I bet many of you may assume I am writing about my disappointment in the ever-growing attention given to Black Friday and the lack of focus on the real meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday. While I am extremely disappointed that many retail stores were open during the Thanksgiving holiday, I am glad that employees spoke up and many took it a step further by filing petitions or expressed their opinions to senior management and to the media. I believe that if enough people complain, refuse to work, or if shoppers begin to boycott the stores maybe those making the decisions will begin to get the message. Somehow, there are people who seem to relish in the idea of not sleeping and will shop in any store that is open Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday. While I am not one of those people and don’t understand the concept, I also am not one to quash other’s fun…I just wish that fun didn’t have to take place on a holiday meant to show appreciation for what we have been given. To me, there are plenty of other days to shop and Thanksgiving Day doesn’t have to be one of them. I also believe that when people are fighting and using pepper spray on others over $2 waffle makers that things have gone a little too far.
During this past week someone asked me a rather unique question that had me distracted from my Christmas shopping list. They asked if I had to live my life over would I have picked the one I was living. At first I thought I knew the answer. However, I hesitated and found myself giving the question a lot of thought. While at first I believed that I would have responded a certain way — I really pondered my response during the next few days. In fact, I don’t think I answered the question to the person who asked it.
I also had an appointment with my kind Endocrinologist this past week and since the most recent diabetes medication is absorbing into my system like it should he wants me to also begin another medication that has helped a lot of other patients achieve even lower blood sugar levels. With the one medication my blood sugar numbers are above average and he hopes by adding in this additional medication that my blood sugar will be below average.
I began the new medication last week and while I am experiencing some of the negative side effects, I have to say that I believe it’s going to help. My blood sugar levels are down to where they were prior to my spinal cord injury. What a relief! And what a wonderful feeling to have a doctor who wants to work hard to help me get better. The side effects have been a bit rough, but as the days pass I feel stronger and he promises that they will subside in another week.
Since I began seeing this doctor he has gotten my thyroid under control, which has corrected my heart problem and now we are slowly regaining control of my blood sugar. I have to say that it feels good, after six and a half years, to regain control of my body instead of letting my body and medical problems control me. And, while I know I have a lot of work ahead of me, for once, we are making progress and it feels good.
I have also come to the conclusion that in each of our lives we have to take the good with the bad. Many of us display our ‘bad’ on the outside, while others may hide it for one reason or the other. However, I have learned that we all have baggage and it is how we learn to live with that baggage that shows who we truly are. We can curl up and take a break from the world, we can run away and escape those we love, we can avoid our problems, or we can be strong and run right into the middle of the fire and deal with the situation head on. That’s why I enjoy blogging. I have the opportunity to express my opinion, feelings (both good and bad) and share my story with those who choose to read. Many of you have written and shared what you are or have gone through. In fact, I have made many friends and have learned many valuable lessons from each of you who have shared your stories.
If I did live in a pretend world and could pick a life to live over whose life would I live? Is there another person’s life I hold in such high esteem that I would want to replace mine with theirs? Despite my medical problems when I look at my life and count my blessings the scales definitely balance on the positive side. While that may surprise many, I believe that the ‘devil’ you know is better than the ‘devil’ you don’t know. I have learned or come to terms with my disabilities and have done a lot of soul-searching trying to understand why this bad thing happened to me. And, while many of my questions may never be answered, I am blessed in many other areas. I have a wonderful, understanding family and a husband who rocks my world each and every day. We were able to move back to the area where I grew up and run into family members just about every time I go out. Many of my aunts and uncles get together monthly, which is like a mini family reunion. In addition, I got to experience a wonderful career where I traveled all over the world for two different companies and was exposed to many different cultures. I was Director of a department with an unlimited budget and had a boss who valued me and my work. He told me that whatever work assignment I had…I made it look easy and I got it done quickly. For many years, I had it all.
I also raised my daughter as a single mother and understand what it takes to have a career and to be a Mom. It’s tough, but at the same time, it’s the most rewarding job of all. And, I believe I did a darn good job raising her. In fact, it’s my greatest accomplishment. I taught her to be a strong, independent woman and at the same time maintained a home, excelled at my career and for many years didn’t know how lucky I really was. Now I do.
No matter how many setbacks or challenges life throws at me, the reason I would choose my life is simple: I have proven I have what it takes to rise above whatever was thrown at me and remain intact. And while it certainly hasn’t been easy and at times I felt like I was on a roller coaster, despite what Dr. Liar did and all his lies, I did see a glimpse of Hell, but managed to keep my spirit. How many people can say that? Prior to this nightmare I am not sure I knew how strong I was or if I knew I had it in me to fight. Now that I know, I feel I am prepared and it gives me confidence. I have proven I am a survivor and somewhere deep down I have what it takes and I am proud that I didn’t allow Dr. Liar, a spinal cord injury, a selfish employer, loss of income, filing for Social Security Disability, admitting that I am a disabled individual, or allowing any one of my medical conditions to break me. How did I muster up the strength? One world: Faith.