In September 2021 I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. That explained why my feet and knees always hurt, why I was always short of breath, why my feet and ankles were swollen, why I had to urinate frequently, and why my blood pressure was so bad. I am saddened I wasn’t diagnosed sooner, but then covid was going full swing for almost two years before hand.
I have made my peace with the fact that I might die from this. Part of helping me make my peace with a possible early death came with going back to church services again. I am so thankful for online church as it’s sometimes tough for me to leave the house because of the heart failure and resulting limited mobility. I still have problems walking short distances without a walker. It is a bitter pill to swallow thinking I won’t live long enough to see cool things like colonies on the moon, people on Mars, really smart AI, green energy becoming a major part of the power grid, etc. But I guess it doesn’t matter the years of life if you had lots of life in your years.
I don’t have much for regrets about my life. I read many of the famous classics that most people only mention by name. I saw my Rockies play in the World Series. Got to see my Huskers have dominating football teams in my younger years. I fell in love a few times. I’m still best friends with my best friend from high school even though we’ve seen each other in person only a handful of times since age 18. I thank social media for that, first with myspace, and then later with facebook. I graduated from college even with a serious mental illness. I had some of my writing published. I actually made some money from my writing. I was even interviewed by local media for my writings a few times. I lived on my own for seventeen years even with schizophrenia.
Most of the things I do regret came from the mental illness, not from a lack of trying. I do regret not getting married and having kids, but the mental illness would have made this impossible, especially since I can’t hold a full time job.
I have come to accept that yes, I probably will die younger than normal with my heart failure. But I believe in the after life and am grateful I lived a good life with the life I have. It could be several years before I die, I don’t know. But I am grateful for having the opportunity to chase my dreams, even if I did come up short. Most of the coming up short was due to my various chronic illnesses.
There are worse things than an early death. I’ve been fighting mental illness for over twenty years. Been fighting heart failure for a few years now. Not sure if I have enough left in the tank to go another twenty years with mental illness, let alone mental illness with congestive heart failure. But it’s all right. I don’t have many regrets.