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August 7, 2010

Well, Shucks!

I had almost allowed myself to believe I could gradually return to an active lifestyle. I was doing more and more. I was able to cook every day, clean a bit almost every day, shop in a Target without a wheelchair, take the pups out in the heat of the day, and the glorious time I could spend in the lake “sort of swimming.” I could even manage my new straighter hair with ease!

It started one night, a dull ache I at first didn’t even notice. Then, that sudden thought, “I have to get rid of this bra!” and realizing I wasn’t wearing one.

I couldn’t even remember where I’d put my Nitro spray, having gotten very careless in my healthy recent past. For months, I kept one in my pocket and one by the bed. I remembered throwing the empty bottle away…never refilled it. A bottle of old Nitro pills was  in a drawer in the bedside table.

I took one. Then another. Then another. I decided my symptoms were simply back and shoulder strain. After all, they weren’t relieved by the Nitro. I must have slept wrong the night before. Rudi, the Bassett Hound, must have tugged too hard. I eventually fell asleep and slept poorly all night.

Two nights later it happens again. This time I use the spray. I’d found the other bottle in the bottom of my purse. This time, I feel immediate relief. Damn.

I remember that Nitro loses its effectiveness three months after the bottle is opened. How long had that little bottle of pills been around? I’ve been using the spray since about October of last year…I guess it was a tad over three months old.

I feel tired. I swept the front porch this morning, well before it climbed into the 90’s. I spent the next hour recovering. The Nitro worked, it just leaves me so exhausted.

I take a long acting nitrate as well. I read somewhere that the dose can periodically need to be increased, as it loses it’s wonder powers after a time somehow. It hasn’t been increased in almost a year. Maybe that’s all it is.

I sit here, precariously on the fence of no insurance. The rates finally went up again until they were beyond our ability to pay for it any longer. I meet with my cardiologist’s nurse this week to fill out forms to hopefully get free Plavix and Crestor, the most expensive of the meds I take.

I don’t expect to hang out here on this fence. Surely it is a temporary spot I am in. It is not suitable for a home. It is filled with the anxiety that is such an enemy to my heart and narrow, grafted, stented, ballooned and blocked vessels.

It is hard to tell though, which chicken or egg came first, the anxiety or the pain considering the dance they engage in, each fighting for the chance to lead. They dance so closely pressed they appear as one, with barely a discernible difference between them.

It seems each stage of this altered life has been met by my profound resistance. Each stage being believed to be unacceptable and unfit for human life. Yet, each phase found to be habitable after all, reaching somehow a state of bliss unknown by a way of life I believed much easier “then.”

These fences I seem to find myself on, manage to eventually strip me of a notion I held tight to; a believe I thought of as absolute truth. When I finally settle into the new once fiercely resisted state of being, I do so gratefully and no doubt a tiny bit wiser.

All that I let go, I find I did not need. All that is torn from my clutching hand and heart I am able to somehow live happily, yes somehow happily, without.

This time spent on the fence is always painful. Maybe this time, that belief itself will be the notion that is swept away as yesterday’s news.

One bit of wisdom I have gained from past experience is, this too, this period of heart concern, of change, of worry, or discomfort, of a rocking of the boat and teetering on the fence, of fear, this too shall pass.

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