As I trudged into the bathroom for my third visit of the night, I began to review my health status. The review went something like this. At 64 I have more aches and pains than a retired stunt man. Leg cramps seem to be my new bed partner. I have the ability to pass urine every hour on the hour but its process is so slow it’s as if that area of my body were still asleep. I am amazed that the pressure can wake me up but once it has me in position, it decides to withhold the evidence. Passing anything more sizable is like passing a bill in congress and like congress it needs a multitude of help to get it going.
A few weeks ago, I dispensed my pills and vitamins for the week in those cute little weekly, daily/am/pm boxes and forgot to put in the second pill of the day for my high blood pressure. Meanwhile, I couldn’t figure out why my blood pressure was suddenly spiking. Let’s face it, the maintenance on this body is intense; my brain is having trouble keeping up to the task.
So this is where I and my head were at the other night.
Do you ever feel like its hopeless and you just want to give up? Okay, Lord, I’m done with this body. “Beam me up, Scotty!”
That night I had watched part of President Trump’s speech at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s 2019 Road to Majority Policy Conference in Washington. There he invited a survivor of bone cancer up to the stage. Natalie Harp spoke about the “Right to Try” law that Trump signed in 2017 that enables terminally ill patients to gain access to experimental drugs before the medicines are approved by the FDA. She and her story were very motivational. Here are her words:
“We all know the story about the Good Samaritan, but what you don’t know is, I was that forgotten person on the side of the road, the victim of medical error and I was left to die of cancer,” she said.
“First, the medical establishment, they came by and saw me there, and they wrote prescriptions for opioids, and they walked on,” said Harp.
“Next, the political establishment, they saw me there, and they stopped just long enough to come over and tell me how to die, how to speed up my death, and die with dignity.”
“But then, an outsider gave up his own quality of life so that we could live and work and fight with dignity, because he believes in survival of the fighters, not the fittest.”
Now, I am not trying to convince you to be a Trump supporter, nor whether you are in favor of the Right to Try Law or not. Rather, only to share with you where my ruminations were as I sat on the “throne” at 3:20 am Thursday morning. As I said it takes a while…
Sitting there waiting for my bladder to empty, I realized that while I am plagued with some frustrating and annoying health issues (past & present); I have never been faced with anything that couldn’t be “fixed”. Scars, pain, fear and left untreated – surety of death. But I have not had to face certain death.
As I climbed back into bed the question surfaced: Given the same circumstances as Natalie Harp – would I fight for the “Right to Try”? Would I be like my mother who after having battled breast cancer for 10 years and out of options was too tired to fight? Or would I determine that God was calling me home? I have often said that I am not afraid of dying because I know where I am going after this trip. I am more afraid of the process of dying and frankly, how long and insufferable it’s going to be.
I don’t have an answer to that question. I know I would want the choice of having the “Right to Try”. Whether I choose to exercise that option remains to be seen. I have yet to be tested.
But I do know this. That God is with me, here, on the “throne”, at 3 am, in my thoughts, and in my heart. And I thank God for the life He has given me.
I just wish He could make my body function a little bit better right now. I’d be ever so grateful.
Where are you on this journey to eternity? Are you tired of fighting? Have you not begun to fight? And if presented with no other options but experimental therapies, would you use the law for your right to fight?
What do you think about at 3 am in the morning?
Thank you for reading my post. If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it. Feel free to comment here or even re-blog – may these words take flight!
I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts. To order a copy or learn more go to my website at www.lorettaschoen.com
Blessings for Health & Wellness.