Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Surgical Success!

M's surgery went well. They were able to put in the VA shunt like we had hoped and her neurosurgeon is extremely pleased with how things went. Hopefully we can start celebrating weeks and possibly even months of shunt success.

The ENT found a very large cyst below M's vocal cords. He "de-roofed" it and hopefully it will heal down flat. Chances are she may need another procedure to take care of it for good, but this is a start. He expects she will have a marked improvement with her breathing as a result. Right now she has a horribly sore throat that is prohibiting her from eating much, but with rest and some steroids, it should heal relatively quickly.

We feel so blessed to have made it to this point. It has been a loooong, challenging couple of months. Hopefully we are one day closer to having our whole family home together again!

This entire experience has definitely changed us - for the better, I think. We have a renewed appreciation for life, our kids, our health, our jobs, everything we have. I have been overly sensitive (and pretty annoyed) lately about people who claim to be "sooo busy" all the time. I hate hearing people complain about working, not having enough money, and my pet peeve - people who complain about their kids! It's summed up well by something that my darling husband forwarded me this morning. It really touched me and reinforced what we've learned about the truly important things in life. Please read carefully and try to take it to heart:

Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.

I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.

How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word 'refrigeration' mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, 'How about going to lunch in a half hour?' She would gas up and stammer, 'I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain'. And my personal favorite: 'It's Monday.' She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!

We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of 'I'm going to,' 'I plan on,' and 'Someday, when things are settled down a bit.'

When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to... not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask someone 'How are you?' Do you actually hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, 'We'll do it tomorrow.' And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say 'Hi'?

When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift.... Thrown away.... Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.


Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

I am SO happy the surgery went well. Your daugther and your family has been through so much.

The rest of your post made me smile, tear up, and then smile again. I know exactly what you mean about having no patience with other people complaining about petty things. I do understand.

Kim said...

Wonderful reminder, Shannon. Thank you for posting that.

I am so glad that M's surgery was successful and I pray that it is the last one for a long while.

janiece said...

I'm so glad that surgery is successful!
I know exactly what you are saying--I need to slow down and smell the roses. Life just seems to move so fast--even faster now with the kids. But, then I keep thinking--who else is going to do it? I definitely do need to reevaluate things.

Jackie said...

So thrilled that things are looking up. You must feel so relieved and I hope that your family will be back together sooner than you think.

Thanks for the bonus words. They are so true!!