I’m home from the hospital, but my mind is not. I’m shaken up from nerves, trying to sleep and find a way to convince my body that everything is going to be ok.
The past few days seem unreal, as if they never happened. And as my eyes force themselves closed from exhaustion I fear dreams that await me because I do not want to re-live anything that has happened in the past three days. I’m physically back to the “norm”; to a regular heartbeat, to my home and familiar surroundings — but absolutely nothing seems normal. I don’t know what to do with myself.
I am on the verge of tears right now because I have to go to the one place that I dread more than anything… the hospital.
My doctors want to admit me because this is the third day that my heart rhythm is abnormal, racing and never breaking out of the atrial flutters. It’s dangerous to stay like this for much longer and to be honest, after three days of this constant racing I am exhausted and weak. I can’t even stand long enough to get in the shower right now so I decided to write instead.
I know it’s a typical sentiment, hating the hospital, but the list of things I am afraid of is very long for good cause. I have had horrible nightmare experiences in NY hospitals… every single one I’ve visited. On top of that I always seem to come out feeling worse, having lost a lot of weight, and struggling to get back to a positive state of mind for weeks after. I am always afraid of other things going wrong while I am in the hospital considering I have a very complicated situation. I basically do not trust anyone there. It would be simple and much better for me if it were only my chosen doctors that work on me but that isn’t the case.
Even more offensive is heading in to admit myself on a gorgeous day like today. I stare out the window and wonder how many beautiful days I’ve lost this sucky situation. If I had my way every single day I’m in a hospital should be a rainy awful one.
But maybe the saddest realization of it all is that this “is what it is”. This is what I have to do because of my heart. That no matter what I do to control the things that I can control there will always be a moving part over which I have zero say. I cannot do anything to change this. This is in another realm, a decision that my body makes and whether it is pre-determined fate or a random unfortunate event it doesn’t make it any easier to accept. Why can’t I just be better?! That’s all I think about, it’s what I long for every single day. When things like this happen it’s like a betrayal… why, body? I’ve been so good to you.
So, I’ll pack my bags and my lap top and definitely some ear plugs, and I’ll head into the one place I avoid at all costs. Let’s hope I’m out soon.
(And I’ll secretly think to myself the entire car ride up “Hmmm, maybe when I get there they will look at my heart and it will have miraculously been healed!”)
The past two days have been simultaneously wonderful and terrifying. I wouldn’t even know where to begin.
I find this happens a lot in my life; an amazing experience gets thrown into my path and then I am made to deal with some crazy extenuating circumstance while trying to absorb said amazing experience. It is utterly exhausting. I’m wiped to the point where there are no words.
So, I’ll break it down into tiny pieces: journey to a world famous healer, heart racing. Car accident, police reports, heart races, continue on. I arrive to see 1500 people gathered under one roof looking to be healed and I am humbled — it’s something I’ve never experienced before. So many people searching, in pain, suffering, looking outside themselves to further find themselves. I’m resting on the floor every so often trying to make it through the day as my heart races, I am determined to go before the healer. We journey back. (I’m haunted… Am I healed)? Finally, home. Cannot keep my eyes open yet heart still racing. I toss and turn, heart is racing. I wake up to heart racing, I cannot stand long enough to even pour water into my glass. I must be escorted from the bed to the couch, heart pounding out of my chest. Pacemaker download confirms to doc that my heart is racing. A lot. (But Lauren, maybe this is part of being miraculously healed I think to myself). Email and call doctors. Head to the doctor. Tests show atrial flutters. Constant arrhythmias. Stuck. Never breaking. I hear things like clots, flutters, fibrillation, arrhythmia, blood tests. It’s hard to hear anything over the thump thump thump of my heart. I get meds, lots of them. I get instructions, lots of them. Heart racing. Go to pharmacy. Deal with crazies. Make it back home. Heart still racing (128 bpm as I type this) as I lie in bed. I can’t take it anymore, these staccato reminders that there is something “off”. Trying not to wonder what’s going to happen next. I know I’m going to be ok. I just want that to be so right now.
It’s about time
I remember at some point in 2008 (as my hospitalizations reached to numbers in the teens), being appalled at what I would be served in my hospital bed. Most of the times I didn’t eat what was on those trays and opted for Ensures or food that my visitors brought along with them. It’s no secret that the meals aren’t so great in hospitals but there seemed to be zero effort made to include healthy options (I’m only talking about my stays in NYC, Cleveland Clinic is not in this category). They are still serving hard white bread, coldcuts, sweet juices with high fructose corn syrup, and processed foods in bags and plastic containers like puddings, jellos, and butter. Whole milk and caffeinated soda to a heart patient? Things just don’t add up!
When I wasn’t eating for a couple days, the hospital “nutritionist” came in to see me. She was concerned that I had a larger “no eating” problem going on. I told her that it was simple, not only was I grossed out by the food and it was difficult for me to digest in the state I was in, but I felt it wasn’t healthy… could I at least have an apple or a pear? I actually had to request FRUIT. She assured me she would bring me something nutritious. She then sent up some “nutritional drink” which was basically fizzy soda with lots of sugar, processed stuff, and that fake corn syrup. It had a picture of some fruit on the front and said something about a health drink on the front…
If we can’t get it right in hospitals how will people learn that we create our health and our future by what we put into our mouths? This a fact now not just a theory by earthy crunchy hippies and alternative healers. It’s your future.
“REVOLUTION BEGINS WITH CHANGES IN THE INDIVIDUAL” Jenny Holzer
Your heart and your letter warmed my heart. Your words are so kind and so beautiful. You seem strong, smart, and positive… and you’re only 15! Keep your head up and remember that I am thinking of you when times get tough… You helped me so much today with this healthy heart. Thank you.
Yesterday I was in a foul mood. It was one of those days where I felt like nothing could cheer me up. I spent four hours of my day sorting out insurance stuff; waiting on hold, dealing with automated touch-key messages, dealing with not-so-friendly insurance people. Literally, I spent 11 am to 2 pm trying to solve an insurance mystery. It seems that things just magically get messed up and then no one cares to fix it. Plus, it’s unpleasant enough and then the representatives on the other end of your phone conversation make everything worse. They are just so MEAN. I was crying on the phone. So, this is how my day started and it was “poor me why do I have to deal with this nonsense” after that (it didn’t take much since I’ve been a little sad lately).
I decided to go to the hearts that I recently collected from my PM Box, and I was immediately saved. The first one I opened gave me such a warm feeling in my heart that I had to post it immediately. This one blew my mind today.. it is a fiery, healthy, beautiful and healed heart!
Thank you Mikey… this made my day.
If you like this, visit Mike at South Shore Tattoo! Amazing!