Saturday, March 10, 2012

Age is really starting to sink in to my level of awareness

I am feeling older all the time. Not a bad thing if I remember to think young, out of the box and rebelliously while maintaining the calm reassuring gently soul that I am in social situations such as work and when I drive my own vehicle with the amateur drivers on the road. I have been driving professionally now for almost 5 years and when I am in my work vehicle I have a certain feeling of security. That sucks doesn't it? Secure feeling at work, insecure feeling not at work! What's up with that? I'll tell you. How can I be so backwards to be feeling secure at work and insecure at home or in my personal vehicle. See how it is with me, a contradiction whether it is with society or just with myself.

On the 30th of December, I slipped and fell on some stairs where I live. That seems bad enough but it wasn't the fall that got to me because I only bounced down two steps or so out of nine and on my butt. It was the extension or compression my knee that did the damage. It RIPPED the quadricep tendon off the bone below my knee and that hurt 15 on a scale of 1-10,   probably the worst pain I have ever experienced. That's not all. While reclining and healing from that, I got some blood clots that traveled to my Pulmonary Artery and caused a serious loss of oxygen to my whole body causing me to collapse. That is not all of why I am feeling so old. Not only have I had two life changing medical issues in a short period of time these have cause me to file for Social Security and need to move from my basement room of 2 years. I don't like to move around much, like to stay put, but that is not what is on the burner for me.

I have to move now, because I still need the operation on my knee which will take me out of commission for a length of time that is as yet undetermined. Undetermined and not working while I heal. They say the longer I put off the operation the less likely my knee will regain all of it's function. That's a little scary in itself. The other scary part is I will have to rely on others to take care of some of my basic needs such as shopping and perhaps food preparation. Many have volunteered to help. I am grateful for my friends and fellow workers.

I have never had surgery of the nature of what is coming. When I was about 17 I was in the hospital for a rather rare and serious disease, meningoencephalitis. The pain I experienced in my head because of the expansion of my brain was pretty intense, but could be numbed down with narcotics. If they forgot to give them to me while in the hospital, I woke up the whole ward with my screams. That was pretty intense. Only after i got over it did they tell me how close I was to not leaving the hospital alive. A year later or perhaps a year earlier I had Hep ! and mono at the same time. No surgery was involved. I telling about these medical conditions because it seems what I get comes in pairs. Of course, when I was 21 or so, I cut my right arm open by accident and the muscle and the skin had to be stitched back up. I should probably remember that more of my recent medical issues have come in pairs. 

For 24 years I had substance abuse problems. I have been away from all that now for nearly 26 years. That's about right. I am 62 now and started with my abuse when I was about 12. During the time of my self abuse with drugs I also severely abused myself physically. I had tantrums upwards of in my 30's. I had extremely low self esteem brought on by my ADD issues that continued unknown to me, but perhaps diagnosed and revealed to my parents when I was younger, because a family member told me the doctors wanted to give me Ritilan but my father objected. I was about 10 or 12 then and that's when my parents started offering me coffee. As far as a diagnosis I finally had one when I was 50 years old. ADD and other head trauma. Nothing has ever been simple with me. Why am I writing this? I just want to get it out of my head and I have told some people that I write here. It is easier for me to put it here than tell it over and over again. Sure it is long, but anyone could do it in different sittings just like if one were reading a book. Read some, put it down and come back.

Because of this learning challenge, I didn't get it most of the time. By getting it I mean, wasn't paying attention or paying attention to more inputs than most of my peers. There was so much noise going on in my head I had trouble focusing on what was being said by most people.  I got labeled quite early in life as someone who didn't pay attention, someone who fooled around and was not honest, someone who didn't fit it, a trouble maker etc. It is easier to label someone without really trying to find out the cause. To many of us slipped through the system. For the longest period of time, I lived my label. I was not a nice person, I was not honest. I drank until I dropped or dropped someone else. I used to fight and get the fight knocked out of me. Sometimes I knocked the fight out of others. I put a person in the hospital and put myself there too. I was in and out of jail. I fought with the police, they beat me up pretty bad. I was arrested many times and it is a miracle I am not a career criminal or dead or died in prison. I was angry, but the under lying feelings were frustration, low self esteem.  When I drank, I lashed out. It is to bad I couldn't just drink a little or drink and be happy or just pass out. That was not me. All that pent up anger from my upbringing was finding it's way out with a multiplier. It is part of what keeps me from picking up a drink even after 26 years of abstinence. Did I get distracted, possibly. Wasn't I talking about diseases?

In 2007 I had a kidney stone. Now I thought I was dying, the pain was severe 10 on a scale of 1-10. I didn't have a second disease or illness until 2010 when I had acute urinary retention which also was rather painful and lead me to the urologist who diagnosed me with enlarged prostate gland also known as BPH. A small walnut sized gland in men that enlarges with age in about 70% of us. Things our parents never told us about. Sounds familiar. I don't need to go into details. 

Fast Forward. 2011, fall on stairs and lay around for blood clots so I can have a Pulmonay Embolism. Had that too. Got tested last week and waiting for results from Electrocardiogram with Doppler and some other testing to see if my heart has returned to normal size after the PE. Then they will quite possibly say surgery is OK to perform, but there is another thing to consider. I am taking an anti-clotting medicine and have to change to one that is faster to leave my body, stop and have surgery and then be unmobile more the most part for at least 6 weeks. 

I am a survivor and have always got back up. This scares me because it goes against my very nature. I am having to work really hard at just keeping going and find a new place to live, not pursue my landlord, just get out of here.Some of my friends have reacted angrily when I tell them my landlord thinks he is off the hook for any part of my injury or loss of wages. I've had plenty of time to think about it. I filed a claim against his home owners insurance only to hear from them he had no landlord to tenant insurance and I am out of luck for help on my lost wages or medical costs.  My life right now is tough. I didn't talk about filing for Social Security. This probably has kicked my ass as much as anything. It is driving home to me that I am actually an aging person. I don't think like one, have struggled most of my life trying to identify with most of my peers as being an adult. I know I am an adult now and an aging one. I know this is all slowing me down. I have had to slow down, just change everything. 

I had to write this today. The last couple of months have probably been the roughest of my life. The work I am doing is probably some of the toughest, the pay the lowest for the responsibility and the stress, the people I have met although of varying ages some of the best people so far in life. I am more productive and feel more of a sense of community than for a period of time in my life. I have little pain in my knee, but feel that with the operation that will change. Our knees, our mobility don't get an injury like this. It sucks, but it is my nature to work on the positive side of it all. I have had many adventures in my life, this is just another. Not one I've chosen, but one I have been dealt. I will survive it and will continue to chase my dreams, if I could just remember what they are.