6/3/2013 8:29 AM
By Stephie Goldfish
For part 1 of Stephie’s post, click here.
My journey to the lost horizon and beyond has shed some light into my bruised and broken heart.
Coincidentally, two weeks before I decided to leave my home in North Carolina, I met my neighbor with whom I bonded right away. A retired respiratory therapist/nurse, she was concerned about me, because my sister had just moved, and my neighbor knows how important it is to be near a specialized hospital able to handle my CHD.
She recommended me asking my doctors about pulmonary hypertension rehabilitation, because she knows this is necessary, if I were considering a heart and lung transplant.
Lately, though, I'd been feeling at odds with my present team of heart and lung doctors, and being a good distance away from their specialized hospital has been worrying me.
I thought of moving back to be closer to this team that has been following me for the past seven years. Or go to this one medical center that I've heard is excellent.
In my searching and discovering over the past year, I knew I had to go and find my own path beyond the horizon.
The actual physical journey is the scariest, bravest thing I've done on my own. Not knowing this area or new team of doctors took courage.
And, in a sense, it has been a new birthing of enlightenment for me.
A strange thing happened on my way here. I knew I'd be going through Albuquerque, New Mexico. And for a period of time, while driving, I got lost in the beauty, and I forgot I was so close, until I entered into the most beautiful mountain setting I'd ever seen.
While I was going around into a cradle-like canyon of the mountains, I got chill bumps, and I was in a heightened awareness. I realized I was in Albuquerque, and I started crying and praying, sort of like a mother talking to my child self, as if I were being cradled in my mother's arms, or being carried safely in the womb.
This moment was so calming and spiritual, that I pulled off at an exit, and walked around in that area for a while, treated myself to a coffee, and took in the scenery. And what I did next was take time to put on my oxygen. I carried it with me, but hadn't put it on until then—the mothering of the child—and I wore my oxygen the rest of the way to my destination.
As this journey continues, it will include a transplant, metaphorically speaking. I will be seeing a new team of heart and lung doctors at another medical center this June.
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 her personal blogs here and here.
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