Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013-20 Sheryl Jedlinski
By Sheryl Jedlinski
The year 2022 did not get off to a good start for me, though it could have been much worse. After experiencing several instances of shortness of breath, a chest X-ray confirmed that there was fluid around my right lung. It took a week to get an appointment to have the fluid drained, and that was too long.
Just as I walked up to the emergency room door with my husband, Tony, I collapsed on the ground behind my walker. He called for help and I was immediately surrounded by medical staff pumping my chest and trying to restart my heart. At this point, I was technically dead — no heartbeat, just a flatline EKG image. Ten minutes of CPR brought me back to life. Due to a lack of oxygen, I had had a cardiac arrest and remained on a ventilator in the ER for three days until I was strong enough to breathe on my own. Had I been any further from the entrance to the emergency room when I passed out, this story would likely not have the happy ending it did. All in all, I spent a total of eight days in the hospital with no visitors allowed due to COVID restrictions.
From there, the plan was to spend some time in a rehab center so that I could build up my strength and learn to use my walker again. The rehab center was a lonely place, and I wasn’t comfortable there. Gathering all my strength, I insisted Tony take me where I knew I could recover better than anywhere else — our home. On the way, we drove through a popular ice cream place for a chocolate malt – my favorite medicine. As it turns out, the hospital is happy to send rehab people to my house to help me get moving. Now with a little help getting up from the chair, I’m using my walker again!