I Can’t Breathe Part 1

I couldn’t breathe.

That’s how it started. I was doing errands, I had stopped at Starbucks for my usual trenta green tea lemonade and my chest felt so tight and I couldn’t breathe. It was May 12th 2014. I had over an hour before I had to pick up the kids but I knew I had to go to the ER. Something was terribly wrong.


I drove as fast and as safely as I could to the schools. First my daughters, then my friends son then my son’s. I watched my fingernails turn blue as I tried not to panic, tried to remain cheery as I explained to a 7,6 and 5 year old that I had to go to the ER for a breathing treatment but I was OK and I was not going to die. Considering my son has Asperger’s and one of his “things” is medical knowledge al I got was a raised eye brow as his visually assessed my condition.

As they walked me right to the back and hooked me up and nebulizer and dug through my hand for an IV line (Which I had to stay still and not cry which I always do) I kept a smile on my face and kept reassuring the kids I would be fine. I called my ex-boyfriend, my roommate (the father of the third child) and told him he HAD to leave work to come get them. I knew there was a problem when my chest wouldn’t open after a second breathing treatment and I had to lean heavily on a nurse to stand up.

The world twisted and turned and three neurologists came to see me before my ex showed up. He was concerned but ushered the kids out of the room before I had a chance to say goodbye in more than a wave. To hear my little girl cry out of me broke my heart. I was admitted that night.

Breathing treatments every hourish, so many meds for the pain in my chest and head (though nothing seemed to work for that or the dizzy). I was diagnosed with Labyrinthitis. Which of course led me to believe that David Bowie was going to steal my children and then dance on my head.

In all actuality


Labyrinthitis is irritation and swelling of the inner ear. It can cause vertigo and hearing loss.


Labyrinthitis is usually caused by a virus and sometimes by bacteria. Having a cold or flu can trigger the condition. Less often, an ear infection may lead to labyrinthitis. Other causes include allergies or certain drugs that are bad for the inner ear.

Your inner ear is important for both hearing and balance. When you have labyrinthitis, the parts of your inner ear become irritated and swollen. This can make you lose your balance and cause hearing loss


I would remain in the hospital until my lung decided to work again and until I regained my balance enough to take care of myself and the kiddos. After a long talk with my roomie and my mother it was determine that I was going to call Trip (My ex-husband) and see if he wanted the kiddos for a week and a half until Memorial Day, because that was his weekend anyway. (There was no custody paperwork so we had a verbal arrangement that was good enough for us. Now my roomie was a total slob so the house was messy but it wasn’t that bad. On March 15th my ex came to pick them up, he stayed in the car while he sent his girlfriend upstairs. She used the bathroom, grabbed the kiddos and left. Nothing out of the ordinary.

While I was in the hospital she and I planned for the summer, I told her I thought it would be cool, if they wanted have the kids half the summer to go to camp with her son. We spoke of arranging a full family camping trip up to Lake Erie. She told me that the kids work had been picked up at their school and the next week their work would be faxed so they wouldn’t miss anything. Since my ex wasn’t working, he had plenty of time to do it with them and they wouldn’t fall behind. The three of us were all on the same page…or so I thought.

Two days later I went home, I had to stay I my room because I had walking pneumonia and my balance was still off and I was on bed rest. My then boyfriend and his brother were headed to me to help my roommate cleanout the house and put things together to make it perfect for when the kiddos got home (and he was bringing me my new car that I bought with my income tax). The next week and few days went smoothly, I spoke to the kids every night, my house got spic and span and I started to not walk into walls. The weekend arrived and I was excited, Xmen Days of Future Past just released, I had gotten my check for the excess money from school (enough to get the kiddos and I summer clothes and stuff for around the house), and I was in a great mood! Sunday night War (the boyfriend du jour), his brother and I went to see the late movie (which was amazing of course) and headed to the Diner around 1am, when we finally turned on our phones. Both War and I had a ton of VM and texts from my Mom getting more and more urgent, angry and finally shouting so loud you could hear them from a foot away. Considering there was no actually content to the messages other than yelling I slowly dialed her number, and the words out of her mouth would change my whole world forever.

“Where the fuck were you? I have been trying to fucking call and you can’t pick up the fucking phone? Trip called me. He’s not bringing them home!!!”

I fell to my knees on the pavement in front of that diner.

I couldn’t breathe.



4 thoughts on “I Can’t Breathe Part 1

    1. I will finish the second part tomorrow. Writing it threw me into a flashback and I had to distract myself with Pintrest and chocolate and kid cuddles and Masterchef. I will be posting again later tonight, but probably not the second part. Not till tomorrow, till I’m medicated fully and have a whole day to get over it. However I promise some angsty teenage poetry and odd rambling stream of thought love letters to no one…by the end of the night that is.

      By the by I love the way you write, you are fascinating and I want to eat cupcakes and hide in a nest of blankets with you. In a purely non absurd way.


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