43. An age my father never saw. Outliving your parent is a strange feeling.
Living in a world they no longer exist in hurts. A certain level of fear comes with navigating life without the guidance of the man programed to protect me.
My father died very suddenly one night due to a blood clot in this lung at the age of 42. Nine days after my 14th birthday. One week after my mother turned 40.
In October last year, I was diagnosed with a blood blot. At the age of 42. The irony was not lost on me, however the anxiety exponentially multiplied. One of my first thoughts was, “are you kidding me?” The Universe enjoys surprising me.
This news forced me to examine everything. While testing and appointments and arguments with insurance ensued, I sat with my thoughts. I was the same age as my father when he died. I have two almost 14-year-old girls. I’m now fully aware I am not in control of what goes on in my own body much less the entirety of my life.
Sitting with my thoughts alone is a dangerous path to take, so good for me I have a killer support network. It was a wonderfully enlightened friend who suggested this was my chance to free myself from the fear I carried a majority of my life and accept life on life’s terms. I became open to finding the truth within myself, and accepting that right now, this moment is where life is. Not in the regrets of the past or the fears of the future.
Addressing the medical and physical dynamics of this diagnosis included blood work, multiple procedures and countless appointments. Taxing on my energy. However, the mental and emotional dynamics were continuous, non-stop and all-consuming drain on my daily functioning.
This experience took my enlightenment journey to a new awareness. It forced me to be honest with myself. To pull out my fears from the darkest parts of me and hold them out into the light. I found out there are parts of me I don’t like – parts of me I would rather keep hidden, however I am not pieces of a person. I am a whole person, darkness and light. Altogether beautiful – not only the shinny photo-ready parts.
I fell down.
I made mistakes even when I knew they were mistakes as I was making them.
I covered up.
All of which impacted people around me in a negative way. Not something I’m proud of.
I do not write to you from this euphoric location of enlightenment. I am not “fixed” and sitting on a high horse somewhere. I write to you from the mud – tripped up by a giant pothole. Drenched in failure and questioning all life’s choices. I’m in the middle of the struggle. Continuing on the path.
During my travels so far I’ve learned a simple, yet daring lesson on how I want to live. What I’ve found as the only way I have a chance at being happy and healthy. It takes vulnerability and energy and dedication. You must be brave enough to adapt and accept this way of life.
(Pause for dramatic effect)
Be present now.
In this moment…
I am healthy.
I write from my make-shift-sick-bed on my couch at home on the other side of major surgery which provided me the solution to blood clots developing in my body, and have been granted freedom from the fear of what may come.
I have a warm house during this cold night.
I have a fridge full of food from friends & family who’ve taken care of me and mine these last few weeks.
I have a husband who literarily held me up when needed during my recovery.
I am breathing.
I am alive on the last night of 42, right now.
(See how I sprinkled gratitude in there without even writing the word).
As this posts, I turn 43 years old. I write that with gratitude and pride. I promise to live in the moment this year. And if I begin to time travel and seek out the anxiety, stress and pain caused by regrets from yesterday or fears for tomorrow, I also promise to be still until I find the moment again so I can live in it.
43 is good for me!
*I want to give a special shout out to the medical professionals who walked me through this journey and fought for me to get a solution rather than pass me off and continue a treatment that would not have worked anyway. So grateful for the care you took for me!
Dr. Julie Ellis – who found the clot and hugged while I cried in fear of what was to come
Dr. Wangjian Zhong – who patiently explained everything, including the uniqueness of my cases and the possible unique cause and solution
Dr. Charles Bush III – who talked to me like he would his own sister & who found the evidence of my diagnosis which FINALLY secured my approval for surgery from the insurance company (after multiple denials)
Dr. Nabeel Gul – who kindly walked me through the entire surgery and the need for it, who personally called me to explain delays and what he was doing to advocate for me with the insurance company and who operated on me and went the extra step to ensure my care.
Geri at Dr. Gul’s office – who answered every call and message from me with kindness & who advocated for me all the way.
Courtlant, RN nightshift on 5E at Baptist Health – who hugged me through the pain & helped me fall asleep.
(I know there are many more of you who took amazing care of me I was medicated so well it effected my memory 😉
To all the medical staff at Baptist Health, I am so grateful for the care you took in my health. Every. Single. Person myself or my family interacted with was so kind and caring.
Thank you so very much for taking the very best care of me.