In my last post I talked about a journey to… not dying. And the reasons why I’m not ready to shuffle off this mortal coil. There was a storm and flooding and I fear death and big rivers. Blah blah blah.
The point is that post was all about me doing things to keep myself alive and to make my life better. Though I know that Death waits for no man (or woman in this case), there are things in my life that I can fix or work on, that may or may not cause or contribute to my untimely demise (or depression).
The Reason to Live
My daughter. That’s it. That’s my only reason. It’s been settled in my heart and my head (both of which will have starring roles in the “problems” section) that if something were to happen to her, my life would lose all meaning and I wouldn’t need to be around anymore. But that’s a tale for another time.
Anyway, she is six, sleeps in the bed with me, is really great for your ego (typical “my kid” lines are “mommy I just love your hair” or “I just love your glasses” she’s even said “daddy I love your bald head.”). She’s amazing and young and learning and doesn’t need to lose me just yet.
And I don’t want to lose the joy I have being with her. So she is my reason. For everything.
The Physical Problems
I’ve briefly mentioned them in the last post, and I’ll go into slightly more detail.
- Heart: I’ve had heart problems, seen by a doctor but as yet unnamed, for several years now. Three? Four? And I live in constant fear that I’ll have a heart attack and die. Post soon to come about heart attacks in women. Even now I have some mild chest pains. But is that my heart or muscle pain from raising my arms over my head instead of climbing a ladder? Dunno.
- Head: I’ve had some dizziness and headaches pretty frequently lately and over the course of a few years. My mom, who passed away almost three years ago now, had multiple aneurysms. If she were here now she’d say: “yeah but they didn’t kill me” and also: “GO TO THE DOCTOR.” The very thing I would tell her. I know just because she had it doesn’t mean I will, but they can be hereditary. And also I’m paranoid.
- Weight: you know what’s super annoying? When you call yourself “fat” and someone says, “oh, no you’re not”. But then you look at yourself then back at them, and go, “I have a number for my ophthalmologist” (had to Google that). I am fat, though. I am what modern science would call “morbidly obese”. I’m ok with it, I’ve been in this body for a while I’ve come to terms. I don’t want to be. But between work, parenthood and exhaustion I have no time to, well, anything.
- Feet: while not an immediate “gonna kill me now” thing, I have very bad feet. Bad enough that I’ve wanted to find a secret corner at work and cry. They hurt terribly and I’m in a job where I’m on my feet for 6 to 8+ hours a day. Sometimes I climb stairs, frequently I climb ladders (lately I reach, explaining possible muscle pain). My feet are my number one source of pain, and I believe one of the reasons I don’t get much done.
- Stomach: here’s another “my mom had it”. I have stomach issues. I’ve never been diagnosed with anything specific. My mom, over six years ago, so three before she passed, had to have a large portion of her bowel remove due to a blockage. She ended up on ventilator because she’d had some breathing issues during the surgery and didn’t come off for a very long time. I started having bowel issues several years ago. They’ve gotten worse over the years and I fear the outcome. She ended up with an ostomy (a whole in her side where poop could come out). She was strong and learned quickly (with the glorious and amazing help of my sister). But she also didn’t work in the public. I struggle enough with self confidence, I don’t think I could handle the transition to pooping in a bag. Not that I judge, she was an expert at her own changing process.
The Fixer Quicker Upper
Looking at that wordy list of issues, I can see the number one way to improve my problems and live longer (unless Death decides its accidental) is a lifestyle change. Healthy habits could lead to weight loss: less weight on my feet would improve them. No caffeine had been “suggested” (forbidden) for my heart issues. But man I love me a Pepsi.
Eating for better bowel health: self explanatory.
Clearly a lifestyle change, including healthier eating would improve several of my physical problems. My first step (even if it hurts) is a doctor appointment. I’m due some blood work anyway, and only a doc can check certain things.
But wait! There’s more…
However, it’s after 2am, my body isn’t physically capable of anything last 2:30, this post is already a mile long, and my kid is restless. I’ll be back for the rest of it later!
Thanks for reading.
Her favorite word is poop. She’s been known to say, “I love you poopy too.”
I have a complicated relationship with religion. I always have. I’ve said this here before, I’m sure. My parents were never religious, although my mom had her “deep thought” moments. If we went to church as children it was an infrequent occurrence, and I don’t remember my parents being there. So religion was not something part of our upbringing, nor was it something outwardly encouraged.
