About a month ago I ended up in the emergency room. I have been having trouble with shortness of breath since January and despite an all clear from my doctor on my heart, lungs and everything else she tested I still was out of breath. Deciding that it must be asthma and planning on a long weekend trip to my sister’s where there are dogs, I had gone to Kaiser’s urgent care to see if I could get an inhaler.
Fifteen minutes later they were wheeling me over to the emergency room with me protesting and panicking the whole way. I couldn’t go to emergency, I had too much to do! I was upset, angry, frustrated and scared, with the words of the doctor who sent me over there ringing in my ears, “Oh sweetie, you have to go. You are a walking time bomb right now.” Well, hell! Who wants to hear that?
So there I was, hooked up to all kinds of monitors, with a bunch of very nice, calm doctors and nurses taking all kinds of tests, again. After about five hours of monitoring me, they finally let me go home with an ongoing diagnosis of atrial fibrillation and a “mild case of congestive heart failure” along with two new prescriptions! Not exactly how I wanted to start my long weekend.
Why am I telling you this rather depressing tale? Because in the weeks that followed I had to make hard choices about what I was going to do about my health and whether or not I was going to lay down and give up or kick ass and take no prisoners as I changed my life. I hope you know which choice I made.
I crawl my way up and down the hallways of my building with my trusty walking sticks trying to get my body to remember how to breathe and walk. I got back on my exercise bike and slowly started increasing my time on it again. I bought a stair step thingy so I could walk up and down in my own home without risking breaking my neck in the stairwells and I made a choice about the way I was going to start eating for hopefully the rest of my life. (More on that later!)
And then I had to work with my attitude. I was depressed about being unhealthy, about getting old, about choices that I made in my life that brought me to this place. Oh boy, me and Frankie were singing the blues, “Regrets, I’ve had a few….”
Finally, my brain kicked my butt enough that I remembered how many times in my life I have dearly, deeply wanted to make a change or do something different, that kind of wanting that comes from your core. I remembered how every single time that happened life kicked me in directions that I had no clue were even options.
It booted me into being a recruiter when I had no idea what I was doing. It kicked me uptown to Beverly Hills 90210 to manage an apartment building, again something that I had no experience doing. It sent me scrambling to Guatemala to live for six months, then gave me a strange and wonderful alternate family for ten years.
Life pushed me kicking and screaming into a publishing job in the entertainment industry, somewhere I never had aspirations to be. And it moved me where I am today, a place that gives me a chance to live my life in many ways on my own terms.
I remembered then that life has a sense of humor much like my own, sarcastic, sassy, hysterical, gut-busting and many times flat out inappropriate! It doesn’t really care if it puts you in situations that seem to be way out of your league. Moving you to where you want to go is the object. How you get there is a whole other story!
I was once again being kicked to the next level, the one that I had asked for in that deep place in my core. Holy cow! Who knows where I will end up next? But it’s guaranteed to be a wild and wonderful ride!