There’s a reason why we have the saying, “Hindsight is 20/20.” What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your patient journey that would have made it easier and less scary?
Gosh, what wouldn’t I have wanted to know at the very beginning of this dastardly journey…
1. That one diagnosis often leads to others because the nature of being in a diseased state is such that once one thing is out of whack, EVERYthing gets out of whack. You will observe a new-normal state of “Stack-of-Whack.”
2. That people don’t have to care. This might, indeed make them a bit of an asshole, but truly…All Health, All the Time is *not* on everyone’s priority level. How they interact with you is, however important. Work hard at separating those two, distinct, issues. What is important to you is not necessarily on the same level of “Care Scale” as someone else’s, but you still matter. Period.
3. That it would suck at how much effort would be required to own my shit. I quit smoking, took up weight training, stepped up my #selfcare efforts. Anything and everything to be a pro-active advocate for my own health that augmented the level of care I receive from my healthcare team. And, it’s feckin’ hard work.
4. Choice. That I would regularly have to choose between being an Eeyore and being a “Puppies’n’kittens’n’rainbows’n’shit”…and often alternating between each several times per day. I’m honest with myself. If my day sucks the proverbial balls, you’re going to know it. You’re also going to know when I’m having a stellar day and you’re sure as shit going to know when I’ve done something FRABJOUS…because “Do”ing is so very important to maintaining a quality of life.
5. That it would hurt…that it would actually soul-hurt…to grieve the loss of the life you’d had previously. Disease changes a lot of things. The trick is to find the way to becoming a better person because of it…not a bitter person because of it.
6. In conjunction with number 5 above…the number of times you will find yourself lactating with rage at the Cosmos for the plate of suck-assery that is disease. And, that’s okay.
7. That the need for validation of yourself as a human being is
almost like an addiction. I crave the recognition when I do mixed media versus eliminating Metformin, for example, because it’s NOT health-related…it means I’m a human being with hopes and interests and likes and passions. 🙂
8. That I was going to lose a lot of friends.
9. That I was going to gain a lot of friends.
10. I really wish I would have known just how strong I am. But, then. When the world seemed to have had its central light blown out. When the fear and the chaos wrapped itself my diagnosis and squeezed so tightly I thought I would never see “Hope.” But, it’s always there…even if very deep down inside…and I really wish I would have been able to see it then…to see what so many others have seen, been inspired by and emulated within their own journeys.
I really wish I would have known just how very much I matter.