I cannot help but to think of the all mighty and important question, what if? It is a question that approaches my mind quite often. I often wonder what my life could have been like. What life could be. Where I would be if circumstances were different for me.
What if I were female? When my mother was first pregnant with me, the doctors actually believed I was going to be a female! Get that! The doctors did believe there might be some trouble with the fetus, due to an abnormal and elevated heart rate. But, set that aside for now. When I was born, I obviously was a boy. My parents were wondering how the doctor missed that fact I was a boy, not a girl. What would my life be like if I were born female? Would I be different in personality? Would I view life differently? I cannot answer this question myself.
What if I never got sick? Within the first few days of my life the doctors told my parents it would be a miracle if I survived. Chances were low. I had a major surgery when I was three weeks old on my intestinal track and stomach. The exact condition I had was called infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis. Basically, this only happens in male infants in the early stages of life. The cause is unknown. Children with this have extreme vomiting and it gets worse as time goes on. The symptom is called projectile vomiting for a reason, it is because it is forced. Can you imagine being a parent with this? Seeing your child vomiting constantly and nothing you do can stop it? Children with this become extremely dehydrated, won’t have tears, have trouble gaining weight, constantly hungry and bad colic. I had all of that. So, basically, I was a problem child from day one. Funny enough, this is common in children with Jewish ancestry.
What if by some way I was still born, but, my ancestors never left my home country? I know, likely I won’t be alive, right? But, let’s pretend it can happen for a while. My family line has been traced back a long, long, time. I spent countless hours digging through family records and questioning my grandparents about what they remember. I found a box of funeral statements, etc, and I was successfully able to trace my father’s line down to the 1600s. My mother’s line is extremely difficult because my mother was adopted. But, my father’s line roots from the Scandinavian lands. I believe it was Norway my grandfather said his line hailed from. Though, they lived there a very, very, long time ago, five hundred years is a long time. But, now, today, Norway is a world power and one of the best countries and with a socialist economy. I very much like the idea of a capitalist-socialist country. New technology, motivation, and profit is all good, but, things like healthcare socialized.
If healthcare in the United States were socialized, I would’ve never had to worry about coverage. If I lived in a country like that, I wouldn’t have to worry about coverage. But, now, I must think of the topic: Medical technology. I had some of the best doctors in the world. So, I might have died in a socialist country, not because of lack of coverage, but, because they simply did not have the resources on hand to treat me. One of the diseases I contracted was Kawasaki Disease, cause is unknown but it is believed it is genetic. But, at the time it was unheard of in Europe. So, what if they had been clueless? I would’ve died as a toddler. When I first got it, it was considered an Asian disease and unheard of for a Caucasian to get it. So, make that two things, apparently by genetics I’m an Asian Jew?
What if my heart wasn’t failing? I had a bad heart since I was born. But, it was manageable. I survived the tough years, and if I would’ve made it to around age 7-8, I would’ve been alright and a normal kid that would just have to have regular cardiac appointments. But, fate did not have that. I got Kawasaki Disease. Recently, House did an episode on it, which was really good and pretty accurate. Kawasaki Disease is very rare, and even rarer in non-Asians. Many people say it’s caused by carpet cleaning chemicals, but, this is unproved. There are theories it is wind topography, genetic, or possibly a series of dominoes both genetic and environmental that fall. This condition was discovered late in me, and possibly worsened my heart. Now, my heart is basically, crap. It had repairs, and replacements and my heart’s inside of a plastic ball.
So, what if my heart wasn’t failing? What would life be like if I had a normal heart? Well, I have no clue. But, I cannot help but dream of this. If I were normal, I’d never have been held back. I could’ve played sports. I might had made more friends, a different circle of friends. Not being in the hospital all the time? It was my biggest dream. But, if I was never sick the defining moment of my childhood would’ve never happened: meeting the president of the country through Make-A-Wish. I probably would have never met my original circle of friends, of which now, I’m the only survivor. The rest died.
But, the problem is. Would I have ended up like my brothers? I grew up with two of my seven siblings. These two siblings dropped out of high school. Both been arrested. Both joined gangs. One was a teenage father. One was arrested for attempted murder. The other for armed robbery. Both for drugs, graffiti, and they even became drug dealers. It’s funny, my dad left when we were little. My mom hardly let him see us and shafted him constantly. For as long as I could remember I’ve always been a glass half empty type person. I admire those whom are optimistic and glass half full. They make me smile. But, my brothers were neither. They were the glass was full of air type and in their own worlds.
