I knew a good friend of mine had been ill for a while. I did speak to her just over three weeks ago when she hadn't been heard from. I called her and she returned my call. Still in the hospital. She is the recipient of a heart transplant that took place nearly twelve years ago. She's been on many medications to prevent her body from rejecting it. If I understand things correctly, her meds began interfering with other organs and the doctors were scurrying around trying to find new ones that would help with no dangerous side effects. In the mean time, she had trouble breathing and was retaining fluid.
That would be the last time I would ever speak to her.
On the day she was released from the hospital, she was rushed back. Pneumonia and MRSA . She was placed on life-support. I was informed yesterday by her sister that there is nothing that can be done, now. The family met for an extensive meeting with all of her physicians and decided to let her pass in her sleep. They will be taking her off of life-support on Monday afternoon. I'm devastated to say the least.
For the past four days, I was terrified to log onto my computer and Facebook for fear of dreaded news. Not to make this at all about me, but I have to say that all of this stress is not cool for me. My blood-pressure has been up. Yesterday the day just - well, it was just a SHIT day. Everything went wrong. Rob was off and we thought we'd take care of a few things (mentioned above) and then just enjoy the rest of what turned out to be a gorgeous afternoon. The cards were just not in my favor. I was so stressed out by everything that I my glucose level plummeted. I had just returned home from shopping with Rob, logged onto Facebook hoping for news about my ill friend when I noticed I was making typo after typo. My hands were shaking terribly. I stood and that's when I felt the tell-tale symptoms of hypoglycemia. I quickly took my glucose reading. 71. NOT cool. I gulped down some orange juice while Rob took Aaron to drop him off at the skate park. Alex was here, otherwise they would have stayed with me. So, with stress and a low glycemic number, Alex and I brought my sugar levels back up; the real WRONG way.
Ever have "Birthday Cake" Oreo cookies? I hadn't ever heard of them until yesterday. Bought them as a rare treat for myself (and I would certainly share with the fellas). I had to have something to bring my sugar back up. I should have had more juice. I need to make a sign for my fridge in bold letters:
MARY! DRINK THE JUICE!
I didn't. I ate one cookie. **ERMEGERSH** Those things are so damn yummy. One more. Then another. Surely my sugar levels are returning to normal, right? I won't say how many more I ate, but Alex and I compared them to crack. Crack is whack. My levels came up. Boy did they ever. In excess. *sigh*
I ate horribly for the rest of the evening. I was terrible to my body. I felt lousy all evening long.
My friend who is nearing the end of her life, also has diabetes. She too ate the wrong foods. I would beg her to change her habits, reminding her that her new heart was a gift and that she should treat it as such. Being the good friends that we
Now, she's dying. She never told me of a number for her life expectancy post-transplant. Her doctor said a few days ago that he was surprised that she "was with us for as long as she has been." Not sure what that means. Her transplanted life expectancy? Or because of her neglect to her body for so long? I'm hearing the family is pursuing legal action due to the MRSA. I just think that her body is ... tired. It's had to fight all of her life, every single day of it. She's been through so much. And yet, she still made a lot of people so happy. She made us laugh. She was always finding little things to send to me. She's a great writer. I'm going to miss her so damn bad.
I'm not absorbing the fact that - unless the miracle that I'm praying for comes through - soon she will no longer with us. But, if all of this has taught me anything, it's taught me two things:
1. Be there for your friends. I could have been a much better friend. There were times where my silly life got in the way of returning a phone call. Now, I'm dealing with huge amounts of guilt. HUGE. Shoulda, woulda, couldas SUCK. They SUCK big time.
2. Take GOOD care of your body. LOVE your body like you love yourself. I'm seeing it now. If you don't take care of yourself, you will not survive. I am having a wickedly hard time trying to eat right. I admit it. I must learn to do this all over again. I did it once, and successfully; I can do it again. I know it's all "P.I." these days to view an overweight person and not say negative things. I get that. Everyone IS beautiful, no matter what their body shape and size. I truly know this.
However, while everyone is beautiful, everyone is not healthy. A photo went around the internet a year or so ago of a young woman holding a sign:
|So sad that she only sees the outside.|
This photo breaks my heart. Yes, she is glorious. But it's so sad that she only sees herself from the outside. Inside, her heart is surrounded by fat. She most likely has a fatty liver disease. She most likely suffers from obstructive sleep apnea. Gerd, hypertension, and diabetes. If she doesn't now, soon she'll suffer from degenerative joint disease. If she doesn't now, she will soon start her day taking numerous medications to allay these conditions. Yes, she is beautiful (as are size 2's). It's wonderful that she has accepted her body as far as her looks go. Sadly, it's not about looks though, is it? Google a size twenty-two heart. Google a size twenty-two liver. Even a size 14 heart and liver are suffering. I have the papers to prove it. It's not all about looks, lovlies; it's about HEALTH. There's no maybe about it; those are FACTS. Ask your doc.
I am making major changes in my lifestyle. I'll never go on a diet again. Diets fail. It's lifestyle changes and staying with them that do the trick. I know it is; I did it for nearly seven years. I can do it, again.
Yes, it's been a stressful, eye-opening bitch of a week. Today, though I'm still very sad, I will breathe easier, eat healthier, exercise and love myself. I'm worth it. My kids and husband are worth it. I want to spoil my grandchildren someday. And I will.
Thanks for reading. I don't really know why I wrote this. I guess I just needed to vent and purge all of this negative energy. I know some will read this and sneer at my comments. Sneer away.
Think I'll go write a letter to a friend. Or call her.
Love each other. Love yourself, too.