So, pulmonary hypertension. I won’t lie, it sounds kind of grim from looking online, but the truth is that I don’t know the specifics of my case yet. More tests have to be run to determine what to do. It’s a baby diagnosis, just days old. Awww… its so cute it kills me.

On one hand, I suppose I should be scared about the whole serious illness thing. But oddly, I’m not. I’m glad to have a diagnosis for why I get out of breath walking around the house. Yes, I’m obese, yes, I’m deconditioned, and none of that helps the situation. But I’ve known something more was wrong for at least 6 months now. I simply was just too winded, too easily tired out. In some ways COVID has been a blessing. Since everyone works from home in my company these days, my total “commute” is from one room to another, and I think that’s the only reason I can keep working right now. Going out just takes too much out of me. Now, hopefully, the docs can give me some meds, or some oxygen, or something to make me feel better. I know there is no cure, but that doesn’t mean my quality of life can’t be improved. So I’m actually hopeful.

And, to be honest, I never expected to make it this far. If you look at the suicide figures for transgender people, bipolar people, dissociative people, etc.and add them up, I should already be dead. I do know that when the time comes, I may very well take my own life. If it ever gets to be a major struggle to breathe even at rest, even with oxygen, all the time… well folks, I’m exiting, stage left. We puts our pets down to keep them from suffering, we deserve no less.

That doesn’t mean I’m giving up now.

Instead, our little ruling council (The T-E-C system is a representative democracy, I’m actually not joking.) has decided the skies the limit. No more “some day”. Sharon has wanted to dye her hair some wild color for decades, but I always voted against it. No longer! Once we’ve gotten the COVID vaccine, blue hair is going to happen. Holding all our cards to our chest, not letting anyone in, playing it safe…. fuck it. If not now, when?

Oh, I admit, I’m tempted to take this site down. I’m built to protect, to keep the secrets, to guard us from letting anyone in close enough they can hurt us… It’s fucking terrifying to feel exposed and vulnerable. And once this is out there, there will be no getting it back. But maybe, just maybe, some kindred soul will read it and not feel so alone.

Yes, I have D.I.D., yes, I’m bipolar, and yes, I have a serious health condition that can’t be cured. But you know what else? I hold down a job where I make six figures, and plan on fighting to keep it as long as I can. Having a disability is not the end of the world – life isn’t over just because it has some challenges. Having a dissociative disorder doesn’t mean you’re going to be in and out of mental hospitals all your life and never hold a job. When I was 20 and went on Social Security Disability, they didn’t expect me to get better. Well, fuck ’em. I went off disability after only a few years. Yes, my work history has some gaps – I do have years where I didn’t work. Yes, I’ve had to take Short Term Disability leaves a few times. My health isn’t perfect. But I have led a productive life, and have built a career on being a kick-ass engineer at some of the biggest tech companies out there. I’m proud of that.

Anyway, off the soap box and back to death. Is there an afterlife? The best advice I ever heard on the nature of the hereafter came from a rabbi friend of mine, which basically boiled down to “if there is a next life, it will take care of itself. What’s important now is this life, and how you live it”. I’ve tried to live a good life, to be a good person. I’ve shared my blessings with others when I could, whether that means supporting orphans in Afghanistan, or trying to help friends get back on their feet. Heck, I even registered WinRAR. Twice!

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