Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Bring it on

Happy New Year! And bring it on.

I am so ready to welcome a bright new year. Or better said, I am so ready to give 2014 the BOOT! Out with you! Out with you, full of C-words, hospitals, doctors, tests, you bad year, you. We've had enough.

Another C-word crept into our house during December and it was as unwelcome as the C-cancer word that visited my husband in July. Thankfully, after several rough months, he has recovered and is adjusting nicely to life without a bladder. He manages the urostomy remarkably well.

This time it was my turn to host another C word that I'd never heard of before: C-Diff (technically, Clostridium difficile), which causes infectious diarrhea due to a type of spore-forming bacteria. Symptoms of C diff often mimic flu-like symptoms and can also mimic disease flare in people with inflammatory bowel disease-associated colitis. C diff release toxins that can cause bloating and diarrhea, with abdominal pain, which may become severe (Wikipedia).

So it started with cramps, then chills, then put me in bed as I thought I had the flu. Thinking it would only last a day or two, we proceeded with our scheduled laminate floor installation, so as I lay in bed, workmen were tearing up carpeting, drilling, sawing and pounding, all in the next room.

When symptoms got worse and I became very weak, my husband brought me to the emergency room of the nearby hospital. Blood tests, x-rays and CT scans were done and the next thing I knew I was moved to a hospital room in isolation. The diagnosis was explained to me as IVs were started, heart monitors were put in place, a catheter was inserted, and I lay helpless.

Seven days of helpless, in the hospital, on my birthday, daughter flew from Minnesota to help, daughter addressing and mailing all my Christmas cards, and Christmas preparations going on around me. Without me.

Home now and recovering, slowly but surely, I am ready to ring in a new year, full of promise and optimism, like a precious gift waiting to be opened.

I read about somebody who last year set a goal of listing one thousand blessings during the year. In the process, her eyes were opened to all the everyday things taken for granted.

As I thought about this, I realized how even illness, disappointments, losses and changes can be blessings. You see and appreciate little moments, small pleasures and small progress. An epiphany of sorts.

And you recognize in people around you the gifts they freely share with you that you perhaps never noticed before. Smiles, small acts of kindness, offers of friendship, gestures of friendship, signs of caring for one another.

I wish for you a Happy New Year, full of God's richest blessings....and no C-words!