Goodbye and good riddance!

goodriddanceMost people love ringing in a new year.  A fresh start, new resolutions, a celebration of things to come!

I cannot wait for this year to end.  This past year has not been kind to my family.  A year ago my BIL died.  Then I had my hip replacement in May, which to this day is still infected and may at some point have to be removed.  Then my niece’s fiancée was killed in a horrific accident, leaving her little girl without a daddy.  Then my sister’s two beloved cats were eaten by coyotes.  Then my little great niece cut off her long beautiful hair down to the scalp, just in time for Christmas!  (which is no big deal compared to the other things).

My hip replacement has colored my world every day.  It was painful, it was expensive, and it is ongoing.  Don’t let the doctor’s fool you…..when you saw off your femur bone and then pound a stake into it, IT HURTS.  FOR A LONG TIME!  Those sadists at the hospital are poking you, prodding you, and making you walk all the time!  They love to see your pain, and tell you to work through it.  Yeah right, ok.  I did it, did everything they said, and went home from the rehab hospital with an infection that is still with me to this day as a reminder of a horrid experience.  Granted, this doesn’t happen to most people.  Very few people, in fact.  I am one of the lucky ones.

I was at my ortho doc on Wednesday.  We were talking about shots, and I asked him if it would hurt.  He said yes.  I asked him if it would make me cry.  He said “You are the bravest woman I know.  With everything you have been through this year, I have never seen you cry.  You have been through hell and back and keep on smiling.  All the nurses and therapists are amazed by you.  In all your hospital reports they make notations about your positive attitude and smiling face.  They wished all patients could be like you.  You had 4 surgeries and home health care nurses for months, and they all fought over who got to service you.  I think you made friends with every nurse and tech at Lake Forest Hospital!”

And you know what?  I did.  Why not?  I was stuck in the hospital a lot this summer, and those nurses and techs were my best friends.  They took wonderful care of me, and attended to my every need.  Trust me, you are totally helpless the first few days after surgery, and really need compassionate people!  They all were angels from heaven, and if a smile from me made their day better, I was happy to do it.  I felt my recovery would go better with a positive attitude, and it did.  The nurses treated me like I was special, and that made ME feel special!

Granted, I would like to never experience this kind of thing again, lol.  Luckily I had insurance, but wow did I get screwed!  I had the state of Illinois Pre-Existing insurance for the first 6 months until they went bankrupt and then forced me over to the federal insurance.  I had to start from scratch with deductibles and co-pays in the middle of the year.  All told, I paid approximately $20,000 for insurance this year.  I know my hospital bills were a lot more than that, and I was grateful to have the insurance, but geez.  That’s a lot of money for someone like me.

My sister and my niece are doing better, but it is still hard.  Luckily my great niece Brianna is very resilient and has taken the loss of her daddy in stride.  She has other male figures in her life who have stepped up, and she is a very loving child.  She is the best thing that has ever happened to our family!

The two cats are greatly missed, but Bri rescued a kitty and named him Lucky, and he has wormed his little way in our hearts and helped heal them.  He is quite naughty, and I’m sure Bri’s Elf on a Shelf has all kinds of naughty reports on him for Santa!

Thank goodness I don’t have an Elf on a Shelf, because my two cats are the naughtiest Christmas tree destroyers ever!  They have literally eaten the lighted Star off the top, and many strings of lights and ornaments.  It is their napping spot and climbing pole.  The top of the tree is now slanted, and they broke the stand too.

xmastree

Oh well, lol.  There’s always next year!  And next year will be better, I just know it.  My hip is better, I got to go to a family reunion wedding and see all my long distance relatives, my cats are fine, I have a warm house, a job of sorts, and family and dear friends.  I will try to stay on a positive path, and keep fighting the good fight!

Merry Christmas my friends, and I hope you all have the happiest of New Years!

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Silent Support

support

I cannot begin to tell you all how many people have come up to me recently telling me how wonderful I look, how they have been following my journey on Facebook and my blog, and how much my courage in the face of adversity has impacted them.  They love my Positive Thoughts for the Day and say I am an inspiration.
Who, me?  Wow.  Well.  I do know that I had great positive relationships with all my nurses and therapists in the hospital, rehab, and home health care.  And my doctor just shakes his head time and time again and asks how I can keep smiling through all these ups and downs (most downs).  I guess having a chronic incurable disease (Crohn’s) has prepared me for the worst case scenarios in the past, and that is why I wasn’t too surprised to have all these issues and extra surgeries and PICC lines and infections and meds etc. with this hip replacement.  Been there, done that, alone most of the time.  This time I had the support of my family and friends, so many visitors, cards, phone calls etc., which really made the difference.  I would not have made it without them. Especially my little 3-year-old niece, who loved all the blood and guts aspect, and kept me laughing through it all.

Sometimes you don’t realize the impact you have on people, positive or negative.  That’s why I always try to have a smile on my face, and be friendly and courteous to people.  It just might make their day a little brighter.  So thank you, everyone, for your support, silent or otherwise.  It encourages me to keep on going, knowing that you are reading and rooting for me.  And it really makes my day when one of you comes up and hugs me and tells me that!

I am SO blessed….