Six months later plus five years

This last weekend, I honored the fact that I am alive.

Six months ago, I almost wasn’t so alive. For those who haven’t been forced by me to hear the trauma drama, here’s the summary of the events that started April 1.

For those who do know and have stuck by my updates and my complaining, thank you. To the doctors and nurses in the hospital who took care of me, thank you. To the nurse, physical therapist and occupational therapist who came to my house several times a week to help me regain my health and functional life skills, thank you.

About a month or so after being released from the hospital, I went back to the main hospital where I stayed and had received the better care to thank the staff for taking such good care of me. I still pray for them and their patients every time I pass the facility. I’ve also thanked the home health workers and remain in contact with them as much as possible today. Now, instead of being a patient, I consider them friends.

The last six months has taught me a lot. In some ways, I trust less. What happened to me never should have happened and I still struggle to visit new doctors because I fear they won’t listen to me.

In other ways, however, I trust more. I trust and love my husband more. He stuck by me and stepped in to take care of me physically and emotionally in all the ways I needed. As strange as this sounds, sometimes the best way for him to take care of me was to stay away and let me heal. He got that and I trust him more for having that strong intuition.

I definitely think the experience has changed my relationship with God. It’s forced me once again to put my life and my future in his hands. I literally had no control and that was tough. I think it’s also enhanced my desire to stick up for those who can’t speak for themselves, or at least those who are speaking but no one is listening.

The funny thing is, although I did find myself telling the story of the events from six months ago to one person over the weekend, it wasn’t about the six-month date coming to pass. I didn’t want this last weekend to be about that, or what almost happened.

I wanted to celebrate life. A life I almost didn’t have six months ago. Or five years ago.

See, at the end of September I celebrated another life-changing event but it was far different. On Sept. 28, 2005, I had gastric bypass surgery. I almost didn’t mention it on my blog at all because I no longer feel the need to keep people updated on that aspect of my life nor do I feel guilty if I don’t indulge people’s morbid curiosities about the issue.

But I can’t help but find it ironic that the five-year mark for the time I chose to save my life through surgery and the six-month mark for me almost losing that life came so close together.

So what did I do over the weekend? I went to Oklahoma. Stillwater, in fact. I’ve recently joined a wheelchair basketball team and while I am not able to play just yet, I’m able to contribute in other ways. The team had its preseason tournament in Stillwater over the weekend.

This group of people have accepted me with open arms and without judgment. Being a member of the team gives me a sense of purpose and it gives me physical activity that I never really had before.

I came home from the tournament and enjoyed time just being with my husband. My marriage with John is such a gift from God that words cannot adequately express it.

You know, it might be easy for an outsider (or even me, if I let myself) to look at my current situation and see failure. I still have quite a bit more weight I want to lose. I’m still unemployed after being laid off nearly a year ago. My house isn’t clean. Yada yada yada.

But you know what I see? I see someone who is alive. Who fought for her life and who cherishes the life that was saved. I see someone who wants to live life to the fullest but on the right terms.

I see someone who is stronger today than she was six months ago and definitely stronger than she was five years ago.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to see that in myself.

1 comment / Add your comment below

  1. Jamie, this is so beautifully written! Although I know little to nothing of what you’ve gone through, I am very touched by your words. I’m so glad for you, that you’ve found such happiness with John, and peace with yourself and God. You’re a blessing!

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