Loss: a four-letter word that can and has filled volumes. I cannot begin to squeeze it into a 500-word post. I know of no one who has not been touched by this word in its many forms.
We often suffer loss. We experience each loss differently. Some losses are more profound than others. Each kind of loss extracts its own measure.
We lose in different ways. We lose jobs, friends, relationships, health, pets, ad infinitum. I didn’t understand most kinds of loss as a child.
Every time we moved, I lost friends. I grieved for them knowing I would never see them again. Sometimes I didn’t have to move for the loss of friendship to hurt. I’ve lost several pets that were closer to me than some family members. I know many of you can relate.
The losses in life can often redirect how you live it. One of the great losses is our personal independence. When my last husband had a retina detach, he lost the ability to drive and with that his job. That was his identity and his freedom in one blink of his eye. He was forced to retire at 59. He took it in stride for awhile then as his world grew smaller, he wrapped himself around mine needing constant attention and entertainment.
On February 11, 2010 I had my own eye blink moment. I woke up feeling queasy and my ear hurt. I had my husband call for an appointment at my doctor and call someone to take me there. I rarely went to the doctor. This felt serious. The doctor wasn’t sure what was going on and made some calls himself for consultation. When you see your doctor pacing the hall and scratching his head, panic starts to set in.
In the course of two days, I went from full time chauffeur, etc to completely disabled; not by shingles as they first thought but by Bells Palsy. We were in a fine pickle with neither of us driving.
It was supposed to go away in a few weeks. Same virus, different outcome. The damage was so profound they did a CT scan to make sure I hadn’t had a stroke.
The contact lenses I’d worn for 45 years never went in my eyes again because I couldn’t blink. I needed a cane to stay upright and television was out of the question. The movement made me nauseous. So did car rides. I couldn’t hear well and loud hurt. My entire brain was on fire trying to find up. It was more than two years before I could drive a few blocks to a grocery store and even now, my limit is 20 miles. My entire way of life was lost. I had to build it from the ground up all over again. I am certain I’m not unique in this.
I saw this as a wake-up call. I wrote how I wanted my life to look from that moment forward. I asked for help! Couch surfing for over a year brought me to California and Oregon for different treatments that should have been done immediately. I read everything I could find on neuroplasticity to heal my brain and I was given exercises to get my eyes to track together again. Dr. “full of himself” was a genius and knew it. I loved how he helped when no one else did. I got some electrical stimulation on my face so it doesn’t hang though still paralyzed. In the end, I did lose my smile. I rented an apartment within walking distance to groceries until I could put enough together to buy my own little manufactured home. For a while, I had some independence. It’s at a precarious balance again so I’m looking for a new path through. Loss always has a lesson.
How many times have you lost someone or something that caused you to rebuild your life in one way or another?
From my heart to yours,