3/19/2012 1:12 PM
by Stephie Goldfish
Last week, as my sister and I were taking a drive, I mentioned to her that I may not write this blog, that I may not write anymore blogs, and that I want to take a break from CHD—and everything and everyone, actually.
If there’s anything I’ve ever been consistent about, it is in being inconsistent.
I go through periods where I’ll use my oxygen daily, and then just get out of the habit and think I don’t need to use it or just don’t feel like pulling the tank around all day. I don’t always take my medicine at the regular times, knowing that the medicine does help. I don’t always order the medicine on time and I have to force myself to go get my lab work done. And although I’ve wanted to start eating a healthier diet, it’s been so hit or miss.
And then, this morning, the sun came out. I got my usual Venti iced coffee with soy, ate something for breakfast, logged on to my emails and read a few regular emails that I subscribe to, made a Facebook status update, read Christy’s blog about it taking a village, and it hit me.
What if the sun didn’t come out at all? What if those who made my Venti iced coffee decided not to show up? What if…
You get the picture.
I remember my doctor telling me that in order to be happy one has to be consistent. Also, my sister often quotes her professor, who is also a judge, who once said, “In order for one to be ethical, one must be consistent.”
And I know that this inconsistency pattern goes way back to when I was young and we moved a lot. My sister and I attended 16 different schools from first through 12th grade. So, we never felt really settled. We always had to leave behind our friends and the routines we had developed were uprooted. But I am an adult now, and I am in control of my behavior, and I can’t blame it on anyone. So, I have to take charge of my happiness.
I know I haven’t been too happy lately, and it has to do with my not being consistent, especially in the most important things, like using my oxygen and taking my medicine and eating right. And at the same time, this behavior isn’t ethical to my belief system, which then affects my overall emotional well-being.
I guess I got discouraged with not being at the recent Congenital Heart Lobby Day, where I had wanted so much to attend and meet some of the fellow CHDers who were going to be there and also meet some of those who work at ACHA. I had also been asked to write a blog for Lobby Day if I were to attend. I had planned to go, but then it didn’t work out, and I can say that mainly it is because of my bad planning.
Then I realized that it’s not the end of the world, and a lot of others couldn’t go because of their circumstances or health. I reminded myself to be happy for the emails I sent, which probably helped in some way, and to be happy for those who did get to go and advocate for us.
All of this makes me want to try to be better at planning and following through on commitments. One of these commitments is writing this blog today.
So once again I am determined to get back up and on the right track. I made a commitment to try to be consistent for a 90-day period. I have set little reminders about taking my medicine, using my oxygen, getting proper rest, and eating healthy. I will try to follow through on any commitments I make. I also will allow room for the minor ups and downs one goes through in order to even be consistent. At least I will keep on trying and know that my efforts to be consistent will move me forward in a more positive direction.
Stephie Goldfish, aka Stephanie Hodgson, was born with a large ventricular septal defect, but it wasn't diagnosed until age 17. Since her defect went unrepaired, this resulted in Eisenmenger’s physiology, and she has developed severe secondary pulmonary hypertension. Stephie is an artist who graduated at the top of her class from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh; she is currently pursuing her love of writing, and writes short stories and poetry, as well as nonfiction. Learn more at her website and personal blog.