Sick with Bronchitis, Running from Wolves

This is an autobiographical post. The names of people and places may be changed.

We decided to write autobiographical posts about the colorful life we have lived. There will be tales of sleeping in a campervan on the beach, of defending a bird’s nest from a snake, and of running away from wolves while sick with bronchitis. There will be tales of diagnosis with PTSD and ADHD and how it changed our lives, of meeting biological family, and of job loss. It’s a tale of overcoming challenges, of finding out who we are, of love, hope, cats, and of a marriage that’s gotten stronger through it all.

Autobiography Post 11

“You’ve got to see these railroad tracks,” John said. “They’re my favorite place to take photos at. It’s not far.”

His wife gave us a look. “He says it’s not far. It’s like three miles.”

Dorian and I looked at one another. It was the evening of 4th of July. We were spending the holiday with Dorian’s co-worker and rambunctious family. They lived out on multiple acres, and there were only grass fields as far as we could see.

“Sounds fun,” we agreed.

Dorian hadn’t been feeling well for a few days now. I’d ask him to see a doctor, but he didn’t want to and said he’d be fine. This was before we were married and even before we were engaged. It actually would be the next 4th of July that we’d take some Save the Date pictures at this spot with sparklers in hand.

But this year, we were up for an adventure with our friend. Jon and his brother led us away from the party and off into the sunset. We chatted as we waded through all the grass. Dorian huffed closer to me.

“I’m really not feeling so good, it’s hard to breathe,” he admitted.

“Do you want to go back?” I asked.

“No. I’ll be fine.”

It was a long walk, but we were in our early twenties then and had stamina to spare. Jon took us to the spot. The forest opened up in a gorge. A bridge crossed that gorge, topped by a railroad tracks. It was a really pretty sight. We took a lot of photos and admired the view.

“Oh look,” Jon pointed, “a coyote.”

Down below us we caught the briefest glimpse of a coyote dart into the tree line.

“Are there wolves around here?” Dorian asked.

“Oh yeah, I hear them howling at night,” Jon replied.

That made me nervous. The sun was almost completely set by now. We decided to head back in time to see the fireworks start. But we had only made it halfway before we heard the howls in the darkness.

“Those sound like wolves . . .” Dorian trailed off.

“Those are wolves,” Jon agreed “Let’s go!”

The four of us took off running. With a chorus of howls in our ears we rushed through the long grass and toward the safety of a gate we could lock behind us. As we neared it Dorian just stopped, dropping to his knees.

“I can’t run, I can’t breathe,” he panted. “Just go on.”

I grabbed him and hauled him up. “Absolutely not. Come on.”

I dragged Dorian through the gate as Jon locked it behind us. With that sense of relative safety, we went back to the party to enjoy the fireworks.

Dorian felt even worse in the days following until at last he gave in and went to urgent care.

He was diagnosed with bronchitis and put on a string of medication.

“Hmm,” he remarked thoughtfully. “I guess I really was sick.”

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