When we don't feel well, there's usually little that we can do to avoid the low grade fever, sore throat, cough. Sure, some like Jack LaLanne or Thomas Jefferson believed that they were privy to secret antidotes that allowed for prolonged health and wellness and that prevented these minor setbacks.

Whatever it may be that temporarily weakens a person, usually the healthier and stronger you are, the shorter the episode.

Then there's illness.

For those struck down by illness, it's a different game. When we  get a bad cold, a healthy body has the resources to fight and to push back with our own nutrients, energy, defense mechanisms, etc., and we can often turn the tide and rub out the cold before it sets us back for very long.

Then there's real, hard core sickness....the bad ones. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, deep vicious viral infection, TB, etc. This is a much different fight. First, the battle commencement is more like an individual combatting a full, well trained  "Battalion of Badness."  In the beginning, once you've been cornered, the best defense is to roll yourself into a ball, cover your head, pray, breathe, and simply hope and pray tomorrow is better.

For me, this first phase is torture because I need some control in my life. Since the day nearly two weeks ago that my number was called, so was my say or my ability to improve my outcome. All I could do was go minute by minute, hoping that the next bout of Rigors would not return, and if it did, that it wouldn't be today. Each time my head ached so badly that sweat would roll down my forehead, and tears from my eyes, my fever danced around from normal to 105, spending as much time at one extreme as it did at the other.

During those times, I had no control over the dirty, horrible symptoms that were kicking my ass. When I was really at the bottom and feeling bad, after about nine days, I considered what I still remained in charge of in my life?

Running my business. NO.
Engaging with my kids. NO.
My daily morning exercise routine. NO.
My high level of energy. NO.
My libido. NO.
My appetite. NO.
My ability to be out cheering on my daughter's field hockey team. NO.
My ability to protect my wife from the fears we shared about what got me to this point. NO.

Indeed this was overwhelming. I pull a cord to get help to the bathroom. My balance is like a newborn's. Five minutes of dealing with work wears me out as if I just spent a full, long day there.

So last night, my first at Penn Hospital, it was time to rise up, time to take an inventory. All eight meds they had me on at the previous hospital were stopped....NIETO! It was time to see what my body could still do on it's own. I was definitely worried about not having the three meds that I took as soon as the fevers went from 99 to 104 in an hour.  Or the morphine used for pain or when the Rigors started to shake me and the room around me, or the stomach stuff to help me handle the other meds.

Well, my body, this body, this Plant Strong, vegan, inherently sexy body, dug in and swung away like Rocky at anything that came near and looked evenly remotely menacing. The investment in this body was ready to pay dividends.

My fevers never exceeded 101.5 after 10 pm the first night with no help. My headaches nagged, but they were tolerable. I didn't sleep much more than an hour or two, but I could literally feel my body saying "Enough!" no more Rigors!

The next day I was spent, emotional, weepy, angry, anxious. Eleven days of feeling shitty, helpless, useless, in bed. But objectively, physically, I was rising again. I was finally seeing.....smelling the light. I was missing my dogs. I stopped worrying about my kids and My Amy losing me. I knew I was going to be ok.....and my heart began to warm again.

As long as my fevers remain normal tonight as they did today.... I'm homeward bound.

And I will return home with a new appreciation for those I love and for how lucky I am. I will return home with a revitalized spirituality and appreciation for the fine line we all walk.

And once again, I will thank my wife, God, and all of you who have embraced me and supported me and kept me strong when I needed it.

By the way, the ridiculous food they call "vegan" at these hospitals?  Which my be vegan technically, but it gives the rep for bad hospital food new meaning. UGGGH. I would never be vegan if this hospital food were my only option.

Tomorrow.....Homeward bound. My bed. Our dogs. My elliptical. Our Vitamix. Amy's cooking. Charlie's music. Ethan and Adrienne's calls, almost always upbeat.

Then, when I'm ready, a new, gentler approach to work.

I'm coming home! Thank you God, I'm coming home.