.::then james thought of something she hadn’t before::.

20 08 2010

i was thinking too many things at once.

usually i use twitter to get rid rid of the stuff in my head because i have no one around to tell my little silly thoughts to… but sometimes i just have so much going on and i feel like maybe i should write more than 140 characters. that’s usually when i write a lil’ somethin here.

what i was thinking today, mainly, (don’t laugh; it might come across as cheesy) is how lucky i really am. today i’m in a dental case at work- and usually dental cases we do under anesthesia are ones for patients who couldn’t normally tolerate a visit to a dentist office for procedures. my patient today has huntington’s disease– a debilitating neurological thing that usually has a late onset and leaves the body it inhabits as somewhat uncontrollable and slightly demented. this little guy i’m taking care of is 38 years old and was diagnosed six years ago. i don’t know if he has dementia quite yet, but he definitely has trouble expressing himself and controlling his movements. his demeanor is what really struck me… he was just so sweet and smiling and everything… apparently he lived with his mother (who recently died) in a mostly isolated social situation, and his aunt and uncle took him in and placed him in an assisted living facility where he now can hang out with other people and do fun things. so they say. either way, i was just thinking about him, and how he probably had a semi-normal life before the symptoms of huntington’s crept up on him. isn’t that kind of cheesy? i know people probably think about stuff like that from time to time, but i actually try not to. it makes me sad, to think about people learning they have cancer, or alzheimer’s, or any other disease or disorder that will, from then on, change the rest of their lives. yet i deal with people like this every day. hey, i mean, if you’re having surgery for any reason your life has changed, right? every day i see people who need some sort of medical intervention, and frankly, i don’t think too much about it. i think people put a lot of trust in modern medicine… what did people do when they found out they had cancer a hundred years ago? they probably didn’t find out in time to do much of anything. they probably just “got sick” when their bodies could no longer mask the problem and died shortly after. that kind of stuff stuns me. i think about it a lot, cancer. these days it’s easy to detect cancer early, and there are numerous ways to fight (and sometimes beat it). it’s the popular thing to do, fight cancer. sometimes the rest of your life falls apart during the fight, but you might get a few more years to live. i don’t know how i would react to such a thing. some people handle it with such grace. as much as i think i’d just move to the beach and enjoy the simple life, i’d probably give in and fight just as hard.

anyway. my point is, this kid seems so happy. i don’t know if his demeanor is his own, but i wonder if he had a semi-normal life before he was diagnosed. i wonder what has changed for him. i wonder what would change for me. i think about, times like this, how lucky i am. day-to-day childish thoughts sometimes consume me, always a game of “when will _____ happen?” in my life, things that (you have to know) would disappear if i were to, all of a sudden, be taken out of the running for “normal life” by a debilitating disorder or disease. thank god that i’ve been a mostly healthy girl in my life. i’m thankful that i have a loving family and friends that care about me. i’m blessed to have a good job that gives me the opportunity to care for those less fortunate than i am. i’m happy to have these thoughts, as rare as they come to me, and force myself to face “things that could happen” to me, my family, and my friends. i’m happy to work with people, like the dentist here today, who takes care of these debilitated patients on a regular basis with such compassion and love and care. and joy.

just meeting my patient this morning put a lingering smile on my face that hasn’t quite left me all day. if you know me, you know that i’m often moody, often angry, often unnerved, often frustrated by things i can’t always control that, in the big picture, don’t really matter. i’m one of those people that believes it’s healthy to express discontent and unpleasantries rather than letting them build up inside. however, it’s also not healthy to have so many things that make me angry. sometimes you gotta just let go. (this is something i have yet to learn. but i think about it every day.)

what i’m saying, long story short, is right now my heart is filled with joy and love. i always compare these times (and myself) to the grinch. today, i’m more of the reformed grinch, after he figures it all out. you know that scene? where the grinch’s heart grew three sizes? i love, love, LOVE that, and it happens to me on a regular basis. my heart shrinks, it shrivels, it pulsates, it grows, it bursts. but it’s mine! and i kinda love being a spectator to it all.

peace,
-j.

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2 responses

20 08 2010
Brit

There’s some great quote that I want to post here but I can’t for the life of me remember it. Trying to google it brought up anti-abortion websites Eek.

Anyway it was something like this:
Only when you can given up the life you have expected can you live the life you were given.

Major diseases require major refocusing of goals and dreams (and pretty much everything else in your life). But that doesn’t mean you can’t live a fulfilling and happy life! It’s all about your perception!

20 08 2010
james

brit- i always need thoughts like these to help me get my life right 🙂 you’re a great example to me. you speak the truth. and i thank you for that!

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