Tuesday, October 19, 2010

30 Days of Truth: Day Three

Day Three:  Name something you have to forgive yourself for.

I think most people have regrets.  It is human nature.  It is just the manner in which people chose to handle them that is the most telling.

I would like to say I have no regrets or that I have nothing to forgive myself for, but I can't. I would be lying.  I know many people that don't have regrets who can say that - and it is quite the envious trait I must admit.  The idea of being able to live without wondering "What if?" must be incredibly freeing.  I am working on it though.

So the heart.  That pic' illustrates what is wrong with me.  I don't have a broken heart in the sense of romance - Pooldad still loves me [I think? - ::Honey feel free to comment anytime!::] but the fact is my heart is actually broken.  And I think I could've tried harder to keep it from happening.

But now that it has and I am stuck with a crappy ticker, I have to deal with it, but first I have to forgive myself for letting it happen.

[If this post could be anymore self indulgent just let me know.  ::crickets::]

Here is the deal - I have had severe anemia for over 20 years.  This isn't your run of the mill, typical, "every woman gets a little anemic during her time of the month" anemia.  This is the full bore "let's give Skippy a blood transfusion" type of anemia.  I stopped giving blood in my teens because of it, pregnancy became a thing I should never do again and basically I just learned to live with being the pale girl who was cold and tired all the time.  Oh and I ate a boatload of liver and greens. No kidding. [Thank goodness I love the stuff.]

Everytime I was tested for anemia the doctors would come back with "We don't know what is causing it.  Oh well."  Seriously - no one wanted to try harder, least of all me, to discover what the heck was wrong and why pills, shots and transfusions weren't sticking.

It should also be said that I hate hospitals, doctors - anything to do with cold steel, polished floors, antiseptic and white coats.  No thank you.  So when they threw up their hands, so did I.  I was just happy to be out of there.

Then came this past year and as I got progressively more ill I refused to go to the doctors.  Refused.  They couldn't fix what was wrong with me before and I didn't want to bother with them again.

My mistake.

When I finally ended up at the hospital the doctors said "You are probably the most anemic person we have ever seen.  How are you not dead?"  [True statement.  I have also heard this before.]  How do you answer that?

After they pumped me full of six pints of iron rich blood [Quick aside:  If vampires suck the blood out of everyone why the hell are they so pale?  Are they only attacking anemic people?  I mean I get the whole no sun thing, but c'mon!] the doctors discovered the anemia had caused Congestive Heart Failure [CHF].

Here comes the forgiveness part:  I knew I was sick.  I didn't know exactly what it was, but had I gone months earlier I probably could've gotten the transfusion sooner and saved my heart from failing.  MY fault.  No doubt.

Stupid.  It doesn't bother me so much for me - it is just knowing that I have lessened my life expectancy because of a bad choice and therefore have ultimately denied my children and the love of my life a Mom and a companion for the years they expected me to be here.

This will take some time I think, but I am working on it.


BB said...

Let's remember that this challenge is about ourselves. So there is no such thing as apologizing for writing about yourself. I think this is a great post. You are admitting that you're human and yes you need to forgive yourself however long it takes. I'm sure there are a lot of people who find you a fantastic and very strong person. (I've read some comments on your blogs you know!!). Thanks for sharing this.

Celia said...

I agree. Thanks for sharing. My therapist told me, "If you would have honestly know what was going to happen, would you have changed anything?" Of course! Hind sight is always 20/20.

RVVagabond said...

You forgive yourself and then you continue to take good care of yourself as you have been doing since. Minus the being-dragged-by-the-dog kind of stuff, of course. Heh.

Look forward, sweetie. There's a bright future there still.

word vert: dester. Dester-ado, why don't you come to your senses? (yeah, it was a BIIGGG stretch for that one!)

Jeannie said...

