Here, in the final hours of 2011, I’m taking a few minutes to reflect on how the past year diverted from my expectations. In many ways, it was the year from hell. A few stupid nutritional decisions on my part started an avalanche of medical nightmares that almost ended up with me losing my life. While I recognized that I was getting weaker, I never suspected it was because I wasn’t getting enough protein. Still, despite my medical battles and the steep climb back up from the brink of the worst case scenario, I learned so much that I wouldn’t trade for the world – learning to let go and trust, learning who really mattered to me and learning who was there for me when the chips were down and things were the most bleak, learning how to advocate for myself and what I needed, learning that I could push myself physically far beyond what I thought I was capable of, and learning not to take life for granted were a few of the many lessons I learned in the six months or so I was in the hospital in the past year.
Recognizing that I needed to make my recovery a priority meant that the blog took a backseat to just about everything else this year. Many of you moved on, many others have stuck around and sent me emails of encouragement when I’ve needed them most, despite the infrequent updates. I can happily say that physically, mentally and emotionally, I’m in an even better place than where I started last year. I can do everything (and more) that I was doing before. It’s a miracle that the only real permanent damage from the whole ordeal is just a few scars. Losing all my hair taught me humility and how really not important vanity is to me. Being stuck in the hospital taught me to appreciate the little things in life – a meal out here, a farmers market there, going grocery shopping, driving a car, a nice hot shower, for example. I met so many awesome people – nurses, doctors, therapists, aides that made an unbearable situation bearable.
Today, in the beginning of 2012, I’m making a renewed commitment to this blog, which I’ve missed more than you know. Sometimes it was a matter of having to choose between attending an event or writing about it, because I didn’t have the energy for both. I’m slowly working my way up to doing a lot of the cooking again (I did a lot of the work putting holiday meals together). I’m far, far behind (even more so than usual) but will get caught up eventually. For those of you still reading, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have no idea how much you all mean to me.