Saturday, June 18, 2016

Need to give back more

I know it's been a long while since I've written. I'm not being drawn to writing at the present time. I'm currently finishing specialized training in mindfulness-based psychotherapy and I have had to write a few papers for it - using big words. I tire from big words, keyboards and thinking. Decidedly the worst part of my job is writing case-notes. It seems I can have a great session and once I face the progress-note template I'm wondering what my client and I even discussed.

Anyway, what brings me to my blog today is heartfelt sadness. No, it's not about the shootings. Those keep happening and until our friends' to the south get their shit together with gun-control, it's not going to stop.

My sadness is about someone I don't even know personally but who is part of the congenital network I now belong to. Last month I saw her posts notifying us that the team (the same team I share in Toronto) will not be listing her for transplant. She is too sick. It saddened me but that was the extent of the impact it had on me. Today I saw celebratory pictures (birthday? happy breathing day?) in the hospital. She has obviously deteriorated since her last post. She is on high-flow oxygen, she's cyanotic and her skin is so white. She looks like a powdered doll with purple lips and eyes. I couldn't get this visual out of my mind while on the treadmill today. I feel so guilty that I haven't been using my new life as best as I could. I'm not creating big change in the world. I barely make an impact in the field I'm in. In fact, I've come to the "I'm done" point with present area of specialization. I'm adding to my skill-set to move into grief & loss (palliative), mindfulness & trauma (though I have those two specializations already).

As for my body, I am still amazed when I hop off the treadmill, measure my sats and I'm in the low 90s after a 20 minute walk (with bits of run time). I completed a 5k "race" a few weeks ago. I was really disappointed with my time. It was the best-worst. It was hot and humid and I was sick the weeks' previous so didn't get much training in. I really wanted to be that the point where I could walk 3 run 1. Not then. I'm sure I'll get there by fall. (Dr. Lucy wants me to tack the couch-to-5k app a bit slower than most). I was still very much impressed that it was my very first 5k without needing supplemental oxygen. After my ASD closure in April I haven't been on oxygen - not even sleeping. I am breathing better than before I was born. My muscles and body on the other hand are a different story. Being over 40 is really hitting me. My knees click and crackle when I walk and get worse when I try running. My hips snap in yoga. Ma belle tells me this is natural with age. This sucks. I never got a "fit-30s" so I'm pushing to see what I can do at 43. Forty-three and it's the first time in my life I'm "normal". That was a long wait (42-43 years) but well worth it.
I would do it all again.

PS - when we were in that +30 humid race, without a tank, I so enjoyed yelling "fuck you dr. chan" over and over again.
When an ass tells me it will never happen I'll prove them wrong. You see, even before my palliative-plunge he never said I could walk, hike or go to the Grand-Canyon. Fuck you dr. Chan: I'm going to the Canyon this fall. Oh, and I'm just so excited to attend a friend's wedding in Vermont next week. Last time I was up on Smuggler's Notch in 2012 my breathing with supplemental oxygen was strained, at just 2,000 feet. Now I don't need it (of course we're bringing it "just in case").

People take "normal" for granted. I hope not to as I get used to it.