In Uncategorized on December 16, 2014 at 10:15 pm


No, not grade school PE with Miss Smith.

In a poorly written twist to my life story (seriously who is writing this book – go back to writers’ college already), in the past week I have been experiencing what my mom likely went through 17 years ago before she died from a pulmonary embolism on December 17, 1997.

I’m in good shape (I can even do full pull-ups – woohoo); I work out a lot. I can because I only have one job and no children so plenty of time. A little over a week ago, though, I started feeling short of breath. My chest felt like I had accidentally pulled a muscle reaching for something off the top shelf. My throat felt like it used to when I was a kid running for a straight hour at recess and breathing hard. The feeling never went away. I couldn’t take a full deep breath.  Last Tuesday my leg really hurt, but I had had a hard workout the day before so figured that was the reason.

My mom was not in good shape. She was a smoker, overweight (although technically aren’t we all overweight based on the medical definition). This time of year I often feel breathless. I step out the door, and the cold hits me in the face and takes my breath away. Everything takes more effort because I’m wearing so many heavy clothes. It’s easy to dismiss a symptom like shortness of breath, assuming it’s a chest cold coming on or that 5 pound holiday weight gain catching up to me.

Thankfully, I went to my doctor last week just to get things checked out. Knowing what she does about my medical history, my doctor doesn’t mess around when she has concerns. And by Friday I was in the hospital for a nice weekend stay downtown. Very romantic, low lighting, breakfast in bed, a bed that vibrates, drugs…

I wish my mom’s experience with PE had been more like mine so she could have hugged me in the hospital. I’m glad that I took that shortness of breath so seriously. I hope my experience might cause someone else to take pause and think about his or her own health.



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