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Not Exactly My Dancing Shoes...(Post #15)

Tell me if I’m wrong, but most of the time we never give ourselves enough credit for our accomplishments. I’m not necessarily talking about the major triumphs we experience throughout life, but rather the daily milestones we achieve and the hurdles we vault over on our way to what we think is a happy and fulfilling life. It is difficult for us to accept the fact that getting out of bed on a Monday is as important as graduating high school, or purchasing your first home when it comes to the overall scheme of life. Without finding the courage and motivation to get out of bed, we would never have the opportunity to pursue the profession of our dreams or find a significant other we want to spend the rest of our lives with. We are all given the right to the pursuit of happiness, but it is up to us to determine what really makes us happy. There are too many times in life in which I feel like things are going great, and then I fall into the pit of comparing myself to someone else, or measuring my accomplishments with someone else’s ruler. While I was in the hospital, I had to learn to take each step towards improvement on my own terms, and that is something I am attempting to do each and every day I am lucky enough to roll out of bed. It isn’t easy, not by a long shot, we have been conditioned to always want more, rather than appreciating what we have be allotted. I believe we are all here for a reason, and in some manner, the foundation of that reasoning is based upon helping each other and being confident in the people we have become.

Broken leg, flesh-eater, surgery after surgery after surgery, and a blood clot in my arm…it all has to be coming to an end, right? Wrong! The medication I was on for the blood clot was working and finally my arm didn’t look quite like a limb from the Pillsbury Dough Boy. It was time to get back on track and focus on doing whatever I could in order to speed along the healing process in regards to my leg. Speaking of accomplishments, one of the happiest days I experienced while in that hospital bed was the day I could finally attempt to put a tennis shoe on my swollen and mangled foot. I had a pair of Nike sneakers that were my favorite, a pair of shoes that you keep until the soles fall out. I recall my mom bringing the shoes to the hospital because I was progressing fairly quickly, which meant it was time to start some physical therapy. The shoes were black and grey, and in my opinion, they were the coolest shoes ever made! Before I pushed the button on the side of my bed that would raise me into a seated position, I first pushed a much more important, yet anxiety inducing button that essentially never left my hand. That was the button to my personal pain medication pump; my level of physical pain was so high that taking pain medication orally was not an option. Even though every time I pushed that button I knew that a smooth sensation of relief would flow through my veins, it also reminded me that my pain was very real and I still knew that pain equaled problems. Hitting that button and releasing that medication from the IV bag that hung above my head was like a roller coaster veering down the first major hill, followed by a corkscrew turn that leaves your stomach in knots. After the meds kicked in a bit, I decided it was time to at least sit up in my bed so I could check out my sweet, yet broken in pair of sneakers. I was not able to move much, the metal staples in the right side of my stomach from the removal of my abdominis muscle would pinch me ever so slightly each time I changed positions. But I remember that day, being able to just barely glance down towards the foot of my bed and see the Nike swoosh peaking back at me from the side of my shoe. That was a good day, that was a day in which I knew just being able to wear shoes again, on both feet, was a small accomplishment, and one that I should not take for granted.

Even though it seems that putting on shoes and sitting up is a short and mundane task, it actually took me most of the day to be able to manipulate my positioning in my hospital bed so that I was able to feel a slight sensation of relaxation. When I closed my eyes that night, I was happy. I remember smiling ear to ear because I had finally felt a feeling of normality. Wearing cleats when you’re on the football field is a must, it feels normal, but that feeling of familiarity is often taken for granted. As I drifted off to sleep that evening, with the assistance of some very powerful medication, I would love to say that I slept like a log and had wonderful dreams of gridiron glory. But unfortunately, that isn’t what happened, rather I was awoken from my slumber by a pain in my chest that felt as if an elephant was sitting on top of me. I immediately started gasping for air but nothing was happening, I couldn’t figure out why my lungs would not fill with oxygen. Again, alarms are beeping and screeching (which made it impossible to sleep anyway, ask my dad, and he can sleep anywhere!), doctors and nurses came sprinting in the room looking at charts and pushing buttons. The next thing I new I was laying flat on my back, not even noticing the scratchy hospital sheets, and I was being rushed out of my room and down the hallway, and even though putting on my shoes was a small victory, I immediately was reminded that victory doesn’t last and it was time to take on my next opponent.

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