Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Right Thing To Do

Usually, when I write blog posts, I keep it very tongue in cheek and, I hope, humourous-melodramatic. This one has refused to be written any way except from the heart, and, what's more, has ended up with the exact opposite of the point I thought I was trying to make.

So bear with me. Here's the first attempt at this post:-

A few years ago I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, shortly after we made the decision to try for a baby (after six years of my desperately wanting to). Trying to get pregnant was immediately forbidden, and I was referred to a specialist.

I ignored the prompts of my monthly blood tests, avoided a doctor's appointment, and went to RWA National in NYC in 2003. Those were my last happy memories of 2003 - by August that year my memory was shot to hell, and I probably wouldn't have wanted to remember how I felt anyway.

The specialist, catching up with me when I got back from NYC, presented me with two choices. One, to continue taking drugs to suppress the thyroid gland, but not permanently affect it, expecting the thyroid to self-correct in time. This was the lowest risk option, and the least disruptive to my life. Two, to have radio-iodine treatment that would mean several weeks off work, at least a week of little or no human contact (no hugs allowed!) and several months of setting off airport radiation detectors, should I wish to fly. Option two also included the possibility of turning my thyroid to too low a setting, so to speak, and it was likely I would afterward be on medication for the rest of my life.

I simplify, but you don't need a medical essay.

The point is that Option One was the Right Thing To Do. It was gentler, and relied on nature taking its course. BUT - you knew there was a but, right? - at this stage, every month without a pregnancy was like being beaten with big sticks labelled "Failure", "Freak" and "Eternal Unhappiness". And with Option One, they were talking about months, even years to a resolution. Option Two? Four to six months. Max.

But I sucked it up, broke my heart on a daily basis, and got on with things as best I could, waiting out that Right treatment. Because sometimes the hard thing to do is still the Right Thing To Do.

I feel a bit like that right now. I'm not writing at the moment, and it's a conscious decision. Work is busy, I'm writing a paper for my MA, and we've been concetrating on home improvements. Pioritising writing over that is downright crazy, and a hiding to nothing. But I WANT to be writing, it nags at my like mild toothache, like a craving for something you can't have.

But Not Writing is still the Right Thing To Do.

That was where I was going with this post the first time I wrote it. Making the point that sometimes it's hard to do The Right Thing, but it's still necessary.

But then a little voice said, "um, but you don't WANT to do the right thing. You didn't then and you don't now."

And that's really true. After about eight months of that Right Thing To Do treatment, and no improvement, I broke down (literally! Cue hysterics in the doctor's office...) and demanded the riskier, quicker treatment. Because damn the sensible decision, I wanted what my heart demanded.

And it worked. It worked beautifully. It not only cured my hyperthyroidism, but it didn't give me HYPOthyroidism, either. I'm not on medication and my thyroxin level has been text-book perfect ever since. The recovery was almost miraculous, and I'm approaching the second anniversary of being given the green light for trying for a baby again.

(No success yet, but that's another story, and we're coping, honest.)

So I'm in a bit of a pickle. I intended to write this, "Sometimes you have to do the Right Thing even if it hurts" post, and I've ended up with the unavoidable conclusion that my point today is, "Screw the Right Thing. Follow your heart."

Which means, I'm a writer. I have to write.

Which is downright scary. I have no idea how to do this.

Wish me luck.


At 2:33 pm, Blogger Kate Walker said...

Ah but the thing here, my dear is that you've come to one of those major and vital decisions - and that is that sometimes the right thing *for you* isn't the right thing that everyone else would recommend that you do.

And you've written that important line 'I'm a writer, I have to write.'

When people ask when do you know that you'll never be a writer - when do you give up? the answer is 'You give up if you can.' If you can then this writing or any other thing wasn't the thing of lifetime importance to you you might have claimed it was.

But if you *can't* give up . . .Ah well, that's a whole different story and you know then that a decision has been made for you.

So you're going to have to go back and look at those priorities. . .



At 3:11 pm, Blogger Sela Carsen said...

Damn you. I was just thinking this morning that I was being so wise putting off writing until things calmed down. Even now, I'm not getting much done. But when I realized that I was looking forward to dh being gone so I had some space to write...

