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I nearly died.

Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:03 am
by HalloweenWeed
Well at the end of August I had multiple blood clots in my lungs, and nearly died. I spent 3 days in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit). It seems that the doctors can't discern blood clots in the lungs from pneumonia without a CT ("cat") scan. I could not even talk long without stopping to catch my breath, and had to talk in a low fashion to conserve breath & energy. It permanently damages portions of the lungs, and takes months to recover. I am only just now able to go back to work, in a part-time fashion, and am fortunate to have a job that will somewhat accommodate my condition. I am now on an anti-coagulant ("blood thinner" -slang), and will be for at least 4 more months.

When I was in the ICU, I was remembering Deadliest Catch season 6: Where the ship Cap't Phil Harris died of a stroke, not many months after he was in the ICU for the same as me. ... troke.html

I was thinking that any time I would suddenly have a stroke, and die suddenly, or after becoming partially paralyzed, or after becoming a blithering idiot. All this while coughing of pneumonia and struggling to keep breathing enough. Fortunately I was able to sleep enough during this period, but I was finding my will to live was waning; I was too tired of struggling to keep alive. I found out a week later that I was not at high risk of stroke after all. My loyal wife was by my bedside almost all day of each day I was in the ICU, often holding my hand (IV and all). I really got close to death because I thought I had just caught a virus that was going around, just a week and a half after I was diagnosed with pneumonia. I resisted going to the ER until it was really life-threatening.

They still don't know what caused my problem, and all tests came up negative; so I am not optimistic about my ability to get off of these anti-coagulants without high risk of a repeat. Hopefully something will show up eventually, but then will it be the thing that eventually kills me? Getting old sucks.

There are no athiests in a foxhole [in war]! - M*A*S*H and other quotes

Well I have to say that when I was really thinking I might die at any minute, I never even thought like praying or trying to 'become cozy with god.' I remained a devout athiest, or maybe simply an agnostic. Note that I did not capitalize the word "god," because it is not a "proper noun" as it does not refer to anyone, but just an absurd abstract unprovable idea; it does not deserve to be capitalized IMO. I thought there was only the black abyss of non-existence before I was born (or conceived), and there will only be that same black abyss of non-existence when I die. That did not bother me, I was OK with that, at least it's not "hell" as the so-called Christians describe it - 'weeping and gnashing of teeth' is in the Bible somewhere, I remember reading that. I was just getting tired of trying to stay alive. It hurt so hard to cough, I was nearing the point that I choke on my congestion instead of coughing.

If I die, my wife gets a decent payoff to get by for awhile and pay for the funeral; but I do fear she will become severly depressed and may not recover from it if that happened. But at that point, what would I care? I would not know or think anything any more. I still cared though. I think that 'for the most part' I stayed alive for her. And she kept holding my hand. She is my best friend.

Waking up in the morning, coughing and almost gasping for air, was a real nightmare, opening my eyes in the ICU after some dream elsewhere, and then realizing where I was and that I am in critical condition. It often triggered a panic attack, fortunately they had medicine for that too. One time after deep inside a dream; I woke to a man, a stranger, messing with my hand - he was trying to draw blood. We were alone in the area otherwise. But it takes dozens of milliseconds to figure that out, which is a while in terms of thought speed. That was different, not pleasant. There were noises of electronic monitoring equipment from a couple of places, one was a ventilater I was told - it makes the weirdest noises but they somehow make sense as they sounded slightly air-like, similar to a soft harmonica sound. Not talking about the noise the ventilator mechanics made, but the electronic monitoring noises, where each different sound has some meaning relating to monitoring the situation. I suppose he/she was probably in worse shape than I was. I tried to find a YouTube vid W/the sound, but unsucessfully; none were like what I heard. I thought to take a few pics W/my cell while I was there, but did not record any video or sound.

Well I just thought a few of you might be interested in my tale of my near-death experience, so I posted it. Now I am getting weary as it is very late, and I seem to be digressing toward boring drivel, so I will end my saga here for now.

Re: I nearly died.

Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:24 pm
by UnwantedSunbeam
That is some bad news HW, I was sad to read it. Glad that I was able to, since it means you are alive and kicking.

I liked that you had your wife with you for support, and that you are so close. I hate those times when I work too much and ignore parts of my personal life.

You keep on going, otherwise all my posts will be wasted :P, but I am glad you are back home and hope you feel better very soon. Keep me posted on progress!

Re: I nearly died.

Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:09 am
by willow
Sorry to hear that man, I'm glad your alright. Keep well, and the best to you and your wife.

Re: I nearly died.

Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:27 pm
by UnwantedSunbeam
Well HW, have you made progress since we last spoke?

Re: I nearly died.

Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:39 pm
by UnwantedSunbeam
If I had to guess, I would have thought my absence was shorter.