We talked about how pivotal of a year age 50 is. I’ve got until August but its coming up quickly. We talked about how a close friend of mine, someone I’ve known for 21 years, has a serious illness that she’s dealing with. It breaks my heart. We talked about how much life changes when a person gets older. Dr. D asked if I’ve been thinking about my mortality. I told him that it seems to always be on my mind anymore. The thing is, May 7th is the 3rd year anniversary of the amputation. February 12th was the 3rd year anniversary of going into the hospital for 5 months but May 7th, 2018 is the date of the amputation surgery.
The reason mortality is on my mind is that when I first got out of the hospital I didn’t feel like it mattered if I got out of bed because I was just going to fall on the floor and die anyway. Then a little time passed and I stopped feeling as paralyzed by events. But one thing that has hung over me like a black cloud is that nearly 40% of people with my amputation can pass away within a five year time period. Knowing that, it feels as if I’m anxious for five years to come and go so I can sort of relax.
This lead to the conversation about my mother. When I was a kid I didn’t expect to live past the 4th grade. I thought my mother would kill me by then. I knew she hated me. I could feel how much she hated me when she hit me. I could hear it when she threatened to ‘gut me’. I just expected to be killed. So yeah, I thought I was on borrowed time. Then I made it to high school and thought, well I’d better get my life together if I’m going to live. So I started planning some sort of future for myself. Then I got really sick. Lupus started acting up! The point? If I wasn’t running for my life from my mother, I was running from the symptoms of Lupus trying to kill me. Something was always chasing me, even now, Lupus is chasing me and so I sometimes wonder why I’d plan for events for age 55 or age 60 when more than likely Lupus will have its final say? What’s the point of starting something I won’t finish? I have a feeling of doom, a black cloud over my head and its been there since I was a kid. For most of my life I’ve been running from something or someone. While I don’t run from abusers any longer, I do run ahead of Lupus as if to keep a few steps ahead and outsmart it.
I use the term Lupus broadly. When I say Lupus I am tossing in everything associated with it. I’m tossing in blood clots. I’m tossing in issues with my heart, lungs and kidneys, which I wouldn’t have if not for the Lupus. Least spoken of are these blurry eyes of mine and the stroke recovery.
There was no resolution for this line of thought in my sessions today. It was just an expression of that black cloud, of running and of waiting for a full five years to pass between the amputation and the thrombectomy surgery before I can take a deep breath. These surgeries were in 2018.