The Selfishness of Sickness

I don’t sleep anymore. I’ve spent the last couple of hours watching YouTube videos proving Amy Schumer steals jokes (I’m so over her but I don’t have the heart to listen to the sadness of The BBC anymore so YouTube is my distraction) and now I’m watching the ceiling and accepting the fact I can’t sleep anymore. It’s so difficult to describe how I feel. It’s so odd to have my entire life change so quickly.

Too quickly to accept.

I went to see a doctor about a cold and he said I had an irregular heartbeat and he ordered tests.

And now I can’t walk to the corner with my sister without stopping every couple of houses to rest. How did that happen? How do I accept that?

How do you accept that one day you can’t ride a bicycle or take a shower without sitting on the edge of the tub to rest or that talking takes the voice control you learned in choir just to hold your voice steady? Do you explain that’s why you go hours each day without spoken words or why you don’t answer your phone? How do you accept that you can’t participate in conversations like you used to?

How do you accept that shopping physically costs or that now you’re so dizzy you worry about the responsibility of driving?

How do you accept the waiting? Waiting to see whether the medicines that make you feel so awful will correct a problem that’s deteriorated over the last couple of months of medicine.

How do you accept can’t? How do you explain the difference between can’t and won’t?

How do you accept the fear? The fear of being forgotten?  The fear of being a burden?

How do you accept the selfishness of sickness? How do you explain you can’t listen because all you hear is your pulse in your head?  How do you explain you can’t feel empathy or sympathy because you’re preoccupied with feeling your heartbeats as they run like small sparks across your chest?  How do you explain that you’re consumed with monitoring the illness that’s consuming all your physical strength?  How do you explain you’re heartless because your heart is less?

How do you accept that bed has become your purgatory? How do you accept that you can’t sleep because of the sober spins? How do you accept the exhaustion of attempting to steady yourself and trying to stop the rapid revolutions? How do you accept that the jitters that rob you of rest and how do you accept the nightly terrors that you may not have rest the rest of your life?

But I’m accepting it. I accept I can’t be impulsive.  Impulse.  Am pulse.  Never considered that connection until I just typed it on my phone.  I can’t be impulsive anymore.  I plan my movements.  Everything is measured.  I sat today and I judged when I should stand up because when I stand I have to steady my stance because I’m so lightheaded.

And I accept that the medicines have changed me.  Constant dizziness and constant nausea are the artifacts.  And I need to accept feeling like I’m drunk may be my new normal.

Anyone who knows me knows i constantly examine my conscience.  It’s what I do.  In my youth I was such a liar that now I’m driven toward authenticity.  How is one authentic when every move is measured and every word is guarded?  I don’t know.

But Mark R. Trost isn’t  Mark R. Trost anymore.

And I have to accept that.  I’ve lost so much in the last couple of months.  In a way I’ve lost my identity.  I’m not a writer anymore.  When you measure each action and reaction you lose your confidence.  I’ve lost my confidence.  The impetus of my writing was my confidence in my enlightenment but now I live in darkness of loss.

So now I ask for acceptance too.  I need people to accept that I’m a shell until I find my emotional fuel again.  I need people to accept that I can’t find confidence right now so they’ve got to accept my fragility. I need people to accept I can’t be lighthearted.  My heart is heavy. I need people to accept I don’t want the responsibility of having an emotional response.  I need people to accept that all of this is incomprehensible to me.  And I’m not used to that.  I’m not accustomed to being confused.

I need people to understand “it could be worse” are rote words to my ears.  No.  To me this can’t be worse.  Heart Failure has stolen my actions and reactions.  My very essence as a man was my immediate emotional, spiritual, and intellectual spontaneity.  I lived in every moment and I lived every moment.  And now that essence is dead.  And I don’t know how to accept that.

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