Because I have a wicked imagination and scare easily, I thought I might be dying.
An infection in one of my tonsils was causing a type of pain I’d never felt before. Visions of Roger Ebert were flashing through my head for more than a week.
Maybe I have a tumor.
Maybe I have throat cancer.
Maybe I’m going to lose my ability to speak.
Maybe I’m going to die.
So, I’m a little dramatic. Sue me. It REALLY hurt.
I saw my third doctor in 10 days, and one quick look at my mouth and she admitted me directly to a local hospital Wednesday morning.
It was my son’s 6th birthday. I was devastated.
The tonsil infection required a very short, very minor, but extraordinarily painful surgery. I mouthed bad words at the surgeon and beamed I hate you messages to her through my tear-filled eyes.
But things got much better after that.
My fear of imminent death dissipated. Intense pressure which had built up in the back of my throat and mouth and jaw and ear, began to release.
I took Percocet for the first time. It’s lovely.
My mother was in town for my son’s birthday. She was an incredible help. My ex-wife graciously visited with my son so he could open presents from me in my hospital room.
The combination of spending that short time with him and seeing him smiling on his birthday, combined with healing and painkillers helped turn things around.
I’m sorry for disappearing.
Before I knew what was happening, I wrote an unpublished post earlier this week titled “If This Is My Last Post.” I wanted to write whatever I thought were appropriate last words in the off-chance I was dying. But there was so much sickness and discomfort, I could never get it ready for publication. Perhaps I’ll revisit it one day.
This is my 300th post.
I wanted to write something special to commemorate it but as the past two weeks—hell, the past 35 years—have taught me, life just happens.
So, I don’t have anything special for #300.
Just this note: I’m still alive.
Maybe it’s an opportunity to think about second chances and to think further about what it is I really want to accomplish in this life.
Maybe it’s an opportunity to zone out on painkillers and watch a bunch of Netflix.
I feel like big changes are coming in my life.
Changes that could be hard, but with lasting benefits—kind of like my hospital procedure.
Dynamics in personal relationships are changing.
My lifestyle may have to change.
My address may have to change.
The only constant in this life is change.
What choice do we have but to rise up and embrace what’s coming? Good or bad, don’t we want every moment to be the best it can possibly be?
I know I do.
I made the mistake of writing on more than one occasion that I “kind of wanted to die.” Just because it all hurt so bad when my family went away.
And I was wrong about that.
Because I was scared of death and more this past week. But not just yet. Breathe. In, then out. Still here.
And that’s a good thing.
As it breaks, the summer will wake
But the winter will wash what is left, of the taste
As it breaks, the summer will warm
But the winter will crave what has gone
Will crave what has all
But you know some people never do
You know—when people change
They gain a peace, but they lose one too.
– Future Islands, Seasons Change (Waiting on You)