This post was a little difficult to write, mainly because it’s hard to explain exactly what it’s like to be “too old” in regards to medical treatment. I’m twenty-seven years old and I still go to the same children’s hospital to receive care for my congenital heart disease. There have been some great memories growing up with people who cared about me, and wanted to make the life I was living at that time as “normal/fun;” even in the hospital.
On Thursday I went back to the pediatric cardiologist to hear the complete findings of the heart cath I had the during Halloween. Well it’s not as good as I would’ve liked, but we have a plan. I have diastolic dysfunction; in layman’s terms the heart wall muscle is stiffening. There are many reasons for this, including my scar tissue, valve replacement, and the atrial flutter I’ve been experiencing throughout my life. I am changing medicines the week after Thanksgiving in order to help my heart out in the long run.
I always feel like I’m too old to be in the doctor’s office, I mean when they call they are usually asking what my child’s birthday is. One time I had an argument with the lady on the phone when I told her my birthday and she said “I need your child’s birthday, not yours.” It was fun explaining to her that I am the “child” and that I needed to talk to the nurse, she didn’t even seem that apologetic at the end.
The privilege of being older in a children’s hospital/environment is that I am here, and alive; which some kids never got the chance to experience. It’s also rewarding to talk to parents in the waiting room and at events about my time and experiences at the hospital and with the same doctors they are trusting their child’s life with. The feeling of knowing that I’m helping parents and some of the teens that the heart condition they are born with doesn’t define who they are. I feel what defines a person is how they react, of course my heart disease has been a part of shaping me into the person I am today.
I think it’s an amazing thing to be able to influence others just by sharing your story and how you as a person experience life.
Today I’ll leave you with this:
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.” -Albert Einstein
Live, Laugh, Love……Always,