I'm really annoyed.
Today I saw a commercial for end stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is a respiratory disease that combines emphysema and bronchitis, basically (this is how I remember it, everyone will have their own way to think of it). The lady in the commercial started smoking at a young age and one line that caught my attention went something along the lines of "Your life will take you only as far your oxygen goes." What the hell.
When I was working on the medicine unit, I took care of a patient who I now consider a friend battling with cystic fibrosis. He's still fighting for his life, waiting in the hospital until news arrives that he'll receive a lung transplant. Coping is hard, and he's often on Facebook sharing his thoughts with the world about how much it sucks to be stuck in the hospital while everyone is out their fulfilling their role - husband, father, friend, etc. Doing normal people things, performing normal people duties.
It makes me really sad when I hear about stories like this. When I was in middle school, I was asked to write and read a speech for Veterans Day. I didn't really want to do it, but being the goody-two-shoes I was, I agreed. This forced me to actually think about what I wanted to write about and say to a crowd. To this day, I remember my message being: Remember that people fought for your freedom so that everyday, you could wake up and literally have the power to do whatever you want.
This message doesn't apply to people like my friend, battling cystic fibrosis. This message also doesn't apply to people like my patients, who have to wear a mask and gloves just to leave their room and walk around the floor and can't get past the double doors just because the positive pressure will falter and they'll be at risk for catching a respiratory infection. I've only been on this floor for a month, but the endurance and sacrifice I see my patients give day in and day out is unfathomable. They can't even eat a fresh salad, go into public places, or eat SUSHI (well technically you could, but you'd really be risking it) amongst many other things. So on one hand I have someone who can't breathe, and on the other I have people who can't leave about a 500 foot radius from their rooms in the hospital. And don't get me started on the amputees I've taken care of due to sepsis, or the people who have multiple sclerosis and are wheelchair bound and can't even get to a bed to sleep in without help.
So while I'm alive and young and my lungs are oxygenating well and my immune system is strong enough to withstand the common cold and my thick ass thighs are strong enough to hike up hills and mountains, why the hell WOULDN'T I want to travel? Why WOULDN'T I travel to a new place alone just to see new things and interpret them how I want to interpret them without the influence of others? Why WOULDN'T I want to run on my own schedule and tackle my own goals both big and small (big meaning travel, small meaning everyday things like getting my lazy ass off the couch and working out) on my own time? Why WOULDN'T I want to taste every piece of this Earth and all it has to offer me while I'm still alive and breathing?
In my eyes, I'd be doing myself the biggest disservice to just sit around and do nothing knowing that I am fully capable.
That's why anyone who knows me well knows that I hate wasting my time. That's why I like traveling, even if it means I have to travel alone, and I'm really sick of people asking me "Why are you going alone? Aren't you scared? Doesn't it scare you?"
Yes and no. Yes because of course, anything can happen to anyone at any given time. But that's just as true in Iceland as it is in Boston. People keep telling me it's safer here in the United States, but what about the Marathon bombing? Keep them coming, I have an argument for everything. And no I'm not scared because it's exciting, and the unexpectedness and fear is healthy. It's the best type of unnerving I know.
There are so many avenues in this lifetime and if I can be given the option to pursue a new one, even if it means only for 5 days and by myself, I'm going to do it.
I'm boarding. Bye, fuckers.