Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another Damn Lesson In Patience

Here is a brief medical update, before my next entry, for those of you interested in the details…
My workups with both the cardiologist and the nephrologist (kidney specialist) turned out fine. I have a great heart. It just happens to be beating irregularly from pain, stress, sleep deprivation, and having my life turned up-side-down. We don’t really know which, but I’m doing better, so it doesn’t matter. I am continually attempting to give up my attachment to cause and effect when things are unknown and unknowable.

My kidney function is normal right now, but it had dipped down for a while. I have had some cysts in one of my kidneys for more than 20 years, and though it normally works fine, the combination of pain, stress, and medication might have pushed my kidney a bit beyond its limit. Since my kidney function is back to normal we’re just watching it. My blood pressure is coming down, my irregular heartbeats are much fewer and farther between, and I’m sleeping much better.

BUT… I am still in constant pain. It never goes completely away, but it is less intense. I am a bit more able to move, but I feel the ramifications each time I try to lift so much as a light grocery bag. I get fatigued from just about anything I do, and I nap several times a day when I can. When I can’t nap, I am still prone to falling asleep in doctor’s office parking lots if I have a few extra minutes before an appointment.

My sense of vulnerability leaves me feeling incredibly tender. I am still afraid that the wrong move (or an overenthusiastic hug) could fracture my sternum or ribs. The grief over the (temporary) loss of my upper body strength and abilities runs deep. It’s been 5 months already since this ordeal began, and I have a long way to go. Patience… another damn lesson in patience.