He is an incredible young man. He has accomplished so much in his twenty-five years that it was such a shame to see how pain had dragged him down. A tenacious soul, he kept crawling back up until he just couldn't do it anymore. Sleepless nights, debilitating pain and leg weakness is not something you can "work through". If it were, he would have kept going. I'm picturing him at the hospital right now and how foreign it must feel for him to be so vulnerable, as it is usually he who helps those in need. This young man is a recipient of a Top 20 under 20 award for Canada, and has already accomplished more than most in a lifetime. He has traveled all over the world and affected change in many of the places he has visited. This past six months he tried to continue to travel with increasingly debilitating pain. He found it is possible but it just zapped the joy out of everything he did. It was time to let go and allow the medical community to take over. He is having step one and two of my three part surgery, ironically in the exact same area of the back as me. It is a long recovery and he has never been still before. Part of our conversation was about that very thing - being still long enough to allow healing to be complete.
It seems to be a theme this week. Another dear friend has come down with what she first thought was bronchitis, but is pneumonia. The difficulty she had in allowing herself the permission to cancel already scheduled meetings, etc., was noted. She is a yoga teacher, she is mindful, and yet letting the world around her stop for a minute was hard. She said once she did, there was a great sense of freedom that followed. A permission to get well without a time line.
I've often wondered why I have gotten ill. I usually don't pick up a common cold or anything minor, it is usually pneumonia or something equally daunting. It doesn't seem to happen anymore, and I think I know why. I have slowed my life down. It was when I was moving at an incredible pace that I would suddenly have to come to a complete stop. I remember working part time, coaching fast pitch and working for a local charity as a volunteer. I was chair of not one, but two parent councils for each of my children's schools and the parent representative at the school board. Not to mention I had two very active girls who I cared for and drove around everywhere for their events and activities. I guess getting pneumonia was how I got a break. When you juggle so much in you life your head is always full. It doesn't allow for quiet peaceful moments that let creativity creep in. I know that now. I have way more time on my hands than I want at the moment, but I will never again over schedule myself the way I have in the past.
Allowing ourselves some down time to sit in our PJ's to read a book, newspapers or watch T.V. may seem like a lazy thing to do, but we all need to refuel at times and that's how we do it as humans.
As I look at the clock I see it is almost surgery time for my friend. My hope is that he discovers he can have a pain free life, that all goes well and he allows his body the time it needs to heal. The world needs more young people like him and we need him to be well. I thank God for modern medicine at times like this.
When he called me yesterday he said it was so he could tell me he was going to "rock this surgery" and I have no doubt that he will! Good luck my friend and be well.