I'm dipping a tentative toe into the blog world with these first few words. I have not always tagged behind people, so this is really rather different for me. However, it's only one part not having the know-how and equal parts wondering if I have anything to say that might be of interest to anyone else besides myself. But then, I guess that really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things because primarily, I'm doing this for one person anyway, and that's myself. If I can help anyone along the way, that's a bonus. As I peek in and read other blogs I see it all comes down to that end anyway, so here goes! It's cheaper than going into therapy and we really want to stay away from those drugs now, right? Or hey! Worse..."natural supplements". They aren't even regulated. Ephedrine...or Ephedra is a supplement and not considered a drug.
As I ponder and contemplate the things that have occurred to me the last five years, I realized I needed a place that I could lay it all out to examine and analyze it's nuances. So many times when something medically immense has taken place in a person's life, we don't know how to deal with it. Because it's brand new and because it's not usually something we get the chance to practice on, we so often flounder and get it wrong.
We are also 'directed' on how to deal with it by others who have no clue how to deal with it themselves, yet feel that they are because they have that medical degree and are armed with all kinds of text books and journals.
Or because they love you, they feel they're expert advisers for you. Right up front I have to say, until you've worn the moccasins, (as the saying goes) stick to suggesting, but don't try to tell me how I feel - or should feel. I already know that. And it's not even close to the way you might imagine.
Five years ago in May of 2001 I had an aneurysm. It ruptured. And it was heavy duty! Pre to that, I had been an extremely active person; I ran daily, biked and hiked weekends, climbed mountains twice a year...or as often as I could get to them.
I ate healthy and stayed fit in my own complete home gym. I didn't smoke and rarely drank but for the few special occasions such as weddings or the holidays. There never seemed to be enough time in my days for the things I wanted to do, but I crammed as much as possible into every 24 hours and loved it that way!
My life was generally full and not complicated with health issues of any kind.
Then May 29th 2001 arrived. I found I wasn't as energetic as I wanted to be in prepping for a busy Memorial marathon weekend. I needed something to keep me going without lagging. I knew with all the things we had planned, that I needed an energy boost. So I bought some Metabolife to balance my metabolism. Yesirree! I was going to get it done. Much the way Steve Bechler must have felt that day in 2003 as he was getting ready to pitch his game for the Baltimore Orioles. Steve was the 23 year old pitcher who wanted to combat fatigue & decided to try Metabolife to revitalize himself. But like Steve, that wasn't in my future either.
I say "like" Steve, but not quite, because I lived, Steve died.
At that time, Metabolife contained the Big E. For those who still haven't heard about this wonder herb, that's Ephedrine. The herb that people are trying to get put back on store shelves because they want to 'look good'. Gambling with their own lives for vanity. Russian Roulette for the buff body. All of which could be viewed very prettily laid out in a casket.
I took my first little pill in the morning of that first day, another in the afternoon and pill three before bed. I was feeling pretty good about all this; I was doing something healthy for myself and doing it "naturally" and not paying out money for prescription drugs.
So! The following morning I took my fourth pill and went outside to do a little gardening. That was the last thing I remember until I 'woke up' in hospital seven weeks later totally paralyzed on the left side. My good fortune and what probably saved my life was that I had two doctors living right next door to me and they were tending their garden as well, when I hit the ground. They ran to where I was laying on the ground and made an immediate evaluation. They had me medi-vaced to the hospital downtown in eight minutes.
That was to be the first day of my second life. The one where you find out you're incredibly more resilient than you ever thought possible; the one where you find out through sheer determination that you can amaze yourself as well as the medical world. The one where, if you look at things as a challenge instead of a disability, they are surmountable. And the one where you find out who your friends are and sadder, just how very weak your family structure is. Those people who 'love you' were all of a sudden way too busy to call or lend a hand. The ones who will 'try to get around' or if they find the time, they will pick up that item you're needing but can't get yourself. Have they always been that self-involved or have you just been too self-involved yourself to notice? New life; new questions.
Counter that however, with those you never noticed in your life before. They come forward and quietly sustain you as you plod along in your new life. Supportive, helpful, not just given to lip service as surprisingly, family members only seem to manage. These quiet friends are there to bring you out of the hospital for the day and take you for long peaceful drives and/or to a wheelchair-friendly restaurant for lunch. They run all the little errands for you that your loved ones are (sic) too busy to run and they sit and listen as you try to figure out what happened in your life literally overnight.
I am learning so many valuable lessons in my second life. Some I wish I hadn't ever needed to learn; others I am eternally grateful for learning.
As Maya Angelou so eloquently stated:
"Courage allows the successful woman to fail & learn powerful lessons from the failure...so that in the end, she really hasn't failed at all!"
At any rate...bear with me here...I'm still learning. Now there's this blog thing! ~*wink*~