For about 98% of my life, my physical health has been fine. During those times my health has waved between just above average and just below average. I have minor issues like being allergic or sensitive to seemingly a lot of things. I have a small hole in my left ear drum, and I also pretty much get an ear infection anytime water gets into my either of my ear canals, which is a reason why I do not like going to the pool or the beach. Currently I am taking some medication daily to help me out with a minor long-term health problem. Overall right now I am doing fine physically, little to complain about. Now I want to talk about the 2% of my life where I had serious health problems.
So in the winter of 2010/2011 it was discovered that I had a serious health issue. I felt completely fine when the first signs were spotted and I went to see doctors to figure out what the heck is happening. But around the time I finally got the diagnosis, I was starting to feel some of the symptoms. Funny, because I was feeling fine at first the doctors almost decided to just let me go, but when an serious important test result came back, I finally got a diagnosis that really really made me and my family feel bad. Though I was so young, it was the first time I had to come to grips with my mortality.
At first I was put on a low risk treatment, which could have worked, but it didn't, and also during that I had to go to the hospital every week. When it was clear that the treatment would not work, I had to end up going with a higher risk treatment. That treatment required me to stay in the hospital for over a month. Before I got the low risk treatment I got a special catheter installed that went from my left arm to the top of my heart so I could have medication injected and blood drawn more easily. It was kind of necessary and useful beause otherwise I would have had to get a new hole put in me with a needle for blood work and then medicine every time I went to the hospital weekly. So when I had to stay in the hospital for a month it was really helpful because I had to get extra serious medicine 24/7.
The month I spent in the hospital was boring, lonely, annoying, and there was a lot of pain at some points. Having to see nurses and doctors daily was a little tiresome, but what really bothered me was constantly being hooked up to the dumb infusion pump that beeped very loudly if it got a kink in the tube that was hooked up to me. The kind of infusion pump I was normally hooked up to was the kind that pumped fluid and medicine from a hanging saline bag. That kind was the less annoying one. Later I got hooked up to a different kind of infusion pump that was basically a large syringe that was slowly pushed over half a day or so. That one was extra annoying because the machine would somehow detect a block/kink in the tube when I was basically doing nothing, and it would sound the most annoying alarm I have ever heard. I tried really hard to convince my main doctor to get me off of the syringe machine and take the medicine it was giving me through pills instead, and fortunately I only had to deal with that machine for only a week.
Even though I was in the hospital for a month, I got out of the hospital relatively quickly. My doctor told me I set a record for how fast I got discharged. At first I was let out for half a day so I could visit home, but basically one day after the doctors decided I was ready enough to be an outpatient for the rest of my treatment and discharged me. I still visited the hospital multiple times a week after I got let out of the hospital, but only for about a month. The higher risk treatment clearly worked, and I was back to good health before school started in the fall of 2011. Sadly this was not the end of my health problems.
In early 2013 a new health issue popped up, and it was dealt with much faster, but I still had to deal with a situation similar to the previous time. I got into the hospital, and everything seemed fine to the doctors who wanted to let me go because they couldn't see any issues. But then one doctor tried a special examination, and it was again discovered that I had a different serious potentially life-threatening health issue. For this I only had to stay in the hospital for a week. I had to be in the intensive care unit, not because I had problems that required the ICU to treat me, but because I had to get an operation done (twice) that required me to be right there in the ICU if anything went wrong. It was also not fun being in the ICU because I was hooked up to a heart monitor machine that would sound an alarm if my heart rate went below 70bpm, and my heart rate did go below 70... when I fell asleep... which then caused the alarm to wake me up. I found out that my normal sleeping heart rate is just under 60bpm, which is not unusual for people. I had to beg and beg the nurses to lower the alarm threshold so I could get some normal sleep, and eventually they made it 60bpm, which was not enough, but it was much better.
After that ordeal, I got put on the medication I currently take daily. I still see a doctor every few months to monitor my blood work and adjust my dose if needed. But otherwise since 2013 my physical health has been fine. So, is this the end of my health problems until I get old and have to deal with old health? It may be not actually. According to my mother, she talked to my doctor that was responsible for my first major treatment, and he told her that people who have had the first health problem I had with the second health problem I had don't live long lives. Wut? I obviously don't know the details, or what the doc's meaning of "long life" means, but I plan to ask him when I see him next year, which will be the final planned appointment I will have with him (yay).
Before I finish this post I want to mention a few things. First of all CANADA, FUCK YEAH! FREE HEALTHCARE! Me and my family paid basically zero dollars for my treatments! Second of all, be extra careful handling industrial chemicals. It's possible that the first health problem I had was caused by my skin coming into contact with brake cleaner fluid (don't ask how lol) a few months prior to me having my first symptoms. I later checked the MSDS of that fluid and there was one chemical in there that seemed to potentially be the cause of my problems, though I never completely confirmed it.
So... death and dying. I haven't had to worry about it in a long time, and I hope to live long and be as healthy as possible for as long as I can be. But I still think about death sometimes. I am a nihilist, so I don't really care about the afterlife, but I still want to enjoy this existence for as long as I can, because I literally do not know what happens after death. In a way I am more afraid of living while suffering than I am afraid of dying. So I will do what I can to keep my health as good as it can be. This is especially important now since science and people's experiences say that how well you treat your health in your 20s has a huge effect on how well your health will be when you are much older. I have no idea if I'll actually live long. I'd love to live to see the 22nd century, and it is technically possible, but also maybe I'll die in a car accident or a plane crash. When (or if???) I do die I do not want a fancy funeral, or even a funeral at all. Just take my organs and then donate my body to science, then throw my body into the trash (it is the most eco-friendly way to dispose of someone actually so why not).
How is your physical health? What are your thoughts on death?