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Dying at 4a.m.

I faced a major health issue over the past couple of months and to say I’ve been off my game is kind of an understatement. This was the first major health issue that sent me to the ER and resulted in a five day stay and an unplanned surgery. Turns out life after having your gallbladder removed is much better than trying to live with a rotten, stone filled gallbladder in your body. This little adventure is also what ended my 190+ day writing chain so I thought it deserved a write up for my site.

In early April of this year, I felt tired more often. I didn’t really feel ill, but I didn’t feel well either. Like most stubborn-taking-care-of-everything-and-everybody women, I blamed it on stress, lack of sleep, work, etc. By mid-April, I was having some stomach issues and not to cross into TMI territory, let’s just say I was either going all the time or I couldn’t go at all. I took over the counter medicines for whichever cycle I was in at the time. For a day or two, I would feel pretty good and then it would start back over. I caved and made an appointment with my primary care physician. She listen to me describe my symptoms. She said it sounded like I needed to take a probiotic and/or eat more yogurt and give it a couple of days.

Around the beginning of May, I ended up in a quick med clinic and after a simple blood test, they diagnosed me with H. Pylori. The treatment sounded simple enough: an acid reducer and a couple different antibiotics daily for two weeks. After one dose, I felt better! Then after two days, I felt sick again. This continued though the next week and a half.

During that week and a half, I woke up around 4 a.m. shaking uncontrollably and freezing. Nothing hurt. I put an extra blanket over myself and still couldn’t stop shaking. The extra blanket warmed me up so then I was sweating and shaking. Being the kindhearted person I am, I didn’t want to wake my boyfriend so I lay there shaking, hoping I wasn’t disturbing him. I also had one persistent thought running through my head: I’m going to die. This is the end of me. I will die before the week is over.

I imagine most people who are convinced they are dying would probably wake someone or call 911. Me? Nope, I didn’t do those things at all. Instead, I burst into tears. Not tears over the thought of dying. Oh no. I was bawling like a baby because I would die and there would be NOBODY to take care of my dogs and cats. I eventually reasoned the cats would be all right, but the dogs would suffer without me. My beagle is barky and loud so nobody would love her and want her. My border collie is so attached to me I can’t go to the bathroom without her having separation issues and she would be left wondering where I am for the rest of her life.

My tears turned into gut wrenching sobs that woke my boyfriend up. I didn’t want to tell him why I was crying so I snapped at him and told him to go back to sleep. A couple days later, I ended up in the ER and found out my gallbladder was messed up and had to come out. I waited until I returned home to tell anyone about my fear of abandoning my animals. My mom and boyfriend have both assured me they will take care of my animals if anything happens to me, but they really can’t. I’ve found someone who I think I can trust to take the dogs now and I feel much better about their care should I make a hasty exit from this world.

My lessons learned: gallbladders suck, writing can be derailed unless you plan for crazy things, and find reliable people to provide care for your pets in case you die before them.


About Marsha Blevins, Author

Marsha Blevins lives in West Virginia with her boyfriend and six fur-children. She earned her B.A. in English with a concentration on writing from Marshall University. Two of her short stories and several poems were published in the university’s literary magazine, Et Cetera. She is an active member of the writing group Wicked Wordsmiths of the West and WV Writers. Follow her at on Facebook at, on Twitter @marbleswords.

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