How often do we stop our daily routines and truly ask ourselves where are we going? Maybe we don’t ask because we honestly don’t know the answer. I was forced to ask myself this question when the “plan” I had didn’t quite turn out the way I thought it would.
They say I regained consciousness on Monday but I can only remember bits and pieces of the Wednesday after. I was a bit shocked, in pain and annoyed to say the least, but I was surprisingly alive. It seems as though I’m much stronger than I thought I was. Of course when the consult came by my ICU room to talk with me I jokingly asked “can I just go home?” knowing full well that was way out of the question. The next afternoon I was transferred upstairs and was told I’d speak with the doctor in charge of my “case” the next day. I played my position, was courteous to the nursing staff, who was watching me ever so closely, and fell in line with the rules. Now that I look back on things that’s exactly what I was trying to get away from, the damn “rules”. When it was time to meet my doctor I sat in a stuffy, low-budget conference room full of wide-eyed, eager Residents on either side of “Dr. A” waiting for him to start the questioning. He seemed nice enough but little did he know I was nowhere near incompetent, disturbed or crazy. I guess my demeanor caught everyone off guard as I clearly described the previous Saturday evening, my exact intentions and logic behind it. They assumed I exaggerated about persons of interest and were baffled when I had no emotional reaction to anything that was being said. I knew the routine, take my drugs, participate in groups, follow directions and they would see how well I was doing. I negotiated their regimen of pharmaceuticals, befriended all of the staff, who I might say were baffled as to how I wound up in this predicament, and even helped out some other patients during their challenging time. Before I knew it I was laughing, breathing and living again. I woke up early every day before the sun just so I could watch it rise while I practiced breathing exercises and stretching, especially for my damaged feet. I did my own form of calisthenics as I watched the sun rise, inhaled deeply, exhaled slowly and asked myself “where am I going when I get out of here?” I asked myself this daily and sometimes got frustrated because I really didn’t know the answer. I’ve realized since then that this is not a simple question and I had once again aimed high in my rational way of pushing myself.
Upon discharge from the ward I had to regain my sense of daily living since I had truly resolved that I was done with that. I was angry, anxious and broken for months so much that getting out of the bed was painful. I still kept asking myself “where are you going?” and still could not come up with an answer.
Fast forward to two years later and I can say it’s not painful to leave the bed anymore and the pain in my feet isn’t as terrible as it used to be, even though the Neurologist believes there’s no more healing to be done, and I actually smile and mean it these days. I’m still asking myself where I’m going but it’s interesting how the tone of the question has changed. I’m no longer mad at myself when I can’t answer or can’t come up with any ideas in less than five seconds. I no longer beat myself up for not knowing answers to other questions as well. You see, I’ve realized since then that I’m really not in control of too much. I was taking on a burden that I didn’t have to take on by aiming for perfection when in reality there is no such thing. So, today a good question may just be “where am I NOT going?” because it definitely will not be the way I came. My purpose now is to share as I truly discover where I wish to go and how I plan to get there.