Blown off course

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.

Source: Wind Blowing Free

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.


  1. So sorry for this huge curveball tossed your way, but glad to see you are improving and have such great introspection! Keep on keeping on, Sue!

  2. That’s a lot to take, Susan. Sometimes we’re forced to slow down. I hope this unwelcome and unasked-for time will mean new paths and new joys for you. Savannah is at the top of the list, no doubt. Praying for a really, really good treatment for the CHF. Congrats on Maggie Dove!

  3. Hoping and praying that your breathing returns to normal. Taking time off is hard and when you are forced, even harder. Please take this time for you! So thankful you are ok Thinking of you!

  4. We love you, Susan! So glad to hear that you are actually resting because your body is telling you that it needs the same TLC you give everyone else. Thatโ€™s a hard lesson for many of us to learn. I didnโ€™t realize that until I discovered Yoga which taught me to slow down and sit still and just be. And whenever I find myself avoiding the mat, I know I have forgotten those lessons and have to learn them all again.

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