Ebb Away-A A +A
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
EVERY movement was a chore. My heart would beat so fast with my body’s slightest movement that my chest would constrict. It felt like two large hands grabbing me by my side at the nipple level and squeezing the air out of me. It was difficult to breathe. Every breath I took felt incomplete. It felt like with the effort it took to gulp in air, my airways were only allowing half of the inhaled air to fill my lungs. My mouth would go dry simply because I would try to help oxygen’s entrance into my airways by opening my mouth in the hope that a larger entrance would be of assistance. It would take around 15 minutes just for me to be calmer. My heart rate would be above normal even at rest and my breathing labored for a great part of the day. These were all in October although I still feel these at present. At least now I can descend the stairs without panting.
Over the past two months, one thing that remains to be constant, even with the rare absence of being tachycardic or being in a state of prolonged intermittent gasps, which I would mostly experience while just sitting or lying supine, was this state of being energyless. It felt like I did not have any LIFE FORCE in me. I felt as merely being – someone converting oxygen into carbon dioxide. Someone consuming food because I knew my body needed it and later on depositing the by-products in the small tiled confines of the toilet room. I felt this sense of EBBING AWAY. It made me think of making a will even before hitting middle age. This is my current physical state – a body whose immune system caused havoc to my thyroid gland, leading to a daily state where palpitations, difficulty in breathing, and fatigue are constants.
The absence of any “Life Force” made me realize how some patients live their lives. A daily dose of this? I have a friend who has lymphoma. I also have someone I utterly respect who was recently diagnosed to have lung cancer. They both feel tired especially after their cycle of treatments. I now know how they both feel. By knowing, it isn’t the theoretical knowledge that one reads in literature. By knowing, I mean I have experienced part of what they have gone through. I have also met people with parkinsonism and I have experienced a part of their daily experiences. These individuals walk slowly. For me, I have to deliberately walk ever so slowly in order to abate these bothersome palpitations that eventually lead me to be breathless. Fatigue follows and an occasional headache ensues as well.
Bending is a chore. Turning in bed a horrific task. Though I would never ever wish this on anyone, the bright side of this trial is that I got a better understanding of how other individuals, especially the sick, feel. It gives me a new dimension to how I’d deal with them in the future. Even for just for that, I’d say, “A belated happy thanksgiving.”
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 01, 2010.