I couldn't imagine what I had to say that hasn't already been said. She assured me plenty of people will want to read, get tips and would be quite interested. Her point that writing will help me sort my own feelings of loss and frustration hit home. I had been writing on and off my whole life and she was right on with that comment.
So, I started writing. Never knowing from day to day where I was going with this 'Blog thing'. She put the site together for me and I had to admit it looked quite nice with my original photos and I did like the purpose it gave me. Then something happened. People I didn't even know started to contact me. They were saying they liked to read what I had to say and often it related in one way or another to what they were going through. I felt more purpose knowing somebody was out there checking in to read the next post. As time went by more and more people told me I had something to say. At first I was conflicted talking about pain, and the negative emotions around it. Wasn't it counter intuitive to our positive at all cost society that we live in? Yet I wanted to be authentic if I was going to go this. More and more people told me they loved that I told the gritty truth and that I had an overall positive approach they could relate to. I had made the connection I wanted to being truthful with a positive approach.
Here I am a year later and I have had 19,807 people from all over the world read my blog. That equates to 109,480 times someone has logged on and read what I had to say. There are readers from Canada; the USA, Japan, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, all over Europe, China, India, Mexico and the Netherlands and many many more. I am astounded by that because I truly believed there wasn't much to say.
I'm not sure what resonates with readers or even how they find me. I'm just glad they do because it has helped me through an incredibly difficult time.
One year ago I didn't know that I would be having another serious spinal surgery; I didn't know that it would put me in a rehab hospital for five weeks afterward in Toronto, I didn't know I would be learning to walk again, I didn't know it would be so very difficult emotionally and physically. I didn't know that after all my hard work that it would not be successful, that I would have to do it all again. Only weeks after returning home feeling like I had been to battle and won, feeling as though I had conquered and was on the road to full recovery, I didn't know I would have to go back, in my weakened state and do it all again.
I walked into my surgeon's office having had the cat scan, thinking we would celebrate the victory, instead the blow was hard. The screws had let go, I had Osterperosis and a threat that the hardware could move again and possibly cause paralysis. There was no decision, no choice, we had to start over.
Today as I write this I am so glad I couldn't foresee the future, so glad there wasn't a crystal ball to show me all of this. I wouldn't have been able to see my strength, the love and support of my friends and my incredible family. All of you carried me through when it became too much for me. I wouldn't have been able to find my spirit and fight without you. So thank you for being in my corner when the fight started and staying there till the final bell was rung. It was a long hard road; but knowing so many of you were there for me, reading this blog, waiting for updates and offering everything from flowers, cards, and letters to week long stays at our home pitching in, kept me and our little family in the fight. Words can't do it justice, but I want to say how every supportive comment, to every act of kindness is the wind beneath a person's wings when they are going through something like this. Many times I have heard about people with serious illness and how in the beginning everyone is there and how lonely it gets when it drags on. I get that; hospitals, ICU'S and constant medical battles are not the top on anyone's list of places to visit but for those on the other end, it makes all the difference. Days are long, and only dotted with medical challenges so when somebody brings the outside world in, it reminds you of what you're fighting for.
With that thought in mind, I ask all of my readers to remember somebody who is going through a difficult time, and do something to help: big or small.
There were days when I felt exhausted, worn out and unmotivated, then someone would say or do the nicest thing. It encouraged me to try a little harder, to keep plugging away, and the next thing I knew I was smiling again.
My friends and family not only thought of me but of my wonderful caregiver, my husband, Barry. Even though I had the best medical care, a lot is expected of immediate family. Friends and family, saw how much fell on him, how tired he was getting and offered support and kindness for him as well.
We live in a world were we are encouraged to show our best self at all times. Just look at Facebook, Instagram and other social media. We are all models, and pictures of health, wealth and wellness in every aspect of our lives, but that's not real. We all suffer from time to time, we all need a helping hand, even on our good days. So when something happens to shake your world, don't be afraid to ask. Even more importantly, don't let the pictures and status fool you, your friends need you when life has handed them a challenge, be there.
I feel such a sense of gratitude for the wonderful people in my life. I have the best MD, the most wonderful neurosurgeon, but nothing compares to my family members and friends who stayed the course, saw what was needed and never tired of cheering us on.
Words are healing. Writing has always been my vice and the blog as Jerri promised has been a wonderful thing for me.
So thank you Jerri, thank you readers. For those of you who write to me, it has been the lifeline that has shown me we all have something to say, and we all have our struggles, but the human spirit moves through them with our connection to others.