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What I Learned About Strength



In 2014 I decided to focus my goals around one word or a set of words. I chose the word strength. Man did I learn a lot about strength this year. With more surgeries, working on physical therapy goals, finding my own voice with my own care needs and letting some people go in my life. I think the biggest thing I learned about strength is that it takes a lot of patience and endurance to be strong.  I also know it has not been easy.

What did I learn this year about strength? I learned that when you ask for strength, you get it from all sorts of sources. I’m still reeling from all the experiences that happened this year. I found Doctor Anderson. I went through more surgeries. 2 Rituximab treatments. Made new friends. Had friends move. I started off the year roller skating with a few friends at the Golden Skate Ring here in Vancouver. Then of course, I had several throat surgeries. That the doctors said you will get rid of your trach and then it didn’t happen. So I learned the strength of moving slow and letting big dreams go. I also learned that patience truly is a big part of strength. After the third time of being told that I was getting rid of my trach and then not having it happen. I decided that I needed to start thinking like I was going to live with it for the rest of my life. It has changed my whole perspective. My life will be different. I am going to have some bad moments, but heck I am still able to kick it when I need to.

I am currently thinking about strength after I just got done taking my first shower in 4 days since I had my back surgery on Thursday. I feel drained. It was a big challenge. Especially in a bathroom that is supposed to be safe for handicap people but clearly isn’t. I think tile floors should be banned from hospitals since one they are so much more slippery than regular floors. It took a lot of strength not to fall on my butt while trying to get dress in a wet floor bathroom. It has taken me a lot of strength to keep smiling and be kind when I am hurting. But I do not wish to be cruel or mean to someone just because I am hurting either. With my herniated disc that ruptured healing I will be undergoing physical therapy and learning to walk with a walker and then not having a walker. New things. I am blessed that I have health insurance. And an amazing support system. My back going out on me was not something I had planned or even thought would happen. It just happened. I am not going to sing the why me, poor me song. Because frankly, I’m looking at this new injury as a jumpstart to becoming stronger so I can work on my next words for 2015. I am not eating gluten free, while in the hospital. It wasn’t easy. But it is happening. After not eating for a couple of days because of the pain in my back and the fact that I couldn’t feel myself pee or poop. The first morning I got to eat. It was a starchy carbohydrate sugar meal. My breakfast was pancakes, oatmeal, syrup, sugar, and fake eggs. Then lunch that day was more carbohydrate filled stuff. I am happy that the dietician came in and I told her I was gluten intolerant. The last few days I have been healthier meals and my blood sugar and me not having to run to the bathroom has shown it is much better for me. Sometimes strength is just saying I’m not able to process this and not being afraid to ask for something different.

For 2015, I will be focusing on these words, movement, nutrition, self-care, proactive, and service. I will be writing about why I am choosing these words to focus on in another post. What are you going to choose to focus on for 2015? What did you focus on in 2014?

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