you do the math

July 28, 2012 at 7:56 pm (dying, end stage congestive heart failure, gratitude, how does it feel to die, symptoms of pulmonary edema, sypmtoms of pumonary hypertension, Uncategorized) (, , , )

i am exhausted.  if you have ever been tired of being tired then you get my drift here.  in the past while going to grad-school, working and interning more often than not if i had any spare time it would have been used to get some much-needed sleep.  while in the army, where there is no such thing as a 40 hr work week, and trying to raise a child, sleep was a rare and treasured time.  like most of the world i have known exhaustion but not this kind.

this is different and the knowledge that it comes from being ill does not make it any easier to endure or explain. it is an embarrassment that at times i do my best to hide and other times just avoid explaining yet again why i am not talking on the phone or going out with friends.  even with my husband there are times when it seems like too much to ask, just how far can any one person’s understanding go?  how can i reject an offer to go out once again, especially knowing he will not go without me? so smile, say give me 30 minutes and do whatever it takes to get out that door and in to the car.

just breathing is a job. seriously it is hard work and part of what exhausts me.  if i eat i know that i am  going to need to rest for a couple of hours afterward.  that’s right, eating for me is like jogging a couple of miles or so.  at times just opening my eyes is so much effort i may sit here with them closed.  this is not just how i am affected.  anyone with congestive heart failure suffers the same problem.

here is where the math comes in.  with congestive heart failure the congestive part is the fluid that builds up in your body because your heart can not pump hard enough to support the circulatory system, and thus push the fluid through the organs needed to then push it out of your body.  so it builds up, many women know how it feels to once a month get a pound or two of fluid and they think that is, and it is, uncomfortable.  so imagine if you woke up with 6 to 8 extra pounds of fluid.  first of all try to picture what that many pounds of fluid looks like. how many gallon jugs would that fill? now ask where in your body is all this fluid going to be held?  of course some is in the extremities, legs, ankles and hands.  the rest is in the trunk of your body.  so start with a gallon jug of fluid,  picture that being poured in to your abdominal cavity.  just how much “extra” room do you think surrounds your organs?  so all this fluid is pushing against your heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas and any other organs that have not been removed.  lungs no longer have the ability to fully expand.

i am exhausted, luckily it doesn’t take any energy at all to think about how wonderful my life is.  how much love i have to give and am given so freely by others. we live in such a miraculous time and place.  it is hard to breath and yet i am breathing, that is a gift that may end at any moment and that is okay.  like most gifts we enjoy them and treasure them.  i grew up very poor so there weren’t a lot of gifts, for this i am grateful. it taught me to not ever take a gift for granted.  life is good, life is our greatest gift.

Permalink 4 Comments

%d bloggers like this: