My family and I had just finished our meal, with strawberry shortcake for dessert. Afterwards, we decided to watch a movie called, “Devil”. We were waiting to see who the devil in the elevator would kill next. The turn of events that happened shortly after, led me to believe that I may be the one who was going to be next.
After I finished dessert, I lit up a cigarette. Two puffs and I had a coughing attack. I was coughing up something red, and I didn’t know if it was strawberries or blood. Then I drank some coffee, and the coughing stopped. In the meantime, my family had called an ambulance. When it arrived, I went with them to the hospital as a precautionary measure. The doctor in the emergency room said I had pneumonia and bronchitis. Therefore, he gave me several prescriptions and released me. But I was still worried because I knew that coughing up blood was a symptom of lung cancer. When I drove my car to the pharmacy, I had another attack. I was scared and disoriented, but I made it back to the emergency room.
I was admitted to the hospital, and the nurse told me that it was definitely blood that was spattered all over my blouse, and not strawberries. The staff hooked me up to an IV. My fear of choking resonated when I continued to cough up blood for the next 2 days. Then it finally stopped. In the days that followed, they gave me blood tests, ex-rays, MRI’s, and every test imaginable. By the fourth day, I was given my test results, and they were all negative. There were no blood clots, and my TB test showed no infection.Then I overheard the nurses saying that my lungs were diminished, which upset me. Now I was really worried about having lung cancer. My family doctor made a special trip to see me, and explained to me that I just had very minor damage to my lungs because of my emphysema diagnosis two years before.
Later that day, the nurse came into my room and said that I would have to be isolated in another room until they found out what was wrong with me. In spite of my test results, they still thought that I may have TB. Since I was claustrophobic, I was hysterical. The female pastor in the hallway heard me crying and came in my room to comfort me. She held my hand and assured me that she would come and visit me in isolation. She said that legally they could only keep me for a minimal amount of time in there.
Ten minutes later, the nurse came back in and said that I didn’t have to go into isolation after all, because the doctor on call said that he knew that I didn’t have TB. Relieved, I told the pastor that the isolation situation reminded me of one of the contagion movies that I had watched where the government wouldn’t let the people out of the building and the zombies ate them. That was the only laugh I had in that hospital room.
Next, the hospital staff informed me that the doctor wanted to put a tube with a camera down my throat and take samples to look for cancer cells. Consequently, I took the test.
The next day, my family doctor came in personally, and told me that the tests were negative cancer cells. He confirmed the emergency room doctors first diagnosis, and said that I probably just had a bit of pneumonia and bronchitis. He said I would be released that day.
During those six days in the hospital; I believed that I had cancer, and that I would be told that I was going to die. I am home now, and recovering from the stressful stay in the hospital. And I am NOT smoking. I am confident that there is nothing seriously wrong with me. But I do hope when it is my time to die, that I do not know ahead of time. I hope God surprises me, instead.