Friday, January 16, 2015

An Anniversary Of Sorts

Nowdays, people celebrate any anniversary and every “event”, even if it’s only an “event” to you.

While celebrating everything diminishes real milestones, I still agree with that strategy. We need to celebrate more. Life is too short and it passes us by far too quickly to not celebrate even minor events.

Along the way though, some seemingly minor events in life become major and, to be honest, some events in our lives we don’t want to remember or commemorate.

Three years ago today, January 16th, one of those infamous events occurred in my life. I don’t want to be overly dramatic and say that it “changed my life forever” or “nothing will ever be the same”, but, in this case anyway, both of those statements are true.

You see, January 16th 2012 will forever be indelibly etched in my brain: That is the day that I fell and hurt my leg. "Hurt" is an understatement because I almost died along the way.

It is difficult for someone like me who was always very healthy, to comprehend the amount of medical attention that I’ve received the last three years on my leg.

If someone would have told me three years ago that I would have spent about 90 days inside hospitals and received treatment in 6 different hospitals; undergone 16 operations; 80 hyperbaric sessions; received wound care treatments at least once a week and sometimes as many as five times a week for the past three years; months of physical therapy; and lost (and subsequently regained) 70 pounds, I would have said that they were crazy.

All due to something simple like a fall inside my house.

Of course, the fall was simple – the infections that followed were not so simple.

So, while I’m not really in the right frame of mind to celebrate my “anniversary”, I can look back at what happened three years ago, and at my near death experience, and celebrate the fact that God said that my time on Earth wasn’t done quite yet. I’m relatively certain that some people, particularly some elected officials, probably aren’t celebrating that point.

I can celebrate the incredible amount of prayers and good thoughts that were sent my way by friends, friends of friends, Facebook friends, and people that I’ll never have the pleasure of meeting or thanking in person.

I can celebrate the incredible support that I received from some great friends and my family. As much as people have said that I’m an inspiration to them, my friends and family have inspired me to keep fighting and keep going.

I can also celebrate the countless medical professionals who helped keep me here, the hours that they spent providing treatment, using their knowledge and skills and doing everything possible to help me improve. Even the surgeons who gave up on me and recommended amputation, more times than I can count, played a part in where I am now – physically, emotionally and spiritually.  

And, I can certainly celebrate that I didn’t die and that my leg is still attached.Yeah, I walk with a limp and I need to use a cane but, so what. It's still my leg and it's still attached. 

And besides, people have said that I walked funny my whole life. Now, at least, I have an excuse.

If I never fell three years ago, I probably never would have discovered how much I love “Storage Wars” or how inspirational Joel Osteen is.

If I didn’t fall, I probably wouldn’t know that I’m a Type 1 Diabetic and that I needed to change my eating habits (no more pastries for breakfast or candy bars for lunch) and I probably never would have learned how good Diet Mt. Dew is. 

If I didn't fall, I would never have gone through what I have to get here. 

I guess the fact is, even if an event is not a happy one, if you look, you can still find something to celebrate.

And we need to celebrate more.

It’s not a cliche – every day is a blessing.

Every day for me sure is.

Thanks for being a part of it and celebrating with me.