Coping

I've handled my heart travails well over the years through a positive attitude and humor, and haven't given much thought to the fact the smart money is on my heart eventually killing me, assuming my wife doesn't do the job first. One thing I haven't been able to come to terms with is after doctors continuously telling me I'm on borrowed time, why are all those around me seemingly in good health dying while I continue to plug along. Just a week ago my primary care doctor told me I'm a mess. He even slipped and informed me my recent echo has my ef at 10% - 15%. The guilt when those around me go is overwhelming and often difficult to cope with. I'm ready, I'm okay with my planned death, I know nobody survives life. But this Hardly seems fair. 

And so it goes


16 Comments

Good to hear from you, ROBO & glad you're still alive , but ..........

by IAN MC - 2021-08-01 15:54:34

when you do eventually die ........

have you made any plans re your golf-clubs. ? Mine need replacing !

Thanks in anticipation

Ian

Coping

by TAC - 2021-08-01 16:16:52

Hello Robo pop: I share the same positive attiude about death as you do. I'm not living in borrowed time though. However, I'm aware that if I die today, it won't be a surprise. Some of my contemporaries have already died. Once you accept the idea that death is normal and unavoidabke, nothing else is going to worry you. Medicine only postpones the unavoidable. I doesn't eliminate it.

Feelings of guilt

by Gemita - 2021-08-01 17:09:20

I will treat this as a serious post from you ROBO POP about your emotions.  I am sorry that you are grieving and have feelings of guilt about those who have already departed.   But you deserve to be here, surely?  You have given us all a great deal of pleasure over the years, have shown us how to stay strong in the face of adversity and I don’t want to lose you just yet.  While you have life, hold onto it and hold onto those you care about.  I send my best wishes to you.  Your wife is obviously doing a great job looking after you and that is why you are still around so take good care of her and don’t forget to tell her sometimes that you still love her so you won’t take any feelings of guilt with you when you decide to depart.

Gemita xx

Thanks

by ROBO Pop - 2021-08-01 17:43:55

Thank you Gemita and TAC aapreciate your thoughts. 

Ian, Ian, Ian. Fine I'll put you in the pool for my clubs, just bear in mind I purchased this set when I was traveling to the land down under so the heads are on the top of the shaft. That being said they are ideally suited to you as I never took the training wheels off. You'll be advised if you win the lottery. 

Survivor guilt is a real thing

by crustyg - 2021-08-01 17:56:31

Just read Primo Levi's 'If this is a Man' to see what it's like.

Really glad that you - and your awesome wit - are still with us.

Keep plugging on.

From an admirer

by Persephone - 2021-08-01 18:24:07

Dear RoboPop - it would be hard for me to put in words how much you've helped me along my own journey with the PM, etc through your posts here.  I truly appreciate all of your input and advice and humor and am the better for your contributions.  Thank you.

another admirer

by new to pace.... - 2021-08-01 18:51:55

thanks RoboPop  i agree with everything that Persephone has said above.  You have helped me to understand why.  With your sense of dry humor.    Stay tough.

new to pace

Thank you

by Flo - 2021-08-01 20:54:32

Thank you Robo pop for your helpful and humorous posts and comments these years.  Thinking of you and best wishes to you!

Delayed departure

by Gotrhythm - 2021-08-02 13:13:19

Selfishly, I'm glad to know your trip to the Other Side has been delayed. I appreciate you humor and your unwillingness to sugar coat.

I know what you mean about that phrase, "living on borrowed time." I always think to myself, "Borrowed from whom?" Hopefully not from my two dear friends, one my age, one younger, who have died in the past year. I would happily have loaned them some of my allotted time on this Earth--and not cared if they ever payed me back.

But I had an experience earlier this year that convinced me that we don't die until it's time. So if you're still here, ejection fractions notwithstanding, you still have some living to do, and more comments to post to the Pacemaker Club.

 

 

you know that Billy Joel song....

by Tracey_E - 2021-08-02 18:01:31

Only the Good Die Young.

When it's our time, it's our time and not a minute before. My money is still on your wife, not your heart. Woman is a saint. 

Only the good

by ROBO Pop - 2021-08-02 20:48:34

When you're right, you're right. Thats why I'll probably live forever.

FYI, my wife is now up to 45 refrigerator magnets stacked on my defibrillator and still I keep going.

