The day I almost DIED!


What what!

I know I told Woy to tell you I wasn’t going to post anything until Monday but that’s because I was pretty sure I would be dead come Monday and then you would come here on that day and there would be a weepy post by Woy all, “OMG. SHE FREAKING DIED!”

I was that sick.

I am 35-years-old I have never in my life asked or needed to be taken to the emergency room, until this week.  This week made Texas Death seem like the best week of my life.

There’s a lot to get caught up on regarding Pittsburgh news (FRED HONSBERGER!), but first, I’m going to tell you the story of how I ALMOST FREAKING DIED!  If you listen closely, you can actually hear my husband rolling his eyes at my dramatics.

It began Sunday when my son woke up with a fever and didn’t get out of bed until noon.  The same son of mine who has never once in his seven-year-old life slept past 7:00 a.m. (I know.  I’m sorry for me, too.)  Sunday came and went with me trying to somehow keep his temperature below 102 while having my family over for my daughter’s scaled-down third birthday party.  Chaos.

As soon as the party wrapped up and he had eaten lots of green icing and had run around like a madman with his cousin, his fever returned, now armed with an extra .5 degrees Fahrenheit. Awesome.

Monday happened to be the day that I had made well-child checkups for both of my children with their pediatrician, so I carted my one well-child and my one feverish-child off to get poked and prodded.  There in the waiting room, my toddler fell asleep in my arms.  The reason this is notable is because she is a crazy little person who hasn’t fallen asleep in my arms since she was 8 months old and she certainly would never willingly fall asleep in the waiting room of the building where Mommy lets people jab her with needles.

I left the pediatrician’s office with TWO feverish children who had their noses swabbed for the flu virus and went home to wait for the call from the doctor telling me they tested negative for the flu because they both had their regular flu shots this year.

So on the way home, I get a little tickle right here in my throat and I can’t clear it out.  Odd.

Ten minutes after I arrive home and place my sick children in their beds, the phone rings and it is the doctor telling me that one of my children has tested positive for the flu and since he had the flu shot, we must assume it is the swine flu.


And since the test isn’t very accurate, even though my daughter tested negative, we must also assume SHE has the swine flu.


And since if they DO have the swine flu then they are contagious, they are not to leave the house for one week and my son must stay home from school until Monday.



When Tuesday rolled around, both kids had already managed to kick the shit out of the flu and were running around beating the crap out of each other while I, their mommy, was now very very sick with what I assumed was also the dreaded swine flu.

I called my doctor and told him what was up, you know, that I was CLEARLY ON MY DEATHBED, and was rewarded with a prescription for Tamiflu.  Incapable of moving from where I sat lest my body shatter into a trillion pieces, at least that’s how it felt, I called my Mommy.

Luckily, my Mother, the lifelong asthmatic, had already had her vaccine, so she was the only person who could come to my rescue.  And being the protective worry-wart mother she is, she called my doctor to speak directly to him and find out what she needed to know to take care of her baby.

While I’m sleeping, my mother comes into my bedroom to wake me up and to tell me in the exact same tone of voice she would use to tell me that an asteroid was heading toward Earth and ground zero was the space between my eyeballs, that should I experience shortness of breath, the doctor said I was to head straight to the emergency room BECAUSE THAT MEANS YOU ARE DYING.

Awesome.  The media has nothing on my mother when it comes to scaring me about the swine flu.

Come Wednesday, I’m still dying.  Can’t move.  My lungs feel like they need water wings, my head is all KABLOOEY!, and my skin is just burning.  Add to this the fact that my husband, and I say this with immeasurable love, has the bedside manner of a succubus.  He never gets sick, ever.  He has missed one day of work in twenty years because of sickness, so he can’t understand people who get sick and take to their beds.  If he was a doctor, and you were wheeled into his ER in the middle of a heart attack, he would be all, “OMG. Whine some more, why don’t you?”

It was this callous bedside manner that worked me into a screaming rage on Wednesday afternoon and suddenly my lungs shut down, “OMG.  I CAN’T CATCH MY BREATH!  [gasp] [gasp]  YOU SON OF A BITCH! YOU ARE GOING TO KILL ME! [gasp] [gasp].”

My mother, who was downstairs caring for my now completely healed children, came rushing into my bedroom to find me sitting on my bed trying to catch my breath while my husband looked very very guilty for bringing on this fit of hysterics.  I sat on the bed for a good twenty minutes trying to will my lungs to take in air while my mother hovered over me with tears in her eyes all, “THE ASTEROID IS COMING!  GO TO THE HOSPITAL NOW!”

