Karen Hoyt is a blogger who has a story about hepatitis C, cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, liver cancer, and liver transplantation. This excerpt first appeared on Karen’s I Help C blog, September 16, 2015.
One of my favorite classic rock songs is Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd. There have been areas in my life where I was tempted repeatedly to become numb to what was going on in my life. This is so true since being diagnosed with Hepatitis C, cirrhosis, and cancer. I didn’t know how long I had to live. I didn’t know how to pay for medical treatment. I didn’t know how I would die. I’ve been scared. My fear of death and all of the dreams I had never fulfilled loomed before me. Still do. I have done some of the things on my bucket list. I have made excuses for the reasons that others got put off. times it felt like hell and I didn’t want to feel any more. Now, having lived through the worst that could happen and being post liver transplant, I want to feel life fully, even if it’s painful. Now that the liver cancer is gone, I don’t want to ever face death with regrets.
"When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone.
I cannot put my finger on it now.
The child is grown. The dream is gone.â¨
I...have become comfortably numb."
I have always believed that a broken dream just means you get a chance to wake up to something new! That belief has been challenged in recent months.
We have all looked forward to dreams coming true. We’ve all felt the pain when we experienced the results of thwarted efforts. Numbness slowly creeps in on us. We lose our way. Our dreams become stalled. When I found out I had Hepatitis C, it was numbing. This is especially true for those of us who have spent several years feeling progressively worse, not knowing why. Yeah. Sometimes we just want to stop feeling.
We can all identify with going to the dentist. I was there last week with a couple of cavities post transplant. He gave me a shot in the area where the work was going to be done. Then he left me there for a while to get the full effect. Someone came in and poked around to see if I was numb yet. I thought again of the song; Waters and Gilmour are talking about numbness that is mental and emotional. It’s the same effect, except the dentist shot wears off quickly.
Mental numbness can start off slow as well. However, it can gradually leave you unable to get in touch with your feelings. We may even subconsciously feed into to it. Sometimes it is better not to feel, you know? It’s not a bad place to be when life is overwhelming. Sometimes it means staring at a television screen for hours without talking to anyone. It’s one of the reasons I have not watched much TV in my life. It can suck me in...
To read the rest of Karen’s blog, “Feelings About Dying with Hepatitis C and Cancer,” click here