After my fiancé and I returned home from Pittsburgh, my struggles continued with my breathing. I had difficulty walking up the ramp in Tampa. I was out of breath half way up the ramp and had to stop and rest a few minutes before reaching the gate area. The same thing happened when we arrived home. My fiancé and I lived on the 2nd floor of the Azure Apartments in the Carillon area, so hauling any luggage as well as my own body weight made it even more difficult. Once I got to the top step, I just went inside and decided to rest for a while. I always caught my breath after there was no longer any exertion. I had trouble falling asleep that night. Down deep, I was extremely scared and nervous. I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what at the time!! I finally fell asleep that night with a heavy heart. I never said anything more to my fiancé. I did not want to worry her before our wedding day, which was in about 3 weeks.
The next few weeks we were putting the final touches on our upcoming wedding. Every day I would attempt to go up the stairs, I still had the same problems of having shortness of breath. I just kept it to myself. My fiancé and I were getting more and more excited about our upcoming wedding day. I didn’t want anything to place a damper on that loving feeling. We decided to have a very small wedding at the Historical Saint Andrews Chapel in Dunedin. It was the Pastor and his wife, the lady that opened the chapel and my fiancé and me. The ceremony lasted all of about 25 minutes. Our wedding was extremely quaint and beautiful in this historical chapel. We both wrote our own vows. My fiancé had tears in her eyes as she was reading her vows to me and vice versa. I still can see her face as well as hear the love she had for me in her voice. After we exchanged our vows, we placed our rings on each others fingers and the pastor declared us Husband and Wife. After our wedding, we took a few pictures to commemorate our Wedding Day and proceeded to go to lunch at the Bon Appetit Restaurant and Bar on the Gulf of Mexico. Later that evening, we went back to Armani’s where we got engaged to celebrate our wedding day. I was a Humbled and Blessed man to say the least. Over the next few days, those words would become even more true. As we finished dinner that evening. I told my now wife that I wanted to take her to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino to bring in 2015, the upcoming New Year. I made reservations at the Council Oak Steak House inside the Casino, which is one of the most fabulous restaurants to dine at in all of Downtown Tampa. New Year’s Eve arrived in typical fashion. As we began to get ready and leave for dinner, things really got out of hand. As we got in the car to head out for dinner, my Heart had other plans. Needless to say, we never made it to Dinner or the Casino that night. I was struggling to breath and this time, I was not walking up an incline or climbing stairs. I was behind the wheel of our car while driving with my wife. I was in danger and I knew it the second I could not breath. I needed to get to a hospital as fast as I could. I was moments from blacking out. I looked at my wife and she could honestly see the fear in my eyes. She called ahead to the hospital to let them know I would be coming in and needed oxygen immediately.
Will to Live – Fear, Love, and Hope – Part 81