Keep Breathing

This is a recovered post from a botched website transfer in 2014, reset it to its original publishing date. Unfortunately, comments weren't recoverable.

Breathing. We all do it.

On June 8, while in Pennsylvania for a family party I anticipated for over a year, I became out of breath walking a very short distance. Not like me, at all. And on top of that, my appetite was out of whack, I was tired, chilled in the 80-plus-degree air, and just not feeling right. Something was amiss.

Back in New Hampshire on Monday, I addressed my symptoms holistically in hopes of identifying and healing the problem. By the end of the day on Tuesday, none of my efforts diminished my symptoms. If anything, I felt worse.

Wednesday morning, June 12, I arrived at the local emergency room with shortness of breath, sporadic chest aches (couldn't call them pains), and dizziness. There was no one else there, so I was taken right into triage, where the barrage of questions and tests began.

A couple hours later, doctors offered up a possible diagnosis of a blood clot in one of my lungs. After an echocardiogram, chest x-rays, and a CAT scan, the diagnosis changed and formalized: Congestive heart failure, with blood tests indicating a "possible virus" as the culprit. I was admitted to the ICU.

What kind of virus leads to congestive heart failure? One of my many doctors said that coming into contact with someone with a stomach bug could instigate it, given the right circumstances. Not a comforting thought.

Hourly blood pressure checks and constant heart monitoring. IV steroids. Saline. High-dose Motrin. Lopressor for regulating haywire heart and blood pressure. So. many. wires. and. tubes.

On Friday, over a quart of fluid was drained from my left lung alone. The steroids served to "naturally" drain the fluid from my heart sac.

I spent four days in the ICU, and half a day in the cardio wing, from which I was released on Sunday, June 16. Just this past Monday, I had an appointment for a follow-up echo. The technician told me my heart and lungs look much better.

They're healing, and I'm grateful. I'm especially grateful for the support I've received from Reiki practitioners across the United States. Relaxing on the couch in the evening and feeling my entire torso light up with Reiki directed at me from a distance is amazing and humbling. So much gratitude.

The past couple days with the high humidity here in New Hampshire have been rough. Breathing does not come easily, and I experience lots of coughing bouts, which lead to fatigue.

Even so, I can breathe. My lungs are functioning, albeit not as optimally as I'd like. My stamina is slowly returning. I'm still on the high-dose Motrin for keeping any inflammation at bay, and Lopressor for keeping my heart a wee bit happier while it continues healing.

I find myself offering up a prayer of gratitude every time I draw a deep, whole, lung-filling breath. Breathing is awesome. I don't think I'll take it for granted, ever again. I hope I won't.

:: Have you ever experienced difficulty breathing?
:: Have you ever received distant Reiki?

Update from the Heart

The Hesitation of Self-Doubt