On Being Afraid
I can honestly say that I am not a scardery cat, it isn't in my nature. In life there are the careful people who, if a large fire breathing Dragon pitched up in their garden, breathing fire, would stay indoors, get the water buckets out and ring for the Police, Fire Brigade and Ambulance just incase. They would be very quiet and probably hide under the table. I am the opposite, I am the Dragon Slayer, I would in all probability, march out and demand to know what the Dragon was doing in my garden, lecture it on the dangers of fire breathing near houses and tell it, very assertively to F Off. I would have no plan A or Plan B for that matter, but I would have an underlying and absolute faith in my ability to succeed.
I have no fail factor built into my psyche. It has landed me in trouble more than a few times and I have, at times, said to myself, walk away from the drama. But, I also have that little voice in my ear that says, go on, take it on, you know you can sort this, easy peasy. So I do.
I am the person you want in a crisis or when all hope is lost. I will be as worried that it will all go tits up as you are, but I will be damned if it will have me hide under the table, even though doing so is the right thing to do.
Throughout my life I have done the dare that others say no to, drove the fastest, ridden the bonkers mad horse, approached the scary dog, jumped off the too high building and befriended the nasty one's. What I never, ever prepared myself for has been how afraid my illness makes me feel. The fear of it and its horrible symptoms makes me so afraid I am often too afraid to leave the house. The worse thing are the without warning rapid heartbeats. I have gone from feeling great to standing up and having super fast up to 250 beats a minute heart stuff. I feel dizzy, I have passed out, I feel like my heart is going to burst and I am so, so scared of them.
I get pain with my autoimmune stuff, terrible, screaming, burning, bone splitting, nerve jangling pain. It isn't managed with my super strong drugs, but, it will not kill me. It might bring a tear to my eye, it might have me howl at the moon in rage and desperation, but, I can suck it up. I get stiffness, times I can only shuffle and have to now use a wheelchair, but that will not kill me and I can suck that up too, however reluctant I have been to carry on shuffling.
The heart stuff is another matter it isn't a palpitation or a skip and a jump heartbeat, though they can be troublesome. the A~Fib is horrible, like a bag of worms squirming away in my chest and the unpredictable fast erratic beat. No amount of people have it all the time, ever really soothes a sufferer's mind. No, all those are horrible and people have my utmost sympathy, but, oh but, the SVT's, the racing heartbeat, the impossible to count heartbeats, the thump of pain, like being smashed with a bat in the centre of my chest pain. That is what I fear. It stop me going out on my own, it stops me taking walks or rides off road, it makes me afraid to ago to the places I love, the wild spots, the beaches, the off grid places the walking around, always with a phone that is always charged, the carrying various meds with me, even when going to the toilet, the, what if it happens when I am showering on my own times, the will the ambulance get here in time moments and the will they find my house times. The wrist band that I need to hit before I blackout to get help, the having a list of contact numbers in my purse and a list of my meds.
In some way, the preparation makes it worse, the constant reminders that it can happen any moment, the sheer unpredictability of it, the what if's all make me afraid and I hate, hate being afraid. I hate calling for an ambulance and having the paramedic act like he could be at a more important call than mine, trying to explain that no, it isn't a palpitation that when I rang I was on the verge of passing out. The relief when they find it, the fear when I wait for the blood test after my heart shows stress because of the fast beats. The waiting to know if I have had a heart attack, trying to stay brave for Mr T, seeing his face all worried and trying to pretend he isn't, the thoughts of how will he cope, the telling him I have written everything down and the relief when it is just another SVT. Last year I had an angiogram, the wire in the wrist that hurt like hell, the feeling of the wire travelling inside my body, the heavy, heavy feeling of it in my heart, the relief when I am told my arteries are clean and I have no blockages and the months afterwards of pain as my autoimmune reacts to the invasion with yet more inflammation.
I hate being afraid, I hate that my life isn't one I would choose or expected. I have lots I want to do.. I hate that people waste the gift of health, that they are content to do nothing when I want to do so much, I try not to be jealous, be angry, be short tempered with and hate the moaners and whiners who have some pain but really not too much. I hate that I hate. I hate each pity party day when I cry for hours, I hate that I cry for me, but I cry for my family more. This isn't the life we planned.
I have so much to be thankful for, my husband who is wonderful, my son who I adore and his wife who I am learning to love like a daughter. My animals who share my waking moments, who get to see and hear the new me more than anyone. Most of all I am always humbled by those who have such disabling illnesses or disabilities and still climb that mountain whether metaphorically or physically. I need to sort this, I need the pill in my pocket that stops the rapid stuff in its tracks, it exists. I need it. Once I have it, my life will take on a different meaning. Time to sort it.