I have a lot to be grateful for starting with all the people that helped me get better; from the people at the Richmond emergency, to the people at VGH and of course the amazing staff at GF Strong.
When something like this happens to you it’s kind of like a warning for you to listen or do you keep going on with the same habits. I’ve learned that exercise is not a four letter word. I try to get some time on my bike (in my living room) every day.
I’ve learned that the people in your life mean everything!
My wife, for example, I’m so grateful for her love and staying power, also for her advocating in my care. I can’t underestimate the power of having an advocate that is determined and persistent in the healthcare system.
I value my friends greatly, from those that visited me in VGH & GF Strong to those who interacted with me on Facebook/e-mail when I was in GF Strong. Facebook was a lifeline of interactivity with my friends and business associates.
I’ve learned to face my life in a more measured form. I’ve had to learn that when my body says stop I need to take a break.
I’ve learned to savour every moment because it is a gift not to be taken lightly.
I’ve learned to say no I’m trying every day to learn balance.
One of the most difficult parts of this stage of my recovery is I look too good on the outside. There are still things that I struggle with every day that as a bystander you will not notice. There are times when I hear myself slurring words. I have to take a deep breath and slow down. There are still times that I don’t remember completely what I want to say. But generally I’m only one Timmy’s medium coffee away from the right answer. So if you see me dropping an email to better explain what I was trying to say please be patient. I’m having to send less of these emails.
Evenings are one of my hardest times. If I go out to an event it can still take me a couple of days to recoup. Also making a presentation in the evening is hard because I find myself slurring my words still when I am tired.
A few of these bumps aside, I can definitely say that I am grateful to be on this side the grass!
So in summary, my advice would be to savour every moment and wake-up ready to take on the day! Be grateful for friends and family that you love. Above all, be grateful for the day you’ve just been given and Embrace life!