There’s a Big Difference Between Being Alive and Simply Breathing
It may be a cliche, but having a brush with death certainly can realign your priorities. Most of us breathe all day long so we are technically alive. After I survived a near death medical emergency, my life became all about really living.
I arrived in the emergency room paralyzed on the left side of my body with fixed and dilated pupils. My brain stem functions such as heart rate, respiration and consciousness were starting to shut down. I happened to be six months pregnant, also. I was 35 years old. I’d had a cerebral hemorrhage.
An emergency craniotomy saved my life and that of my unborn baby. We spent the next 53 days in bed in the hospital, pregnant and paralyzed. I had a two year old son at home with his father.
After giving birth while I was still hemiplegic, I spent six weeks in a rehab hospital learning how to walk and take care of myself. I went home in a wheelchair, but could walk a little using a cane and a brace on my leg.
Very slowly and over many years, I regained function. I still limp, carry a cane and can barely use my left arm, but I love life.
I wanted to sign up for every adventure possible. It was easier to sit on the couch, but I felt that wasn’t what I lived through that to do. My first order of business was to become the best mother possible. Two adorable boys inspired me every day.
I pushed myself very hard to do as many things “normal”mothers did. I was den mother for the cub scout den. I was room parent. I volunteered to work in the school library. I was sure to attend every school function.
I found ways to travel even if things were a bit more complicated. There were trips as a family in 2012 to go on safari in Kenya, in 2013 we went to Costa Rica. Early on in my recovery, I learned to ride horses and started to compete and win.
Unfortunately, my husband didn’t share my appreciation for and zest for life. He struggled with addiction. This was very bad for the marriage.
We separated in 2015, 16 years after the stroke. I was bummed out at first, but would not let this setback curtail my enjoyment of life.
I met a nice man and we fell in love. He had a limited capacity for enjoying life to the fullest because he was an alcoholic. We had great fun for a year and a half, but he often said he did not want to get old.
I had to break up with him because of his drinking. He got his wish and died from liver failure at 55.
I went on to take some fabulous trips with my brother as my traveling companion. We went on a Rhine River cruise, toured the Amalfi Coast in Italy, and recently toured the Canadian Rockies.
There have been some fun and interesting romances since the one that ended in tragedy.
I am grateful for every day that I get to breathe. But more than that, I want to be alive.
Are you living or just breathing??
Thank you for reading:)