Wednesday, April 25, 2012

putting the disease on the backburner

Yes I've been absent from my writing but that doesn't mean I've all but stopped writing. I have drafts saved up, but no time saved up.
I thought I'd write a quick check in.
Lately for the first time in a very very long time I've had the opportunity to address other, non cardiac related health issues. I am finally seeing a physiotherapist for my scoliosis which has greatly affect my sacrum area and also accounts for the now uneven shoulders. Upon intake my physiotherapist gave me the winced eye look when I answered "all of my life/at least 10 years" to the questions "how long has your shoulder been out of place?" and"how long have you had the lower back trouble?". Fearing judgement I interrupted myself stating that my cardia condition has always been front and centre, and so like a screaming child, it has always received the attention. Now that I'm fairly stable I have the opportunity to address these non-life threatening yet painful issues.

A few weeks ago I was at a meeting with some people that I don't know very well but have "seen around". I had a hard time sitting, rolling my jacket behind my lower back, sitting on my hands at one point, all in the effort of relieving the pressure on my sacrum. A woman came to me after the meeting and said in her slight Irish accent, "you poor dear, look at you suffering". I suppose pain is a bitch on the best of days. I politely said that it wasn't a problem and took it in stride. Then she commended me for not complaining and I thought, so much for practicing humility. What I really wanted to say was that I contend with far more serious health issues and that my back really is "nothing at all".

I guess I just don't have to much to complain about. My TA is being maintained - at a price mind you. I have to stay at a job where I just don't have a voice in order that my $4,000/mth Rx are covered. I've spent a lot less time socializing and having a life because preparing and making healthy meals take so long. I know it's worth it however because the past weekend I went on a binge and ate my wife's chips - the whole bag - and was 'sick' the next day. I know food impacts us greatly but it was amazing just how quickly and how evident it's impact was. Palpitations, racing heart, inertia, depressiveness, aches, edema, excessive cyanosis, etc. all from the MSG in a bag of chips. It was so not worth it and I never want to see another bag of doritos. Horrible.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Reflections on marriage take II - forget the fence

The morning of April 22 I had the luxury of waking up to my besttest play-mate ever. With big smiles on my face, I wished her a happy year and a half (marriage) anniversary. My smiled was whipped from my face as she corrected me stating that it's only been a half year. And so I added that it feels like I've been with her a long time at which point I realized I needed to pull that foot right out of my mouth. La femme, the classy lady that she is, saved me saving face by stating that it feels like we've known each other forever. Yes. Ah yes the truth versus feelings.

I start with that because that silliness is basically what characterizes our relationship. Despite the rate at which we met, hooked up, moved and got married, I am so happy. I'm not sure this kind of child-like giddiness is "normal". The freaky thing about our relationship is that all the big serious stuff happened all so fast (yes, I admit, it was fast), that now I feel like we're 2 big kids just enjoying ourselves. Both of us have been trough some pretty tough times in our lives and had very important long-term relationships that, despite the love, just didn't work. Now, it's like we're "empty nesters". We spent an intense few months being so afraid of my illness that it scared the willies out of her. June 16th is hard to forget but now forgiven. Fear makes us do incredible things. I've done stupid things out of fear - and fear often does a number on me, my anxiety, my heart. All that to say, we spent many months in basic terror fearing that we'll lose each other. Fear that now that we've found each other we'll become one of those tragic love stories: dies so young.

The more I learn about trauma (through work) the more I learn that we were living in a war-zone in our heads. It's been a few years since Afghanistan for her, and me, I have no excuse anymore. So we decided to change things, jump start the fear and fall right into it.

Choosing the tropics/Mexico (rather than "safe" Florida) for our honeymoon was the first step. I mean no disrespect to Mexico here. I do not mean to imply that it's not "safe" for travelling. However according to Dr. cardio-man, it's not heart-failure safe. Or, as I say "is it drive-able?". Being there jump-started my old funk. So did something my acupuncturist said to me, of all people. Without even knowing it, she helped me see that I take everything so literally from Dr. cardio man that I "psyche myself out". That being said, he would prefer that I take everything literally. I know, cardio-nurse has stated to my face "Dr. cardio would prefer that you just stay in town. There are lovely museums here, lots to do. Why do you have to travel?"

Oh darling, I appreciate the concern, however my life is waiting!

Since Mexico, la famme and I have decided to take the money we set aside for much needed fences in our new home and travel. Yes, we will forgo privacy to LIVE.
And so in May I will be taking ma belle to Ground Zero - a destination, along with the pyramids - was part of our very first conversation the night we met. (The topic around the table was "bucket lists" as some there had 14 months to finish their list before their 50th b-day. (La famme asked if seeing the pyramids from 30,000' counts and I said I'd give her that if she gave me seeing the Ground 0 through a peep-hole since it was under construction. You had to be there, it was all about the energy.).

In June I have a work conference, afterwards we will take another 4 days to vacation in Provincetown, a place I've been to before but she's always wanted to go.

In the fall, if I'm still stable we'll board a plane for San Francisco - a place I have never been and have wanted to go since the days when my Jr. high best friend and I always read about. Well, she's been there, now it's my turn.

Next winter vacation we'll starting pulling in a bit and only go as far south as Key West - again a place she's never gone but I'm comfortable.

Yes, I'm hoping for more periods of stable health. And work, I'm hoping to continue work so that I can earn those vacations. So long as I keep at what I'm doing, I don't see how I can't "not build a fence".

And if miracles continue to happen we just won't renovate our 1970s brown-tile-kitchen and go to... Italy, a country ma belle was stationed. That will require 2 solid years of stability for Dr. cardio man to allow that. There's no way home: we can't drive back if I'm not stable for air travel!

Those are my lofty dreams for the next 12 months. Since Mexico I've felt a lot more like my old self: the funk is back, so is the boundary pushing again.