Sunday, December 22, 2013

Live Like You're Dying, Even If You're Not.

Too many times people, in general, spend so much of their lives wasting time and messing around and working their lives away because they always say there will be time for that. Our society is so bent on we have to work, work, work that there is never any time for fun anywhere in there except on the weekends and so many people spend the weekends sleeping or doing more work from their jobs and still don't have any fun.

What's really sad is that this is starting in childhood now. Kids are coming home with hours of homework in elementary school and being taught that the only thing that matters in life is this stupid end of the year state test. Because of the economy high schooler's are having to get jobs (which they should it teaches good work ethic, but now they have to) at an astronomical rate. Now it seems like our society is one that lives to work instead of works to live. There are several members of my family that have to work on Christmas and I know several others that have to also, granted they are all in service professions, but it is still shocking I know so many people that have to work on Christmas.

Anyway, my point on all this is when are you stopping to smell the roses? When are you stopping to get some ice cream with your kids, stopping to go to the movies, stopping to go on vacation. When's the last time you were like I think I'll skydive or bungee jump? How about something simple like taking a swim? Dancing like no one's watching? Starting a new hobby you've been saying you were going to start for the past 5 years? Traveled the world like you've been promising your spouse?

Because once you can't, you can't. And it's just that simple. You can pretend really hard. You can write blogs about how you are going to become you again, you can make plans, you can dream, you can try really, really, really hard. But once you have lost your ability to live like you're dying, it's gone. So now what? And let me tell you, a lot of people think it's just cancer, it's not. Chronic illness, invisible illness sucks it out of you hard and there is no treatment for chronic illness so you're stuck with it until old age. That really sucks.

And you never know it's coming either. You never expect it. You never know what it's going to take when it comes either. How severe it's going to be. I can prove this too. I remember being a 5th year senior in undergrad taking a class called Adaptive PE which is basically PE for those with special needs. I knew I was having some strange issues starting when I ran, I knew I was starting to feel dizzy all the time. I knew I was starting to have some stomach issues and sometimes there was blood when I went to the bathroom. The doctors kept telling me it was because I was a young female though and I would grow out of it.

I remember sitting in that Adaptive PE class and the teacher teaching me a lesson I would never forget. She taught us the term Temporarily Able Bodied (TAB). She said every person in the world was not a typical person they were a TAB because you never know when that person would become handicapped and disabled. I remember sitting in that class as a straight A student, in 5 clubs, in 2 bands, 1st chair bassoon player, senator on the student government, vice president of the women's society on campus, active member in my church in the community, ready to go back to the camp I worked at every summer for kids with Autism, with 3 jobs currently, ready to graduate in about 5 weeks, running 10 miles a day...saying that will never be me. My life is perfect. How could God make me disabled? I want to work with disabled kids, He needs me healthy, He won't make me disabled.

No lie.

Remember those nagging symptoms I listed above? They got a little worse on the graduation cruise I took to the Bahamas a couple weeks later but I was in the Bahamas so I didn't care. I powered through. That summer at Autism camp was miserable but I made it. September-November were hell and we couldn't figure out what was wrong, but November 13, 2009 I was given my first diagnosis and I almost died my first time. So from April, 2009 (and had everything I wanted up until the day I went into the hospital, honestly) where I was on top of the world and had EVERYTHING I could have ever wanted to November, 2009 I went from the perfect life that I took for granted over and over and over to being chronically ill and no longer to do things anymore. That's 7 months people. That's less time than it takes to have a baby. That's how fast it is people. That's how fast your life can change people. And in some of my friends it's faster.

Even though, I don't have cancer and I'm not dying, I still can't do things most normal people can't. Heck yesterday I couldn't even get out of bed or turn on the lights or any sounds because lights and sounds were way too much. Anything else and there would have been vomiting and nausea and dizziness. But I still try to have good days some days. I still try to talk to friends on Facebook. I try to listen to music when I can have noises, I try to watch some TV I like, read some books, I have learned how to have some fun from bed. But that's about all the fun I can have at this point. And that's really not fun at all, for long periods of time. 

My point is that you need to have a good time while you can. Do some things that you've always wanted to do. Take that trip. Dye your hair purple. Do whatever your heart desires. Because you never know when you will not be able to do things anymore even if you're not dying. You need to pick up a musical instrument, do something crazy, something you've always wondered "can I do that?". Remember we are all just "temporarily able bodied" and when we aren't it comes fast and out of no where and you never know what you're gonna lose and when so do stuff now. Get out there and have some fun! You never know when you won't be able to anymore. 

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