Together with your wife, it is surely laughter, humour and seeing the funny side of life

by Gemita - 2021-08-03 02:15:55

that is keeping you going.  What else could it possibly be?  But it works and I think we should all take some of your medicine.  I feel better already just knowing that you will probably live forever to help us through difficult times:-

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456

That's the Secret, for Sure....

by Marybird - 2021-08-03 09:41:17

Even when the days seem dark, or maybe just frustrating sometimes, looking at the incongruous side of things, and being able to laugh about it ( and laugh at oneself too) certainly puts a much better perspective on everything.

I'm laughing at the visual of all those magnets piled up over Robocop's ICD. 45 and still going? I think I remember reading his posts about the number being 10. And I'm still laughing about the training wheels on the upside down golf clubs.

And it sure looks as though you have that sense of humor down to a science, Robocop, and it's like a breath of fresh air when you share it with everyone. Glad you're still here to do that. 

Butt seriously...

by ROBO Pop - 2021-08-03 17:52:06

A friend called and for whatever reason, I was unable to answer the phone. The voice message she left was innocuous essentially "hey Robo, just wanted to touch base and see how you are doing. Give me a call when you can, talk to you then." 

While I meant to call her back, I cannot justify having been negligent, I didn't call. There's no justification, I flat out allowed it to slide. Two days later when I turned on national news, I was startled to hear about her untimely death. She was only 53 and as far as I know in good health. Her COD was never shared in the media. 

Combined with too numerous other stories I could share, it eats at me, and I feel immense guilt for being alive while some grest people were taken far too soon. This one above all else torments me...what if, could I have, did I let her down. The questions pile high and no answers are forthcoming.

For awhile I volunteered with Mended hearts as a patient volunteer, and that helped my conscious, but the past several years I've declined and can no longer participate in such activities. About all I have been able to do is paint. So I'm not feeling particularly like I'm a useful member of society. 

So while I greatly appreciate your praise and accolades I find it difficult to cope with continuing loss.

 

Time is a great healer.

by Gemita - 2021-08-03 20:46:02

Robo Pop, I do understand what you are going through and I suspect many others will also.  There were two occasions in my life when I felt I could have made a difference, perhaps stopped the death of a dear friend who ultimately took his own life and then the death of my dear mother, because I didn’t reach the hospital in time.  On both occasions I blamed myself for their deaths and the grief that I felt at the time was overwhelming and I could find no peace. 

Slowly I learned that when someone has attempted suicide on many occasions, sooner or later they will succeed in taking their own life, and there was absolutely nothing that I could have done to have prevented it.  In my mother’s case, the hospital had a do not resuscitate (DNR) order on her medical file and that is exactly what happened, since in their opinion her quality of life would have been so poor and she would have needed ventilator support and other invasive treatments had they tried to resuscitate her.  Had I made it to the hospital in time I am sure I would have tried to keep her alive since to my knowledge she was not aware of the DNR order.  Certainly the family were unaware of this order.  I did in fact write to the hospital about this afterwards but it didn’t bring Mum back and quite honestly she would never have foregiven me if I had succeeded in putting her onto a ventilator again. Sometimes these things are meant to happen for a reason.  

I do not know the circumstances of your dear friend’s death, and I am truly sorry you were both deprived of that final conversation, but I do not think you could have changed the course of her journey.  Now you need to take care of yourself.  You are special too and so is your wife.  Let go Robo Pop and tell yourself some things in life are meant to be.   If you need to talk we are always here for you. Time is a great healer and so is your wonderful humour.  I think I know now why you have it in abundance.  Gemita xxx

Thank you

by Donny - 2021-08-06 11:36:42

Robo, 2 years ago I was trying to make the agonizing decision on whether or not to get this intrusive metal explosive device stuck in my chest and heart. I reached out to this community to ask for advice. You answered with these exact words........ "Ok, you need to go into the bathroom (most any will do) look square into the mirror and realize the guy looking back ain't young anymore. You are headed to the inevitable and ain't gonna survive life. The warranty on your body is expiring and there's no trade in value on any of your parts. We all face this. You want to drag things out, get the defibrillator."  I thought, "geez........at least he candy coated it."  LOL  But, I pondered your words very seriously and based on that, decided to go ahead and get the device. I fortunately have still never had ol' sparky light me up yet, but I'm happy it's there, even with a few altered things with my routine. You've helped a lot of folks in this forum, and you've pissed a few off as well. The point is, you have always spoken from your heart (no pun intended) and it's up to the individual to do what they want with your words. I personally want to thank you. I hope to one day shake your hand - here, there, or in the air. Peace to you, my friend. 

You know you're wired when...

You need to be re-booted each morning.

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