Copies of posts I made to other blogs, related to health
1. Scars, Immortality, Religion And Hospital Case Management
March 17, 2014
The bandage fell off after today’s shower.
Geezus fawk … every day a visible reminder to watch every single thing I eat, and to keep moving, even if doing so is a bit scary. Is this machine in my chest keeping me alive, or is it causing damage? – that is what my cardiologist is wondering. I am wondering why he thought it was a bad idea, when I coded right after the temporary pacemaker was removed, and again after the permanent placement was defective.
I promise you my world view has been rocked, yet again. I sort of get what it is like to just let go, and it was peaceful.
The hospital chaplain looked incredulous when he came to counsel me and I said, “I am good.” lol … He had a strange look on his face: “You are good, hah”? I would have explained further that I meant that I was at peace with dying, if it was my time. Had they not revived me, I would have drifted off to oblivion. However, I did not wish to engage him with conversation about religion. The last thing I felt like doing at the moment was to defend my positions on things that he could not accept, understand, or both.
For some, a “priestly” visit is a salve, and for others it is so stupid that even tiny amounts of it can be stressful.
After I thought I had escaped the awkwardness of a ministerial interaction, they wheeled me down from ICU to the second floor, for the second time, just minutes later, and the minister was standing outside of my door in the hallway. I just looked at him like wtf, looked away, and he left.
After that case management came by to clarify my religion. They had Protestant written down, which was true the last time they checked. However, I switched it to non-religious. That does not mean I deny my spiritual nature. To the contrary, freedom from religion (“a return to bondage”) has been good for my spirit.
The social work side of me could not help but wonder if case management was useful. All they really did was ask me a bunch of questions, to update my records. Shortly after they did that, I was visited by someone from the administrative offices, who asked me many of the same questions. When I told her that I had already given my current information to case management, she said that it did not matter, because administration is the only department that can update my records. ???
To be fair, I did mention my social work degree during my stay, as people who work in hospitals are impressed with letters after names. This is not just for the sake of the ego, but because they get how doggone difficult it is to get a degree. It is also a way for me to fire a warning shot across the bow: “Please treat me like I am an intelligent, capable person.”
Even if many degrees are meaningless, and even if many receiving them are taught lies of science/shielded from alternative approaches, getting them is still a lot of hard work. Anyhow, I had my social work degree, and family support, so perhaps they were not terrible concerned about my post-hospital welfare.
Would I do anything different in my life than I did? Yes, I would. Do I have regrets? Yes, I do. That does not mean I have not made great efforts to come to terms with it. When possible, I have tried to make amends, unless doing so would cause more harm than good. I am sorry for any people that I have hurt, knowingly or not. With that said, it seems that had I died, I would not have known it.
Now I have to learn how to live with what I allowed to happen to my body, aside from genetics / both of my parents having open heart surgery, and various other invasive procedures. I started early, to use the words of my surgeon. How much time I have left could be out of my control, but right now I have to focus on getting is as good of shape as possible.
Often to my own detriment, I am driven to analyze everything. Death is not a really big concern for me right now. It is life that is challenging. In addition to wondering what life may be like with my confidence in my ability to get around like I used to having been shattered, I struggle more than ever with finding meaning in a reality that I checked out of, several times.
To be continued?
- As Donna Summer used to say, sometimes you have something you want to say, and someone else just says it better: http://www.glasbergen.com/