I Did Have Nights Where I Wondered “Why Was I Spared”?

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

Aurora, with red hair, taking a selfie in the hosptialOof. Another down-ish post? We get out of this biz-natch tomorrow…

While we’re doing the darker open heart surgery posts, we might as well get this other post out there too.

(FYI, I’m pretty sure this is truly the last one I can think of. I currently have no more drafts or ideas I want to do after this. So I don’t plan on saying anything else about open heart surgery and the aftermath, unless I get questions that warrant other posts…)


Another things I struggled with sometimes when it came to my recovery, as I sat at home stuffing my face with ice cream, is “Why me? What was I spared?”

I was told multiple times that I had a disease that’s often found in an autopsy. People die suddenly from Wolff-Parkinson-White. So, why was my disease found? Why did I get to live when so many other people died?

Why did I get to live when every procedure continued not to work? There was bad luck followed by more bad luck. Failed ablations, and blood clots on my heart. Things didn’t always look great.

There was a time when I just kind of threw my hands up and got used to being the hospital’s girl. It was weird to get out, because there was part of me that foolishly thought I never would. (I mean, intellectually, I knew I must get out eventually. Right? But it started to feel like I wouldn’t sometimes.)

So, I struggled with that sometimes.

Ultimately, I don’t think that struggle really affected anything.

For any of you who didn’t know me before, you might think that this desire to always win (or to have tangible accomplishments) is something that sprang from the whole, “if I get to live when I’m technically not supposed to, I better live a freaking impressive life” thing.

But no. That’s always been me. (Just ask my dad.)

Anyway, I don’t really know what else to say, or what I’m trying to accomplish by sharing this post. I just remember having those feelings of “Why was I spared?” And even though it didn’t make me more competitive (because that’s impossible ;)), it did still maybe give extra weight or pressure to the idea of “you better freaking do something with your life.”

“Do you realize how many hundreds of thousands of dollars went into saving you? Do you know how many man hours, and how much brainpower, it took to save your life? You better show your gratitude by accomplishing something great.”

I know every single life has value, and that different things count as accomplishments to different people. But even though we can intellectually say, “oh, we all matter,” that doesn’t change the way I felt. What will I do to show I’m worth all the work that went into saving me?

So, I guess I’m just writing this to yet again try to say you’re not alone. If you’re recovering and you’re stressed, and you’re asking yourself these questions… I just wanted you to know other people have felt that way too. That won’t necessarily make it easier on you when you’re feeling that way. But I hope it perhaps brings you maybe a tiny bit of solace?

I think it’s possible that the key is that it doesn’t matter why we were spared (especially since I don’t think that can usually be definitively answered). And technically, every day each person goes on living, we’re all spared from something… We’re not in the wrong place at the wrong time. We miss a car accident or something else. So, having a disease that was caught doesn’t necessarily make me luckier than anyone else… It’s just more obvious how I was spared.

I was going to try to end with some kind of moral along the lines of doing whatever we can with whatever extra time we’ve been given. But I’m not here to try to give you life lessons. You’ll come to your own conclusions over time. (And I haven’t even made all of mine!)

Have a great night. Over the next couple days, we’ll talk about cool stuff in Denver!

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?