And I got scared.  I mean, the last person I read about that died from the swine flu lived in Butler and was a 34-year-old mother of two. And here I am, a 35-year-old fever-crazed mother of two who can’t breathe and my mother is looking at me like she’s already mourning my passing.


Being sick makes me evil and also makes me believe that incompassionate is a real word.

In the ER, I was placed in a bed and the nurse came in to ask when the shortness of breath began.  And I replied, “WHEN I STARTED YELLING AT THIS CRUEL SON OF A BITCH! [gasp] OMG. I CAN’T BREATHE! [gasp]!”

I think she tried to stifle a laugh as she turned to her little rolling computer, probably to type, “This girl is batshit crazy.  Remember to share this with FML tonight.”

They put oxygen up my nose, gave me a breathing treatment, took a few chest X-Rays, swabbed my nose for the flu virus, and when they hooked me up to an EKG, that’s when I knew, “Shit. I’m freaking dying.” I started crying, thinking about my funeral and also about how I would haunt my husband mercilessly for the rest of his life and I texted Woy to tell him to let everyone know I wouldn’t be around until Monday.  If I survived. Sob.

After an hour or so of waiting for the doctor to come in and confirm that yes, you are dying and is there a funeral home we should call?, she finally arrived to poke her head around the curtain all perky-like to say, “So, your lungs are perfectly clean and the nose swab came back negative. We’ll give you an inhaler. Go home and get some rest.”

I’m pretty sure my husband laughed a little.

Did my children have swine flu?   If they did, they beat it senseless in less than 48 hours and sent it home crying to its mommy. They’re badass like that.

I’m better now and no one who was around us for the party has come down with anything.

The point of the story is that, first, I love him dearly, but my husband is ruthlessly cold when it comes to sick people, and second, I ALMOST FREAKING DIED, YOU GUYS!

As it stands now, I haven’t left the house since Sunday and just to be safe, I won’t until Monday, at which time, a frickin’ pigeon could knock on my door all, “Hey, cutie. Wanna go for a ride?” and I’ll be all, “OMG. Let me get my purse, snookums!”

And then I’ll inject that knowing bastard with botulism.

What? I’m not THAT desperate.


  1. Mulrooney
    December 18, 2009 1:54 pm

    I once took a dump in the wrong place. It almost cost me my life.

  2. Craig
    December 18, 2009 2:06 pm

    I’m so glad to hear that the germ wasn’t piggish and that some measure of calm has returned, still, stay safely isolated and be sure to look out for that asteroid.

  3. Bojack
    December 18, 2009 2:07 pm


    She’s BAAAACK!!!!!!!!!! :-)

  4. Schuyler
    December 18, 2009 2:08 pm

    I’m SO glad you’re OK!! I knew there was a reason I kept checking back … Hang in there … sounds like the worst is (hopefully!) behind you!

  5. Sooska
    December 18, 2009 2:13 pm

    wow Ginny I am so happy you are better.
    I totally connect with that story. 6 years ago, my husband shook off the flu his sister gave him just days after his shoulder surgery right before Christmas. I, on the other hand, was hammered and couldn’t get out of bed for over a week. I got up, cooked a big fancy dinner for his family, then I took to my bed for 2 more weeks, then got a sinus infection. My son made the Christmas cookies cause I was so sick and he likes his cookies!
    I can’t get the swine flu vaccine cause I broke out in hives from the regular flu vaccine. I am doomed. I will see that you are alerted to my passing. Glad you are better!

  6. Barry
    December 18, 2009 2:21 pm

    Glad you’re ok, and knowing that you’re ok I can say that this was absolutely hilarious. Welcome back!!!

  7. AndyTheo
    December 18, 2009 2:22 pm

    I’m not sure how, but I’m convinced that Bruce Arians is responsible for this.

  8. GoBobbo
    December 18, 2009 2:26 pm

    Ginny, I hear Luke might have an extra bedroom if you’re looking to get away from your hubby. :)

    I’m glad you’re better. We need you.

  9. Ashley
    December 18, 2009 2:33 pm

    You thought YOU were in bad shape?! This whole time, the ENTIRE CITY OF PITTSBURGH had shortness of breath and anxiety, running around backwards in circles freaking out and screaming all “WHERE THE EFF IS GINNY?!”
    Glad you’re back and we can all get back to normal. Close call.

