The next several posts will be about my recent hospital stay for what has been deemed “an acute infection of unknown origin.” I’m writing about my experience in order to process what happened—and is happening—to me.
After several days of feeling “not quite right” I wake up and know something is terribly wrong.
“We have to go,” I croak to Precious. So we drag my exhausted self to a walk-in clinic, whereupon I am promptly instructed to go to the emergency room.
“You have neutropenia,” says the doctor. “Something we often see in cancer patients. You’re not a cancer patient, correct?”
“You have a fever of 101 and your white blood counts are low. You need to get to the ER, now.”
I start to cry, that’s how bad I feel, how frightened I am becoming.
Precious drives me to Vanderbilt and I resist the urge to Google scary diseases on the way. Thankfully I don’t have the energy for it.
I have long been a person who says she “wants to know, even if it’s bad,” but right then I am not so sure.
The nurse at the ER put a mask on me, and repeatedly expresses her surprise when I tell her, repeatedly, that I am not undergoing treatment for cancer.
“No,” I say. “I’ve never had a cancer diagnosis.”
I am convincing myself, of course, that I’m about to get one.