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  • Three weeks ago today it began.

    I woke up with a bit of a sore throat but little did I know that I was in for three weeks of utter misery.

    Many dark nights of the soul consumed me on this journey through illness.

    Nights where I found myself gasping for breath, filled with anxiety and wondering if I would ever be able to be myself again.

    Nothing else mattered. Neither routines, expectations, plans nor ideas.

    Life had been narrowed to the most immediate of terms.

    Would I be able to drink in enough air to sustain me for the next few seconds ? And when would this suffocating sensation begin to abate ?

    Was it time to call 9-1-1 ? Or was this not really an emergency ?

    Naturally, the more that I focused on my shortness of breath, that steel band of viral inflammation and congestion tightened its vice grip on my chest proportionately.

    I worried about being able to attend to my little Annie's daily needs. The mere thought of having to get dressed to take her outside was virtually untenable. It would take me easily ten times as long to get organized for a walk … I lost count of the number of times that I had to pause, sit down and try to catch my breath.

    My appetite disappeared and all I wanted to do - and was able to do - was lie in bed waiting for the days to pass until I began to recover.

    My good neighbours rallied … they brought me food … they organized a schedule to take Annie out for me … and a friend drove me to see my doctor last Wednesday. ( which included a side trip to get a chest x-ray, too )

    Thanks to the double-edged sword of a short-term course of Prednisone, I can sit here this morning and say that the crisis is now behind me.

    I will never take my good health for granted again.

    I am filled with the deepest sense of gratitude now. My uncomplicated, little life has been restored to me.

    Simple pleasures once again have the power to enchant and feed my spirit.

    The gentle soundtrack of Annie's snoring …

    The background sibilance of Toronto traffic …

    But perhaps most significant - the ability to just be . . . completely freed from panic over drawing my next breath.
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