  10. tim
    December 18, 2009 2:45 pm

    I feared that the pigeons might have gotten the upperhand (it was really pigeon flu you know) but I’m glad to see you came out on top, ready finish the fight.

  11. mis
    December 18, 2009 3:04 pm

    Glad you are feeling better.
    My husband is the same – I have something for 6 weeks and he has it for 6 hours and is telling me to suck it up. Man, I hate that.

  12. Jen
    December 18, 2009 3:09 pm

    Only you can make me laugh with a post about The Sick! :)

    I’m glad you’re doing better! Sick kids are horrible, but a sick mom on top of it? ARGH.

  13. butcher's dog
    December 18, 2009 3:11 pm

    Alright…as a husband I’m not listening to any more of this male-bashing. And Barry’s right….the post is hilarious, but only because you survived. And AndyTheo is onto something. Let’s find out where Arians was when you developed the symptoms.

    The pigeons, on the other hand, have undoubtedly been informed through their knowing-bastard network to curtail the celebration and gird themselves for further battle.

  14. Dan
    December 18, 2009 3:30 pm

    As I live and barely breathe today (clearly the flu; ironic); glad you’re better and please let the hubby know we’re starting a ‘batshit crazy spouse’ support group @ any local bar, any day soon

  15. LisaC
    December 18, 2009 3:35 pm

    LOL! Glad to hear you’re on the mend and not dying. Missed your posts!

    Thought of you the other day when I saw a hawk or falcon or some other badass type bird with its claw wrapped around an apparently dead pigeon’s neck! Right off the sidewalk in downtown Harrisburg!

  16. unsatisfied
    December 18, 2009 3:43 pm

    @ Mulrooney — is that you, najeh davenpoop?

    @ ginny — get thyself healed. and, don’t die.

  17. Mulrooney
    December 18, 2009 4:27 pm

    @unsatisfied – No, Najeh’s a poser

  18. bucdaddy
    December 18, 2009 4:35 pm

    You didn’t tell the doctor about the Zima, did you? I know you didn’t. You’re covering up for the Zima, aren’t you? See how the Zima treats you? All “Drink me, baby, I’m sweet and sticky, you know you want me.” And when you do, WHAM, it kicks your ass, throws you against the wall, wraps its fingers around your neck until you … can’t … breathe.

    And still: Still you crave. You keep thinking, “If I could just have one more, it would be so great. Everything would be right. Zima is really GOOD, you see. I know I can fix this.” And back you go, falling for all the empty promises and empty calories.

    Well, I think we have a classic case of Battered-Drinker Syndrome here. All of us who love you and even those who don’t (I’m talking to you, Scott R.) could stage an intervention but I’m pretty sure you’d just tell us all to go hell. You won’t even put that bottle down and run for the sake of the children.

    I’m sorry, I tried. It pains me to say this but: I wash my hands of you. You’re on your own.

    *takes swallow of Great Lakes Christmas Ale, can I get a witness, spoon?”

  19. DMGB
    December 18, 2009 4:42 pm

    Glad to see you back from the nearly extinguished!

    But seriously, get to work! I’ve sorely missed your perspective on these extremely pressing matters:

    Clark, Lukey’s delayed and delayed vote, and what-say-what? ZOMBIES protest UPMC?

    Wow. You’re going to be busy.

  20. JB
    December 18, 2009 5:20 pm

    Maybe you were secretly inhabited by Azazel from that Denzel movie “Fallen”…just like Azazel “I wanna tell you about the time I almost died…. “

  21. bluzdude
    December 18, 2009 6:25 pm

    I’m just glad you’re better and back at those keys! Welcome back, Ginny.

    I’m with Bucdaddy… It must have been the fossilized Zima.

  22. L-A
    December 18, 2009 7:21 pm

    glad i checked back – that was a sick post (get it?)

  23. LaReina
    December 18, 2009 7:43 pm

    I’m glad it wasn’t swine flu, Ginny. The only good piggy is chipchop piggy, n’at.

  24. Burgh Baby
    December 18, 2009 8:11 pm

    I feel like this is all my fault for telling you the piggy flu wasn’t *that* bad and that my husband was big ol’ whiny titty baby for complaining about something that my kid kicked in two days while swinging from the chandelier and singing, “Let’s Get the Party Started.”

    Next time you’re sick, I promise to tell you that you’re probably dying so as to jinx you in the other direction. Glad you’re feeling better and SORRY.

