Friday, May 26, 2023

Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

Another six months have passed, and I figured I ought to check in with an update as to how ol' Red is doing.

I had a checkup in April with my Cardiologist and in early May with my primary care physician, and both were pleased with my progress. I've maintained a steady weight* and exercise, and my shoulder and knee are behaving themselves. My physician wants me to begin adjusting my medication so I can start weaning myself off of the insulin, and now that my son's graduation is finished I intend to start that process. 

Of course, my medications occasionally kick me in the ass and I end up spending the night in the bathroom, but considering the alternative I'm okay with this side effect.

Hey, I take that drug!


Let's talk about the rest of it all.

It's been a year and a half since my life has been upended, and while physically I've done quite well --my body's stubborn inability to push past this weight I've been stuck at for 8-9 months notwithstanding-- my brain is finally realizing that this is going to be my situation for the rest of my life. I could cope quite easily with that first year, because I had to spend time learning how to deal with my new condition and being hyper vigilant to any changes. Now that I have more than a full year's cycle under my belt, I'm starting to unclench a bit, but that has also allowed the enormity of the situation I'm in to seep into my consciousness. 

I suppose it's not a great surprise, then, that people with chronic health conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and Hypertension are at greater risk for depression. 

And I completely understand this, even before mental issues kicked my ass. Trust me on this one.

I'd be foolish to not admit that my bout of congestive heart failure has also taken a mental toll on me, with the long term survival rate of people with congestive heart failure having an on average a 10 year survival rate of 35%. On the bright side, the younger a person is who has had a bout of CHF the greater the chance of long term survival. So my having congestive heart failure at age 52, being less than age 65, works in my favor. Kinda sorta, but I feel like it all evens out in the end; people who are over 65 might not live that long but if you're under 65 you do but that gets you caught up, age-wise, to about the same age as the over 65 person kicking the bucket. For example, someone aged 55 has a better chance of survival and they live another 20 years, that gets them to 75. Then, someone aged 65 lives only 10 years and they live until age... 75. 

So, like someone who is diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, I do have a time limit on my lifespan. It's not a question of if, but when.**

All of that knowledge doesn't exactly help with this:

Uh... Thanks, I think. But is the Sindorei
the person I'm supposed to have a fling with?
Knowing Elves, I'm pretty sure she's NOT
younger than me. (From this Etsy site.
I'm seriously impressed.)

Yeah, helluva time to have a midlife crisis. Although I suppose you could argue that it might not be a mid-life crisis but a full blown "rest of your life" crisis.

"You have my axe..."
From 9GAG.

As I pointed out in the links above, this is not an unusual situation to be in. And I totally understand that. That doesn't exactly make things easier, but it makes it understandable. From there, I can cope.

In a bizarre way, playing WoW Classic Era has been a panacea because I don't have to worry about any external pressure to perform to a standard that I can't maintain without a lot of effort. (If at all.) Without any existential fear of letting the raid down --or worse, getting "The Talk"-- I can at least hang out and just be me for a while.

Not you again.

Okay, I'll pretend to be someone else for a while. Happy now, Card?

Anyway, I now have yet another thing to keep track of going forward. Barring any other surprises, however, my cardiologist expects to see me on a yearly basis, and my primary care physician concurs. Carry on carrying on, I suppose.

*Occasionally my weight drifts upward, and an extra diuretic pill takes care of that. Before you ask, yes, my Cardiologist told me to do that if I have weight gain without any changes to my diet or exercise, and that excess water will get flushed out. It's only if that isn't working then I'm to give her a call.

**Okay, we all have a time limit. As the old saying goes, we start to die as soon as we're born. Still, the direct knowledge that I know what will kill me in the end isn't exactly comforting.

EtA: Replaced "older" with "younger". Older, younger, same difference, right?


  1. Glad to hear you're doing OK. 🙂 I'm turning 40 this year and it's weird to think that this means that considering the average, I'm pretty much halfway through my life now. Even without any major health conditions!

    1. My only advice is to be yourself, but be vigilant. Problems can sneak up on you without realizing it more quickly now.

      That aside, I've discovered that turning 40 (or 50) doesn't mean that you simply fall apart. You feel.... like yourself. You have the same activity, energy level, desires, etc., so go out and do what you want.

    2. I'm going to second Shintar that it is excellent to hear you are doing well. And for Shintar I'm going to second Redbeard and say as you move past 40 don't let any problems sit. It's better to have an extra checkup and find out it was for nothing than miss something that was better caught and treated early.

      Finally, for both, enjoy that energy while you still have it. I'll be 60 this year and I don't bounce back or move as fast as I did even at 50. Even if our minds feel as clear as if we were 20 or 30, Time starts slowing our bodies down after 50.

    3. It's kind of strange how I never noticed my body slowing down when the congestive heart failure slowly worked its way into my body. Ever since the three month mark I've had a lot more energy than I've had in the past several years before the hospital stay. I won't say that I feel like I was in my 30s or something, but I definitely do feel much peppier overall.

  2. I so much know what you mean. I even spend time worrying about our dog outliving me. I had to do that to my husband as he's a hooligan.

    I'm so glad things are going well. I have to go to the oncologist and cardiologist every six months which creeps me out.

    I know, I never noticed a slow down either until I couldn't breath. Weird.

    I'm glad we have Azeroth to worry about instead. Cat's a lifesaver whether she knows it or not!

    1. Tell me about it, Ancient. And yes, Cat is a lifesaver for more reasons than you know, because when I see you on Bnet it makes me happy to know you're still plugging away.