Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Living A Double Life

Sometimes I wish I were like Superman...You know, able to run around and keep a secret life on the side that doesn't really interfere with my other life...two jobs, two worlds to live in, two identities, two different outfits :). In fact, I do feel like I live a double life...definitely not as cool as Superman, and unfortunately these lives often intertwine and it's hard to separate them. One of the hardest parts about being an adult with CF is realizing that life still goes on without you, when you're sick. I step away from a lot of my active life and CF becomes my first and only priority and yet, I know that the swell still comes in and waves are still being surfed, friends and family have lives to lead as I stand and watch on the side, and before I know it, it's already the middle of September when just three weeks ago I was in the hospital and still in 'summer' mode...Even the seasons still change! (side commentary::boo to it getting dark earlier!)
When sick with an infection, I lead another life- a life of meds and treatments, and the realization that I'm wiped out from just that, that sometimes I don't have the energy to do anything else.

Today gave me a dose of reality in this. As I'm starting to feel better and recover well (yay!), I decided that I would go to work for 2 days this week, and only be there for 2 hours each time...just to get my feet wet again. As I got ready for my day, I knew that I'd have to juggle to get my treatment and meds done before going and also have blood drawn by a nurse in the morning as she visited my house, but I did that and I was ready to go! I finished my meds and treatment and was sitting with the nurse...I thought I could make it! I thought, "I can actually have a little bit of normalcy today by going to work"- I was stoked.

My bubble bursted after a half hour of the nurse sticking multiple veins in my right hand and tears streaming down my face from the excruciating pain that was caused from this terrible maneuver, I realized....I can't work and I guess I'm just not meant to go back today. Usually I can have my blood drawn, no problem! I am back to work the next hour, no harm done, and I don't think I've cried during a blood draw since I was 10 years old, but this time it was a difficult process and it took longer to get the blood needed at the expense of my poor hand. Thus, because I use my hands to work as a sign language interpreter there was no way that I was able to use my hand and work after severely bruising and hurting my hand from the brutal needle sticks. I called my boss, and again, let my sick life take over and took the rest of the week off.

Guess I'm not as much like Superman as I thought...my lives intertwine, and I pray tonight for patience to allow my body to continue healing for the rest of this week, as much as I want to go and jump in to life. I need to let my body's needs and the schedule of all I'm doing to care for myself take precedence. I realize tonight that when I'm sick and have meds and treatments to attend to, that I want to do that to the best of my ability, no matter how boring and hard it gets to step away from the things that I love for a bit- I am given such a great 'other life' that I want to enjoy it when I'm well. Trying to put my sick life into the routine and busyness of my active life would be at the expense of my health because obviously surfing, work, social activities are way more fun :). So tonight, instead of being like Superman or a cool double agent, I'm just me, in the reality that I can't do it all...I am taking care of body and being grateful that I have the ability to do so.


Jaci Bounds said...

You may not be Superman but you are Superwoman! You inspire me, encourage me, and ultimately blow me away with your ability to be real. Thank you for being vulnerable and honest!

God, Give Emily peace, patience, joy, grace, wisdom, and hope beyond all understanding. You created her and have molded her and made her into an incredible woman. Thank you for her friendship! Today Lord show her how near you are! AMEN!

I love you Em and hope to see your beautiful face soon!

Elizabeth & Shea said...

Thank you for sharing...for your honesty. You are a beautiful woman. I am so sorry about the pain.