Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fear of being your family

Let's face it. Most, if not all of us, carry attributes we most despise of our parents and other family members. Despite everything we said growing up about how we were "never going to be" like either our Mother or Father in one arena or another; there we are, in circumstance after another, where we are kicking ourselves saying "I swear I'd never be that way."

We can try to fight genetics in our personality. We can certainly eat better, not smoke, not drink, exercise more, any list of health aspects that may have been beneficial to our predecessors. We can decide to take medications to help or avoid them all together because of family history. We can spend lots of time and money in therapy to be less argumentative, more assertive; whatever it is we are lacking. But, at what point do you accept that is who you are and how to best manage it? Whether it be your genetic link to diabetes, outbursts of anger, alcoholism or name an issue, can you really fight your own destiny and being? Now, I am reminding myself of Greek Mythology.

In my first post, I mentioned a recent scare. I woke up one weekday morning with a quick chest pain. Didn't think anything of it as it passed in seconds. Then, I got out of bed. It was so painful to walk. Perhaps, a momentary thing, I dragged myself to the restroom for morning relief. I walked down my stairs, a task far more challenging that morning that normal. I made coffee. I fed the cats, all the time thinking "WTF." I walked over to my desk which passes a mirror. I was wearing either just my underwear or shorts, I honestly don't remember and who cares? My left calf was twice the size of my right calf. I knew "this ain't right." I immediately, and have no idea why, thought, blood clot. But, even in thinking that and quickly believing I needed to do something, I wasn't as threatened as perhaps I should have been at the time.

I struggled to get upstairs and shower. I had extreme difficultly drying myself and getting dressed. I returned downstairs to my desk and knew I needed to go to the hospital. I called my husband, but got his voice mail. I tried to do a bit more at my computer and instinct said "call an ambulance." So, I called our front desk (as they escort them anyway) and had them call one. At this point, I knew I couldn't make it upstairs to get shoes. I had been awake just over an hour.At least the cats had been fed.

LAFD was there very quickly. The paramedics were so LA they could be written into any TV show or movie. He was this, at best, 30 year old, tall, handsome, stunning eyed man with just a personality that made you feel confident in him the second you saw him. She was about the same age, muscular for a woman, also stunning, compassionate and comforting. I remember her saying "great digs" when they first walked in. We have a nice place. It isn't all that, but that comment at that moment was certainly an ice breaker.

It turns out at the ER, while I am waiting to be admitted, that the brother in law of my one paramedic is also at the same hospital. Also a scripted looking character, both in looks and personality. It turns out he has roughly 1 year old triplets. I have 2 family members with twins. I can't imagine triplets. It turns out the female paramedic used to be an award winning weight lifter and such, but got out of it not liking all the steroid and other drug use. This I all learned while waiting with them wondering why I was really there.

It took near an hour to get a space in the ER. However, once in, I was incredibly well treated and they had not only diagnosed that yup, I had a blood clot in my left leg, but that I had a pulmonary embolism in both lungs. At this juncture, I still wasn't really aware of how lucky I was to just be alive.

That reality still wasn't with me when they said I would be admitted, something I didn't think necessary initially. Wasn't there just an injection that makes this all go away and I go home? I went to the ICU and still thought, well, they are being cautious. That evening,  a Doctor visited and said "It is good you came when you did, otherwise we would likely not be having this conversation." Even then, I was thinking, well it took over an hour to be seen in the ER, it was a few hours before a diagnosis....

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