When someone is asked how they are doing they usually respond with our most frequently used lie and answer, “Fine.” No one is ever fine. There’s always something messed up in everyone’s life and it never ends. But we understandably don’t want to burden others with our troubles.

That is, except for truck drivers. An important lesson I learned during my time at Rumble Road was to never ask a truck driver how they are doing because they will tell you. They will give you their miseries, turn by turn, of their painful road trips. Truck drivers don’t get to do much talking. It’s  best not to get them started.

Like y’all, I’m fine, too. I’m extremely lucky on this beautiful Father’s Day afternoon to be sitting on my porch writing these words. I’m relating what happened to me because I owe a few folks for saving my life last Friday and I want to thank them publicly. 

My daughter and granddaughter are coming up to stay with me for a few days, so I decided I needed to get my house all spiffy. I’m a slob of a bachelor and when the time comes to clean my house, it’s quite an undertaking. I decided to start in the bathroom. I figured that’s probably the most important room to have clean when ladies are coming to visit.

For some reason, my well water creates stains in my toilet bowl, and I’ve discovered a wonderful product called Scrubbing Bubbles. The bottle has a crooked neck, bent into a position where you can conveniently squirt that magic cleaner up under the rim of your bowl. I had never looked under a rim of a toilet bowl before. This modern day miracle  cleaner took care of those unsightly stains. Rapidly. The results were so amazing that I decided to give my bathtub a good hosing down with that incredible stuff and let it soak for a while.  Mistake.

All it took was two whiffs of that poisonous gas. I couldn’t stop coughing. I couldn’t breathe. I grabbed the bottle and read the warning regarding inhalation. It advised to get fresh air. I was fighting for any air. My every breath was a loud wheeze.

Thinking it would get better, I dealt with it for about 30 minutes but it only got progressively worse. I couldn’t take being in my house. I needed air. Bad. I knew then I had to make a life or death decision.

I figured I only had around 15 minutes left. I knew I had waited too long to call 911 and thought I was on my way to Heaven while standing in my front yard. Luckily, my sister, Sharon, was at her office only two miles away. I called her and gasped that I couldn’t breathe. I was bent over when she arrived within three minutes in her little Mini Cooper. She packed me in that tiny car and raced to the Monroe County Hospital. I couldn’t get one decent breath of air. The coughing was nonstop. She is the first person I’d like to thank for saving my life.

When I first came to Monroe County five years ago, I had heard things that put our local hospital in a bad light, and I have to admit whenever I had a bout with the flu or gave myself food poisoning, I always went to Macon for my medical needs. There was no way I could’ve have made it to Macon this time. I thank the good Lord that the Monroe County Hospital was just down the road and we didn’t even hit a red light.

When Sharon rushed me into the ER as I was starting to lose it. A nurse immediately took me into some little room and the staff jumped to work. My sister said I was pretty much out of it at this point, mumbling and saying crazy things. Things like what people say when they are stepping into the other side. I don’t know what I experienced. I can’t remember a thing. I don’t even remember getting an x-ray, even though I was told I never lost consciousness. They put me on oxygen and a breathing machine. They injected me with miracle drugs. By noon Saturday, I was chomping at the bit to get back at this keyboard.

For any future ailments, I want everyone to know that I’ll be taking mine to the Monroe County Hospital. Everyone there was extremely professional. Everyone wore a mask. All COVID-19 guidelines are strictly followed and enforced. I want to thank Dr. Craig Caldwell and Dr. David Kay. And my great nurses, Brandy Sharpton, LPN and Debbie Allen, RN. These ladies deserve a lot just for putting up with me. And there’s a cool guy who’s the respiratory therapist, Stephen Horne.  My sister said not to forget Beth Skipper  of Patient Admissions who helped her check me in. I want to thank all of you for saving my life. I owe all of you. Big time. 

Steve Reece is a contributing writer for the Reporter and a known crime fighter. Email him at stevereece@gmail.com.