The Other Side of Life

I don’t really know what I’m going to say here at the moment. Sometimes you get hit with something that makes you stop and reassess your life. I found myself in a different position recently, looking at life from a different perspective. Funny, because I thought I was always trying to keep a fresh perspective on life, but I was caught off guard this time.

When my husband and I first met we were really into health food and living a healthy lifestyle. We still are and always have been to at least some degree, but children and life circumstances sometimes wear down one’s resolve. However, compared to the typical American junk food diet we might be considered seriously health conscious.

My husband is an avid walker as well, 5 miles every day. My exercise habits are more sporadic, but I do try to be active. On Friday 8/10 we were told by a cardiologist that my 59 year old husband has severely blocked arteries and needs triple by-pass surgery. As a matter of fact they said he should have had a heart attack in his 40’s or early 50’s and they were wondering why he was still alive.

He’s very fit, he doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, he eats healthy and he exercises. What more do you want? There is some hereditary heart trouble but both his father and grandfather lived well into their 80’s. What is the real causal factor here? Chronic stress, high levels of anxiety since childhood, the phantom poison of trauma.

Life can be difficult, painful, traumatic. People go through all kinds of really bad stuff all the time. I’m one of the fortunate ones who had a relatively easy life until I got married, and I married late. I also have a chronic health problem, however if I compare my life to the diverse types of suffering that exists around the globe I would still have to say that my life has been good, regardless of the struggles and stress.

Every human being desires to have a good, happy and healthy life, but the truth is we have to go through a lot of struggles, stress and difficulties no matter who we are. I don’t know anyone who’s floated through life without a worry in the world, never encountering a problem. Some people are blessed with the ability to deal with problems without excess anxiety, other’s are not. Some people had adults who helped them learn how to deal with life’s ups and downs, and other’s didn’t. There are a lot of variables that contribute to the way each person deals with their troubles.

My husband had triple artery by-pass heart surgery on 8/16 and was in the hospital for 6 days. My brain seemed to go into a fog; I felt exhausted moving between work, home and the hospital. I usually rise to a challenge, but this time was different. It seemed as if my whole life was flashing before my eyes and getting scrambled like eggs. He’s home now, and getting a little better every day, but my foggy brain and scrambled egg life is not. I feel old, worn out and weary.

It is so easy to take life for granted when we are young, healthy and full of strength and energy. When we are young we never imagine that something tragic will change our life forever, even though we are aware that it sometimes happens to other people. As a young person it’s very difficult to imagine what it’s like to work hard all your life and not achieve the goals you dreamed of. Although my husband will recover completely and be better than before, I feel the pangs of aging issues and post mid-life crisis. It doesn’t help that my father died of heart disease 3 years ago, and my mother is declining rapidly.

“But you are still young”, people say. I hope I can live up to their expectation because I don’t like feeling old and worn out. Some people think it’s just a state of mind, but sometimes it’s health issues. My husband was feeling really worn out before he had this surgery and everyone is saying he will feel so much better once he’s fully recovered. When do I get to feel better? I hope I’ll be able to keep up with him because my health problem can’t be resolved in such a dramatic way.

It is a funny thing, this life; if only I had the wisdom of age when I was young and stupid, and the energy of youth now that I’m older and wiser.

2 thoughts on “The Other Side of Life

  1. Walking helps more than anything.
    (oh, dear missed the tread mill today to go to the farmer’s market…now feeling like it was a mistake.)
    You are just suffering from worry and being the caretaker. And some surprises are just a stunner.
    My husband is living with cancer – I understand the exhaustion in spirit and body.
    The recognition of no matter what you did to live a healthy life only gets you so far. and fretting over what never got done or will be – have to let that go.
    Each day is an adventure – you can go or not. There is time ahead of you – just maybe not as planned.
    I’m trying not to waste it. (but honestly, it’s not easy – and I wish my husband would stop the workaholic mode.) Modern life is truly a rat race…and this rat is tired, too.
    Ready for simply living and – like an elderly uncle said” everyday you wake up and can get out of bed – it’s a good day.
    Try to walk, nap, and do something you like ( read, paint, sing, hug a dog – pets do help)
    Hang in there. Now is what we have.
    Hugs – (Hope that isn’t too annoyingly cheery to you…Pollyana can be very annoying at times)


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