There comes in life sometimes things that make you sit up and take notice. Things that challenge your hope and faith even. Sometimes they sneak up on you and other times they are kind of expected but even then they can knock you for six.
Today was just one such day when this happened.
As can be seen from this photo (that I snapped en-route) it was a glorious day and being the only patient travelling meant I got to sit up front and talk with Jimmy the driver.
Jimmy is a typical Irishman and fascinating conversationalist and I really enjoyed his company.
These visits are a regular monthly visit and I go to take part in a clinical trial and for weight management. I have struggled with morbid obesity for years now and the effect that it already has on my existing heart conditions has always been a huge concern.
The clinical trial, or at least my part in it finished today and I get the full results of it in a couple of weeks but we have already decided that I will (subject to anything major showing up in the final results) continue with the treatment which will now change so that it can be self administered.
Worryingly my LDL levels were elevated which I have to keep a check on but even more concerning my PSA levels (Prostrate Specific Antigen) levels are very high. Apparently these are the levels which indicate the possibility of prostate cancer.
Now I was told not to worry too much about these at this time as more tests were done today as part of the clinical trial which ended today and that will give us a truer and more up to date reading. (Yeah right telling a paranoid schizophrenic not to worry is like telling an injured haemophiliac not to bleed). But I shall do my best not to focus on it too much.
Thankfully, but not really thankfully at all, I was then given other stuff to worry about by the other team members I saw.
It seems the problem with my heart condition and my weight is now very concerning and they want me to consider going into hospital for treatment for six weeks and then having surgery or surgeries at the end of it. Being seriously sick and morbidly obese makes the normal avenues of fighting weight gain so very difficult and removes limits your options somewhat. So part of the treatment is to address my weight and to get me at last healthy enough for the surgery or surgeries that have been needed for a while now.)
The ‘it is entirely your choice but if you don’t you have to accept the seriousness of your heart condition and the situation and that you could be dead within 6 months’ was just a little disconcerting. As was the sincerity and seriousness of the discussion and facial expressions during said discussion.
Now I have to be honest here. Part of me is extremely worried and kind of scared by all this.
But the greater part of me is at peace over it.
As a rule, since this s primarily a mental health blog, I tend to keep matters concerning my faith pretty much low key on here but sometimes things are so serious that you just have to be fully open and who you are.
I am a Christian and I have faith in Christ and in my heavenly Father and from that the assurance that is provided. To borrow the words of Paul from Philippians 1:21 “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
I am – despite the appearances you may gain from my online candor and openness – a very private person. So the thought of being stuck in hospital, in a ward full of people, for 6 weeks is almost as unsettling the whole surgery thing. I hate hospitals and have a morbid fear of them, surgery and dentists.
At this time the only decision I had to make today was whether I would be willing to be put onto a list in readiness for this hospitalization and treatment and subsequent surgery/surgeries. Not actually to commit to anything other than being put on that list and so this I have consented to do.
We are, I am convinced, spiritual beings in as much as their is a spiritual aspect to all life and especially to us as humans. I therefore have the power of prayer on my side and to be perfectly candid – seeing as over two years ago I was told my heart could give way at anytime and I am still here – I do have some confidence in my ability to beat this thing. And yes I am aware of the seriousness of the situation and no I am not being guilty of post hoc ergo propter hoc here.
I am scared and I am worried. Not about where I will go or even what comes after the here for I am at peace over that. But how I get there or rather how I stop being here, what happens to those I will leave behind, and how to be all I can be and fight this thing in the mean time does worry and scare me somewhat.
Some days ago now I wrote a piece called, “I don’t wear my underpants on the outside” in which I was saying that we need to afford ourselves the right and the freedom to be human and weak and imperfect.
This piece comes so clearly to my mind right about now and something else has been going through my mind all day too. We, I, am human not superhuman.
Many moons back, one of my Kids – Trevor, (who possibly knows more than any of my kids what I am going through with my weight problems and heart problems since he too has had to face similar things) introduced me to a group called ‘Five for Fighting’ and one of their songs – Superman – has been going through my mind ever since I wrote that piece and especially ever since my hospital visit earlier today.
So I leave you will that song and I hope you really enjoy it. I am, we are human and we, I, have every right to be human with all the weakness, imperfectness and vulnerability that comes with it.
I am determined to fight this and in the mean time to accept that I am not superhuman but to do so with the sure knowledge that no matter how human, how weak, how imperfect, how vulnerable I may be. I do not fight this alone.