Even if they told you the consequences, they likely seemed so far off they weren't real. And they weren't fixing you. Unless you are one of those annoyingly persistent people who are able to nag doctors to no end, I think your reaction was probably typical. Most people respond to a situation that they can't change by accepting it and living the best they can from day to day. How else would they know what the outcome would be? You may regret not being that other nagging person, but you might as well regret not being Santa Claus. I'm thinking that you did your best with what you had.

Is a heart transplant a possibility or not the answer? Would the anemia disqualify you?

OmaLindasOldeBaggsandStuftShirts said...

I think forgiveness of self is the hardest thing I have ever faced. I know I am not the only one. I know you are not the only one. Linda and all the others are right.....forward looking is the only sane way to live. If you are always checking out the shoulda, coulda, wouldas then you miss the is, the now, the possibilities. You still have so much to give, live and contribute. It may be in a different way than you had envisioned it but it is the now.
I always thought that I was going to be tall, slender, with long legs like my sister but this stumpy legged, chubby, brown haired broad showed up in the mirror before I realized how what I wanted and what I had to work with was my future. And yet.......
You are so honest and straight edged in this post. Hurrah for you, you go girl. Tell it like it is...that's the deal, right? The Olde Bagg

life in the mom lane said...

It is easy to recognize what is best for others, harder to recognize it for yourself.
If you knew then what you know now... would you have pushed harder, done more for yourself? I would guess the answer would be yes.
Don't beat yourself up for ignorance about your condition... (and I don't mean ignorance in the negative connotation...) If you had truly understood what the ramifications would be for your family you would've done whatever you needed to. Unfortunately your doctors did not push you the way they SHOULD have.

Do NOT beat yourself up further... from what I know of your health you have had to deal with way more than anyone should have to in a lifetime...

Calandreya said...

If you learn from this incident and don't do it again, thereby taking better care of yourself the rest of your life, you may have actually -extended- your years on this planet.

I have heart problems, too. I have to just be thankful for every day I get with my family, do the best I can to stick around, and hope that I get to see some of the milestones I really want to witness.

Forgiving yourself is hard. So, put yourself in your daughter's shoes. If she had made this mistake, would she be worthy of forgiveness?

Michaela said...

Dear Skippy, I honor you for sharing this story with us. I hope you will be able to forgive yourself. After all, the Drs repeatedly failed to Dx the cause of your anemia. I would have lost interest in pursuing it further, too. I feel angry about your CHF. It seems incredibly unfair. But in no way do I blame you for it. Love, M. xxxxoooo

qandlequeen said...

It would be nice to have a crystal ball, especially at times like this. To know you can prevent something. But I very truly believe things happen for a reason and that's not something to say to someone who knows what will likely be the cause of her demise - sorry.

Life has changed for you and your family. From what I've been reading, while it's been a difficult transition, all of you are handling it quite well. Your family has come together as a strong core. Would this have happened otherwise? Hard to say, but your silly little ticker certainly has rallied the troops. And look at you - still funny, engaging, and living life.

No, it's not what you would have planned for yourself, but it's also not defeating you. You are rising up to the challenge with your beautiful family standing behind you and bracing you up.

You and I have been on this planet long enough to know that it's not the easy times that build character and mean the most.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story Skippy! I've wanted to send you an email since we just became friends to find out how you could only go upstairs one last time and that had to be when you went to bed. :(

My husband is the same way with doctors and hospitals - the farthest he can stay away from them he will!

On a completely other subject, I answered your question about the bread - once you start making it you will want to make it every day!

Just put the dough on parchment paper - once the oven gets hot I just lift it off my counter and then straight on the stone.

After it bakes the first 25 minutes, I take it off the parchment paper and directly on the stone so the bottom crisps up - it slides right off! :D


colenic said...

You are an amazingly brave woman to share your story....and forgiveness is always hardest when it's yourself you need to forgive. Hugs...

Yart said...

I left a little something for you over at my blog... a well deserved award.


Yum Yucky said...

My may need counseling if I re-hash all the things I needed to forgive myself for. I'll just leave it at that. LOL!