Recently in an exchange on Facebook, a self-identified conservative told me "your life sucks." This was his comment after I explained my current predicament. As bad as many aspects of my life are, my life does not suck. I will explain why I can say that.
First my current predicament. My blood pressure has been dropping steadily over the last two years. This should be a good thing since I have had hypertension for a number of years. Until recently I had to take three different medications to control my hypertension. Now, I only need to take one. The problem: my family doctor does not know why my blood pressure has improved. He wants me to see my cardiologist.
In my discussion with my doctor, neither of us mention the potential danger lurking in my brain. I have a nerve being compressed by something. Best guess is that a small blood vessel is pressing on the nerve. The problem is the nerve being compressed is next to the nerve that controls my heart beat. If the nerve to my heart should be compressed my heart rate might slow or my heart might stop. I have had the condition about seven years, so have grown less concerned with each passing year. But my heart rate has dropped and I don't think it is because I am in better condition. I see a neurologist once a year. He saw nothing alarming, so maybe this is all a false alarm.
I have tried to convince myself of that because I cannot afford to go to the cardiologist. My business has been very slow and I am barely making enough to live on. Ramen noodles are always a way to survive. I have insurance but I must pay $5500 before it will pay. I pay $837/mo for this insurance. Why? I had a bone disease as a child - a preexisting condition. I have also added rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and diabetes to the mix. Nothing but the Texas High Risk Pool will touch me.
I could drop the insurance so I could afford to go to the cardiologist. But if I need brain surgery to remove the pressure I would have no insurance to cover the surgery. So, I have opted to muddle on and hope that I don't drop dead.
In saying why I support Obama's health care reform, I gave a sketch of my health care dilemma. The answer I got back was your life sucks, but there are no good reasons for health reform. I believe I can refute that, but not here.
What I replied to this conservative was that my life does not suck. Seven years ago, I came to terms with having this thing in my head. I embraced the Apostle Paul's statement. "To live is Christ, to die is gain."
I try to act toward others as Christ would have me act and to live one day at a time. I have failed miserably at times, notably a couple of years ago, when I tried to kill myself, but I do continue to try to believe "to live is Christ." I know the Comforter is with me even though I do not feel his presence. I do not struggle alone.
I have more successfully embraced "to die is gain," . I believe that God resurrects us in another world when we die, a world where there is no pain or sickness, only love and light. Death is only a doorway into a universe of possibility. That is where I long to be. My life does not suck because I know there is more to come. Far better to come.
Like Paul I desire to depart the body and be with God. Yet, I know that God desires me here. Why? I don't know. But I know I must follow God's command. As long as I believe that, my life has purpose, and I can face another day.
Photo by dr.knitter