One year. That's exactly how long its been since my whole health "adventure" started. I say "adventure" loosely for the lack of a better word. Or maybe there are better words, but "adventure" is the one that is more comfortable to say and hear. I don't know.
Regardless it was exactly one year ago that I was lying in a hospital bed in recovery wishing that I had never ever consented to surgery. The pain was so intense that I literally thought in my drug-induced state that the surgeon had left a knife or something in there. But alas, it was not so!
Looking back on that time is always a weird experience for me. Weird because at the time I didn't fully comprehend what was all going on, which I guess was a good thing. But also weird because one of the big things I learned during this year is that the average person is not comfortable with the idea of illness. We don't talk about it. We don't think about it. And if we are unlucky enough to experience it, we try to forget about it the minute its over.
But I haven't been able to forget as much as I've wanted to and I'm starting to realize that remembering is a blessing in disguise. Because it would be very easy for me to move on and put everything behind me, but in doing so while I wouldn't dwell on an awful lot of bad memories, I also would be dismissing all of the great things that I learned during my illness.
So what did I learn? I'm glad you asked :)
The time of doing nothing during my months of recovery taught me to appreciate and enjoy the simpler pleasures of life. For the first time in 18 years I made a puzzle and actually enjoyed doing so. After I was well enough to move around I learned how to bake and every week would make a different dessert for our family to enjoy at Sunday coffee times. I spent a lot of time in bed and even though it wasn't by choice, I learned the value of rest.
I learned how lucky I am to be alive; to be able to move and walk around freely; to have free health care and professionals who work around the clock to ensure our health.
I learned the beauty of walking in the rain; of stopping to stare at the snow flakes floating down; of spending small moments in prayer with my Father.
I learned the meaning of what it means to have joy that is not dependent of our circumstances; of what it means to be strong; and of when to ask for help.
I learned to appreciate life; both the good days and the bad; the big things and the small.
I learned that healing wasn't what I thought it was; that God is bigger than any problem we face; and that miracles occur everyday, even in the ordinary.
I learned a lot and over the next week or so, I'm going to be sharing different lessons with you that I learned during what was one of the most difficult things that I have ever faced in my life. Why? Because life is a journey and journeys weren't meant to be taken alone. So I'll be sharing what I learned on this little journey in the hopes that it speaks to you in your own.