The Way It Was, The Way It Is

By Graeme Warner, Scotland - Contributor


The Way It Was, The Way It Is
by Graeme Warner, Scotland - Contributor

Despite some hardships at home, I finally made it to university. Funny! From my youngest days, I? always told anyone who asked that I was going to be a doctor. So why did I change my application to study law a few weeks before starting?! I still don? know the answer to that! But what it did make me was a lawyer with a very active interest in medicine and the basic school level scientific education which was supposed to support that career.

When I finished at university, my new found legal career got off to something of an inauspicious start ?the sole practitioner I had elected to do my training with was suspended by the Law Society!

A few quick calls and I ended up with another, larger firm who did largely litigation. THIS seemed more interesting!

And then it was the all too typical career treadmill ?work hard to impress the partners, an unexpectedly early invitation to join the partnership, progress to a larger firm, LONG hours, seeing little of wife and two kids who had by now come along, one more change of firm and then ?somewhat ?ut of the blue??an invitation to become a ?econd grade?judge ?in this country still called a Sheriff!

But boy! Had I been working some long hours up until then!

Furthermore, if I was not in the office, I had the seriously flawed male perception that it was acceptable for me to be out ?oing my own thing?to relax ?playing rugby, flying gliders then climbing mountains. Throw in a bit of skiing, some scuba diving and too much drinking and you probably have the picture!

It all added up to LONG hours and much consumption of bodily energy.

So why could I no longer walk the one mile up to the Court each day without increasing shortness of breath? I was fit ?wasn? I?! I was coming on 40 but ?hey! ?it couldn? be this bad ?could it?!

I had so little time for anything other than work and selfish pursuits that I couldn? find time to see a doctor. Anyway, I didn? need a doctor ?did I?!

Then when I started as a judge, I very quickly discovered that this work pattern was very different!

Each day, you had that day? allocation of work to complete. If you finished ?for whatever reason ?by 10.30, then that was your day? work finished! It very seldom took beyond 5 pm to finish.

So the day I couldn? walk up the hill home without having to take an ?mergency?seat on the pavement before I fell over was the day I decided to see a doctor ?several years later than I should have!

I was very quickly diagnosed as having PPH. At that time ?about 1992/3 ?I didn? even know what this was. I? never heard of it ?despite my numerous medical litigations. The specialist told me it was quite a serious condition and probably the only real treatment was a heart/double lung transplant.

This had all happened within one week of my first contact with my family doctor. It was all moving too fast! I couldn? keep up with it! I was told about the transplant one evening, in hospital. I called my wife and told her and asked her to come in to talk about it. Neither of us saw it as a particularly big deal, so we agreed to leave it till her visit the next day. And now here I am, some seven years on. I am very much wiser, I know quite a lot in layman? terms about transplants and the medical alternatives, I have passed too many ?ilestone dates?beyond which it would be impossible to stay alive without a transplant and ?after an initial spell of serious concern and depression about my lot ?I am wholly at peace with my circumstances. Indeed, I would go so far as to say I have achieved a great feeling of serenity. I have been reminded in a big way about the presence of God in our lives and the multi-faceted part He plays and I am so happy now to leave it all to Him ?let go and let God!

And what else have I learned? Too many points to list conveniently in a short note such as this. But a couple of the major points are the ridiculous way in which we in the West seem nowadays to choose to order our lives and to measure our perception of success, the destructive nature of selfishness and the true worth and value of non-material things which I had lost sight of in the ?urly burly? years ?friendship, kids, time for others. A $5 watch probably keeps better time than a Rolex and a true friend is better than a former colleague, worried about what you are going to cost him, when you are ?nder sentence of death?

Now, I do very little compared with all that I used to pack into my days and weekends, but, boy! am I ever happier now!

September 11, 1999


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We would like your feedback. Please comment above about this article and your suggestions for future articles. We ask that all articles are relevant, that common decency prevail, and that any factual statements be verified for accuracy. If you are sending comments on a feature, please reference the title in the subject line. Our goal is to bring useful and interesting features to you in future months.

PHCentral is committed to the expression of diverse opinions from members of the PH Community.

We feel strongly that free and open discussion regarding PH will assist in the generation and the refinement of new and existing ideas. To that end, we provide the opportunity for anyone from the medical and patient communities to submit editorials, letters to the editor or short articles on a PH-related topic. We will be encouraging opposing points of view. Areas may include treatments, causes, advocacy, disability, etc.

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