FEAR: Life & Health Evaluation
Ever come across a blog post, read it, and wish you hadn’t because it just makes you want to cry and re-evaluate your whole life? I just did. And I know I’ll thank Amanda for it someday. Well…I’m pretty sure I’ll thank her.
My friend and past co-worker, Amanda over at Run to the Finish, wrote this piece about how she hasn’t let health issues slow down her quest for a happier, healthier life. (go read it…I’ll wait…Menopause by 30 – It’s not slowing me down.)
Why did this affect me so strongly? I’m definitely not menopausal, or post-menopausal or even pre-menopausal (that I know of). So – what’s the big deal?
Well, first and foremost, I’ve followed Amanda’s story for years and she simply amazes me. So, there were tears of joy for her mere existence and her found happiness and her simple amazingness. And her story really is moving. (Seriously…go read it…I will wait…)
And after I read that latest post, after I marveled yet again at Amanda’s take on life,
I took it personally.
Since I know Amanda, I felt like she was standing beside me, pointing to specific sections and whispering, “read that…and that…and I wrote that sentence just for you, sweetie.” And if she was in Kansas City instead of beautiful Orlando (no, no jealousy here…move along), I would have hugged her and maybe even cried on her shoulder.
Now for my honesty…
For about a year, I’ve been battling fatigue, shortness of breath, my weight, random intense headaches, irritability, massive mood swings, and strange aches and pains – particularly in my breasts. My husband has been pushing me to go to the doctor and I keep telling him I will, but I haven’t made an appointment. Something always “comes up” or I’m conveniently forgetful (although I have a fairly eidetic memory). Quite frankly, the thought scares the snot out of me.
No, I’m not a child afraid of “the scary doctor man”. It’s not the actual exams I’m worried about, unless there’s an MRI needed (claustrophobia girl over here…). I don’t relish the thought of a thorough exam and I really don’t like the thought of a machine squishing my breasts (they are somewhat large, after all) but the exams don’t really worry me. So what scares me?
I am absolutely terrified of the results!
If there is something wrong, I have this intense, somewhat (ir)rational fear it would be cancer. It exists in my extended family, several different types. I have a writer’s imagination, so worst case scenario always runs through my head. After working closely with a breast cancer survivorship organization, you’d think I’d be more willing to get the exam and have a good idea what to do if cancer is the diagnosis. But, I’m really just scared to know.
And then there’s the flip side: what if they can’t find anything? What if it’s just in my head. Or it’s all attributable to my weight which I can’t seem to bring down (I can keep it from going UP but it won’t go down hardly at all). Which would be worse – it’s something horrible or it’s really nothing at all? Yes, in my crazy imagination, there is no middle ground.
After reading Amanda’s PUSH for information instead of running from it, I feel stupid. She knew there was something wrong with her, even when doctors refused to believe her, and she wanted to know what the hell it was! So, why don’t I? Why aren’t I doing that?! I know there’s something going on and ignoring it won’t make it better. And I have NO GOOD REASON for not doing it. I have great insurance coverage, good doctor references and a pretty amazing support system in place should I need it. I have no fear of the world around me (except tight spaces), so why do I fear my own body and what it’s trying to tell me? Why can’t I be strong about this?
So, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go make an appointment (…assuming I don’t immediately “forget” after I click Publish…).
XO – T.