8/9/2013 11:57 AM
By Stephie Goldfish
"Don't try to chase normal. Just try for progress." ~A poolside friend and former cancer patient
During our lifetime, we will meet many guides and teachers who will influence our decisions, for good and for bad.
Most of those who have had a hand in our life's direction won't always stay in our lives as we'd wish them to or as they'd wish us to. We move on in our journeys or they move on in their journeys.
Some of these guides and teachers, though, will remain in our lives, still guiding and lending a helping hand alongside us in our journeys of life.
In my visit to see my new team of heart and lung doctors, it didn't occur to me the possibility of one of the doctors being in the process of moving away to another CHD center in the state I had just moved away from.
And before I had moved here to see this team, I had just experienced one of my former doctors moving away to where I am at now. And, to be honest, the possibility of seeing her was one of the motivations for my move here.
Which all seems sort of like playing musical states.
It dawned on me that this new heart and lung team seem as perplexed as me as to why I would choose to move clear across the country, and are very concerned about my overall health and welfare, considering the high temperatures of this area, my deteriorating health over the past year, and not having a support system in place right away here.
But, in reality, my move here has been a very good decision in many ways.
Although the doctor whom I saw at this CHD center has moved away, my little time with him helped me see that it is a small world and especially so in the CHD community. He encouraged me to get more involved in building community and I am scheduled to be a team leader in the Congenital Heart Walk in the metropolitan area in November. And, in meeting with him, he gave me the idea to unite some with my specific CHD illness, Eisenmenger's.
I have also made some very good progress in my personal goals.
I finally began a long overdue pastel painting of my friend and her twin daughters.
I also found out that because of my CHD illness and disability, I can get door-to-door transportation to and from my doctors' appointments for the cost of a bus ride.
Sometimes, if we focus, instead, on progress and on getting better gradually—one day, one step at a time—we surprise even ourselves.
Sometimes, we step out of our normal self and step into our brave and unique self.
Sometimes, while sitting by the pool, we look around us, and we get up enough courage to introduce ourselves to the people sitting at the poolside table next to us.
And sometimes, as a result of introducing ourselves first to the people at the poolside table next to us, it earns us a seat at their table, which, in turn, offers a unique opportunity which may lead to a more creative job in the film and movie industry.
So my friend's words, quoted above, are my new guiding rule of conduct, because, sometimes, in trying to be normal, we lose our sense of purpose, our uniqueness, and what we can bring to the table.
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 blog.
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