I guess I'm a writer after all. I had begun to worry.

At 4:48 pm, Anonymous mary beth said...

Amazing and heart-felt. Anna, I've said it before and I'll say it again. You've been one of my heroes since the days of Tanya's spa and Anna of the red boots. I can't say I've been where you are. But I can say you have the right to your dream. You have the right to embrace writing, to claim it, to keep it close to your heart. Even if all you can do is one page a day sometimes. (1 page a day is a book in a year!) Have you read Julie Leto's article on layering? It's wonderful for writing when you only have a few minutes to spare. HUGS to you and you are still one of my heroes. Your writing voice is so strong. I can "hear" you every time you post to SW and here.

At 7:39 pm, Blogger Nell Dixon said...

Just keep on keeping on dearest, it'll happen when everything is right.

At 6:08 am, Blogger Michelle Styles said...

((Anna)) but as Kate said -- your most important line is I'm a writer, I have to write.
But what you have to write is up to you.
Do you have to write that particulair book? Or does your muse need another direction?
Remember -- opportunity wears overalls and looks like hard work which is why so few people take it.

At 6:38 am, Blogger Anna Lucia said...

First of all, thank you to everyone who trawled through that mammoth post. Yes, that means you, too, you lurkers! I'm embarassed at having asked it of you!

Thank you, Kate! Funny things is, I'd always thought I COULD give up (LOL - I can give up any time I want to...) and I suspect there have been times I might have. But now I can't. Huh. As for those priorities, mmm. I'm concerned that too many of them represent commitments to my sanity, as well as to other people. But I'm finding with exercising more I have more energy and need less sleep! Perhaps the early morning is becoming my friend...

Yup, Sela. We's writers, alright. Hope your life makes room for your outsized talent soon! ;-)

Don't call me a hero, Mary Beth! I'm touched and flabbergasted you would, though. :-) I HAVE read JL's layering stuff, but maybe I need to revisit it. Thank you!

I know, Nell. (((hugs))) Thank you. :-)

Thanks, Michelle. :-) I'm not afraid of opportunity in overalls, but I am wary of temptation and distraction masquerading as opportunity, like the lights in the Dead Marshes.... :-D

At 9:02 am, Blogger Jessica Raymond said...

I hear ya, Anna -- in more ways than one. I don't know how to do it either, and sometimes I wonder if I can, but where would we be if we never took any chances? I'm glad to hear the thyroid business has sorted itself out :) Jess x

At 4:50 pm, Anonymous Kate Hardy said...

Sending you hugs, Anna. Been there on the babies and books thing. Perseverance can be tough but you can do it.

As for writing - maybe you can schedule in say 30 minutes a day? It's amazing how limiting your time can really focus your mind - and you'll be getting stuff written without feeling guilty.

Hugs on the thyroid, too.

At 7:15 am, Blogger Danica/Dream said...

Anna, hugs and love to you. I can't add any wisdom to any of these amazingly wise people, except to say that I needed to hear this-I am struggling with a lot of "right" things-which happen to be babies and writing-I don't know that there are easy answers, but I think part of the joy in living is the struggle to figure them out.

Love you muchly.

At 9:44 pm, Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Anna, the whole point is being the best you that you can possibly be. And your choices reflect that. So does your writing.

Go for it, girl!

At 11:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

{{Anna}} You are an amazing person and writer. Listen to your heart and your gut as they whisper what is right for you.


At 2:33 am, Blogger Tricia Fields said...

Anna, you may not have said what you wanted to say with this post, but you said what you needed to say (and what I needed to hear). And, as usual, you said it very well!!

Hugs and love to you!!


At 5:26 am, Blogger Anna Lucia said...

Taking chances is the stuff of life, eh, Jessica? :-) Thank you.

I think the 30 minute thing is a very good idea, Kate, especially if I can do it as near to every day as possible, then I'll keep up a momentum.

I'm glad my soul-baring struck a chord, Dream. :-)

Thank you, Anne! :-D

That's what I'm learning to do, Lori. You too, yes?

Thanks Trish, glad you got something out of it, too.

Thanks everyone - you've been very generous and gracious!


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