My back has been killing me the past few days so I went to the doctor today. I thought maybe I pulled something at work or slept wrong on the couch. She told me I had some fluid in my lungs, that my left lung was working twice as hard because my right lung was struggling.
It wasn’t back pain, it was my lung. “I think it’s a blood clot and if it is you need to go get a ct scan so we can get in and get it ASAP. In that moment my life flashed before my eyes. The seriousness in her eyes, the realization that I wasn’t overreacting when I felt like something just wasn’t right with my body. In that moment I thought I would die.
I’ve said so many times I’m not afraid of death, that I’m only afraid of dying unaccomplished. That’s bullshit, I don’t want to die at all, I don’t want to leave my family, I don’t want to not have a wife and a son and a daughter. I want to see my novels turned into movies and on library shelves. The fear was real and in those couple of hours waiting on those test results all I saw was all I didn’t accomplish. Sitting in the parking lot of the Kelsey Seybold clinic crying and praying and begging I knew that whatever happened, whatever the results my life would never be the same.
The test results came back negative in reference to the blood clot but the fluid is still here, the pain is still here, it’s still a struggle to breathe too heavily or talk too much. I still live with the fear that I’m going to lie down and not wake up. That I’m going to take a deep breath and not be able to exhale.
Most men love to say they have no regrets, I’m not one of them. There are so many things I regret, so many things I have to make right. So many kisses I need to give, so many trips I have to take, so many hugs I blew off.
If I’m being honest, I’ve seen my death so many times in my head. I’ve seen my family standing over me in the hospital room, I’ve seen their tears and I’ve felt their heartbreak. I’ve seen my last moments and as brave as I’d like to be that scares me because a part of me feels like it’s all coming true.
My body just doesn’t feel right and the more I pretend like everything is going to be alright to be strong for those around me, the more I’m coming to accept that I can’t live afraid to die. I have to live like I could die at anytime.
Don’t take life for granted because God says, “No man knows the hour or the time.”