  25. Cassie
    December 18, 2009 9:45 pm

    Glad your kids kicked the crap out of it! You’re just trying not to show them up.

  26. Kimly
    December 18, 2009 11:05 pm

    Glad you are OK!
    I have almost the opposite problem with my husband; when he gets the sniffles, he curls up into a fetal position and complains if I am not waiting on him hand and foot at every moment. Do I get the same treatment when I am sick? Eeeeyeah. Not so much…

  27. USCMike
    December 19, 2009 12:26 am

    Ginny, we’re all certainly glad to hear you’re recuperating and let this teach you a lesson, if you’re gonna screw up your blood system with some alcohol, go with your hubbie’s margaritas!!

    Seriously, welcome back and try to get some rest! Let Grandma love on your kids for awhile because I’m sure that they’ll hate that…

  28. cathy
    December 19, 2009 12:45 am

    Ditto all of the above… Glad you are back I needed a good Friday laugh!! happy that you are recovering in time for the holidays you only get so many while the kiddos are young.

  29. Carol
    December 19, 2009 7:49 am

    My husband is the same way…except he’s a doctor so his total lack of sympathy has some credibility. His patients get a little more concern/attention/sympathy thank goodness! Glad you’re better and back at the keyboard!

  30. Dorkimus Maximum
    December 19, 2009 10:33 am

    If he was a doctor, and you were wheeled into his ER in the middle of a heart attack, he would be all, “OMG. Whine some more, why don’t you?”
    Are you sure your husband’s not the compassionate Dr. Thomas Doyle of Sewickley Valley Hospital? (

  31. PA girl trapped in VA
    December 19, 2009 2:11 pm

    Glad you are better. That is some funny shit though. Everytime I laugh when reading the internet, my husband ask “Are you reading That’s Church?” And I look at him with tears of laughter and say yes. Thanks for a great laugh.

  32. Norf Side Betty
    December 19, 2009 3:09 pm

    My hubby had it back in November and was sick for a solid 2 weeks. 2 weeks of living hell. For me. Such a baby who cannot appreciate that I am doing my best to make him feel better despite my lack of magical powers. I did get a “yeah, I was kinda mean to ya” but no sorry! After schlepping 20 containers of grapefruit juice (couldn’t just drink OJ which is available, oh, EVERYWHERE) and dill pickle spears and cap’n crunch, can I get a what-what? Nope.

  33. Clair
    December 19, 2009 4:13 pm

    glad to have you back in the land of the living! :)

  34. Still A, Fan
    December 19, 2009 5:41 pm

    a 45 year old woman at my office got sick and wouldnt go to the dr until she couldnt breath. she was in icu for over a week…on a vent for another week….had to be trach’d for another week…is still in the hospital and is learning to speak again. MIGHT be home by xmas. you did the right thing by going to the ER… big baby. ;)

  35. Paul
    December 20, 2009 1:00 am

    OK, first of all, I’m so happy your not dead and I love you to death for making me laugh about your “near death” experience. Secondly, I’m so incredibly happy that you are, in fact, NOT dying and will come back to us. Lastly, I think your husband deserves a solid kick to the groin for being such an “incompassionate son of a bitch”!

  36. Paul
    December 20, 2009 1:01 am

    um…I’ve had a few expired zima’s and meant “you’re” and not your in reference to you not being dead.

  37. cheld
    December 20, 2009 9:37 am

    glad ur back, sorry you had to go to the ER, those places are nasty :)what is it with the guys, they never seem to get sick, and when they do, look out….

  38. steeler_tom
    December 20, 2009 7:32 pm

    Glad you lived Ginny!
    Me? when I get sick, I want to be left the eff alone.
    Kick the old man in the donkey omletes for me when you are feelin 100%

  39. Bojack
    December 20, 2009 9:47 pm


    The 2-bit idiots we keep electing are selling OUR
    parking lots!!!

    We, the current owners (residents, taxpayers) will now have to pay much higher fees to park in the lots WE
    used to own because we elect corrupt, incompetent idiots!!!!

  40. red pen mama
    December 21, 2009 12:07 pm

    I love the drama. I think it behooves us sick mothers to band together and create some drama. We get walked all over by our children when we are sick. Screw that.

    Besides, two words: Man Cold.

    That all said, I am glad you are well again. I see you’ve been busy!

    and, on a very serious note, the celeb who died this weekend had flu-like symptoms. So, yeah. I think the ER was a safe bet.

    ciao, bella,