Welp, this week didn't go as planned. Some of you may have noticed that I had planned to write a "Give Thanks" post daily through Thanksgiving, but I suddenly dropped off. I can explain, but first let me just share my final gratitude: my wife. And to illustrate why and explain my sudden drop-off, let me tell the story of my week.
Last Wednesday, I started running a fever and on Thursday I noticed some swelling in my neck and a lump at the base of my skull, so I made a doctor's appointment for Friday. He ordered some bloodwork and a CT scan. He thought he had it narrowed down to two possibilities: an abscessed infection in my neck or lymphoma. That was a sobering thought, but we tried not to worry until we got the CT scan on Monday. We didn't make it that far.
Saturday brought new symptoms and new problems. On Saturday my throat started hurting and then I spent the night throwing up. Sunday morning, we realized the dire nature of the situation. My fever was reaching over 105 degrees and I couldn't keep any fluids down. We went straight to the ER when we woke up. With all of the COVID precautions, my wife wasn't allowed into the building. She dropped me off and went home. At the ER, the doctors re-did the same blood tests and ran the CT scan. And that's when I went into septic shock. My blood pressure crashed, dipping as low as 69/37. I was wheeled straight up to the ICU, where I spent the next two days.
Even after I was released from ICU, my wife still wasn't allowed to visit because they hadn't received the results of my COVID test. Without a negative test, nobody was allowed in the room but the nurse. So I waited over 48 hours, in the ER, in ICU, on the Med/Surg Floor, alone until I was cleared.
And this is where I express my gratitude to my wife, in one simple scene. After I finally received a negative result, my wife was able to visit. The moment she walked in the room, I didn't even get any words out before I broke down into uncontrollable sobs. For minutes, I cried. I cried because she was the most beautiful sight in the world to me. I cried because the weight of loneliness that I had been fighting with the infection came crashing down. I cried because the woman I decided long ago to share my life with, who had been torn away from me when I needed her most, was suddenly back. I cried because she meant everything to me and I knew I couldn't take her for granted. Why am I grateful for my wife? It's not what she does, or says, or anything. It's that she is, and that she shares what she is with me and lets me share with her.
This will wrap up my Give Thanks posts. Though I haven't commented much this week, I've read a few blogs here and there and I loved hearing the gratitude many of you shared. The next step in this holiday season is to remember our blessings and now try to spread the joy around for the Christmas season!