Sunday, 19 June 2011

Murky mucous

Oh dear.  Things were going so terribly well.  Today I woke up feeling fine, but about three hours ago I started to cough up some really disgusting secretions.  Now, when I go to the doctor, the first thing he says is 'what colour is the stuff you're coughing up?'.  Well, on this occasion, it's kinda green and grey, with added brown and red.  Like I say, it's disgusting.  Welcome to my life. 

Clearly I have a chest infection, but I don't feel so bad.  Maybe it's the painkillers masking the symptoms, actually it probably is, but I'm not complaining.  I have a job interview on Tuesday afternoon, and although I know full well that I am too unwell to actually take the job (and occupational health will never clear me to do so), my pride dictates that I must put in a good showing.  I'd like the offer of the job, just to prove I still can 'do it'.  Many of my worst depressions are borne out of feelings of being on the shelf already.  I mean, at 31, I have never held a job for longer than a year.  I haven't ever been promoted.  I came close once but it was ruined by a psychotic colleague.  Long story, I will tell you one time.  I just mainly want to have all the things that someone of my age would normally have.   But my illness has prevented me from being able to build a reliable reputation at work, simply because of the amount of time that I am unwell either at home or in hospital.  Other things a person likes.  A job.  A house of my own.  An income.  A family.  The ability to care for myself and my own in the way I would like to.  I don't want things, I would just like to be able to live.  Things are not important.  When we are at deaths door, we don't think of a computer that we once wanted.  We think instead of people we knew and loved.  And time we spent with them.  And as my time on Earth is likely to be shorter than most, I would like to make the best memories that I possibly can.  And I just made myself cry writing that.  Silly me.

Love is so important.  My husband, faults though he may have, has always been there when I've needed him, often at cost to himself.  He hates the sight of blood, and yet he is always there to hold my hand when I am back from surgery.  It took me a long while to get used to, and I was suspicious at first.  I had always dealt with my illness on my own, and it felt strange to let someone else share the burden.  But support is good.  Once you learn to share your troubles, the load does lighten.

I suppose the worst thought I had today, staring at the disgusting mess produced by my lungs was 'here we go again'.  I hate hospitals.  Despite appearances, I am actually deathly frightened of everything that happens there.  I have very few good memories of being in hospital.  Mostly my time in hospital has been very lonely, and full of fear and stress and pain.  And despair.  I despair that this will never end, but I have to keep telling myself that it will.  Some would call it faith, some would call it trust in your doctors, others would call it blind optimism.  But I strongly believe that I shall not have to suffer much longer.

There are people in far worse situations.  But when you're in a heap on the floor, as you have collapsed from lack of oxygen, other people don't come into it.  Lack of oxygen narrows your thoughts and refines your concerns in such a way that you can probably think very clearly about essential things only.  My fear is not of death.  My fear is of torture.  A quote that I borrowed from Thomas More on the Tudors.  Torture for me would be fighting for air for hours before obstructing and arresting.  And it has happened so many times already, that it's a real fear and one that I cannot avoid.

So I am making plans.  Should I become unwell enough to know that I shan't survive much longer, I will be taking myself off to Switzerland.  I believe in euthanasia, but only as a last resort and when all options have been exhausted.  And I hope that when the time comes, my family and friends are able to understand the decision that I made, and to know that it wasn't an easy one.  I'd rather live forever, and share in their joys and support them through their troubles.  But life may not offer me that chance.

Sorry for rambling on.  I suppose I'm trying to organise my thoughts, which are a little murky and sticky in their own rights.

Pain levels are not great today.  They are bad enough to cause me difficulty in moving, but not bad enough to make me scream and writhe around.  It's awful, but I finally have a plan to suggest to my GP, and I'm hoping that dear old Dr H is feeling interested enough to help.  He has his good days and luckily his bad days are few and far between.  I love having a creative GP, but he knows he's good and totally takes advantage of that fact.  Familiarity, it would seem, does breed occasional contempt.  But mostly we have a healthy respect.
Tomorrow is a new day, so I shall attack it with renewed vigour.  For now, goodnight my friends.

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