This started off a great year for me. It began with finding out that my daughter was expecting a baby. A great joy! Then I found out I was long-listed for the Margery Allingham prize for the short story, which was a thrill. And for the next few months, I felt like I could do no wrong. My Maggie Dove books were to be re-released in paper back. I sold some short stories to places I could only dream about. My classes were great. My church had a wonderful new minister. My son in London got a great job, and I planned a trip to visit him. I had lots of public appearances lined up. I spoke to a crowd at Bryant Park.
And then, one day in August, I noticed I was having a little trouble breathing.
Called my doctor. She said to take Claritin. Called a few days later. She said to get a chest X-ray (which was fine.) But when I reached the point that I couldn’t climb three steps without gasping for air, and I kept feeling a terrible pounding in my ears, I suspected that more than allergies were involved. Called another doctor and he said, “Get to the emergency room right now! You might be having a pulmonary embolism.”
Fortunately, I did not have that, but I did have pneumonia, anemia and congestive heart failure. I was then absorbed into “Hospital World,” where I had test after test, eventually ran a fever of 105.3, and time and life stopped. So much so that when Maggie Dove’s Detective Agency was released on September 14, I didn’t even notice. (Or announce it, though I do have the link here 🙂
After a month of that, I’m better. But I’m disoriented. I had to take a leave from my classes because I needed to recover. I took a leave from my church work because I chaired a lot of committees and I just couldn’t do it. I have to spend time resting. I started writing something completely different than I usually do, and I love it. And of course, there’s my new granddaughter, Savannah Rose, who is a source of absolute joy.
Part of me thinks perhaps this all is a good thing. Gives me a chance to reevaluate my life. Step back from what’s not important. Make choices. The other part of me thinks, I was quite enjoying my life. I didn’t need this aggravation. One thing for sure that I know is that the outpouring of love I got from family, friends, Facebook and church (so many tasty meals) is a source of joy that will carry me forward. I’m just not sure where.
How about you? Has your life ever shifted in a day? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.