Many times since I became ill in 2004, I have asked myself this question. Am I crazy? Is this really happening to me? I have taken medications, talked to therapists, and other psychiatrists who all promise that I am not crazy, that I am not a hypochondriac and feel that I have good coping skills and am doing very well considering the situations / illnesses that I live with. Whew…that’s good news, because I still feel crazy.
Especially since the big ICU stay last year, all the tubes, the blood transfusions, multiple surgeries, not being able to talk, etc. It really brought out the crazy in me to a whole new level. My first diagnosis as altered mental status..lol. I can cry at the drop of a hat, it can be happy, sad, heartbreaking or the best…no reason at all. I have cried a river this past year. Not just for me and my own personal pity party, it is usually because of the suffering that I see in others.
This journey that I have been on has built a need within me to reach out to others. It doesn’t matter if it’s the same as my problem, cancer, a sick child, a sick parent. Throughout all of this I have felt led to share my journey, especially the worst times. I want people to know that there is hope. I want people to know that you diagnosis does not define the person that you are. I want people to know that the Dr. isn’t always right and it’s always good to get multiple opinions even if you love your Dr. Medicine is a constant changing world and there is continuing education happening nonstop. If you see 3 different specialists chances are they are all going to know about the same information but one of them, may possibly be the one that says “aha! I know what we should do”!
As I have cried this river of tears, it is also very important for me to mention that I have also laughed more in the last couple years as well. I mean, sometimes you just can’t cry anymore and you have to laugh. So to my local friends…if you see me crying or laughing inappropriately it’s just how I am now….lol.
I used to be very, very good at hiding my emotions but now I just kind of let them all hang out. I have fallen apart at so many inopportune times and laughed at inappropriate moments. Trust me I am medicated and I really feel that I should no longer be able to feel any emotions but that really isn’t working out for me, so I have to work harder at dealing with all the shit that I have kept pushed down. I don’t want to be negative Nancy all the time. Who likes a whiner???? Not me! I don’t want people to feel sad for me all the time because despite all the shitty shit that I live with….I love my life.
Anxiety…the worst emotion for me as it is sneaky and strikes me when I least expect it. Panic attacks…I never understood these but I sure as heck do now. Hyperventilating, passing out…it is seriously pure hell. Dale is best at calming me and helping me breathe and fortunately most times he is with me. They have gotten less but still sneak up on me occasionally.
After so many dr’s have told me that I was going to die and would only have a year or so, I decided they were wrong and sought out other dr’s who came up with different plans and different ideas. I am not ready to die yet…I have seen two of my three kids graduate high school and was told I would not be alive to see the first one. I plan on watching the third one graduate in May 2018.
Being present for things that I had prepared myself not to be here for can make those moments even more emotional for me. So this goal will be met and I continue to set new ones. I have found that my best emotional treatment is having something to look forward to. When your life is filled with staying home everyday, going to dr’s, and not always feeling good, it gets very hard to find motivation. A small trip, going to the salon, going out to eat, going shopping, going on a big trip….whatever it is, small or big, find that thing to keep you fighting and moving forward.
And for those that believe in the power of prayer, I think that there is nothing better than being lifted up by thousand of people praying for you. I always try to sit in the back at church. I always get emotional at church and it is a grateful that I feel so deeply it just starts the tears rolling. Embarrassing, yes, but it is who I am.