Patience Is Key

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I seem to have developed a habit of writing very personal lifestyle kind of posts every Sunday and this one seems to be no exception. I guess typing this all up helps me personally to realise certain things, to process what happened and to get things off my chest and who knows? Maybe someone out there who is feeling similar will read this and maybe it will help someone to know their not alone with things like these.

So basically I had a check up appointment the other day. They did another X-ray of my heart and drew some blood to see if the medication I still have to take is working correctly. Plus I also had an appointment with the cardiologist who has mostly been in charge of my case. We had a conversation and he explained the results of the tests to me and I got some pretty amazing news. When they did the x-ray there was not even a trace to be seen of what had happened. My heart had completely recovered and I won’t be suffering from any permanent damage to my heart. I still have to be on medication for another 6 months just to be sure but basically I’m 100% healthy again. The doctors told me it’s a little bit of a miracle because after having such a severe case of pulmonary embolism, that blood is blocking your heart you usually don’t get away like that. When I was got into the hospital my right heart had been swollen up to the size of my left heart. Usually your right heart is supposed to be a third of the size of your right heart. Now it’s all back to normal. Guess I must have been extremely lucky.

Now I’ve been going back to University for 2 weeks already and it still takes me quite a lot of courage to force myself to leave my room and go out there in the world because I still have those days in the hospital engraved into my mind and I’m afraid something like that could happen again. Everyone telling me that I’m fine and shouldn’t have to worry is even making it worse. It makes me feel like it’s my fault that I get so panicky sometimes.

This upcoming week is actually the first week I will be staying in the Netherlands for longer than a few days because I had a couple of days off during the last 2 weeks in which I would go back home. Yesterday was the first time I went out with a friend for dinner since the whole hospital situation. Even though I was terribly nervous for some reason that is unknown to me I really enjoyed myself. It was actually nice to be with people I care about and to just talk and have a good time. I’m not exactly interested in hitting the clubs again and partying like there’s no tomorrow but I managed to enjoy myself outside of my current ‘comfort zone’ I guess. I used to always enjoy hanging out with all my friends whether it was just meeting up for lunch, shopping or even clubbing. Ever since I got home I wasn’t interested in any of that. All I wanted was to just stay in my bed and be alone. So yesterday was definitely an important step and I’m a lot more optimistic now.

I know I will never get an answer to the questions spinning around in my head. Why me? Why was I one in like 100.000? Why did I get a second chance? How is it possible that I’m recovering so quickly? Truth is no one knows and thinking about it 24/7 won’t get me any answers. And it sure doesn’t help me to move on. Actually it does more of the exact opposite.

It’s been a little over a month since I was hospitalized and of course everything that has happened is still incredibly present in my life. If you are forced with the possibility of death that doesn’t leave you cold. It changes your point of view. They way you see things. The way you perceive the world. Since then I hardly walked or did any kind of exercise, simply because I wasn’t allowed to. I am totally out of breath if I have to walk a fairly short distance. Walking up stairs is very exhausting, which is quite frustrating. I swear, I feel like an old granny at times. My fitness level has decreased immensely. Now it’s up to me to change that. I have to go on walks to just get my heart back on track.

Today I went on a little walk with my mom and my dog for the first time. Even though I didn’t get too far, because it was so exhausting for me I guess I just have to see the positive things. Four weeks ago I wasn’t even allowed to stand up. Just leaving the hospital for a few minutes and be able to suck in some fresh air was my biggest dream back then. Three weeks ago I barely made it to the bathroom for the first time. I still remember how shaky my legs were and I was more stumbling then walking. I guess I just have to make myself see the progress.

I have to be patient and continue to slowly get my life back together. I have to stop spending so  much time alone in my room bringing back those scary moments over and over and over again and thinking why? That won’t get me anywhere. I have to surround myself with positive people, who care about me. I have to go on walks to improve my physical condition and maybe I’ll finally be able to cycle to Uni in a few months from now just like I used to. But most importantly I have to be patient. I can’t expect everything to just go back to the way it was. My body needs time to recover and so does my mind.  I guess sometimes patience and a bit of effort is the key.

XX

Sophie

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