If you have never been told you might be dying, I highly recommend the experience.

For me it turned out to be a lifesaving and life-altering experience. Up until a few years ago, I was immortal. Death was a scary little troll that visited other people, but not me. I had lived a charmed life. I had worked as a professional firefighter, a motorcycle was my mode of transportation, and I enjoyed hobbies that leaned towards the risky side. Never once did I feel that I was close to the end.

But life has a funny way of reshuffling the deck.

I was dealt a new hand one Friday morning in a hospital room in Denver, Colorado, as several doctors made their way in to deliver their theories of my sudden illness. You see, over the previous four weeks, I had been putting on massive amounts of weight and experiencing swelling. I had already gone to one hospital; they misdiagnosed me and sent me home. I shrugged the whole thing off and was convinced that it would work itself out. It didn't.

One hundred pounds ...

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