I’m not as invincible and unstoppable as I’d like to believe.
This isn’t the post I’d hoped to write to begin 2019. Far from it in fact. It’s hard facing truths about ourselves that alter our perceptions of who we are. Yet by continually relegating an honest appraisal of just why I do the things I do to the back burner of my conscious mind I have cheated myself. Why? … Because it was a damned sight easier to live with the deterioration of my health if I continued to hide from it.
I have had to finally understand and deal with the fact that despite my most optimistic visions of my future I am not invincible. Can I truly have kidded myself for so very long that I am unstoppable? Oh, yes indeed, my friends … and then some. I have chosen denial because it was easier. Simple really, for if I refused to acknowledge that my health was deteriorating then it just wasn’t. And if my symptoms caused concern to others then it was a minor hiccup and I’d prove again that all the worry I caused was a temporary thing. I’d bounce back just like I always do. I’d laugh and make jokes about being dangerous in my old age. Leave ‘em laughing! Yeah, that’s the way I always did it. Hell, it worked for such a long time why shouldn’t I just keep right on doing it?
Because my continued pig-headed stubborn refusal to acknowledge that I needed help had just seen me spend seven days of this New Year in the hospital. I arrived home last night.
Many of you are already aware that my health has been an ongoing pain in the ass for years now. And THAT is exactly the way I saw it. It was a temporary halting of my daily routine. I refused to see it as anything more.
BUT, in order for the all the specialists and doctors instructions to be successful, I have finally had to learn to accept that I will have more restrictions and limitations placed upon me. Those limitations will not be short-lived but ongoing.
My Darling Daughter has also been my carer for two years now, it’s she who has had to wheel me in my chair to my numerous doctors and specialists appointments for the last twenty months. It she who asks her friends to help out with driving us if it’s raining, or if the walk is too long for me to be out in the cold weather. She does everything in and around the house, she showers me, prepares all my meals, does all the shopping and manages to be a wonderful single mother to my six-year-old grandson. There are nights now when she needs to check in on me every two hours, she doesn’t get much of a chance to ever just kick back and relax.
I fell really ill again just before Christmas and refused to acknowledge that I was in pain and finding my breathing increasingly restricted. There was NO way I was going to spend Christmas in hospital. So I made with the jokes and bluffed my way through it. I gave no thought to the added burden this may have caused her. She hid her growing worry and her concern until the afternoon hours of January 1st when she finally said ‘enough is enough’ and rang an ambulance. I should have made that decision a week earlier. I should have been the adult in this situation. I didn’t because that would mean that I had to acknowledge that I wasn’t getting any better. I mean I’m unstoppable, aren’t I?
So, to cut to the chase I’m now back home. I have double pneumonia again and the joints of both my left and right hip are infected. More tests are scheduled. Having oxygen available at home will now be a permanent fixture, not just a temporary solution. The doctors are experimenting with pain relief, as morphine restricts my breathing and is therefore no longer a viable option. I’m confident that a solution to take the edge off the pain I’m in will be found, I need to remind myself to be patient.
I can no longer be left alone in the house for longer than two hours at a stretch. The Doctors have expressed their concerns and have left me in no doubt that I need to change the way I deal (Or don’t deal) with the reality of my condition. I’m finally listening. Now this means in part that I need to change the way I look at things. I have to groan when I recall all the times I’ve parroted “I’m fine” or ‘You should see the other guy!’ my semi-regular response to comments of ‘you don’t look well, Soooz.’ I’m a smart-ass. That’s the way I’d always done it.
The look on my daughter’s face when I sat her down for a blunt and honest discussion about my current health and the health regime I now need to follow closely will remain with me as a reminder. She burst into tears of utter relief. We hugged each other and yes we even laughed about all the times I’d thought I was fooling everyone, with the ‘I’m just fine’ routine.
It was a long overdue conversation.
So, guys and girls here I am.
My name is Soooz. I’m NOT invincible. It’s Wednesday, January 09, 2019. I count myself totally blessed to have my daughter and grandson in my life. I count myself truly blessed to have been granted this day. I vow not to waste it.
Thank you for sharing a part of it with me.