I knew when I stopped writing yesterday that I had just opened up a topic that I had barely scratched the surface of and that is the truth about the things we fear. I suspect that the majority of people reading this who are healthy will think that my biggest fears must be that of dying, for me that doesn’t hold even the slightest fear, that doesn’t mean that I want to go today, it just means that I at peace with the fact it will happen and will happen long before my numerical life expectancy. I don’t ever really even remember fearing it, but strangely my health makes me even calmer about the whole process because the one thing I do fear, is now guaranteed not to happen, being allowed to die in pain. No one want to be lying there in extreme pain with nothing but an aspirin, I already have enough painkillers in the house to take away the life of an elephant, so I am sure they will cope with any pain my body can dream up. I suspect that most people fear pain, that is why I have a stockpile of drugs, I made a point that when I was fitter not to take all my drugs unless I really needed them, that way I managed to squirrel away enough so that if pain greater than I have right now appears, I don’t have to wait to talk to the doctor, get prescription sent out and for Adam to get to the chemist and back. It was for that reason when my pain levels peaked again last month, I had the tablets here to work out how much more I needed and had the pain under control before I even picked up the phone to my GP. I am sure all doctors would say that isn’t the way to do things, but I don’t care, this is my body and I know what my pain levels are and how much I can bare.
So with not fearing death and having the pain thing covered as much as I can, why am I still writing a post about fear, because those aren’t the only things to fear, there are so many other things, things that I can’t put in safety nets for, physiological or physical. Taking an actual fall doesn’t hold that much fear for me right now, so yes I could find myself stuck on the floor, but what I do fear is taking a tumble in a few years time when my bones are more brittle and the chances of them breaking get higher and higher. Yet again it isn’t the actual break that I fear, or the pain that would cause, or the horror of finding myself stuck for possibly hours on the floor with a broken bone, it is all that would follow it, no not the getting out of the flat or to the hospital, that I am now used to and if it has to be done, well it has to be done, but it here for me the real fears starts.
I fear all the things that would start in the hospital, the questions about my being able to cope in the house, how ill-equipped and unsuitable our home really is for someone like me and that is before having a broken arm or leg. I have already been through the arguments with the occupational therapist about how half the stuff we have in our home needs to go, trust me it is going nowhere. I can argue that right now, but my arguments would run thin if I were in that position. I don’t want the social work department involved in my life, making decisions behind my back and not asking me about any of it. I don’t want to be lying in a hospital bed with them here in my home discussing with Adam what needs to be done for it to be safe for me to come home, or anyone other than me deciding that I need a carer or anyone else constantly interrupting my life. I guess you are starting to get the picture, I don’t fear in any way any of the horrible, painful or even disgusting things that my health is, or will do to me in the future, my fear is what will happen around it all. I fear and I bet that it is what the majority of people will fear, is others taking over the decisions that make our lives happy to live.
One of the ways that probably can paint the picture and make it relevant to you, is for you to make a list of all the things, big and small, that make you happy. Be sure to include on the list the little ornaments that remind you of some part of your life, the furniture you bought and love because yes you had to stretch the budget, but you simply have to have it. Include the time you spend doing things like writing, tweeting or whatever it is that you enjoy spending your time doing, even reading a book, those things that having someone in your home would stop you from doing, because they will interrupt, even if they are there to clean the house, they will interrupt you, constantly. Now make a list of all those personal things that you do for yourself, like taking a shower, washing your hair or even going to the loo and the final list well that one is for all the things you love that haven’t gone on the first three. Now imagine that someone other than you is going to make decisions about all of them individually and see how far down your lists you get before you feel the stress growing and your happiness with your life is slipping away and the fear start taking over as to what of your life will be left.
Illness itself actually holds nothing to fear, it is something that happens and it is something that can be controlled and worked with and life can be happy. The fears only appear when your health finds that point, be it through an accident or a sudden change in your health, when others move in and start taking over, when your life isn’t yours anymore. When I think of the quality of life I have, I see that quality as still really high, but any of those changes, even one small crystal ornament that I love to look at being taken away, is a chip out of that quality and for me that is where the fear begins.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 29/08/12 – Caring for ‘I’
At times, probably because of the memory problems, I find myself sat here without a direction for my writing. At one point I had a list of things I wanted to write about but I found for me that that didn’t work. Writing to a list either caused it to feel flat as I didn’t have the passion of the moment behind it or I found that although I had the subject I couldn’t find the words that day, possibly…..