(Today’s blog post is part of a continuing series of personal stories about living with Trigeminal Neuralgia, the most painful diagnosis known to man.)
Question: What’s even better than finding out you have the most painful medical condition known to man?
Answer: Knowing it will only get worse.
Well, aren’t I just little Sally Sunshine today? Actually, I’m in a pretty good mood, but the future is definitely something I think about. Or rather I think about not thinking about. I prefer to be in the moment – in the “now” if you will. That isn’t some kind of philosophical crap about living each minute to the fullest. It’s self-preservation. See, if I really start thinking about where I’ll be in a year or five years, it’s pretty damn depressing.
Let’s look at my facts: I’m a single, fifty years old female and I rarely leave my house, so, you know, men are really beating a path to my door. (And if you buy that, you are clearly NOT a single, fifty year old female who rarely leaves her house.) I’m not saying the path to personal fulfillment lies only with finding the right man, but it would be nice to be meandering through the days with someone. I can’t have a job at present due to the TN and trying to fill my days with something – anything – I can do to help from turning my brain and body into mush is a challenge. Please know that I am aware that a lot of people wish they were in my position of “early retirement” if only for a little while. But it’s harder than it seems. First the financial aspect is frightening, but moreover the psychological impact is even worse. I’m used to working, talking with people, solving problems, heck, moving. I don’t need a FitBit thing to tell me how much I’ve walked each day. I can just count how many steps it takes for me to walk from the living room to the kitchen and multiply that by eight or so.
Okay, I kind of got off topic. I started out talking about the future. But that’s what happens. When the spectrum of the future is laid out before me, I mentally change channels. My short-term future consists of deciding whether or not to put more ice in my glass of water. I don’t think of the long-term unless long-term can be defined by how many days the watermelon I bought will stay good in the fridge.
Is it unhealthy for me to not think about the future? I’m gonna say no. The reason being that I would probably imagine the worst possible outcome and that just may not be what happens. Maybe there will be new advances in the treatment of TN. Maybe I’ll go into a remission and be able to work again. Maybe when I’m out buying watermelon I’ll bump into a single man who has the looks of Kevin Bacon and is as much of a goofball as I am.
So I’m not going to think about it. I’m just going to go put more ice in my glass of water.