But I can't help it.
You see, I was on that very trajectory. I had septic shock. I didn't know it. Didn't think I was that sick. Thought I had a run-of-the-mill stomach bug. Hemmed and hawed about even going to the emergency room on day three. And then it hit me. I was on a new immunosuppressant medication for my Sjogren's. Maybe that's why I wasn't getting better. Holy heavens, what took me so long? What was I thinking? I'm the very one who spent five weeks in the hospital as a child because I had appendicitis for four full days before going to the ER. Wouldn't you think that I would have learned my lesson?
So now I'm left with flashbacks of things that happened (or I imagined happened) in the ER. I'm left with the knowledge that - given another couple of hours without medical attention - I would have died. I'm left with regrets that I didn't tell my family how much I loved them as the nurses and doctors scurried about; trying to bring my blood pressure up from 50/30. And for the life of me I just can't imagine why I wasn't praying to God above to save my very life.
Was I just going to lie there and die fat, dumb, and happy? Was that how my life was going to end? With me not having a clue?
Sure, there were times when I was completely out of it, but at some points I was lucid. When they told me that I would have to go to the I.C.U., I told them it was better because I wouldn't have to wait as long for a bed there. Now that's thinking for you! When my nose and lips turned blue, I somehow agreed with them that Sjogren's often makes my lips blue. What? I manage to complain about a lot of symptom, but circulation problems that bring about blue lips has never been one of them. When they expressed concern over the fact that my skin was mottled, I told them that I often get rashes. Yeah, like WHEN I'M ABOUT TO DIE!!!! I get rashes then!
And what about the good catholic girl that I am? I briefly thought about getting last rights but knew that every priest I know - including the hospital chaplain - was at the very same birthday party I was supposed to be attending at that very moment and I didn't want to bother them. Yes, I was to be the first one to arrive at those pearly gates and tell St. Peter that I arrived there in a state of sin because I had the misfortune of dying on a Saturday night didn't want to be a burden to anyone.
And then I heard music that no one else did. Not angelic chanting, mind you, but marching music. . . like John Philip Souza music. Yes, I suppose I was planning on high-stepping on in to the afterlife to Stars and Stripes Forever.
Like I said. . .
Oh yes, and lucky. Very, very, lucky!