Cystic fibrosis has screwed up my ability to make decisions. I was wondering why I’ve taken two months to decide on a used car – haven’t decided yet – when I realized it’s CF’s fault. Obviously, I can blame the disease for many things, which I’ve done on this blog, with coughing up blood being the obvious winner. But “decision making” surprised me when I realized what was behind the agony I feel making important decisions in life. I didn’t always have this problem.
Over the years, I’ve had to agonize over every decision related to CF I’ve ever made. Which doctor to see. Which hospital to go to. Whether I should go on IVs or not. How long to stay on IVs. Whether to call the doctor or not. Take the oral antibiotics or not. And there’s the classic and grizzly bear of all decisions: Should I go to the ER or not?
To have this disease is to live a life of having to make what may be life-altering decisions. Decisions born from CF have more riding on them. They are not the same as picking a paint color or a restaurant for dinner. When you’re looking to gain any edge you can, a wrong decision feels deadly and heart-breaking.
And wrong decisions don’t go away. They hang around in your subconscious until it’s time to make another important decision and you remember the last time you had to make a decision and how you screwed it up in a big way. Bad decisions are like thrown boomerangs you forgot about until they whack you in the back of the head.
I find that this problem has bled over into my normal course-of-life decisions. I analyze everything to the point I can’t decide one way or another. This damn car. What should I buy? How much should I spend? Private party or dealership?
I fear a bad decision more than I fear the reaper, giving the Blue Öyster Cult song new meaning. And I probably need decision-making therapy. If only I could . . .
[No decisions were harmed, or made, in the writing of this post]