Sunday marked one year since the doctor called and said "get to the ER right now. I think you have blood clots." I run past the spot where I got the call every day. It's a daily reminder of where the journey started. I run the same route every morning where I first realized I couldn't breathe. It reminds me of how thankful I am to be breathing.
I wish I could tell you some awesome, "yay life, wheeeeeeee, I'm now a motivational speaker" type spiel, but that's simply not the case. 2013, was my best year and my worst year, so far. Never before have I been so physically strong, but emotionally and spiritually weak. I worked hard to portray a hard image, I worked hard to seem unbreakable. That was not the case. Being brought face to face with death was humbling. It was terrifying. And while I have an eternal security, I did not cope well. Every ache, every pain, every seemingly innocuous change, was cause for panic. It's hard to explain to someone who has never been faced with their own mortality, but it's hard to "go on with life." Dealing with the panic attacks was rough. I have never been so terrified, as when I had a panic attack while running. Imagine not being able to breathe, but still trying to move. It was all kinds of "no, just no."
I am so very grateful for Jon. I know that I was (and still am) a complete basket case some of the time. (Sorry for the complete honesty). He has put up with my consistent "should I go to the ER?" on a consistent basis. I know that most of my fears are illogical, but it's hard to let them go. I am also so thankful that my eternal destination is secure. It doesn't mean that the process of death isn't scary, but that when I do die, I have "this hope as an anchor for the soul."
People ask me a lot, "when are you having another one?" This question cuts a little. I like kids, and I love my son; however, I have my hands full with just one. Also, having another child means intense medical intervention. I will be on Lovenox (a blood thinner) from start till post-partem, and will be considered high-risk, which means more appointments than usual. Also, JS was a c-section, increasing my likelihood that I will have another c-section which will could cause complications for me. So for now, (for all you curious Facebook friends and family), there is no baby number 2.
But it has not all been negative. I joined a survivors support group specifically for runners who have survived PEs. Talk about putting your experience into perspective. Some of the people I have talked with have been through far more than I could ever have. It has been overwhelmingly helpful, and cathartic. I have learned a lot about living in the moment. Before I would try to rush myself on to the next phase of life, wishing it away. I am doing my best to be present, and enjoy each opportunity I'm given. Always say yes to a coffee date with a friend, always say yes to a family dinner, do my best to answer my phone when my mom calls, take the opportunity to spend time outside with my son. Pray more, read more. Listen more, talk less (this is a real bummer, since I love to hear myself speak). In general, it has really produced an "attitude of gratitude."
Thanks for reading, I love all of you, and I am so grateful for the support and kindness over the past year.
With nothing left to hold onto,
I raise these empty hands to You.
Here's my broken hallelujah.
When all is taken away, don't let my heart be changed.
Let me always sing Hallelujah
When I feel afraid, don't let my hope be erased
Let me always sing Hallelujah.