factor in the cost of increased health care expenses. Even my healthy co-workers have problems dealing with the load. Some of them make secret ER visits and numerous doctor visits for their possible stress-related illnesses.

Tomorrow, my wife leaves on a business trip.  I want her to go because it will be good for her. But I don’t want her to go because if I cough up a lot of blood, it’s going to be one crazy time taking care of my daughter. She’ll have to stay with friends or hang out with me in the hospital. “Daddy, let’s go over your symptoms again. From what I can tell you’re experiencing what’s known as a panic attack. Now get over it so I can go back to playing Pokemon?” Okay, I will for you, bossy little princess.

The next three days are going to be like walking around with wet dynamite in my chest, hoping I don’t jostle it. Wish me luck.

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It’s alive! IT’S ALIVE! (In Dr. Frankenstein voice)

Bleeding from my lungs is a living creature or entity. I’m not sure what to call it. I just know it’s alive and looks for opportunities to take me down and make me pay for everything bad I’ve done in my life. It’s karma living inside of me waiting for payback. And payback is a real ball buster.

We went to Disneyland yesterday. I didn’t quite feel 100%. Something was off both mentally – the panic attacks of earlier this week – and physically – a possible virus. So, the Disney adventure started with me battling myself and trying to avoid a full-on anxiety attack in the Magic Kingdom, with one of my primary concerns being bleeding from exertion. Luckily, the blood didn’t happen until I walked in the house last night. Lucky me, as I’d have hated it if it had happened in public on a ride.

The blood isn’t filling the sink, as it has in the last five months, but it’s hard to tell which direction it will go. I started cipro right away. No more waiting a day to see if the doctor approves it – I awarded myself an honorary doctorate in medicine and green-lighted the antibiotic. Go for it.

Today, the blood seems to be retreating slowly. I have a father/daughter dance tonight and my daughter’s birthday party is tomorrow. So, I’m hoping I can hold out and the cipro will work this time. Here’s crossing my fingers I don’t cough up blood during a dance tonight,  which would be like a scene out of a Stephen King movie.

These are the days when I cannot express my sincere hated of cystic fibrosis with words. I lack the ability to describe the depth of my anger. And if any healthy dad comes up to me tonight crying about his life, I’ll probably have to punch him in the nose and ask him what his life would be like if he had to worry about bleeding all the time. Give someone like that CF for six months and then lets see how much they complain about what they have or don’t have in life. They’ll feel like they won a 100 million-dollar jackpot the day their six month sentence is up.

To be continued, as always.