Thursday, May 27, 2010

Appreciation

This week was an ECP week, so I spent the afternoon yesterday and today in the four chair ECP room getting treatment. Sitting across from me yesterday was a man who was so terribly emaciated and weak that he couldn't even get into and out of his chair by himself, someone had to lift him. Today a young woman sat across from me, a lung transplant recipient whose body had recently begun to reject her lungs. She's also on the list for a kidney transplant and may eventually have to get another lung transplant if they can't control the rejection reaction. She goes back and forth between three different hospitals in two states, is on a long list of medications, and did I mention she also has steroid-induced diabetes?

This afternoon I was angry. I wasn't angry at the other patients, I was angry at the majority of people in the world. You know, the ones who complain about everything - work, sleep patterns, internet problems, etc. The people who in all seriousness think their lives suck. We all know them, we all put up with their whining, we all nod along sympathetically as they continue to list the minor problems that make their life one big FML every single day. I looked at these poor people in front of me and was angry at the people in the world who live great lives and still think they have problems. Seriously? Seriously? Let's see, life threatening illness and the daily issues caused by it versus having homework or annoying coworkers or noisy neighbors. I wonder which one I would choose? People like that should get down on their knees five times a day and thank whatever power they believe in that they have their health, that their lives aren't like these people I met in ECP. Or like mine, for that matter. It makes me furious. It makes me furious that there are so many people who can't put things in perspective, shut their mouths, and be grateful for what they have. Do they really think their life is that hard? They should try spending one day like the lung transplant patient and then see how terrible their life looks. Why do we find it so hard to just appreciate what we have?

Then I calmed down, and I felt sorry for those people, those people who can't put their lives into perspective. I feel sorry for them because they will always be unhappy, because they can't see how good they have it. They look around them and all they see is the next thing that can go wrong, the next thing to complain about. They have no appreciation for life and so cannot fully live their lives the way someone who knows how precious every day is can live their life. They don't know how to take advantage of every good moment and appreciate how good life can be.

My friend T, Theresa, is dying of leukemia, as I shared with you a few weeks ago. This past weekend she posted a really beautiful guest blog post here. Theresa is the kind of friend everyone should have. Not only is she amazingly thoughtful, caring, beautiful and kind, but speaking with her makes me want to be a better person, and her words inspire me to be better. The world will be a little less bright when she is no longer in it. I hope that you will find the same inspiration in her words and life as I do.

6 comments:

Zhu said...

As much as people try to put themselves in your shoes, or in those of people who go through through major life issues, they can't. I agree, you have the right to be angry because so many problems or so-called problems look so trivial compared to what you saw at the hospital.

It's sad to say but most people would rather ignore homelessness, dying people, poverty, sad stories etc. Doesn't make it go away though.

But we should show appreciation for what we have.

getyourselfconnected said...

Soleil,
sadly it is the "me" generation and all that implies. I see people on their cell phones on my way to work, ITS 6AM!!!, and they are driving crappy cars so I know its not some high powered business deal. While the internet (and all associated items: FB, Ipad, Iphone, Twitter, etc) have opened the world, it has also shrunk it.

Thanks so much for the Theresa link. I do not want to get all open but I had some moments reading that and I found I was, maybe, cannot confirm, but wet eyed like all get out. I will never know that kind of toughness.

Its funny, I cannot remember how I stopped by this blog but I am more glad every day. If I could do anything for you I would. I wish there was more.

If you need a lift, I interviewed my pug dog tonight (its funny), and Friday entertainment night lead off song/tale/ anything will be yours if you want to.

All my best.

au soleil levant said...

Zhu - I guess it's easier to just think about one's own problems than to try to empathize with someone else or make things better. Thanks for seeing my point of view.

GYSC - I almost included a rant about social networking sites making us more self-focused in this post but decided against it because I had just posted about twitter being annoying. I completely agree with you that being able to broadcast everything that happens in your life to the world has made us much more self-focused. A post for another day, perhaps.

Theresa is amazing, isn't she? I can keep reports of possible wet eyes under the "our lips are sealed" category :)

I guess your pug learned some sarcasm from his human daddy as well as a few economic opinions? He's really adorable, and I loved the interview, thanks for sharing. As far as songs... hmmm... have you played Rhiannon recently?

I am very glad you stumbled upon my blog and always happy when you stop by and comment. Good luck with the fishing kayak! Hope you don't drown!

getyourselfconnected said...

"Good luck with the fishing kayak! Hope you don't drown!"

Yeah me too!

Sarcasm to me is my medium, that is where I work. Like paint on a canvas.

I am totally devoid of Rhianon tunes, so please pick one!

You are in my thoughts and my hopes, Stay gold darling.

au soleil levant said...

Not Rhianna the artist! Rhiannon the song! By Fleetwood Mac! Guess I should have put it in quotes or italics or something. I never know what the appropriate formatting for song titles is.

This is a pretty awesome version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jokJ1KTPeh4

getyourselfconnected said...

"Rhiannon" and not Rhianna is up for friday night. I am easily confused you know!