I’ve been at rehab for over two weeks. I’ve settled in and already feel as if I’m making progress, though I’ll admit that, being the impatient person I am, I get frustrated that I’m not a specimen of perfect human health already. I try to consistently look back and reflect on where I was a couple of months ago, when I almost died—more than once. Even if I never regain the ability to walk, I have an incredible amount to be grateful for.
I’m currently sitting in my wheelchair in an outdoor space with a book I just found in the patient library. It’s a beautiful, sunny day. I had a lovely conversation with a lovely friend this morning, and my very, very lovely husband will come visit later. My—you guessed it—extremely lovely mother-in-law arrives tomorrow from NC. I’m doing my best to focus on my many blessings, small and ginormous, rather than on what I’ve lost. I’m trying to shoo away the “shoulds.”
But those “shoulds” are very stubbornly resisting my shooing, perhaps because regaining consciousness has brought back old and unwanted patterns of thinking. Don’t get me wrong: I’m infinitely thankful for the “regaining consciousness.” I nonetheless can’t help but wish that my dysfunctional way of interpreting certain aspects of my life had been permanently eliminated as part of this whole near-death experience. Is that too much to ask? (Yes, apparently.)
It’s OK, though. Given the circumstances, how could it not be OK? Why shouldn’t it be OK? Things are, after all, essentially good. I’m tangibly improving. I get ice cream on my tray every dinner and just made arrangements with my dietitian to have it added to every lunch (yep, I’m a monster, and yep, this is in addition to a well-rounded diet). I’m becoming stronger. And one day very soon, I’ll be building LEGO again. That, my friends, will truly be something to celebrate.