Thank you to the incredible Andrea, who drove Ed and I to triage and stayed all calm and fun even when I had just about stopped breathing ( and then, THEN, sat with us in triage for close to TWO HOURS until it was fairly clear I was not going to hack up a whole lung. You're amazing.) Thank you everyone who has called, sent email, offered consolation, and in the case of the amazing Neil, drove me around to get my prescrtiption for Antibiotics of DOOM and then sat with me while I was miserable. I have the best friends in the universe.
So, Wednesday. I was feeling so much better. It was so sunny and my poor infected chest felt so much better, with only the slightest rattle. I took a walk! Hand lunch with a.rawlings and JPF and derek and Jill and Paul and Paul's Moustache (hey 'stache!) and Sophie! Tiny shrimp and mentos and massagers were involved! and the waxing strips! I went home and got all prettied for the reading at Beat Niq, turned down their repulsively expensive drinks, and settled in for an amazing performance to lauch three of the most awesome new books ever (Jason Christie's Canada Post, a.rawlings' Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists, and JPF's Theory of the Loser Class).
I was sucking on some ice cubes to try and keep my cough as quite as possible, enjoying the hell out of myself through Jason's and into Angela's performance, when it felt like two fists closed around my lungs. I could not get a breath. I started to cough. I immediately got up a left the room, because I did not want to become That Person Who Coughs During Readings and Does Not Stop With The Coughing. I made it to the bathroom. I collapsed in the bathroom and could not breathe.
Andrea, who took a first aid class, had read that choking people leave rooms and that's why they die. She is a very smart person, she, the Laurie, came to find me, and it was ugly. Ed came by, and through the tears and the mucous and LACK OF OXYGEN I could see that he sounded calm but that his eyes were very, very big. Andrea got her car and we went to the emergency centre on 8th and 8th.
They immediately took my blood pressure and checked my oxugen levels, and I was not, indeed, going to die. Not just yet. I sat with a bucket in the waiting room with Ed and Andrea and they talked to me while I spit up...things. The fit lasted close to an hour before I could take a breath, and then only very shallow ones. Andrea stayed a very long time, because she is awesome and deserves pie, and finally went to join everyone the rest of the reading party. We eventually got called in to a treatment room and I got to lay down, get braceleted, and wear one of those gows that open in the back. Stylin.
The doctor who saw me was very tired but very nice. The chest x-rays they'd taken earlier came up normal, but with "striations." She could hear crackling in my chest (Ed and Andrea ssaid they could hear is clear across the room). What it meant was that I have Pertussis -- the adult version of whooping cough. Yay. She gave me a percription for antibiotics and told me to go home and not be a moron.
So I am not deathly ill, just moderately so -- enough to put one hell of a dent in my plans. I was homebound last night -- I hope the reading was fantastic. I hope everyone can frogive me for being so lame and sick. I miss you and miss all the cool stuff going on right now. I promise to get better as soon as I can so I'll be less lame. Gah. You're all awesome.