A week ago, I started with a cough that reminded me of previous times when I had aspirated liquid into my lungs.  When the throat muscles become weak, and swallowing is difficult, choking often occurs.  I never know if and when those choking experiences has led to aspiration.

Knowing the symptoms so well by now, we went to my PCP immediately.  He heard liquid in my lungs, called it aspiration pneumonia, and gave me an antibiotic.  In the past, he’s given me a stronger antibiotic, a steroid for the swelling and both have worked perfectly.  However, to my dismay, this time he ordered something milder.

When we filled the prescription, I opened the bottle and found the most enormous pills I have ever seen.  (Reminder to self: tell doc next time I cannot swallow a brick)!  So Chris crushed them for me and I took it with applesauce. 

If you have ever tasted penicillin, you know how disgusting it tastes, and trust me, it is worse if you are trying to swallow countless shards of the stuff.  It was an exercise I hope to never repeat.  After a few days of gagging and tearing, I decided I must put it directly into the tube and avoid having to taste it, which was an experience in itself.

By Saturday night, I was coughing again, uncontrollably.  Chris brought the bi-pap downstairs so that I could get some relief from the oxygen and still watch the playoff game.

Now, the bi-pap has a face mask that goes over your nose and mouth.  It is held into place by straps that go around your head  so that no air escapes.  It is not a pretty sight.  Needless to say, my hair sticks out all over, even though I try to keep it from looking like I stuck my wet finger into a light socket.

Once I settled in, hoping that I’d get some relief, I found myself reminiscing about other Saturday nights with Chris.  Not so many years ago, but now it feels like in another lifetime, we would enjoy a candle-lit room, the fireplace adding warmth creating a lovely atmosphere.  We enjoyed great conversations and laughed our heads off watching Saturday Night Live.

On this Saturday night, looking like an alien from outer space, remembering those lovely romantic evenings, I was able to see the humor in my situation.  All of the concern and discomfort dissipated as I completely let myself go and enjoy the ridiculousness of the present scene. 

By simply changing my perception, I was successful in creating a whole new and truthful reality!  All those years ago, I could never have imagined our future.  I would have been perfectly made up, hair just so, a cute outfit on, all to show my sweetheart how attractive I could be.  And, on Saturday night, there wasn’t even a hint that I was the same person. 

But this, I know is true.  The love that my husband feels for me now, is at a much deeper and truer level than ever before.  Neither of us could have guessed that our devotion would expand exponentially, teaching us what love really is.  Real love crushes the boundaries and limitations of the superficiality of romance.  It is deeper, truer.  And, to experience that kind of love is a gift like no other.