Two weeks ago, I made a post on Facebook that rambled on quite a bit, but hinted to health issues that I was facing. While I know not every one of you are on my Facebook, I received loads of comments and messages since then full of concern. At the time I wasn’t ready to talk about it and left some of you in the dark. Now that time has past, some of you are sitting there tapping your foot and saying “Mister … You Gots Some ‘Splainin to Do”. Well, here’s your time.
Let me start by saying this is a Two Part Post — One about what Happened, and One about what’s Going to Happen. All of this will be tied into a bit of a new direction for my blog, which I will get into later.
For starters, let me share the post the first half of what I posted on Facebook on January 21st:
Ok. I’m kinda drunk now so I can post this with more honesty than I normally show. The last couple of days I had a minor (emphasize minor) health scare. I shared the issue with very few people, but they still were able to remind me I am mortal, I need to make changes, my demons won’t go away unless I do something, but more than anything I am not alone. Before y’all react and make a pity party here; I have a plan, my doc likes my plan, and I know my life will get better – make no mistake of that.
Here is the story behind that post. Since November, I have been having an on again, off again cough that was nagging me. It kept me from doing some things when I was in Hawaii in December and came on pretty hard over the holidays. I began to believe I had pneumonia, something I knew would take more than just some cough medicine and rest to clear up. After a late Friday night of curling a few weeks back, I woke up and the cough was as bad as ever, and I was through with it. Thinking my doctor’s clinic was closed on Saturdays, I just found a walk-in urgent care place.
Instead of pneumonia, the clinic doc focused on high blood pressure, possible anemia, and was concerned about heart congestion. He began taking tests, confirmed the pneumonia but gave an initial diagnosis of heart issues requiring immediate evaluation by a cardiologist. He referred me to the local heart institute, emphasizing that I should get there as soon as possible.
Before I would take a step like that, I chose to see my own doctor for a second opinion. While I had only seen my doctor a few times, never had he even suggested I needed to see a cardiologist. Instead of making confirming the need for a cardiologist, my doctor told me quite the opposite. That visit ended up to be one of the best (and actually funniest) visits I ever made to a medical place. My doc and I had made a plan, and were just starting to work on it at that time. His thought was that even if the test came back showing heart concerns that if I work on my weight, my blood pressure, and my sleeping that the rest of it will come back in line. Since then, the testing performed by the clinic has come back negative, and even an EKG run recently shows I show no evidence of heart risk at this time.
But let’s face it, that’s only the “clinical” side of the issue.
I refer to that visit to the clinic as someone dropping “the little c” on me: “cardiologist” People only go see a cardiologist if they have a bad heart. People with bad hearts, quite simply, die. Suddenly, the idea that the clock that is my body is ticking, and ticking quickly, hit home.
The truth of the matter is that I DID have a plan, a plan that as of today is fully in swing. While I know I could have used the support, I didn’t want to have people telling me what I should do or making promises that either they couldn’t keep or I wouldn’t let them keep. So, I only let a very few people know what was going on for those couple of days. Yet as much as I resisted in myself to talk to anyone or even to suggest I needed help, I was shook by how heartfelt that help was and how trusting they were to accept my attempts to keep anyone / everyone at arms length. In that moment of realization – and with the help of an awful lot of beer – that Facebook post came out. With it came the primer for what, at the time, was what I was willing to accept for anyone considering to attach themselves to whatever issues I had. That was the second half of the post, which read:
That being said, I am still who I am – I am needy but don’t want help; I need accountability but don’t want to be told what to do; I show love by being a real asshole; I let my demons win because we deserve what we tolerate; most of all regardless of your opinion of me I will reject it – even if it means I will push you away. God doesn’t ask us to handle anything more than we are capable of; so don’t accept when it seems I am asking anything more (if that makes sense).
Much of that still holds true. In the months to come, my “Plan” will be in full effect – and expect me to reveal more an more of it as it goes along. The most obvious one will be in the follow-up post tomorrow; yet like I mentioned this blog will now become just as much about living in Alaska as it is about me wanting to live.