It has been quite the ride for me over the last seven months. At the moment, I am in a state of waiting. This is a state of impatience at nauseam that is both mind-boggling and heart wrenching. Over the last few days I have had some tests done at the cardiologist. I am praying and pleading for the outcome I want.
Today I am hoping to hear back from my doctor with those test results. It is a fine, tightrope of a line that I find myself on. One result will mean another open heart surgery, and probably soon. The other will send me back to the drawing board where I have been for the last 10 months. I am more fearful of the latter. Isn’t that something…
Being an adult CHD patient and an older one at that, considering my super special advanced powers, and ass backwards super defective insides, I am really on the up and up. They say this confidently, then they add (“they” being the doctors), you only have one heart, and with everything you have been through it looks okay, but (there is always a but) it isn’t great. It isn’t going to improve. We can’t explain why things are happening the way they are. My favorite part, “science just hasn’t caught up to your anatomy, yet”. (Side note: On hearing this, my highly dramatic, completely irrational inner voice was saying, “Toe tag, could we get a toe tag over here please?! This one is on her way out!” My logic kicked back in a few moments later, mostly because I had backup with me. We’re all good on the home front now.)
The flip side of this coin is, despite the brilliant news above, they noted that I have surpassed all odds and shattered many barriers that they never knew someone with my heart could do. I am not sitting around waiting to die or adding disease on top of disease, I am living a strong life. Even now, with this dumb oxygen tank in tow. Okay, it’s not dumb. It’s freakin’ heavy and super annoying, but it helps me get oxygen to my body, so it’s not dumb. I would like to add that it was a wonderful gift donated to me, to which I will forever be grateful. Shout out to B.J. and Angel Medical Supply!
Right now I am still sitting here and waiting, wondering which side of the rope my fate will fall? One minute I can breathe, the next I find myself holding my breath. I think, who wishes for heart surgery? Well, this girl. I know when I know that something is wrong. I know my heart and my body better than any person or doctor under the sun. For 10 months I have been trying to convince the doctors that I know what is wrong, and this test could prove it. If it does, it can be fixed. Is it risky? 100%. Is it scary? No scarier than all the others. Could it improve my quality of life? I believe so. I really do.
This defect or disease as they call it, it is not who I am, but it is a part of me. I don’t let it control my life. However, when you are battling to breathe, you feel your heart rate fluctuate throughout the day, and you are passing out it is hard not to feel overwhelmed by it all from time to time. Though I like to believe I am super human, I am really just a woman who is an athlete in her soul, trapped in a body that is broken in some respects. My grease monkey attitude has pushed me to limits I didn’t know I could reach. At 37 I had delts, a six-pack and biceps that were straight out of a comic book. It was hard work, but I loved that work. Grinding in the gym each day gave me a sense of normalcy I had never felt before. Not only that, I felt strong for the first time in my life. It wasn’t just a feeling either, I was physically strong. For a chronically ill person, that is something that shatters ceilings, and it does make you feel superhuman for a while.
That part of me is not gone, she has just been benched for now. I still do my push ups, sit ups and pull ups from time to time. Lifting weights isn’t recommended when you tend to hit the floor for no apparent reason and not recall why. So, I only do that occasionally at home with dumbbells. 😉
The Gena I was and the Gena that I am now, seem to be fighting a bit. I refuse to sit down and accept that I can’t. My body may not be able to do what it use too and that it a hard pill to swallow considering I had to climb freaking Mt. Everest a few times to get there in the first place. What’s another trip, Eh? Life is in constant motion, ever-changing, always moving forward. We have to learn to adapt or get left behind and wonder, why am I so unhappy? You didn’t want to change. I have to change my perspective, my lifestyle and attitude.
Just because science doesn’t know how to fix what is in here, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It only means I have to wait. I suck at waiting. Instead, I will adapt. I will pray for heart surgery, the tune up that I need. I will find ways to improve and better my life and push forward, because that is who I really am. Even if I am still waiting to be fixed, to feel better, you will never find me sitting around waiting to die, even when the end is near.
I am Wonder Woman, don’t you know?!