I grew to question more than believe. There were a lot of things in my life that led me to this, mostly inconsequential to anyone but myself. I question more and more as I get older.
I also don’t hate, judge, or question others in their beliefs. In fact I’m a little bit jealous of their faithfulness and dedication. Unless you’re the faithful for appearance’s sake, but not in your heart.
But I can without a doubt admit that there have been a handful of times I have prayed to God or thrown a thought or hope into the universe and even (lard people don’t come for me) prayed to my mom.
Here in good old temperamental Kentucky (the earth lately tbh) it’s been raining cats and dogs and cows and ducks for days now, resulting in dangerous flash flooding and water in the roads.
I drive a little old (literally old) 2007 Chevy Cobalt. Me and that old girl have been through some schtuff, so I ain’t trying to throw hate. But she be light and if you’re not careful and you hit a centimeter of water in the road the wrong way she will fly off into outer space.
Tonight on the way home from work, the pouring rain reduced visibility to darn near nil, and there was a conservative estimate of an inch or so of water in the road a lot of the way (I might have caused a tidal wave to hit Japan in some places). Needless to say, I was SKURT. It didn’t help that my ARCH NEMISIS THE BIG SANDY RIVER was to my right for 75% of my drive (that’s another blog post).
The point I’m so wordily trying to make here is that I may or may not have verbally dictated a request for leniency in the matter of life or death unto an entity that may or may not be God and/or my mom.
The basis of said request entailed my desire to live for the love of my life: my daughter. Also included was a not-promise-but-an-acknowledgment of my own responsibility in keeping myself alive. I’ve made promises of “I’ll be a better person” or “I’ll pray more” or “I’ll dance naked under the pale moonlight” before and I’m no good at keeping promises. Or dancing. Or nudity. Gross.
But on that long, slow, mentally taxing drive home I kept telling myself and who/whatever was listening that I just wanted to see her face. I mean my husband is cool and all but he knows she’s number one. “Please let me see her face. I need to be alive for her” was my goal.
Now, I know normal people wouldn’t have been afraid for their lives, but I’m not normal, clearly. I also have anxieties and fears that are irrational and I accept them and we’ve bonded. Not really they just won’t leave me alone.
“As I’m writing this it’s still pouring rain AND THERE ARE WEIRD SOUNDS OUTSIDE so, anxiety, clearly here to stay.”Me, suffering silently 2020-?
As I was saying, I have irrational fears, not excluding the fear of dying in some way related to my car. I said we’ve been through a lot and there’s still more to come.
So I drive home, slowly, and tightly gripping the steering wheel, wanting nothing more to make it home alive to my sweet child. I cannot help but “tell” myself and this mystery audience that I suppose only my heart knows is there, “if you help me make it home safely, I will try to keep my end of the bargain, and continue to live.”
That doesn’t mean I wanted to die, nay. I fear death, heavily. I just wasn’t trying really hard to not die.
I Did Live
Unless I’m writing this in limbo, I clearly made it home to my daughter, whose first words upon seeing me were, “did you bring me something.” I did baby. I did.
When I pulled into the driveway and put the Old ‘Balt (that’s a thing I call my car sometimes) in park. I took a deep breath as I waited for the rain to lighten up before I got out. It didn’t.
By now, hours later, the rain has indeed lightened up, I can barely hear it now, and my tiredness is getting to me. I’ve not stayed up this late in a very long time. But I need to get this all off my chest before I go to sleep. I need to document what happened today, so there’s a least some written record of it.
I WILL Live. Period
I won’t be afraid of my heart exploding, or a heart attack, because I will try in earnest to stop drinking caffeine, my only drug of choice. And I will be able to climb stairs without feeling like death (except for that fear or stairs-you guessed it, another post). I will lose weight, even if I don’t want the flappy skin side affect.
And I will be happier, because I will either find a better job or get back into teaching.
Oh and I will also try to document my “journey” right here. So, y’all get to deal with my bonkers self ALL. OVER. AGAIN. Maybe WEEKLY even!
Thanks for reading!
My kid asked me to tell her about her brain and heart before going to sleep tonight. And she said something about “the little thing in my brain and what it does.” Has she been chipped and is self-aware?