I hate to admit it, but sometimes I feel sorry for myself.
On a day that I have a panic attack, or an episode of the mysterious fatigue that occasionally overwhelms me, along with a breast cancer scare (I have had two), or if we have to deal with termites, or a leak in the roof, I can start to feel down.
I ask the question out loud, “Isn’t schizophrenia enough? Do I have to deal with health issues and other stressors too?”
Then something happens like a gentle reminder from heaven, that actually, I’ve got it quite good. In fact, I have it better than good, I’ve got it great.
Yesterday, I went to the lab to have my blood checked. A side effect of the antipsychotics I am on is high cholesterol, high sugar, and damage to the liver and kidneys, so I need to get my blood checked at least every six months.
I arrived at the hospital early (the lab opens at 7:30 AM on Sundays). There were already two people in front of me. The woman at the desk was having difficulty with her computer so people continued to come and a line of six or seven of us formed.
At first I just thought everyone was talkative, but then my husband and I quickly figured out that all of the people waiting in line knew each other. It turns out they get their blood drawn every Sunday, because all of them had kidney transplants. One man had a kidney and pancreas transplant and was positive for HIV.
As we moved from the check-in line to the waiting room, we listened to these people talk. All of them were on thirty or more medications. They had to take some of their pills three hours before eating, some an hour after eating, some twelve hours apart.
They all talked about the person who donated their kidney so they could live. One man’s brother had donated his kidney, but everyone else had received a kidney from someone who had died. They talked about how that bothered them, and how they all wanted to have some form of communication with the families of the donor.
By the time my husband and I left that lab we were thanking God for our lives, our troubles, our ailments, our difficulties and struggles.
When we got home, I opened an inspirational book that my husband wrote for me and gave me for Christmas. It said, “Your worst situation is still better than someone else’s best situation.”
Today, I am grateful. I am thankful. Even though all of the people at the lab had to go to the doctor regularly, take dozens of pills, watch their diets, etc. they were all happy to be alive. I am happy to be alive. Life is beautiful, and I’m going to live it!