Ten days ago, I was having a normal, everyday kind of day. I did some writing. I played some guitar. I pondered whether or not the part of me that still loves Girl X would ever die. You know, everyday shit.
I decided to go get lunch, then chose to sit at the duck park while stuffing my face. I wended my way on the backroads. I played Weezer really loud and sang along. You know, everyday shit.
Upon arriving home, I sat down to finish a piece of writing. I was in the middle of a swig of water when I noticed the side of my face felt funny. It felt similar to when your foot goes to sleep, that uncomfortable blend warm tingles and porcupine quills. I began to choke on my water, followed by uncontrolled slobbering. While I never lost consciousness, I did feel rather confused.
But I discovered the worst part of it when I tried to speak. I know what I wanted to say, could see the words in my head, but I could not make those words come out of my mouth. It took a good ten minutes for me to slur "Something's wrong." I've never felt frustration like this.
A trip to the emergency room revealed that my heart had thrown a blood clot which traveled to my brain before dissolving. The doctor said the technical term is "transient ischemic attack", or "TIA" for short. I received a cat scan, followed by an MRI. They put me on an anticoagulant to lessen the possibility of future clots. And I get to go see the cardiologist this week to see how to treat the atrial fibrillation which caused this whole mess.
I've had heart trouble my whole life. I was born with it. It's always been a part of life, so I've never been particularly motivated to take care of myself or do any more than the bare minimum to keep myself above ground. On top of that, I live in a country that has THE WORST health care system of any developed nation on Earth. So taking care of this sort of condition properly is massively expensive. So I've chosen to just ignore shit I shouldn't ignore.
My perspective that was radically altered in the wake of my TIA. And the precise moment when everything was a small moment. Upon arriving home from the hospital, I decided to take my meds and go to sleep. I sat at the top of the stair, sharing a long embrace with my mom. She apologized for not being there when I needed her, which was tough to hear. But what really hit me was the fear, regret and failure in her eyes. It was absolutely shattering.
In that moment, I realized that it wasn't my mom's fault. It was completely my failure. But, unlike what normally happens, I didn't feel guilty. I didn't feel worthless. I didn't focus on the damage I had caused or the wounds I'd inflicted. Instead, I was consumed with the determination to do all I can to make sure I never EVER see a look like that on my mom's face again. I don't care enough about myself to get healthy for myself. But I DO care enough about my family to get healthy for them.
So, I FINALLY found motivation beyond just not dying. I found a reason to not just go through the motions. I used to do as little as I could get away with to avoid being hassled. I don't know how I'm going to pay for what I need to do, but I have to do it. My family has done so much more for me than they ever needed to. This is the least I can do for them.