Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Reminiscing on July 4th






 I spent the Fourth of July last year alone in the Critical Care Unit of Good Samaritain Hospital fighting for my life. I had experienced the pulmonary embolism a couple of days before and I was still struggling to breathe. My pain levels soared probably fueled by stress or quite possibly fear. My comfort level with hospital staff had been destroyed by one uncaring nurse and that only  fueled this process.

Unaware of the holiday,  I struggled like a cat trying to right itself in a fall. The reverberation of sound off bare walls and floors magnified the intensity of my situation. My very presence in the CCU guaranteed the aloneness that fueled my fear. Desperate for something to tell me my world could survive this latest onslaught against me, I feared for my horses, my family and my life.

I remember Dave and Lindsay were focused on other things so there was no chance that visitors would alleviate nor redirect this focus that engulfed me.   It was the only day of this hospitalization that I had no visitors. It was the day I needed them the most.

It wasn't until evening when an aid asked me if I would like to see the fireworks that I even realized it was July 4th.  Too sick to care about the beauty of the coming light show I declined her offer to move me to a vantage point. The fear of more pain stronger than my need for some kind of relief.

 I tried to sleep my way through the explosions and random glimmers of light that ricocheted off a wall outside my window. In a twilight state induced by my condition and pain lollets  I dreamed of my horses and saw visions of them intermixed with the second hand light show breaking sparkling outside.  It was a glorious but frightening reminder my thread to life was thin.

I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. Instead I clutched at a small stuffed horse that had been delivered to me by a friend just hours after the PE had tried to suck my life right out of me.

I remembered the moment I saw that little Ty horse the overwhelming sensation it had arrived just in time. Needing something physical within my grasp it was an unlikely lifeline that I could clutch tightly and envision those beautiful Arabian horses that have fueled my passion.

As much as that sterile hospital room sucked the life out of me, the power of that one small gesture from a distant friend gave me the means to tap into the strength that comes from my herd. It was a Fourth of July I will never forget.

Considering the way I feel most days, looking back at last year's Fourth is a good dose of perspective. It's easy to feel sorry for myself because I am not back to full throttle yet but remembering where I was at this time last year helps me appreciate where I am. I may not be where I want to be but I am no longer fearing for my life and I have the strength to walk to the barn. Boy, is that a big improvement over last year.

I am still alone. Dave is working and the girls have gone off to enjoy the fireworks display at the Tacoma waterfront. I am grateful I have the strength to be the one home monitoring the safety of my horses as some neighbors shoot off illegal fireworks. The horses are peacefully in their stalls munching away on extra hay. For a change the sun is shining and a week of warm weather is promised. Who knows, maybe tomorrow I'll even get to ride a horse or two and tonight I will probably watch my fireworks on the TV instead of seeing them reflected off a hospital wall. I never imagine last July 4th that I would even get to see this day.




































13 comments:

  1. I for one am grateful you are with us this year. Wishing you peace, health and days full of little miracles.

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    1. jalec48, thank you. I am grateful I made it through but I sure had my doubts last 4th.

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  2. You've come a long way since last year. Just remembering how sick you were on this date a year ago gives a good perspective of how far you have come in your recovery. Keep getting stronger each day and a Happy 4th to you.

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    1. GHM, Happy 4th to you as well. Sometimes I forget how far I've come. The difference between this year and last is worlds apart.

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  3. time, is the ultimate healer or thief, glad in this case it is the former and what a treasure that little horse is and was

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    1. FV, sometimes I feel like it know it more intimately as a thief but I am really glad there is such a huge difference between last 4th and this. That little horse is a treasure. It now sits overlooking my computer with a couple of other horse buddies. A the time, it seemed like a small miracle to have a horse show up when I needed one most.

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  4. I think it is amazing how far you have come. I also think how great it must feel to be able to look back and judge your improvement over time. Stories like your's help me realize that one can never take wellness for granted. Bless you! (((hugs)))

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  5. How wonderful to be home with the horses & know how far you've traveled to reach this happy place! Congratulations!

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  6. God bless you and keep you getting stronger and healthier every day. i can feel the love you have your your horses - such beauties. (i have 2 spoiled rotten arabs here - just pasture pets for me, but they add so much beauty and character). thank you for visiting today and commenting on feral. may janice bounce back from her trauma. she has already been through so much, too. :)

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  7. Reading through your description of last year's holiday is an eye opener. You are such a strong and courageous lady. I was all alone on the 4th too and spent the day wallowing in self pity and depression. It's shameful of me to waste precious time in such a useless manner.
    I wish you the best in your continuing journey to good health. Hopefully, next year, you won't be spending the 4th alone but rather, enjoying all the fireworks in person with your family.

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  8. It's so fantastic to hear you talking about not only riding but riding a horse or two! You have come so far over the past year.

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  9. Wow, what a powerful post. It's a good reminder to all of us that time is our most precious gift.

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  10. What a difference a year makes! I'm sorry you were alone again but so, so glad you're feeling well enough to ride!

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