optimism vs realism

April 24, 2011 at 6:35 am (family, friends, humor, optimism, truth)

Chris loves Costco, so today even though I am still dealing with some allergies and sinus issues (like most of this country) I ventured out with him. actually it is more about self-preservation when it comes to him going to Costco alone. we were discussing plans for the coming months, because of the heat and my heart not being a good mix, we have several months that are planned around.

we have talked about the whole do you plan for the future when it is going to be cut short? the answer for us is hell yeah! if I had listened to drs. I would have completely missed the past holidays with my family, Chris and I would have been okay with staying home, but neither of us would have preferred it. this is not something we just go on about, we have come to a place where there is an understanding of what works for us. over the years I have teased Chris for having a little dark cloud over his head and there have been times he thought I wasn’t worried enough. however, during this ongoing situation he has been very optimistic. when I met with the research cardiologist and he gave me 30% chance of living til 2/10 I made some adjustments and got things organized. everyone should do this, make a living will and let people know how you feel about what happens under various circumstances. When last february came around and the cardiologist wanted me to get the defib, I thought why not since Chris really wanted me to. in november of last year I was advised to stay close to home and both my drs. were surprised when I came back the next week and seemed to be improved. not really better than before but not worse.

maybe that is part of combination that works for us. we are realistic enough to know that I cannot do things today that I could even 6 mos. ago. we are optimistic enough to plant plants I will not see grow, we make plans for when summer heat is over and where we want to go and what we want to see. we keep redefining what is a good day and new ways to deal with the bad days. when people ask me how I am, the answer is I am fine, but this is a new fine. sometimes when asked how I feel, I reply the way I am supposed to be feeling.

I saw the dr. yesterday and we discussed how our society has become intolerant of pain and stress. we medicate and alter our mood through drugs and alcohol. of course that does not mean everyone, I hope that is obvious. however, with the big “pain management” industry developing it makes me wonder. I am a believer in pain meds when they are needed. we are living longer and our bodies are suffering longer as a result. he (my dr.) says he will know that I need medication if I ask, since he has not yet been asked. he has asked me on occasion and I think I can go a bit longer. that is what gets me through, I think I can make it a bit longer. I know someday that will stop being the truth. I will stop making it, my life will end.

in the meantime, we are off to Costco and looking forward to visits from family in june. we remain optimistically real:)

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humor

April 18, 2011 at 2:38 pm (choice, family, friends, humor, joy)

if asked what is the one thing can I do for someone who is terminally ill, my answer would have to be have a sense of humor! come on people do you really think we can get through this and not lose our mind without some humor?

Chris and I had dinner with a couple of very special friends and the adorable baby g. L is in law enforcement and had to respond to a very dangerous situation yesterday. there was an explosion at a battery recycling facility so of course the police, the fire department, and who knows what other agencies were involved. so she calls her friend who happens to be at work and is the mother of the adorable g to bring her water. then she realized just what a dangerous situation this was and called back to say don’t come. without thinking about it I said you should have called me, not like I have to worry about being exposed to something toxic:) this is where I expected a smile and got a very different kind of look. it could have been that she was bone tired and in my mind this was a little light humor. I miss that, I miss being able to say what is on my mind and the kind of thing people used to laugh with me about has now become somehow in bad taste.

I was in the military at a very young age, saw things that as our present day soldiers know, no one should have to see. working with clients that had abused others or been abused. patients that sat across from me and I knew the horrendous acts they had committed. even my life as a child was not the kind of life I would wish on another child. As so many others, I have come through all these things with a sense of humor and compassion for my fellow human beings. now I am privileged to know what many don’t. I know that I will not grow old and each day could be the last. I need to laugh and for the people around me that I care about to laugh with me.

In one of my other notes I mentioned wanting to do for others and some without knowing maybe have given me that gift. one friend has been sick and finally asked me to bring her some basic comforts. I think she didn’t ask before since she has mentioned feeling weak if she complains about something to me when I have such a serious issue to live with. Chris and I have talked about this on several occasions. he feels he shouldn’t complain when he knows his discomfort is temporary. that is hard for me since I do not see the relevance. do we not all suffer and is there (if we look around) always someone “worse” off than we are? my pain does not diminish yours. I still have the ability to feel for others and hope I will to the end. one friend said a few days after we had been together that she felt like we had spent the whole time talking about her and next time we wouldn’t do that. OUCH! it was her time to be cared for and as her friend I want to be able to offer that.

My heart will stop beating some day soon, that is a fact. My heart will love and care for others until that day. so please laugh with me and let me care for you. it is what makes me ….. me

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