I think I’ve told many-a-readers…we recently moved to a new home. So, talk about stress! The boxes, the unpacking, the painting. Have I mentioned the boxes? Yesterday, I dug through my 114th box (that is an estimate) and discovered something I’ve been saving for nearly 8 years. It’s a wire chest full of get-well cards and notes that people sent me in early 2003 when I got sick and received my diagnosis of encephalitis and meningitis. There are literally hundreds of cards, emails, photos, notes. My Mom and now-husband had kept friends, co-workers and family updated on my situation and they encouraged people to write to me and send photos since I had suffered such memory loss.
I sat for a long time last night and read through each of those cards, with Hayden by my side. It was quite a cathartic experience, but also very emotional. I never really knew how sick I was in January 2003. I never fully understood what an impact my near-death had on my Mom and my then-fiance’, now husband, not to mention others who are close to me. Since I was the one fighting for my life and struggling to get my world back, my ability to realize the impact of my illness was a bit clouded. I was so determined to get well, I don’t think I gave any thought to what I was really going through. I certainly knew very little, if nothing, about Epilepsy and seizures which is what I was left with. My, how that has changed.
This might be a ‘way-out-in-left-field’ suggestion, but I think it was good to re-visit what got me to this point in my life. It was much more about reading the messages from people who care about me, reading their notes, encouraging me to learn as much as I could about Epilepsy and why and how I was going to live my life with this illness.
“…the delicate balance and complexity of the human body is truly amazing,” said one of my then-bosses, an engineer.
“…keeping you in our prayers. Make sure you take one day at a time and question each and every step those doctors take,” encouraged an old friend from college.
“…we’re all pulling for you big-time,” said one dear friend of my Mom’s.
“…how can you not be in my thoughts and prayers? You will beat this disease up in the years to come!” That was from one of my closest friends, who still to this day questions me via phone, text or email as to whether I’m taking care of myself and taking my meds on time!
Needless to say, that chest of cards and notes now has a new home, right on my desk in full view. I am going to make sure I look at it each and every moment I sit here, for inspiration and hope. As so many people pledge, Epilepsy won’t get the best of me, nor will it control my life. And, I have about 350 cards and notes to remind me each day of this promise!