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Can you pat Schrodingers cat?




'Well f**k!'


Honestly, sometimes that is the only thought you can have.


Sat in the Dr's chair, I was trying to process what they were telling me.


'Mr Duncan, we can't be certain, but it does looks as if you have left sided heart failure. Now we are aware that you trained as a nurse so you will know that at its worst, you may need a heart transplant?'


(Dr's have a habit of leaping to the worst scenario. For most people, this diagnosis will mean extra meds, possibly surgery. )


For several months, I had noticed an increasing weariness. Difficulty breathing , exercise more laborious. But I am both a man and someone who will avoid Dr's at all costs. Family experience has led me to believe the second they get their mitts on you, you are never free again! Have this prescription, have that surgery. No thank you.


But it had come to the point where I had to see them. Tying shoelaces, cleaning my home, showering. All had become major tasks worthy of planning and built in rest periods.


So I went, had various tests, recieved the preliminary diagnosis. Alongside a stern warning to rest more, way too many drugs for my liking and instructions to call an ambulance if I felt any chest pain.


Life goes on, adjustments are made. And then I noticed it. My awareness ramped up to 11. Every pain noted, every shortness of brain a concern.


My illness had become Schrodingers cat. The very act of observation had made it in a sense more real.


Prior to the Dr's confirmation, it had just been a niggle... something that I would get around to. I had suspected what was wrong, 37 years a nurse, but could quietly ignore it.


External confirmation made it real . And making it real led to me paying it more attention.


What could I do with that? It wasn't going to go anywhere. For a time, it became far too important. I became hyper aware. Schrodingers cat became one giant moggy!


Mindfulness is dead useful. See, in mindfulness we are taught to be aware, we are taught to be conscious and we are taught to choose.


I was aware of what my body was doing. But I had lost sight of the fear. I had lost sight of the anxiety. There is a strong chance that I may have a fairly nasty heart attack whilst going through the various treatment regimes. Human as I am, that was always in the back of my mind. I had forgotten to be aware of it. I had forgotten the power I gave it by not acknowledging it.


It doesn't really matter what type of illness I am writing about. It can be my own or a major mental health issue. They all have similar impacts. What matters is remaining aware of not only the process of the illness, but the reaction to it.


There is a way to pat Schrodingers cat. You have to remember, it is a cat. The more attention you pay to it, the more importance you give it, the less it wants you. Be aware of it, give it space and time, and it will choose to sit with you.



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