Seven years ago today I had my life turned upside down when I had an open lung biopsy to confirm that I have sarcoidosis. Of all the surgical procedures I had because of this disease, that one was the first and is by far my worst experience ever.
That day I found out that it was confirmed that I had sarcoidosis and it was in my lungs. I still was ignorant to what the disease was, and the seriousness of it. I was naive and I guess I chose not to think of it as life threatening until a year later when it almost killed me.
Still I refused to let it become my life. It is part of my life, but I chose to think of it as a very small part and not allow it to define me, to be me or to become the focus of my life.
Seven years later I now also have it in my heart and it introduced me to new conditions associated with it such heart failure and pulmonary hypertension. I take eleven prescription medications daily, where as seven years ago I took not even Tylenol for a headache.
Life certainly has changed a great deal for me in the time. I find it difficult to do many of things that I did before, and some things I can’t do at all. I am still here though. A little slower, a little heavier than I was seven years ago, but with a greater appreciation for everyday that I live.
The number of days that I live with some sort of pain or discomfort far out number the days where I feel perfect by many. The days I want to just get into bed and sleep, not because I am depressed, but because my body physically does not feel like it can do a thing, are many. The days that I open my medicine drawer an look at all those bottles and wish I was never taking any of those ante many.
But the days I wake and take a breath and be grateful – grateful for being able to move on my own at a normal pace, grateful for being able to still do so much that I am told a person with my combination of conditions shouldn’t, grateful that I was lucky enough to meet, love and marry a woman that has stood by me for every good and every bad day in my life since we met, grateful that I am me and no one else – those days are all.
Today is the anniversary I wish I never had to acknowledge and wish never existed, but in many ways I appreciate it for helping me to learn to live life in a way I never would have had I been without it, and to embrace every minute I have left on this planet.