Finding my PURPOSE

the-purpose-of-life

I’ve been ill for 5 years now and I really don’t know where the time has gone.  What have I accomplished or learned in these 5 years, if anything I’ve gone backwards not forwards.  Lately I’ve been struggling to figure out my purpose in life and why I became ill and what lessons am I learning from being ill.   My Reiki practitioner said that I fear moving forward and that this fear is  keeping me sick and stagnant and that I am blocked and must find my way out.  She said that she envisions me in a field jumping through leaves being happy and carefree and able to walk and move about freely. She has told me repeatedly that I will not stay in this state forever.

So what is holding me back?  How can I find my “new” purpose in life because whatever I thought my purpose was before I became ill, is outdated.  I vaguely even remember my healthy life anymore.  When I look at pictures, it’s like I’m looking at someone else’s life.   Getting up at 7 am, commuting to work, putting in a 10 hour work day, socializing over dinners and weekend excursions.  That isn’t your purpose in life, that is how you pass your life, so did my life ever have purpose?  Do most people’s lives have real purpose?

If I think about the people in my life, there are a handful that definitely live a purposeful life.  They try and help others, give back to the community, raise awareness and are just plain kind and loving to all humans and animals alike.  But most of the other people I know are just getting through the daily grind and not even appreciating all the gifts they have in their life.

The definition of PURPOSE is “the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists”.  What have I been put on this earth to accomplish?  Is it to enlighten others as to how illness changes you?  So many people that become ill, remake their lives and try and help others so what special twist on that can I add.  I’m really not sure yet and maybe when I stumble upon what makes me special and unique, I will feel free and move forward.

I know I am a good person.  I am kind, compassionate, empathetic, smart but where has that taken me.   I love learning things, figuring things out and observing people.  What am I missing about what my life is supposed to be…

I hope I realize my true mission in life very soon.  Our life is what we do EVERY minute of EVERY day.  I know it is each of our own responsibility to create the future we want, but does sitting around and wondering what it will be limit the possibilites?  I must  trust and live in the present and let go of my fears of the future.  Fears of living alone, fears of becoming sicker, fears of not being able to support myself or take care of myself.  These are all fears that I have and that I try to put to the side, but they are real concerns.

For right now, I will try and embrace my life and not worry about what the future will hold.  Maybe the answer is right under my nose and if I start living in the present, it will make itself known to me.

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To Stress or Not to Stress

stress

Living with a chronic illness is difficult enough, but your body isn’t immune to getting other conditions.  Wouldn’t it be great if once we had one illness, then we didn’t have to deal with any other one.  Unfortunately things don’t work that way.

I’m not an alarmist, never have been but dealing with an illness that has constant changing symptoms makes you very in tune with your body.  At least it does me.  I have always been very intuitive and very good at reading other peoples body language and mood changes, so it’s only natural that I am also very in sync with my own.

I don’t go running to the doctor at the first sign of new symptoms but I watch them and see if they progress, change or go away.  A few weeks ago I decided it was time to go check out some symptoms that were getting worse and that had to do with my heart and breathing.

I have always had low blood pressure, but about 3 years ago (2 years into this illness) my pressure changed and while it changed to what the doctors considered “normal” it wasn’t my normal.  At the exact same time, I also started getting very strong palputations and heart flutters.  After about 6 weeks of these heart movements, I decided to find a cardiologist and have them checked out.

I had a slightly irregular EKG, but nothing that alarmed a doctor.  I also wore a halter monitor for a week and while they did see some weird activity, it wasn’t anything that warranted any medications or further tests.  I was told to deal with the palputations and come back in a year, unless my symptoms changed.  A year later the palputations were still present so I went back and this time had a sonogram, which showed some funky things going on with my left ventricle, but again was sent home to watch for changing symptoms and a yearly follow up.

Which bring us to this past month.  During the last 6 weeks, I have noticed a slight difficulty in breathing and an ache over my heart.  These 2 new symptoms caused me some concern and I decided since it was time to go back for a check up, I better do it sooner than later.  This time the doctor order a “Nuclear Cardiolite Stress Test”.

Panic set in.  I can’t walk on a treadmill, I can’t sit up in a doctor’s office for 6 hours, I can’t go without caffeine for 24 hours or without eating for 12 hours.  I”m weak to start, how can I even think about taking the test.  I made the appointment because that was what the doctor asked me to do, but in the back of my mind I knew I was going to cancel.

For the next 2 days, I was agitated and couldn’t sleep.  I really didn’t know what to do and went back and forth in my mind.  I asked the 2 closest people to me (who understood my condition) what do they think and both said that I shouldn’t do it.  But on the 3rd day, I decided I had to because the alternative was worse, “what if I really had heart problems and then had a heart attack?”

This was the first time since I’ve been ill, that I really had been faced with a medical decision about taking a complicated test.  I really had never thought about dealing with a second condition or going through a procedure that would tax my already weak and fatigued body.  It’s a scary thought that something else could be wrong and that dealing with my current illness would not be my first priority because what I am living with is a life long condition.

I hope to feel stronger and have less symptoms, but will I ever be totally free of this condition, probably not.  Do I hope to have less severe symptoms and be able to lead a normal life, yes I do.  So for now, I am happy to say that I survived the Stress Test.  It was difficult, very difficult, but the results did ease my mind.  But now, once again, I have unanswered questions and have been referred to a pulmonologist.

Why can’t anything be easy and have a solution?  I have decided to wait another while before dealing with more tests.  I’d like to try and enjoy the summer a little bit and not be sitting in doctor’s offices agonizing about lung scans and xrays and blood tests.  Just as these symptoms appeared, I am hoping they will disappear.

This experience did teach me that on day’s I think I can’t handle one more thing, I can.  Or on day’s when I am down on myself and fall in that deep hole of despair, to remind myself that things are really not the worst they could be and that I have to appreciate the current life I am trying to live.