Would I have become a criminal like my brothers and never finished high school and now with such bad criminal records cannot find a basic minimum wage job before the age twenty? My parents couldn’t afford college, and we were at the magical barrier where financial aid is ruled out, but, yet, parents don’t make enough. But, if I had been normal and showed up at school every day with my personality… Maybe I would’ve been a straight A student and got a scholarship? I could only dream. But, now, I cannot fathom the idea of college. The cost will give me a heart attack.
What if I knew my own sexuality? I know. This question isn’t fair. But, what if? I think I’m gay because it was the only feelings I had ever experienced as a teenager. But, I stopped myself in the tracks. I controlled my own thoughts. I stopped myself from crushing on people. I stopped myself from making friends. I purposely secluded myself because I was sick and lost a good friend and wanted to spare others that. My fault, really. But, what if I’m bisexual? I never really found out, and to this day, I really don’t want to. I dream of one day being married with children, but, if what I have is truly genetic, why would I? Now, if I were straight or bisexual? I don’t think it’d change whom I am. I wouldn’t be motivated by sex. I’m not hormone driven, nor was I as a teenager. I liked being alone. Perhaps I’m really asexual! That’s what I tell my parents… Anyway. I think it would be the same. Perhaps, one day, I’ll have the chance to find out what I am.
Though, I talked to someone recently. She’s married with a husband that loves her. His love for her cannot even be doubted. He’d drop everything for her. If she comes home and wants to watch something on the television, he gives it up. He does anything for her. She controls what they do, what they eat, where they go, and he always has a smile. He says a happy wife is a happy life. He’s content, and happy. He doesn’t make the decisions. This girl was pissed, because he’s too kind, nice, and giving to her. She didn’t like that he didn’t have an “edge”. He doesn’t speak up for himself. She told me he’s been waiting for a movie to come on the television for a few months. He didn’t even ask for the television or change the channel to watch it, because, she was watching one of her favorite television shows. She hated that he missed something he really wanted to do for her. She then started talking about divorcing him. Poor guy. If I were normal and in a relationship with a woman, I’m pretty damn sure I’d be the exact same. I’d let her control it. I’m not a dominant person. I’m not a clever man.
What if I’ve been born rich? Oh, this is a dream. I think life would be different. Never having to worry about money? College, everything, probably would have been clear to me from the first moment. My health wouldn’t be a problem in things. Of course, I’d still have a bad heart… But, with money? I wouldn’t have to worry and be afraid for myself and coverage. But, honestly, if I had the same personality, I’m a very giving person. I would find myself volunteering a lot.
If I didn’t have to work a day in my life because I had money not to? I’d probably travel the world and spend days working with people in lesser situations. Go to community schools in cities that are struggling, help out. Soup kitchens, etc. I have a strong belief in helping those whom struggle. I personally believe we need to work on our own country first before we help another world. My heart goes out to the struggles in Africa, South America, and the Middle East. But, we have problems in our own country and millions of starving. I think we need to help them first before we send these resources to another country.
What if I weren’t American? Don’t get me wrong. I love being an American. As I said above, the disease I had was pretty damn rare. Most doctors couldn’t even spot it back when I was tiny, almost twenty years ago. Today, most doctors know of it. But, putting that aside for now. If I were Canadian and sick? Well, the Canadian system from what I’ve learned from Canadians is pretty damn bad, so, I’d be in the same situation, but, with coverage. I had to wait eight months to get coverage for an “emergency surgery” that I should’ve gotten immediately, in Canada it would’ve been the same. Looking at Britain, it’s the same. Most socialist countries would be the same except for Finland, Norway, and Sweden. It looks like I probably could have had much, much, more potential in those countries in today’s day and age.
I love my country, I just wish things were different. If I ever get on my own two feet with a good job and good health coverage and I don’t have to worry? I’d be pretty damn glad I was American due to the advantages I would have. We have better television, more choices, more resources in entertainment. Though, we do have very slow internet compared to the modern world and an aging infrastructure that badly needs to be updated. That aside, we are the most powerful capitalist nation on this earth. We have more entertainment avenues, more choices, more culture, and we are our own culture. I love being an American, I just wish we had socialized health care, and we would rival the other nations once more.
So, now I wrote this. Maybe I’m better off being that sick kid that the world does not care about? Maybe I’m not. But, what if is not a fair question as one would never know. I swear, if I were an all powerful being with powers that rivaled a god, I would create multiple universes and set events in and be endlessly happy with watching things like what if the Greeks overtook Rome and stuff like that. I’ll write a new post soon, I’m trying to blog more often. I think my next post will be adult experiences but I’m not so sure. We’ll see when I do write more.
What if something in your life was different? Do you think you’d turned out differently?