Five years ago, I found myself sitting on my brother's couch, finally able to see their cute kids, Marley and Jake, after being in ICU for 25 days. I was enjoying hearing them play and was looking forward to a home-cooked meal for dinner.
Then I tried to get off the couch. The mind was willing but the flesh was so, SO weak. I couldn't get up. I didn't have the strength or coordination to lift my muscle-atrophied legs and arms; or place my walker in a way so that I wouldn't fall back over; or manage my oxygen tank, tubing, and the medicine pump that was hooked to my stomach.
I thought I had been doing so well.
I'd finally gotten to the point where I could walk around the nurses' station, twice. But to do that I'd started in a standing position, clinging to a cart that was already stable and flanked by my physical therapist and my nurse. The reality of just how frail I had become overwhelmed me.
How'd I get to this point?
And why me?
I didn't live the perfect life, by any means, but I hadn't lived a bad one. Generally speaking, I treated almost everyone the way I wanted to be treated, and I tried to be a good person. I'd even been athletic, whether it was carrying the gigantic U of A flag around the gym before game time or competing in different sports.
And now I couldn't get up off the couch.
Life's been a whirlwind since then. But the main thing I've done is recommitted to writing more about it. Recent (dismal) events and the factor of "you never know" has shown me there's more I need to say and do, especially since I've been given the time.
I've been officially diagnosed with my illness for eleven years. Most people with pulmonary hypertension die within three. The doctors didn't think I'd make it through the first weekend.
I have more to say, and I plan on saying it. That's my New Year's Resolution.