Welcome to 2015--and we still don't have any f*@!ing hoverboards? I mean, c'mon! BACK TO THE FUTURE II said that 2015 was going to be sooo advanced in terms of tech!
Humor aside for a moment...what follows is deadly serious. As you've noticed, I haven't been present on DA for some time. I've got requests and commissions to finish, but I was not able to really get to work on them. For over a month, I was fighting a cold--or what seemed like a cold--that came and went with copious amounts of medication, going to the doctor to get checked out, and just trying to not expose myself to any other triggers.
Nearly two weeks ago, things got worse. I had noticed that I was getting winded by just walking up the stairs and going a certain distance, I was coughing a great deal, and I could not get a good night's sleep because I kept getting up and trying to catch my breath which lead to me hyperventilating. But early in the morning of the 17th, I coughed up blood. Right after that, 911 was called and I ended up going to the hospital. What I thought was just a stubborn cold turned out to be a helluva lot worse. Somehow, I had contracted pneumonia, a very serious case to boot. Both of my lungs were infected--normally it's just one--and my blood oxygen was far below normal and my pulse and heart rate were all over the place.
I was discharged from the hospital today--nine days after I went in. As things stand, I'm all right; all the tests have come back showing negative on infection, the medications and antibiotics have done their job, and I am feeling much better than when I went in (like, duh!). To be able to draw a breath without effort has been one of the best feelings I've had in, well, forever. I'm still not out of the woods yet--there are follow-up exams to go through, and I've been put on a regimen of pills that would make an addict jealous. Add to that the fact that I have to take it easy this week and not put too much stress on myself due to the fact that I had to undergo a cardiovascular catheterization procedure and you can see that I've had a rather eventful few days. And I've been stuck with more needles during the past nine days than I have in my entire life.
On the upside, I wasn't bored--I had my PSP, magazines and Sword Art Online Vol.3 (a good read, I gotta admit) and I had my sketchbook, and my "roomates" in the hospital room were all cool people to talk to. I was able to get a few pieces done in the sketchbook and thus garnered the attention of the nursing staff. The hospital staff were all great people and professional. The food was actually quite good, but honestly, I swear that it all started to taste the same.
All of this is to say that I dodged on hell of a bullet. If I had waited longer...well, I'd rather not think about it. When they say that some experiences make you re-focus your priorities and put the fear of God in you, they were not kidding. I ended up talking to friends that I haven't spoken to in months or years. Still, I didn't expect to start of 2015 this way--but then again, that's why they say, "Expect the unexpected". Nonetheless, my friends and family kept in touch with me and visited when they could.
I have not forgotten that I have things to do for people here--Sneakylizard, Dangerman73, and others. I sincerely apologize for falling behind on them--but I never expected to get this sick and end up in the hospital being fed oxygen (although that was only for a couple of days). Luckily, I can still draw and I can get back to work on them. It will take time, mind you, while I'm trying not to fret about any long-term damage I've been dealt (but I'm staying optimistic), but I'll get working on them. Dodging this bullet has changed things, and I strongly suspect that I will not forget the lessons learned anytime soon.
Besides, I can look forward to an NYC meetup with a friend I haven't seen in a long time. It took me going to the hospital to get me to call her after so long (and after usually communicating via text), and it's made me realize a few other things.
So...that's what happened. Please, please, please take care of yourselves and keep an eye on your health. Do not take it for granted.
I sell my soul, but at the highest rates.