Today I was at the kidney clinic for my now weekly appointment. My function has come up to 8%. I never thought 8 would sound like a good number, but once you get to 6 it seems fantastic! When my function dropped to 6% the doctor decided to take me off a medication that I’ve been taking since I was diagnosed. It’s a blood pressure medication that has a beneficial effect in protecting the kidneys until you get to a very low function. So they did expect I would have a little gain. Fantastic. It buys me a little more time without dialysis. Time to continue to work on my emotional well being, physical health and be in the absolute best condition for a transplant.
An interesting thing that happened as well was that my blood pressure dropped quite significantly. Remember that drug I had been on was for blood pressure? Well, recently I had to take a second blood pressure medication as it was getting up there. There were complications with that and I ended up off of it. So that means today having my blood pressure down was with no medication. I have been off work for a week and a half. My to do list is finally leaving my awareness. Coincidence? Maybe, or maybe not. Interesting? I think so.
We all hear about the effects stress can have on our physical as well as mental health. I think I can safely say it was taking a greater toll on me than I knew. It’s so difficult to really see the effects of circumstances when you’r in the midst of it. When you are able to step back – if you are given that kind of space- it’s so very telling. So much of yoga philosophy is centred around the idea of detaching and letting go. In practice this can be easy, but it can also be incredibly difficult. When we don’t allow ourselves the space we need to release stress our resilience gets very low and we can no longer cope. That’s where I got.
I’m so thankful for this time to heal my mind and very interested to see how my body responds.
I made a decision on Friday to go on short term disability until after I get a transplant. I’ve been so caught up in maintaining normalcy in my life that I haven’t been paying close attention to the emotional and physical toll the stress of my ‘normal’ life has been taking on me. In part I feel like I was pushed into a corner where I had no choice. Another part of me feels like I’ve let bullies win. Another, quite strong part of me, feels like I need to make a clean break from my current reality and just give it up. Let everything go with no exception. My work, the class I take, the board I sit on – just give it all up. I’m ridiculously tired from trying o have it all. Relax and let go I keep telling myself. And then I break down. I cry hot big tears that choke me and compress my chest and feel like they’ll never stop.
I’ve had a rough year. It started the day my mother died on December 11th. From there my world started to fall apart. I tried my best to hang on, but in the end I can’t. My health started to decline almost immediately after Mom died. My relationship with my manager grew more and more difficult. Even that has some connection to mom’s passing. We’ve had a strained relationship for years. When mom died I said to a coworker that I’m close to “I don’t want the manager at mom’s funeral”. My coworker said “I don’t think she would go”. She did go. And she was in my line of sight throughout the funeral. Standing in the overflow section at the front to my left. When I think of the funeral I think of my colleague and her inappropriately being there. And the way she took my hands after and tried to dance with me acting as if she knew my mother because she heard the stories at her funeral. “She would want you to dance” she said. I was in shock and couldn’t even speak. All I knew was there were so many times I talked to my mom about how to deal with the strained relationship between this person and I and she was here when I was so vulnerable and so shaken and overwhelmed and she was literally the last person I wanted there. I haven’t forgiven her. Mental note- never to go a funeral unless you can be a comfort to those left behind. Or at least not a stressor.
Since then I have gone from what I consider courageous and strong, trying to shine a light on the issues at work to trying to just go and do my job with my head down. I’ve argued with a close friend about it. She thinks I should just stop caring and just earn the pay check. She doesn’t seem to understand that every fibre of my being screams out at the unfairness I see and I have too much passion to just stand by and watch these things go on. I’ve felt like the scapegoat, like the pariah. I’ve felt hurt and angry. I want to scream at my coworkers that they, too, have a responsibility to speak up and make things better. But I know that would be in vain. I also know that I’m beyond frustrated and stressed and that my perspective is likely a little off right now. I feel like I might be completely crazy, maybe completely off base. I feel like I don’t know anything anymore. So I need a clean break. I need to not interact with anyone from that part of my life right now. I need to let them go. I need to let them fight their own battles and stay completely out of it. I need to remember that it’s just a job and that they will have no problem replacing me. I need to work on my health- mental and physical. That needs to be my full time job for the time being.
And so, here I am, still running through what I should have said to that last email and convincing myself not to reply, to just let it go. They’ll move on without me and maybe when I go back in several months time it will be manageable. Or maybe I’ll need to move on. But for now, I just need to focus on this day and do my best to let yesterday go. Let it go.