Settle in for a little story. As usual with me, there’s some drama and a little bit of humor.
You guys remember when I told you I’d become sick earlier this year, so sick I almost died? I wanted to tell you a little more about that.
I was getting ready to send in my manuscript from what’s called an “R & R”–revise and resubmit.
Even though I didn’t know they’d accept it, I just had a feeling. This was it, my chance to break into publishing.
First, let me set the stage a little. I’d had surgery in December. And even though it was over a month later (an awfully long time to show symptoms of becoming septic), I knew something was going wrong for well over a week before I ended up in the hospital.
I was sick, and it got worse every day. I called my surgeon; they called me in medicine for the nausea. Not uncommon with the type of surgery I’d had.
I went to see my surgeon. He told me that even though I’d been running a fever well over 102 degrees, I wasn’t running one at that point, and he just assumed I’d had a stomach bug.
Two days later, I was violently ill, my fever was 104 degrees. I would become desperately chilled as it spiked, then sweaty and hot when it broke. Over and over I went through this. Finally, I went to the hospital, no longer able to say I was going to be okay. I was also a little wonky in the head–a serious fever will do that.
I was hospitalized for eight days while they tried to get this raging infection under control. And one doctor saved my life.
I was trying to remember why I had to fight to live (my kids and husband) and this pervasive question kept popping up. Who would edit my book if I died? Who would sign the publishing contract? No one. It would never see the light of day.
In comes the internal medicine doctor I was referred to. I’m laying in the hospital bed, half out of it, half blasé because I was too sick to be scared, even.
I was not too sick to giggle when the doctor introduced himself, because apparently on the inside I am twelve. “Dr. Ridenhour.” Pronounced RIDE-an-hour. It just struck me as perversely funny and I swore right then that if he helped me, I’d put him in a book someday.
Lucky for me, he was not only an attractive man with a cool name, he was brilliant. He pinpointed right away that I had an internal abcess from the surgery and had slowly gone septic. My body was so close to going into septic shock, I still have flashbacks to the smells of that hospital room, the tastes of the saline as it hit my IV. The night before they gave me antibiotics (finally), when my fever had spiked to 105, and I was having trouble breathing. The nurses packed me in ice and stood around my bed watching anxiously. I was in serious trouble. And I was going to die.
I know not everyone is religious, but I know God brought Dr. Ridenhour into that room to save my life. Not just, obviously, for my manuscript (that is publishing next month–yay!), but for my kids and husband. My husband had lost his mother and best friend only seven months prior to my illness. He couldn’t lose anyone else. My kids had lost a loving great-grandfather and their grandmother just nine months before. And for me. I’m not done living yet.
At the time, I was too sick to be scared for myself. I worried about my family and my book. Now, I get chills when I think how close I came to not having this year, and however many more I have left. My daughter celebrated her twelfth birthday last month and I almost missed that. It hits at times like that.
So, the moral of the story is threefold. One, don’t take even one day for granted. Two, look for Dr. Ridenhour in a book of mine someday. And three, buy my book next month because I almost died and you’d never have seen it. It’s a flipping miracle book.
Click here to find out more about my book and to access pre-order links.The Time I Almost Died: A killer infection, hot doctor, miracle book, and advice on living. Click To Tweet