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I Am Different Now and Forever

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I had hoped this was the end of my illnesses. I say illnesses because through all this I still had issues with my heart. I had a couple episodes of chest pain that landed me in the hospital. I had to have another angio procedure. I was lucky that there were never any blockages, but it still is scary and I never knew what was causing all this. Was it truly my heart or some unknown side effect of treatment? Maybe I was just going crazy.

I did find balance and for now, I don’t have any issues with blockages, but I did have some issues with my heart racing. This is where the crazy part comes in. See with serious illness you are constantly at the doctor. One doctor to check the heart, one to check the breast, one to follow up treatment (actually two for that). I barely went a week without seeing some docrot. And I told them about the racing and feeling of lightheadedness. But nothing ever showed. So I kept going and looking forward to winter ending and spring coming. All with the occasional feeling of my heart racing and nausea and overall serious fatigue.

I had my heart attack in June of 2005. I was diagnosed with cancer in January of 2006, completed treatment in September 2006 and now it was closing in on Christmas. A new year (2007) beginning, a new life chance for me: I had a lot to be happy about.

But the feeling of my heart racing never stopped completely and finally after seeing my family doctor (nearly another year had come and gone by now), he heard it. He heard the irregular heartbeat, said I needed a specialist … right now. This would have been Christmas 2007.

And by February 2008 I had a defibrillator. Severe condition, do this or die! The specialist actually said that. If I didn’t have this implanted I could easily die the next time my heart goes out of whack.

So here I am in 2010 with all these thing behind me, all these things in the span of less than four years! But the scars of life are so real and so apparent to me. Not just the physical scars but the card carrying scars of having an implanted device. No airport security. Special clearance at my job, the fright of walking through the scanners in department stores. Everyday I think of these things and wonder what the purpose is of God having me face all these challenges.

I try not to obsess about it. I have a home monitor system that blinks a lovely red near my bed and sometimes I watch it to fall asleep and wonder what happens if the light color changes, or if it were to stop blinking all together. Or if I just regular die, like getting hit by a bus … would this thing continue to try to start a heart that doesn’t want to run? So many things have changed for me.

I am a different person. I am not stronger. I am controlled, kept alive, by a device the size of a pager and this will affect everything I do for the rest of my life. Funny thing is I thought that was what the cancer would have done.

When I began this writing, I asked, “Where am I?”

I have concluded that I do not know.

I am done now, will not write again. I had to tell this for me and for anyone else who may feel the same way.

I had to make you understand that not everyone handles illness the same way and we need to be accepting, not understanding, only accepting.

I don’t understand so I can’t ask anyone else to understand … but please accept me.


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