Things have not been easy since then. Since the car accident my Wegener's has continued to flare up and cause problems. Oh, wow, I forgot about the lung surgery before I moved to Oregon. The Wegener's had caused a small crater in my right lung, and a fungul infection had taken root. After months of coughing up blood and problems breathing the good people at Kaiser decided to perform an upper lobectomy, cutting out my right lung. During the surgery they discovered the Wegener's had also caused an area of my throat to narrow so they couldn't put an anesthetic tube down my throat. I was given a tracheostomy, and afterwards we learned that I breathed better with it. So I still have it - a small plastic tube sticking out of the bottom of my throat through which I breathe.
But back to Oregon, and the day I died. My vasculitous had flared up, and I was coughing up blood again. Coughing may be the wrong word. Blood was gushing and exploding out of my throat tube in dramatic episodes, and no one was quite sure what to do about it or how to stop it. One day, while being driven around by mom, I started to have an episode. She's gotten about as desensitized to this shit as me, so when I yanked off my shirt to cover my throat and absorb the torrents of blood bursting out my throat, she didn't even ask. She just drove to the hospital. While waiting to get on the MRI machine to try and figure out where the blood was coming from and how to stop it, I started coughing (read: spraying) blood all over the room, and the nurses paniced. They tried to pump air through my traech and down into my lungs. Well, the traech was the only way the blood had to get out, so all they did was push it down into my lungs.
I drowned in my own blood while trying to scream they were killing me, unable to fight them off. Nurses can be surprisingly strong, and when they think they're right, they is no stopping them. Especially when you're drowning, and weak from loss of blood. Dying is a weird experience, and this is already long enough without going into it.
I woke up 2 days later in the hospital. My first thought was, "Fuck, so I'm going to have to do that again?" The doctor told me I'd flatlined, but they had brought me back. Just another in a long series of horrible things I'd survived, and that series didn't end there. I've had a lot of vascular problems since then, and a lot of surgeries to try and fix them. Veins were removed, rewired, transplanted, and ultimately failed. By now I've had more surgeries than birthdays.
That still isn't all of it. I'm getting tired of even typing this out, so I'll try and wrap this up. About 18 months ago my PS3 fell on my left foot. Those things are surprisingly heavy. First my toes turned black, then they started to rot. Eventually they had to be cut off. Of course, that surgery didn't work out so well, and they had to cut a little more. That didn't get rid of all the infected and dead tissue so they had to cut a little more. They ended up cutting away about 5 inches off of my foot. I spent a year in a wheel chair, doped out of my mind on painkillers.
I guess the good news is that I'm walking (kind of) now. My muscles have atrophied, and my lung capacity hasn't been that great in a long time, so things like grocery shopping are still beyond me. But I can get around a little. My mom, who has been a constant support for me, bought a decent used car from a friend of hers, and gave it to me for Christmas this year, so I'm mobile. She lives in California, and is doing well for herself. I live in Oregon, and I am somehow still managing to live a comfortable enough life given the circumstances. I like who I am, all things considered. I love where I live, but that question, "What's wrong with you?" is one that is not easy or simple to answer.