Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Enjoying the Moment

Life is constantly changing. Constantly moving forward whether we want it to or not. Sometimes it feels like it's inching forward, at a snail's pace, with very little happening that matters. But when we look back over weeks, months, years, we realize that it was whizzing by us much faster than we could have imagined.

It seems that we are often either looking back remembering something that has happened - a particularly good thing that makes us feel warm inside or something that has left us scarred, whether physically or emotionally - or looking ahead towards something looming off in the near future. It's hard for us to sit in this moment and look around us at what is happening right now. This moment rarely ever seems like it contains enough and we are often longing for a moment in the distance that we hope will bring us more of what we hope for.

Right now I am struggling to remain in the moment even more than usual for a number of reasons. Perhaps the biggest reason is that I am getting closer and closer to one of the biggest life changes I will encounter - getting married. My wedding is 31 days from today, 4 weeks from Saturday, and very quickly approaching. There is so much to do that I feel like I am constantly checking to-do lists, sending e-mails to arrange things, trying to coordinate things with my soon-to-be husband, or talking wedding plans with friends and family when I find time to just hang out with them. There's so much to do that it seems rare that I have a chance to sit and look around me at THIS moment without listening to the constant list of tasks running through my head. And as the wedding date gets closer, my excitement (and nervousness) grows so I kind of can't wait for it to get here. I may be a tad impatient at times and I have a feeling this is going to be one of those times, although I may find myself wishing for an extra few days to get things done when we find ourselves down to the wire.

On top of the wedding planning, I am also in the midst of my very familiar medical world where there is always something - an appointment, test, procedure, etc. - looming on the horizon. Sometimes these are things that I dread but right now the few things that are scheduled are things I am looking forward to, at least in some ways. A week from tomorrow I will have a new port-a-cath placed allowing me to finally have the PICC line removed that I've had since I was in the hospital in October with blood clots, requiring my last port to be removed. This port will be my fourth and while I have mixed feelings about needing to have it placed, I'm really looking forward to getting back to my "normal" (if there is such a thing) and not having to deal with the PICC line anymore. While I may not like needing central lines for IV medications, I know what my quality of life is like without them and I'm willing to put up with them to be able to live my life more fully. So I'm counting down to that procedure.

And I'm dealing with IV antibiotics that make me quite nauseous which makes it pretty difficult to try to be in the moment. When the current moment sucks, I think it's only natural to look ahead to better moments when things will be better.

When you put all of these things together, there's a lot going on. And quite a bit of anxiety starting to rise up. I am finally getting to have the relatively "normal" experience of getting married, but I have fears that my health will prevent me from really enjoying the day. And then of course if I worry about it too much, I may just make myself sicker and shoot myself in the foot. I'm trying to take advice from people who have done this before me and, if possible, not focus so much on the actual wedding day but on the fact that it's going to be the start of our life together. But I can't help wanting to have that day. These illnesses have taken so much from me, so many years, I want to be able to fully enjoy this one special day (and hopefully the week afterwards while we're on our honeymoon).

So I'll try to stay as calm as possible and enjoy the process of planning the wedding. I'll try not to put so much into the one day but at the same time do whatever I possibly can to make myself feel as well as possible for that day. If I need to do extra fluids the night before, so be it. If I need to take frequent breaks during the reception to go sit down, I'll do that as long as I get to fully enjoy the rest of the time. If I need to carry around my pill case in a purse all day, that's fine. It's just hard not knowing what to do to make it easier on my body and not being able to predict how I will be feeling on that particular day. Ahh, the joys of chronic illness.



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