It seems like it was yesterday that I was laying in ICU wondering what my life was going to be like. Would I thrive in my new normal or would I flounder. Would I always see myself as a victim or would I find my survivor shoes and thrive? There were a lot of what ifs that day followed by unknowns. Even though I was scared, I put on my big girl pants and never looked back. I was given a second chance and this, this was going to be my time to shine.
In order to shine, I had to break. That one day changed my life forever. That one blood clot changed who I was and I’ve never looked back. My life isn’t the same, it’s better than I ever dreamed it could be. Instead of saying “why me!?” I said “why not me!?” And from that moment on my passion was born. I’ve crisscrossed this country educating women about the deadly side affects of hormonal contraceptives and the signs and symptoms of blood clots and strokes. My story, my words, my experience has saved lives. I endured the worst day possible so that they didn’t have to.
My pulmonary embolism and stoke, along with the Nuvaring will always be apart of my story. Whether I like it or not, we are and will always be BFFs. I was the one in five who got to walk away from a deadly situation. The four people who died so I could be the statistic who lived are the people I fight for because they no longer can. Their lives matter to me. My stroke would have been worse if I didn’t get the TPA in time. All to often I am reminded that I could be paralyzed or have mental impairments. The fore mentioned don’t need to happen, Time is your worst enemy when you are having a stroke. Always remember to act FAST and when you do you will save a life and that very life might be your own.
Life, it goes on. Whether we like it or not it goes on. I have lived more in 8 years than most people do in a lifetime. My 8 borrowed years have not been perfect, they have been a down right blunder. But it’s my blunder. I’ve lost two babies, got a divorce, buried a fiancé, got a dog, changed jobs half a dozen times until I found the perfect fit, traveled, gave a speech on capital hill, lobbied for our healthy tomorrow, was on a billboard, in a TV commercial, drank good wine, laughed until my belly hurt, dated (dating is hard yo!), become an auntie twice over, moved, fell deeply in love, and have 3 embryos on ice, we are one step closer to our take home baby.
What do I hope for borrowed year #8? It is my hope that year #8 will bring me our take home baby. I love being a mom to my four legged kids. We have Cullen the pesky older brother, Dexter the bitchy cat, and Stiffy the lone wolf. These 3 fur kids are quite possibly the most spoiled fur kids on the planet. Ever since I can remember I have always had a desire to mother. I’ve come close twice, but God he had other plans and my babies lives ended before they ever had a chance to start. Two pieces of me rest in heaven and my babies they will always be. While I am STILL a mother, I want to be the mother to a baby I can take Home. Right this moment I am so close to that dream, we have three little embryos waiting for us. One of them I am certain is our take home baby and soon I will hear two feet running amongst their four legged siblings. Motherhood is my hope for year #8.
October 22, 2009 seems like it was a lifetime ago, yet only 8 years have passed. I am lucky. I am grateful and I am humble. This borrowed time I am living on is the greatest gift of all and I treasure every moment, from the good, to the bad, and the down right ugly. Not many people get a moment that allows you to refocus your life. I had to break, before she could shine. That moment gave me strength and made me determined to always always fight for our healthy tomorrows. Because this day, this day is not a given and one day my time will come and I want to leave this world a little better than I found it.
Here’s to year #8, May she be kind and filled with wonder.