The next part of my life will be nothing like my past life. I will no longer work for an employer or answer to anyone except myself and my caregivers. My days with no longer start and end with setting my alarm clock. If I want to stay awake all night, I will and if I want to sleep till noon, I will do that too. In some ways my life will be more humble and in others ways it will be more extravagant. And, now the end is near and so I take my final curtain.
I think I can hear Frank in the background singing it.
It Just Feels Final
However, I wasn’t able to do it my way. I have to move on because I can’t go to work every day like I have for the last 48 years. I want to work. I loved the freedom of working and making good money and having the respect of my students and peers. My heart and lungs are in a little worse shape than originally thought and I can’t do the day-to-day things that other people my age can do. I find it hard to get into and out of cars. It makes travel a task when having to carry oxygen tanks, it is almost impossible to go anywhere that anxiety is not my passenger.
Never having been a traveller, I don’t really get cabin fever because I in fact. love being in my house, so that is a really good thing, but I am sometimes forced to leave, much against my will, for medical appointments and social functions. There are appointments that are too important for even me to miss.
Being in the highest earning years of my life but now there is no income and no pension for me. These were the years that I had planned on having the freedom of taking care of my retirement. Kids that are finally grown and on their own make it easier but these were the years where I would set myself up for the rest of my life and had a good retirement with my grandchildren. It is frustrating that part is not going to happen
My brain still works; “so the mind is willing but the lungs is weak.” As I sit and look at what surrounds me, There is always so many things that I can see that need to be done, I want to do it, but upon rising to do anything I become so short of breath and must to take it easy, waiting to regain my breath. Then I can go ahead slowly finishing the task that takes twice the time as anyone else. My impatience to speed through is not an ally.
That being said, I struggle to fight off the depression that looms every day and I know I need a reason to get up in the morning. Some mornings it is very difficult to get out of bed and the impulse to just stay there is appealing. Journaling every day and setting daily and weekly goals keep me going. It gives me a sense of accomplishment just ticking stuff off at the end of the day. That is what keeps me here and it makes my day worth living and keeps me active daily.
The end of my career has been sudden and unappealing. I hear people say how much they don’t want to go to work and hate their jobs wishing they were me and could do what they wanted to do everyday. But, they don’t really want to be me It is a case of being careful about what you wish for.
I have survived and have to live and go on with the my life. Being given another chance I am extremely grateful. So, from today on I must change my life according to my new limitations.
Not going to sit around and wait to die,
For now I will fill each day with meaning and there will be no pity party for me. This chronic illness life is not as easy as it looks from the outside but I have decided from this day on to knock the ball out of the park.
Having chosen to support those that suffer along with me, and I am going to make it my life’s mission to do that on a day-to-day basis. The most important thing for us as chronic illness survivors is to eat well, think positively and exercise every day.