Hello, friends. I've been away most of this year, due to some serious health complications.
All my life I've been very lucky and very healthy. I had never had surgery, almost never got sick, and had no serious or even minor health issues. I don't know that I appreciated my good fortune as much as I should have.
This spring, in May, I had something apparently minor turn into something very serious and eventually life-threatening. It all happened so quickly, it was hard to understand what was going on. Fortunately my family, and especially my wonderful daughter, helped me with hospitalization and tests and surgery and recovery. I am more grateful than ever for her, and for church friends and others who stood beside me and helped me through a very scary and difficult time.
I was hospitalized for almost a month, and spent another month at home healing and recovering. I was prepared for the fact that six months after the original surgery I would have another surgery, to complete the healing process. It has been a long six months, and somewhat anxious, but I have appreciated each day feeling better, being able to move more, having less pain and anxiety. More gratitude to friends and family, for all the small things they have done to support me through all the changes.
Now, I am on the other side of my second surgery and home recovering again. This time I was only hospitalized for a week, and the healing process is going very well. I am grateful I was home before Thanksgiving, and in time to enjoy the Christmas tree my daughter and granddaughter set up for me to come home to share.
I now understand what health changes are like, what is involved with surgery, and how it alters life and mindsets, in a way I didn't understand up to now. I am grateful to the home health caretakers who came regularly to help me with recovery, and thankful to be able to be in my own home and sleep in my own bed!
Often I have heard others who have had health issues and have recovered talk about how it increased their appreciation for the small things of each day, how it changed their perspectives and increased their appreciation of others in their lives. I understand that attitude much better now after the last half-year, and share that feeling intensely.
For those who have wondered about my absence and silence, that should help you understand what's been happening. I've been concentrating on recovery and healing, and in finding peace in life after a brush with the stark fact of my own mortality. Whew! That sounds way more ponderous than it should, especially coming from me!
I haven't chosen to put the details of my illness here - I don't think it really matters, especially since I believe I'm now on the downhill slope back toward wellness. I don't expect any future recurrence of illness from this, but if this has taught me anything, it has taught me that we really can't know what tomorrow will bring and to just live as fully and mindfully as possible, every day.
Thank you to friends, family and healthcare professionals who stood with me and lifted me up to reach this hopeful point. I have been doing some small creative projects here and there as I could, but it will be a while before I'm able to really do art again. When I do, I will have a lot of new ideas and feelings to express, that's for certain.
And if you are reading this, and you have been wondering where I've been, give me a comment to encourage me to keep on the path to full recovery. And thank you in advance - I appreciate this, too. Hugs and best wishes to all of you. Nothing is more important than remembering friends, gratitude and maintaining a peaceful existence.