What To Do While Waiting For The Inevitable (And The Beginning Of Another New Year)

The phone rang and my pulse quickened, 'Could it really be?' I thought and slowly picked up the phone. "Hello." I said, my words sounded strained as if they came through gritted teeth or a throat that was being squeezed tighter and tighter with a spanner. "Hi" came a bright voice on the other end, "have you thought about your insurance lately?" my shoulder sagged in relief, it wasn't the hospital.

Like everyone else on the transplant list, at any time I could be told that a heart is available and whisked down through clean smelling corridors in a grey, drug induced lack of conscience to the place where people wear blue scrubs and carry long, shinny pieces of metal in the far off land of theatre.  For a few weeks it made me a bit jumpy, every time the phone rang I held my breath and imagined the possible series of events just like I was watching a brightly coloured, fast paced movie while clutching an overflowing popcorn box in the front row. Now that time has gone on I've become less afraid of phone calls, in fact I'm pretty relaxed about it, mostly.

It is an interesting experience waiting for something which you know you can't escape. Throughout the day you push it deep to the shadowy vault  hidden somewhere in the back of your mind and concentrate on what spread your having on your toast or what movie you're going to watch after dinner. Then with no warning it hits you and you remember the terrible thing that's coming and that however hard you try you know you can't escape. 

To be perfectly honest, I really do want a transplant and I am incredibly thankful that I can have one but... I don't really want one just yet. The thought of being cut up again and placed in ICU is one which I don't particularly relish.  

I can see a couple of options to choose from when you find yourself thrust into the terrifying middle of a situation where you can't escape. Option one (to become paralyzed with fear) is extremely attractive and for me involves barricading the door of my room and curling up with the internet or a good book and a family sized chocolate bar and hiding until the problem goes away. 

This option though seemingly laced with rational deliberation is actually intrinsically flawed.   

Option two is the hard one, the one which makes the left corner of my eye ball want to twitch. It is the option that calls for guts and boxing gloves and one that would never win a beauty pageant. 

Option two is to take a deep breath (maybe Google some inspirational quotes) and... get on with living 

I don't want to be defined by Cardiomyopathy or Doctor's check ups, I want to be defined by me. It is so easy to allow an illness to consume your very existence and its so easy to become 'the sick person' wherever you go. For next year I'm going to try and go to University, I'm going to try and get back into doing things I love, I'm not going to sit around and wait for the transplant to just happen. 

It doesn't matter what past we have or what chronic illness we suffer under, I believe even though it is desperately hard, we can move forward and fight for the act of living. Fighting for the act of living of course differs depending on circumstance, it might involve gathering the strength to smile through another round of chemotherapy or being able to find happiness while lying in a hospital bed in ICU. My younger sister is a good example of this. I remember when she was dying and the nurses were wheeling her down into theatre and she made them all laugh and smile at her jokes. She was almost always happy and cheerful even though life was so hard for her, she has taught me so much and she will always continue to be my biggest inspiration. 

2016 is now upon us and we have turned with fingers trembling to a new page to begin the next chapter in our lives. What this new chapter will bring is uncertain, the road might be straight with sunshine forming golden pools of light and adventure on the path and good times like shining pebbles littered along the way. But then  again, the road may be a hard one cast in deep shadow and pain and suffering will lead us and be our guide. Mostly years are a combination of the two but looking back there is always more good in life than bad. Whatever happens in the new year, be it light mixed with shadow, we can always fight for life, we can always find hope and something to fight for through our circumstances however black things may seem. 

- the-average-cyborg-girl

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