A trying time leads to thankfulness for life | RecordCourier.com

A trying time leads to thankfulness for life

Amy Roby

Happy day-after Thanksgiving. Is this a day of rest for you? Are you cleaning up after yesterday’s festivities? Getting a kick start on your holiday shopping? However you spend this day, I hope the peacefulness of Thanksgiving continues throughout your weekend and the rest of your holiday season.

In that spirit, I’d like to share a personal story of gratitude. On a Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago, I lifted my head from the pillow and immediately felt a horrifying rush through my whole body, as though I were being pitched over the side of a cliff. I thought we were having an earthquake and I threw my arm across the bed to steady myself. I struggled to sit up. Everything was spinning and I couldn’t easily walk. It was a challenge to form words, and the light hurt my eyes. Figuring I had some sort of flu, I spent the day in bed.

First thing Monday morning, a friend drove me to the doctor. I will never forget the agony of that car ride; lurching from the movement of the car, the sensation of continuous movement while stopped at the traffic light, cringing from the sounds and bright sunshine. After a thorough examination and evaluation of my litany of symptoms, the doctor diagnosed me with Labyrinthitis, a viral infection of the inner ear. He explained that since it was a virus, there wasn’t much to be done other than to get some over the counter anti-nausea medication and wait it out. The vertigo and balance issues I was having would last several more days, “maybe longer.” At that point, I cried. Openly and messily.

To be honest, I never realized the seriousness of vertigo and had always considered it a very “Scarlett O’Hara, back-of-the-hand-to-the-forehead” type of condition. I’d experienced brief bouts of lightheadedness before, but nothing ever like this. It was completely debilitating; I was nauseous, unable to function, and spent most of the next several days asleep. My husband assumed all the household duties. Friends helped shuttle my children to and from school. The times I was awake were filled with dread. I was incapacitated and fearful of the random and intense vertigo attacks. I wondered how long this would last; what if I never recovered?

I followed the doctor’s recommendations. Six days after the diagnosis, after lots of fluids and rest and going an entire day without a serious spell, I took a walk outside with my sons. Moving through the crisp fall air was a revelation after being in bed for so long, and I breathed it in deeply. Slowly, gradually, and with a renewed sense of appreciation, I returned to daily tasks. Cooking a meal was a gift. Folding laundry became an opportunity for quiet reflection. Writing a note to a friend was like a meditation. I was reminded of all the beauty and magic in life that had somehow, through my own busy-ness, seemed to lose some of its luster.

Thankfully, I recovered. I am rested and functioning fully. I am grateful for my health, my work, and for family and friends. I am grateful for the love and support that surrounds me each and every day. I am grateful for the lessons, not always wrapped with a nice, neat bow, but always bearing the opportunity for awareness. I am grateful.

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Amy Roby can be reached at ranchosroundup@hotmail.com