I’m thankful that a good amount of the time I spend walking…I’m actually limping because my hip, knee, and/or ankle hurts

In 2005, even my very own doctors, the ones I trusted (and still do trust) with every inch of myself looked at me with sorrow in their eyes when they saw me in that hospital bed. In a hospital bed, unable to get up to even walk to the washroom that was less than 6 feet away. When I think about how pissed off I get when I have to take a pain killer just to be able to walk around for any extended period of time…I also think about that point in time when I couldn’t walk. Period.

I’m thankful that I’m near-sighted in one eye and far sighted in the other

I remember that day like it was yesterday, but it was actually a good 10 years ago. I was at the bus stop outside of my high school. School was done for the day and I was waiting for the bus so that I could go home. It was a sunny spring day so I held my jacket in my hand. Across the street was a newly opened burger joint called Hungry Harry’s (yummy).
“Hey Flow!” is what I heard. Someone was greeting me from across the street, right in front of Hungry Harry’s. I looked across the street…..and I saw nothing. All I saw was a white cloud. It was because of the sun. The sun….and the cataracts in both of my eyes. I smiled and waved back happilly, really having no idea who was greeting me because I couldn’t see them, but having a vague idea of where they were because of where I heard the greeting come from. Soon after, I had cataract removal surgery in one of my eyes, and then on the other one a short time afterwards. Because the lense of my eye needed to be cut open to remove the cataract…my eyes no longer have the ability to focus on their own. Strangely enough, it left me near sighted in one eye and far sighted in the other. The good news is, if a friend yells a greeting from across the street, I simply close my near-sighted eye, smile, and wave back to the friend who I can now see perfectly fine.

I’m thankful I got to see my big brother shed tears for me

Much like my father, my brother was a man that I looked up to. He’s a quite and gentle soul, but he always looked out for me…that’s for sure. When we were younger, we were side kicks. Frick and Frack. Tom and Jerry. Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. He was always there to protect me against the things that make little girl’s cry. You know, bugs, knee scrapes, bullies…the usual. While he has seen me cry several times, I had never seen him shed a tear. But we helped each other. He taught me how to ride my bike, and I came to his rescue when his legs went numb from doing too many leg presses in our basement gym. He taught me how to play street fighter, and I sat beside him on the couch to give him a shoulder to lay his head on when he had a headache. When I was in the hospital in 2005, my brother came to visit me. My father and mother were also there. I was explaining to them how I felt…just in passing…without even really thinking about it. “It sucks. I can’t move my arms, I can’t move my legs…I feel like I’m paralyzed basically.” That’s what I said. After a few short moments, I looked at my brother. He saw me looking at him and he quickly turned away. It was too late; I had already seen the tears rolling down his face. He quickly left my hospital room and went into the hallway. My father followed him outside. I could understand how he must have felt. He had spent his whole life protecting and shielding me from the bad things….and here I was. Something “bad” had happened and not only could he not stop it…he couldn’t fix it. Several people who have had what was thought to be a “less” severe brain growth that I had subsequently died. I’m happy to be alive. I’m happy that I was alive to see my brother cry. Underneath that protective and invincible exterior was still a brother, wanting to protect his little sister. I’m sure he’s also happy that he was shedding tears of frustration rather than tears of despair.

I’m happy that I have a big, jagged scar on my stomach

I’ve always liked my stomach. It was small, pretty flat, with just a tiny bit of a pooch. But, the pooch was just perfect: not big enough to show through my clothing, but big enough to give me at least a little bit of meat on my bones…bones which I must say do not have very much meat. Then…severe stomach pain. Before I knew it, I was in the recovery room…recovering from colostomy surgery. I was lucky enough to get it reversed….and lucky enough to be left with ONLY a scar on my stomach. It’s so strange because I know that I had been walking around with a perforated bowel for at least a few months. My doctor had mentioned that sometimes the stomach heals itself. I think that’s what happened to me…but then a few months later it perforated itself again. But, if in fact it did perforate itself again for the 2nd time, I had been experiencing bad stomach pain for at least a week-10 days, and very severe pain for about 3 days. Soon after my surgery, I read about a woman who was in the emergency room of a hospital, vomiting on the floor…but she wasn’t seen by a doctor until much later. She had begun experiencing pain just a few hours earlier. She ended up having a perforated bowel. She died on the floor of the emergency room…having never lived to even be seen by an emergency room doctor. I’m thankful for my scar, because if not for that scar, I wouldn’t be alive today. I had one of my blog readers, Kevin, remind me of that. Not that I forgot, but a reminder was certainly due…and necessary.

I could go on and on, but I’ll leave that for another day. I guess my point is the fact that no matter who we are or what hand the game of live deals us…we’ll always have something to be upset about or resentful about. On the flip side, we’ll also always have something to be thankful about too.


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