Friday, September 17, 2010

The Glass Half Full

Reece (1st day of school age 5)

I've always been fascinated by the mind-body connection and how that impacts all areas of life.  As I continue to sort through the reality that my body isn't going to heal itself I've reached out to various means to help me deal with the mental side of these new physical limitations.

I'm so fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing support system of loving family and friends to pull me through the days when my mind will run a race that has no end.  The one thing I've realized through this process is the importance of being thankful and appreciative of all the wonderful aspects of my life.  The last 3 months has been tougher mentally than I could have imagined.  I've gone from feeling in the best shape of my life with the freedom to push my physical limits to wondering what the true meaning of my life involves.

I've never really bought into the spiritual side of life.  I believe in God, although I've never felt the need to go to church as a means to show faith. Is this wrong, maybe or maybe not.  My point is that I feel everyone has to believe and live within their comfort level.  My comfort level has never been through going to church every Sunday and especially when I felt that was forced upon me.  This summer I've found through reading more about examples of faith and talking to friends that I'm more at easy with some of the "why" questions.

I learned that God does have a plan for all of us and although sometimes it seems he gives people more than they can handle if they are willing to open up he will guide them through their faith and lead them to the answers.  I've read two great books recently...."One Month to Live"  (Thank you Kim for sharing this great book with me as it's really helped to bring my current life into perspective) and  "Running on Faith" is the other book I'm currently reading which I also highly recommend for anyone that has any doubts about what is truly possible in life.  The book is close to my heart as it relates to the parallels between endurance sports and life through the perspective of someone that was guided by his faith to overcome all physical barriers in life through his will and mental strength.  Ok, I'm not going to ruin it for anyone, however I encourage you to read these books as they've really helped me to refocus and feel like I'm still living my life albeit through a different lens.

This has never been more clear than through my recent Cardiology tests and appointments where I was told that my mitral valve in heart was in fact in need of repair.  I've tried not to live in denial this summer, although I must say when I went in for this last test on August 30th I had almost convinced myself that I was feeling better so my heart must have just healed itself this summer due to my relative inactivity. I was hoping they would say everything looks great and you can go back to living your life with no restrictions.  Unfortunately, I didn't hear those magic words and I feel I didn't initial hear the "glass half full" message either.  It took me a good week or two after talking to family and friends to realize that having surgery with a good thing.  Thank you all for the inspiring words and perspective as I needed to hear it. 

The reality is that in my situation the glass is half full.  The Cardiologists now know what is wrong with my heart and the surgeon can hopefully fix it!  I went back to my Cardiologist today and he explained the next steps in this process involve going to see Dr. Siwek (Cardic Surgeon) that has come highly recommended by all my doctors and friends in the medical community which is reassuring.  So, now I wait to meet with the surgeon and discuss literally putting my heart in his hands.

Life is truly a journey and each day I try to learn something from those people that touch my life.  Recently I've learned that although sometimes the news isn't what we want to hear in my case the glass is half full and my spirit and faith is stronger than ever.  I can almost see light at the end of this race to overcome this minor life detour. Enjoy the journey!

Thanks for reading!