Wednesday, October 9, 2013

great phlebotomy = hope

I just had the best phlebotomy ever! I'm glad I made the decision to go to the day unit to have it. The alternative that was offered to me was to have it at home. Being on 12 LPM always involves a lot of logistics to leave the house. I'm fortunate to have such a helpful spouse who's workplace is a bit flexible at the moment. I decided not stay in the comfort of my home because the vampires have usually had difficulty with my veins. If at home, there's no back-up staff to try again. At the hospital there's always someone who can 'get a good vein'. Today's phlebotomy was almost a cake-walk. (They're not a big deal for the normal human being but after a life-time of medical issues, it's just one more annoying thing to have done to my body.)

I think what really helped was the power of the mind. I chose to see this as a treatment, for which it actually is. I visualized the relief of fatigue and headaches I've been experiencing. It also helped knowing that this was the least of my medical worries to come. In preparing for transplant assessment I read the details of every single test required. (Ugh.) Some of them I've gone through before, as a child, and they were traumatic mainly because I was never informed about what was happening to my body. Some of the tests are incredibly outrageous. The amount of radioactive dies that will be pumped into my body is a little disconcerting. It was all so much to take in that I thought to myself "I can't do this; I can't put myself through some of this stuff I promised myself when I was 13 years old that I will never do again". So, for some reason I emailed the longest living heart-lung transplant recipient in Australia. I did it not expecting to hear back. It has been my experience that a bit of fame disconnects you from people. I've emailed Hélène Campbell at least 4 times since I returned home from the hospital and each time I get a generic response from her publicity team. So much for 'being with the people'. Surprisingly the guy in Australia replied, within 24 hours! In a nutshell, he wrote about belief. He wasn't talking about religion, but about our mind, what it can visualize and the tools he used to get through. All of the beautiful things I know and have taught others and have used at one point or another, but seem to disappear when I face my own medical PTSD. Here again, science and spirituality come together. This theme keeps repeating itself. Another long-time friend of mine and I also chatted about this. She's a scientist, of the hard-core kind: doctorate and all. Though I haven't seen her in over a decade due to our global moving patterns, I really cherish the continued 23 year friendship. I really respect her wisdom, education and most of all, her personal experiences. She really knows her stuff and it's comforting that someone else gets it: that science and medicine are powerful, but so is the science of the mind, belief, attitude.

As I prepare for TO to be ready at the moment's notice when they call with an available bed, I remember to pack my motivational authors and courage and the knowledge that I am in charge of my body and at any given moment I can say "this is the off ramp" if I can't finish the tests. People have the right to their personal opinions, but not to judge. They don't live in my body and I thankfully, don't have to live in theirs: it's already taken a lifetime to get to know this body, as damaged as it may be. It has carried me this far. Let's see where it can still go.