Friday, March 13, 2009
Lessons Learned, Re-Learned and Re-Emphasized
I continue down my path to recovery from this last week of utter hell. I had a follow up appointment at the oral surgeon today. I was hoping that they would pull the drain out of my neck but the surgeon decided that it should stay in over the weekend. I have my next appointment with the surgeon on Monday morning at 8AM. I haven’t run a fever since after the surgery on Wednesday evening, so I am hopefully that the infection is being dealt with. However, I am having some pain around the tooth that started this whole thing. If that continues next week – the tooth is coming out! Other than the appointment, the day has not amounted to anything for me other than trying to take it easy and rest. I expect to continue that same pattern for the weekend. I will go back to work on Monday so I want to make sure I do as much as I can to recover this weekend before the stress of another work week is upon me. As I have sat back and looked at the events of this last week there have been a lot of lessons learned, re-learned and re-emphasized to me. I will admit most of these are lessons re-learned or re-emphasized, as Zack and I experience so much of this from 3/2006 to 7/2008. Here they are: 1 - Life can and does changes in an instant. If you had told me on Wednesday morning that I would be in an operating room having surgery in less than 12 hours, I would have told you that you were full of crap. Yet – it did happen. Worse things can happen in the blink of an eye. 2 - Take advantage of every single second. Don’t always be looking towards the future as the future may not happen. You can’t put off the things you want. Understand what you want and strive to achieve it NOW, because there is no guarantee you have a future! 3 - Go with your gut instinct. Had I had the dentist pull the tooth none of this may have happened. 4 - My sister-in-law Celinde Strohl is one of the best, if not the best doctor in the world. Everything that Celinde told me was 100% right on and she really knows her stuff. Without Celinde’s assistance it would have been hard to navigate through this. Celinde is working her way through her second occurence of breast cancer in the last 5 years. Despite the fact that she was to have chemo today (Friday) she still spent several hours in the hospital with me on Wednesday night guiding me through the process. On top of that she stopped in very early Thursday morning to check on me and make sure I was doing OK. Thanks Celinde! 5. Realize that you can do anything. When Patty was ill, I quickly learned that I could do anything to which I set my mind. I truly believe I have the strength and capability to do anything. 6. Do whatever you can to build and broaden your social support network. It makes a huge difference when you are going through something rough just to know that you have people who are interested in you. Posting what was going on to my Facebook page and having people comment on it and wish me luck felt great! 7. Even a little thing like a tooth ache can turn into something really big. Always try and understand what your body is telling you and don’t ignore it. The dentist and oral surgeon both told me had I waited past Wednesday to get things dealt with, it could have been a lot harder. I intrinsically knew Wednesday morning that I was dealing with something more significant than post-root canal tramau. As a guy you sometimes try and say "forget about it" and just push through it. Had I waited until Thursday to see the dentist, I might still be in the hospital or in even worse shape. 8. I have no idea how some people can endure so much pain and keep going. I am certain the level of pain and discomfort I felt through this whole episode is no where near what Patty felt during her fight with Leukemia. How can people do that? I really don’t know. All I know is that I have even more respect for people who go through very serious medical situations and endure such massive amounts of pain. Those are just a few of things that I have learned, re-learned and had re-emphasized from this nasty situation. I really hope that the worse of this is now behind me and I am fully on the road to recovery. I really am starting to think that this whole episode may be fallout from the intense amount of stress that I suffered through during these last 3 years. Literally during the time that Patty was sick, I didn’t have one major illness. I had a couple of colds – but that was about it. It might be that as the stress is over and I am pretty well healed emotional, my body decided it was time to tell me to it was upset by all that happened since 2006. I have decided that I am going to switch around our spring break plans. Originally Zack and I were going to go to France for the week of Spring Break. (His passport came in the mail today - by the way!) I would have had to purchase our airline tickets today. Given that I am still feeling as ill as I am, I have decided that we aren’t going to do this. Last thing I want is for us to go and then for me to take ill again – where would that leave Zack? So we will be re-thinking any Spring Break plans over this weekend. This weekend will be very low key for us. I anticipate a lot of TV and video games. I need to get 100% well and I need to let myself rest for a while. I really plan to do NOTHING. Depending upon how much nothing I do, I may or may not write a post for this blog over the weekend. For now – I am signing off the computer and going and spending the rest of the evening with my wonderful little boy as we watch some TV. Thanks and peace to all!