March 1, 2004
April 19, 2004, was the nine year anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing. Although I am a news junkie, I have little first hand knowledge about the Oklahoma City Bombing. Every year, when I am reminded of this infamous anniversary, I am momentarily confused as to why I recall so little. And then I seem to have an epiphany.
You see, also nine years ago, a few weeks after the bombing, I began to spiral out of control, into what I can only call my initial ARDS delirium. Before getting to the hospital, I was hardly myself. The day before I was admitted, my blood pressure was only 70/50. And all of those drugs they used to put me into a coma knocked out much of my memory from the month before I even arrived at the hospital. Later, as the initial facts about Oklahoma began to come to light, I was deep in my coma.
When I came out of my coma, the O.J. Simpson trial was in full swing, and though I, as a criminal prosecutor had been interested in the fiasco prior to getting ill, I did not watch a single sound bite.
Christopher Reeves had his tragic accident right before I got sick. It seemed unfathomable to be healthy one day and then, in a flash, to be paralyzed and on a ventilator the next. A little over a month later, I remember feeling envious when I heard on the news that he was able to breathe off the vent for ten minutes at a time. I never thought that I would be able to breathe on my own again.
For patients and family members who endured ARDS, sometimes it is an event, or even an object, a smell or something someone will say that will jog an ARDS memory. But it can all bring back that time, those emotions. What is important is that you recognize that it is okay to experience emotions surrounding your, or your loved ones, hospitalization. You are not alone.
What was the current event in History when you or your loved one were in ARDS crisis?