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Tuesday 3 September 2013
As I poottle around the house this morning, enjoying the peace of the dogs lying in the sun, HWISO firmly entrenched on his tractor and the girls at school, I realised that, for the first time in ages, I am not afraid to be alone.
Don't get me wrong. I like being on my own, having my own space and headspace. I have no problems with my own company and, if slightly lonesome, can always get on my computer and connect to hundreds of other people, or pick up the phone and call a friend. What I have been afraid of, for two years now, is being physically alone in case I collapse again.
This has been really brought home to me this morning as I heard about a little 13 year old in Ireland, admitted to hospital in much the same physical state as I was, after my massive allergic reaction to chemotherapy. A very low pulse, extreme dehydration and chest pains. I remember lying on the floor of A&E, on one of the hottest days of the year, feeling unable to breathe and so very cold. I remember very little else.
The fear of physical collapse changed me in a subtle way. I became very much more aware of my physical frailty and I didn't like it. My physical size, strength and fortitude has always been something I have been able to rely on. A glimpse into the chasm that is a body not working frightened me so, that I closed that particular door.
And made me afraid to be left on my own.
Coming to terms with physical frailty and the various indignities that surround medication and pain management - No. It is my poo and I am not going to discuss it - is difficult for me. It has, however ,made me realise that my body is actually still much stronger than I gave it credit for and I can be left alone, to poottle around, vaguely handwaving and making lists of things I should be doing, without the sky falling in.
It also made me realise that, for the past two years, I haven't been scared of dying. I have been scared of not living. Now, I am not feeling scared of either - working on the latter and ignoring the former until absolutely necessary seems to be the way forward.