An Otherwise Ordinary Day {Every patient has a story.}

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.                                                                                    

I would swear I had a neck when I came in here.

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.

26 responses to “An Otherwise Ordinary Day {Every patient has a story.}”

  1. Amy, you are in my prayers. Take care and hope you are better very soon. Kathleen

    1. Thank you, Kathleen. Am on the mend.

  2. Amy Lyles,
    I am so sorry. Have missed you at church and wondered where you have been. Rest and know we love you. Lynn

    1. Miss you, too, Lynn. Thanks so much.

  3. Peggy Goldstein Avatar
    Peggy Goldstein

    Sorry to hear you were so sick. Sending love and prayers your way. Peggy

    1. Thank you, Peggy. I hope all is well in your world.

  4. I’m praying you for complete healing !

    1. I appreciate that, Andy. I know the prayers are helping!

  5. Keep us posted, Amy. Scary stuff! Hope you’re feeling better soon. Not knowing is the toughest part.

    1. Thank you, Susan. I’m feeling better now. And yes, the not knowing is a challenge.

  6. Oh my – I have no words, but get better and I’m praying with you!!!

    1. Thank you, old friend.

  7. Sweet friend, what a horror. I cringe at the thought of you going through that. So glad to have you on this side of it. Continuing to pray for complete good health. Much love

  8. So sorry to hear you have been sick. Anything I can do to help?

    1. Don’t need anything right now, but thank you. Maybe some of that chicken spaghetti down the road….

  9. I am so glad you are writing about this. Write what needs to be written, sister! And I am grateful that it sounds like you are now better. As an aside, I am also a medical googler. And it always seems that google tells me something like … You either have dry skin or … CANCER! And yet, I always google. Sending love to you! xxxx

    1. I miss you! For many reasons, but mainly because you, uh, “get” me. Love!

  10. Jennifer Ingram Johnson Avatar
    Jennifer Ingram Johnson

    I’m so sorry you are experiencing such a scary ordeal! My best thoughts and earnest prayers are with you, My Friend!!

  11. This is just so unbelievable. Hope you are doing well and we can’t wait to read more. Hugs. B

    1. Thank you, dear woman. I am doing better. More follow-up labs on Monday, so I’ll check in then. I appreciate your patience…

  12. Alw! I am so upset to hear you’ve been ill! Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers! Love you!

    1. Thank you, dear girl. Out of the blue and quite a shock. I got great care, though, and seem to be on the mend. Hope you both are well. Love!

    2. Thank you, dear girl. Everything okay over your way?