October 30

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Today is officially the end of the year for me. October 31 is a new year as far as I’m concerned.

This day last year, I was thisclose to biting the big one. And even before that, mid-2017 and onward was no bueno. I had two gastroscopes to stretch out my esophagus and was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and depression. I was really living my best life.

Then came Oct. 30 last year. I woke up around 3am in indescribable chest pain on my right side. I sat straight up exorcist styles. I managed to get out of bed and in the middle of panicking, thought it was a great idea to empty the dishwasher. To my dismay this did not stop the pain and I got dressed and went to VGH in a taxi. I told the ER doc about the baseball-sized cyst in my right lung, that I had named Burt, four years ago when it was found just by chance.

X-Rays revealed that Burt was double, maybe triple, in size, was filled with blood and was rupturing right there inside my lung. Burt was gonna burn down his own damn house and take me with him!

Two procedures that went horribly wrong, one lung surgery, too many comically bad meals, all the opioids, oxygen, an epidural, a chest tube, three rooms, many visits and well wishes from friends and fam… and eight days later, I was still alive, even tho that grilled “cheese” sandwich almost took me out. I will say this: VGH has some of the best views in the city.

Recovery was brutal. I was off work for three months and then started a gradual return to what had been a new job. Covid hit a couple weeks after that and I was laid off with 30 other peeps. We had death in the family this year, a friend died, animal friends died, I even happened upon a crime scene where someone had died and the coroner was collecting evidence. This year was whack.

And you know what? I couldn’t ask for a better life. I’m hopeful, lucky, and grateful to be here. I started swimming and running again and I’m the proud owner of a Soda Stream and an air fryer; what else does one need??? Oh yes, a job. I started a new gig in August and I’m back on my feet in more ways than one.

Anyway, I felt like sharing and celebrating – you never know what may help someone else – and now I have a good reason to pop a bottle!

Happy new year and wear a damn mask!

ER. I have no idea who these people are but that is my X-ray in the background!
Standard hilarious breakfast. I actually started to like breakfast when I found out I could cop a giant bowl of oatmeal and brown sugar!
The Grilled Cheese 🥴
Where I spent eight damn days. Three different rooms.
This was on the white board in my third room. I think someone erased it at some point, but I liked seeing it upon arrival.
Sunset from room one? A lot of my time was a blur thanks to the opioids and epidural.
This was from room two. The heli pad is directly below this. Nothing like being high as a kite and seeing a freaking helicopter appear as if out of nowhere, hover in front of your window, then fly off. It was surreal.
More from room one.

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