We Don’t Live in Should Land

“If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas.” I grew up around people using this saying from Dandy Don Meredith on a regular basis. For those not familiar with the phrase, it means that there is a belief that people would be happy or achieve a desired outcome if circumstances were different. (If this happened…then I would have won first place. But if….then I would be a happier person.)

We often have a perception of how things in life should or should not be. We formulate these perceptions based on our experiences with our families, friends, coworkers, society, and even the media. Rarely does life turn out the way we think it should.

We learn you should say please and thank you. You shouldn’t talk with your mouth full. You shouldn’t leave an unflushed shit in any toilet, but especially in a toilet at work. πŸ’©πŸš½Shoutout to Babcock! You shouldn’t talk during a movie or a show at a theater. You shouldn’t microwave fish at work. Fucking gross! 🀒 The most qualified person should get the job. You shouldn’t use the last of the toilet paper and not replace the roll. You know who you are. πŸ™„ Parents should be supportive of their children’s education.

I grew up always wanting to go to college. I did well in school, earned a few scholarships, and was excited to attend Towson University. I wanted to spread my wings and fly in a new area. So naturally I was very upset when my parents told me over the summer after I graduated from high school that they wouldn’t cosign my federal student loans. I had planned on working while in college to pay for expenses, but now I didn’t have the time to scrape together thousands of dollars to pay for my upcoming fall semester at Towson University. So I had to put my dream on hold and I attended a local community college.

I did well at the local community college trying to get my gen ed classes out of the way while working full time. Things at home became more tense as I continued to pursue my college education. I would fight with my parents about coming home late because I was at the library studying after work. I would fight with them about wanting access to the computer they kept in their room. We would fight about my desire to go to college in general. I shared a room with my sister who is 10 years younger than I, and my father was a delivery man, so they both went to sleep before I got off work. Since my parents kept the desktop computer in their room, I had to go to the library after work to do my schoolwork because I couldn’t afford my own computer.

I moved out of my parent’s house at age 19 and continued working full time while attending the local community college. Fourteen months later I was able to move and attend Towson University like I wanted for years. I went on to attend University of Maryland in Baltimore where I graduated with my B.S. degree in Medical Technology. It would have been easy to give up with so many obstacles along the way, but I didn’t.

No one expects to undergo several surgeries or become disabled before the age of 40. At 23, I had spine surgery due to a severe spinal curve that was causing me a lot of pain and difficulty breathing. Since I was hunched over, I often walked into people and things because I couldn’t see them beforehand. Fucking embarrassing! πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ At 35, I had a hysterectomy due to severe endometriosis that kept invading my ovaries, bladder, and bowel. At 37, I had both hips replaced due to arthritis from hip dysplasia after suffering with debilitating hip pain for 8 years.

Before spine surgery-Hunchback
After spine surgery-yes I know you can see my boob πŸ˜„

In my late 30s, I became disabled due to life threatening allergies and swelling. I have a very severe allergy to a chemical called mercaptobenzothiazole. Try saying that 5 times fast! πŸ˜„ This chemical is found in gloves, rubber products, adhesives, medical supplies, and earphones. It’s found in everyday items like rubber bands, tape, labels, the soft grippy parts of pens, and elastic bands in underwear. And before you ask, yes I still wear underwear! It just can’t be raggedy with the elastic showing. 😁 My allergy is so severe that something as simple as removing a rubber band from around the mail has caused an anaphylactic reaction. That rubber band kicked my ass!

I have also been diagnosed with a Mast Cell Disorder and Hereditary Angioedema. These are very rare disorders that can cause life threatening swelling. The swelling most often occurs in my face, tongue, throat, and upper airway. This often requires me to be intubated and on a ventilator in the ICU.

Intubated and on a ventilator after my tongue and throat swelled due to Hereditary Angioedema

In Should land, bad things wouldn’t happen. In Should land, I would still be working in a Blood Bank and traveling the world with my G. I wouldn’t have to wear special gloves to protect me from exposure to my life threatening allergy. But we don’t live in Should land. Instead, I have had to accept my changed life. I have had to redefine my purpose. I have learned to be more patient. I have learned to find more balance in life. More balance in life= more delicious Chick fil A milkshakes 😍

8 thoughts on “We Don’t Live in Should Land

    1. Thank you for reading! Not much has changed with my health since I wrote this post. I am often in the hospital ICU for my asthma or severe allergic reactions. For now I am on all the treatments that are available and that is the best I can hope for.

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