This holiday time of the year is filled with good cheer, greetings, gift buying, and anticipation. We scurry around seeking just the right present for the people we care about. Seasonal songs ring out from malls and stores, and we are generally supposed to be happy.
But so far, December has been a difficult month for me medically. I am not really in the spirit of the special days, but am trying to not let my troubles ruin otherwise joyful times.
For several months, I have experienced shortness of breath and assumed the symptom would disappear without intervention. No such luck. On too many walks and stair climbing, I found myself gasping for air and somewhat panicky. Relatively healthy throughout my life, this new problem was disturbing.
After putting it off for several weeks, I finally made an appointment with a Pulmonologist who specializes in lung problems. Fortunately, a friend recommended the office staffed by Johns Hopkins physicians. I have previously written about my first experience with this doctor, so will spare you a repeat of the unsettling experience.
Well, I had the recommended tests, and the results definitely showed a problem. I was hoping for better news on the follow-up visit, but it was not forthcoming. Now my future includes an appointment with a cardiologist and a heart scan. A more drastic procedure also looms as a probable necessity. And I may have to use oxygen on a daily basis.
How to get through the otherwise merry days when I am scared and disappointed? Well, I need to have faith that I will be capable of handling the future appointments and procedures. Courage becomes a necessity and I cannot just wither away in self-pity. Many people struggle and deal well with physical limitations, and I now join their ranks. Why should I escape the bumps on the road of life?
I am doing what I can to be happy. I ordered and received an owl(I collect them)necklace which I wear on a daily basis. And J C Penny advertised grey winter boots at a reasonable price, so I treated myself to them too.
I am not suggesting nor recommending that we buy ourselves out of despair, only that we do what gives us pleasure in areas we can control. Think of the serenity prayer and control what we can and accept what we cannot.
Sharing my experiences and future possibilities seems to make them less scary. Thanks for listening.