(I’ve added a couple of bonus positives to my Top 5 too. I always manage to think of more than I need!).
Since having my pacemaker fitted in early November, there have been quite a lot of dark times. Some if them have lasted for days, others hours and lots of them mere minutes when I’ve felt really sorry for myself before snapping out of the fog of it all. Ultimately, I can always fall back on the fact that I feel quite lucky to still be here, however dramatic that might sound.
Today though, I’ve decided that this pacemaker lark can’t all be doom and gloom. Obviously there’s a good side – it’s making my heart work properly – but there must be a lighter side too; a side that makes me laugh a bit. Because the lighter side of life is the one I’ve always liked to be on.
So, I sat down and gave some thought to what might be the positives of the fact that I’ve had a little machine surgically embedded into my chest! Because everything has to have a positive, otherwise what’s the point of bothering, right?
So, as a result of having my pacemaker…
- I can now tell people I’m part robot. That way, I sound cool, futuristic and I am easily the closest thing I know to Steve Majors, the $6m Dollar Man. When I get back to work I can tell amazing stories about what I’m/it’s capable of. I can make up ridiculous tales to tell classes because experience tells me that they’ll believe practically anything you tell them as long as you can keep a straight face. Come to think of it, I can easily get away with this type of thing with some of my younger colleagues too, as they tend to be quite gullible. I don’t mean that as an insult, they just are and I know this because of the sheer amount of bullshit I’ve told them over the years!
2. I got to grow a beard. I’d never had any interest in growing one before, but during my hospital stay, I couldn’t really shave on account of being attached to a heart monitor. I could have taken it off, but then I ran the risk of having nurses knocking on the bathroom door. I found this out to my horror one time when they were frantically hammering on the door because my alarm was going off and the panic was so evident that even I thought I might be dying, even though I was stood on the other side of the door just having a wash! So, I didn’t bother shaving. Then, once my pacemaker was fitted my left hand side was rendered useless, again ruling shaving out. Before I knew it, I had a beard and to my surprise I really liked it. Thanks, pacemaker!
3. I may be able to get work as Santa later on this year. My cool beard is a great deal more white than I’d like. But, if I can work on my “Ho, ho hos” and other such stereotypically Santaesque dialogue, I might have a rather rewarding sideline come December.
4. I’ve watched a lot of daytime TV, especially in the first four weeks or so of my recovery when my days consisted of getting tired out by washing and eating breakfast and napping. I mean, there had to be something in between. And so, I’ve become a connoisseur of shows on Discovery and Sky History, as well as every show that revolves around buying a house somewhere sunnier than England. I still can’t bring myself to watch ‘Come Dine with Me’ though.
5. I can move to the wilderness with my new found skills. For the first few weeks of my recovery I made a regular 10am appointment with the Raney family and their show, ‘Alaska Homestead Rescue’. From doing so, I’ve realised that all you need to survive in the wilderness appears to be a good roof, a gun to shoot bears with, a greenhouse (who knew?) and probably some sturdy fencing. With a good 7 years on my pacemaker battery, I’m toying with the idea of buying some land in Alaska and moving off grid!
6. I’ve discovered a love of pyjamas. For years, I had refused to wear them. But, having lived almost exclusively in them for weeks, I can tell you those PJs can be a hard habit to break. Even when proper clothes became an option again, I’d regularly head upstairs in the middle of the afternoon to pop my pyjamas on again. And while I feel like, months later, I’ve broken my addiction, I’m still strangely fond of wearing those comfy beauties!
7. I’ve been given a bit of time to re-evaluate – work, fitness, lifestyle, food and drink. Serious stuff now. Although there’s no damage to my heart and I’ve been told that there isn’t a risk of heart attack, I’ve decided to change a few things. Although I wasn’t a big drinker, I’m cutting right back. I’ve been forced to anyway, so I may as well just carry on. I’m trying valiantly to watch what I eat as well and last week I created a new milestone in my life when I cooked a stir fry (the first I’ve ever cooked) that had three (count ’em) different types of vegetable in it. Three! I felt like a proper adult as well! Also, with my fitness now completely gone, I get to stage some kind of Rocky style comeback. I won’t be punching anyone, but I will faced with some kind of training regime, which I actually like. If I can just get over my fear of going running again… Having time off work has also enabled me to sample retirement. And it’s fantastic, if you take away the pain, anxiety, nausea, confusion and exhaustion! But, I’m hoping that actual retirement won’t feature any of this! So now, I have an age in my head that I’d like to semi-retire by and for the first time in many years I’ve done some research into my pension. I love my job, but it clearly hasn’t helped my health, so there has to be some kind of plan, however tentative. It’s no good vowing to change and then doing all of the same things all over again, however much you loved them.
So there we have it. Apologies for ending such a silly, lighthearted piece with such a serious few sentences, but it’s all true. And even the serious stuff has come about because of my pacemaker, so it had to be mentioned as a benefit, however unfunny it was!
I hope you enjoyed reading.