A very talented musician and artist died this week. Glenn Frey died of complications for RA/Crohns/Pneumonia. When I heard what the cause of death was, I stopped one thought about the fact that… he was like me. He struggled with a lot of the same crap I struggle with. And he died from complications of it. It took me aback. I through (for about half an hour) about my own mortality and there but for the grace of God go I.
And then I pulled up my big girl panties and got on with the day.
I’m kind of proud of myself sometimes, especially when I hear/read the people who bemoan their condition and who seem to only be able to bemoan their condition. I’m sicker than you… I hurt worse than you… Oh my life sucks so bad since I got this… and if that is how you have to look at this, I guess I kind of tend to agree with you… you must be worse off than me because I can still look out the window at the sunrise (or sunset) and see the beauty, I can still enjoy a cup of good coffee. I can still laugh and enjoy time with my family and talk to my friends. I can still watch the gulls fly over the river from my window at work. So I guess that means you win the Debbie Downer party.
But you know, I don’t have the luxury of my personality allowing me to do that.
Don’t get me wrong, I totally have days that suck. I’m pretty sure people without any kind of health problems have days that suck. Sometimes mine are brought on by myself. Sometimes mine are brought on by outside influences. But they happen.
We have taken to walking the dog every night. Last night it was freaking cold and we still walked her rather rotund butt the mile and a half route we go. It wasn’t fun. Peanut has arthritis in her leg and it was starting to ache her and I tried to carry her. That lasted three driveways. Add in the fact that Sunday morning I took a header on some ice hidden beneath snow on a sidewalk and hurt my ankle/knee/hip AND it is five weeks (YAY it is infusion day… AND Yoga) since my last infusion so my body is bitchy anyway AND the cold didn’t help matters any, and I ended the walk about half a block behind Bear and Peanut kind of gimping at the end. I took a Napproxin and went to sleep. The biggest Debbie Downer moment of the whole day was in the fact that I ended up 350 steps short of 10000 and it broke my 5 day streak.
Do I look at elevator buttons and wonder why I have to touch them and why I can’t just lug my stupid backpack up 17 flights of stairs? Yeah, sometimes. Do I look at tables in the food court or a coffee shop and wonder what the children of the person who sat their last have brought home from school that I might catch? Yeah. Do I stop and think… wow… Glenn Frey struggled with the same shit I struggle with? Yeah. Duh. How can I not?
But in the end, you really do only live once. My son calls me his hero. Bear has started calling me HIS hero. It’s humbling to think about sometimes because I’m just like the next guy, and the older I get the more I realize that. But here I sit at o-dark-thirty thinking about mortality, drinking the last of the coffee, getting ready to take on my day. It’s infusion day. Yeah, that means I get tied up to an IV and get poisoned, but it means I get to laugh with the nurses at the infusion center and I get to see what nifty new hats they have in the pile of knitted/crocheted hats that have been made and donated to the center. I get awesome whole grain graham crackers and very decent coffee that the nurses make. I’ll bust my ass at work (starting early because I have a lot of crap to do today) and I will go take yoga. I will be gentle with myself on the mat today because my knee still kind of aches but I will enjoy every minute of it. And I’m getting ready to sign up for the Presque Isle half marathon. Walking fast by the lake AND bling at the end? Yes please.
I can’t let it stop me. I may have to slow down some days and I may have to slow way the hell down some day… but even if I’m stuck in bed or in a wheelchair at some point in my life, I still will enjoy looking out the window at the deer, and the squirrels, and the sunrise. I will still enjoy the sound of the windchimes and spending time with people who matter. If you can’t live your best life possible, what’s the point?
I take my meds.
I go for my infusions
I wash my hands fifty times a day
I realize there are a lot of things that can kill me
but I haven’t died yet.
I spend my own pity party for about half an hour yesterday morning. Bite me. I’m old and entitled to a small one occasionally.
Now if you will excuse me, there is a very demanding dog that needs some extra puppy attention before I start my work-a-day world. Thank God for work from home days. I can wear sweats and put in three extra hours (the time I won’t be driving in, parking and walking) getting shit done.
Author: April Wells
Published January 20, 2016