Monday, June 23, 2014

It’s a mental challenge

I am usually a pretty even keel sort of person. I don’t have a lot of rapid mood swings or have extremes. Since learning I need a lung transplant and have to leave my community here, however, I’ve discovered this battle is as much emotional as it is physical. Sometimes lately it’s been an hour by hour fight.

Sometimes I feel very confident that everything is going to be okay. This process will require not just one miracle – getting new lungs – but lots of little miracles along the way. So far, it is as if all those little miracles are just falling into place one after the other. It feels like no matter how long the odds, somehow everything will work itself out and be okay.

Other times I feel very overwhelmed, sad and panicked. I have a lot of fears about what’s ahead, and at times, they seem to take over. There have been a few days where I literally felt sick to my stomach and had headaches that I think could very likely be attributed to anxiety.

It is possible that a two-hour MRI is in my future. When the nurse told me this, I could feel my blood pressure instantly shoot up! I never had anxiety about small places until a few years ago when I had an MRI. Ever since then even being in an elevator makes me anxious.

Now, however, it isn’t just about the closed in space. It’s also about having two hours where I can’t move or do anything for my mind to think about things and places best left alone right now.

Keeping as busy as I can is my therapy.

I get frustrated with how complicated arranging my medical world can be and the stupidity of some of the process, but otherwise, I am trying not to leave time for my mind to wander.

My strategy is to try not to think too much about things that are several months away and about which I can do nothing today. Instead, I am trying to focus on tasks I can complete this week and stay as mentally busy as I can.

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