Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My 2014 In Review

Here we go, the winding up of another year. Is it just me, or are the years going by more quickly? Perhaps it just feels that way the older I get.  Nonetheless, here we are, wrapping up the final pages of a chapter to be filed away, as we prepare for the new. The New Year. The New Chapter of our lives. The unwritten. Ahhhh I absolutely adore the thought of the possibilities ahead.

2014 did not disappoint. It was filled with ups and downs. Inspirations and some disappointments. But what is important is that I made it to the end of another year. Praise God!

There were several major events for me in this year. As many of you know, in March I quit smoking! I switched from analog cigarettes to ecigs. And I am happy to say that I am now approaching ten months of being smoke free! Further to that, these past two months I have reduced the nicotine levels from 24mg/ml to 16mg/ml. And the reduction is going very well. I feel like over the next couple of months I will be making another reduction to 12mg/ml. And before you know it, I will have weened myself off of the ecigs all together! Has it been easy? No. There was temptation. Lets be honest, it was a lot easier than anything else I have ever tried in unsuccessful attempts to quit smoking, but it did still require willpower. And I am super proud of myself.

April brought upon a very frightening time. My beloved Bentley got very ill. He had eaten some garlic coated meat and became gravely ill. I won't get too graphic here, but I was boiling chicken and rice for weeks as he was literally starving to death.. He could not eat, and was spewing bile and blood - from the North and the South. (If you get my meaning.) I was so afraid that he would not make it through. And am ever so thankful that he got better. It took about two month in total for him to get back to his old self, but he made it! And I have never been more thankful!

In June was Bentley's surgery. He was in desperate need of oral surgery - and frankly, I could not afford the thousand dollar price tag that came along with it. Thankfully with a referral from his Vet's office to the Farley Foundation, Bentley was able to get his operation. I just cannot tell you how thankful I am to the Farley Foundation and all of its supporters, that made Bentley's operation possible.

How blessed are we???

Most of you know by now that I live with medical challenges, and this year was very much a challenge for me. Particularly my mobility. The Spring and Summer saw the decline in my ability to walk. Even so much as no longer being able to do my own grocery shopping. Having to depend on family and my best friend to do my errands for me. Now, if you know anything about me at all, you know how difficult it is for me to just sit back and watch other people do things for me. Frankly, it drove me crazy!!

I'm really not sure what was worse, having to watch other people do stuff for me, or the fact that I could not get up and do things for myself. I remember sitting in a wheelchair outside of the doctor's office, just watching people walking around - going about their business ... just taking for granted that they could just get up and walk. It made me very aware of the small things. The little things that often don't even make it on to our radar. Yet, when taken away, they can make the biggest impact on our lives. Like the ability to walk.

In September I had my total knee replacement surgery. The surgery itself was a success. The recovery has been insane! Really just a never-ending line of complications and infections, reactions to medications, and so on, and so on....

It has now been nearly four months since my operation and I am still building my strength. I no longer have pain in my leg but have very little energy. My mother recently pointed out that although it has been nearly four months since the surgery - it has only been one month since the end of my last complication, which was a deep tissue infection at the surgical site, that took six weeks of antibiotics to get rid of. So, really, it is no surprise that my body is struggling to recover. It has been through a Lot!

And all things considered, I am getting stronger every day. Bentley had to stay with my friend for two months during the beginning of my recovery. He came home at the beginning of November and we are going out three times a day. And our walks are gradually getting longer. And when I consider that just three and a half months ago I was in a wheelchair, I am doing great!!

November was a really tough one for me. My daughter decided that she was going to leave not only the City, but the Province! She decided that she wanted to move to the other side of Canada - with only four days notice!


OK. YES. This was a HUGE pill for me to swallow!!!  One month before Christmas, and my only child was moving half a country away?? OMG!!!  She felt that she needed a change - a shakeup in her life. And she wanted a change of scenery. She wanted to try and make a go of it in a new City. Have new experiences. Perhaps she would succeed, or perhaps she would come back. Either way, she wanted to give it a shot. And she is nearly twenty-five years old. So, even though my heart was breaking, and the mommy me was terrified of all the ways this could go wrong - and how far away she would be from me. I am tremendously proud of how courageous she is. I admire her bravery. To pick up and move across the country is a scary thing to do. To be honest, I'm not sure I could do it. My prayer is that God keeps my baby safe and that she finds the life she is in search of.  And if for any reason things don't go as she would like for them to, she knows she can always come home again.

Needless to say, Christmas was very difficult. The first one I would be apart from my daughter. I have to be honest in saying that I went back-and-forth a dozen times on whether or not I would even 'do' Christmas this year. In the end, I went through with it. And although my mind was certainly on my daughter and I missed her terribly, the day was quite lovely. It was spent with family, and I even attended the Christmas Market this year with my sister. Something I have wanted to do for a couple of years now, and was never able to do.

Like each  year, there are high points and low points, but all in all, I have to say that 2014 was a year of blessings for me. And I am truly thankful. In a lot of ways it is like a launching pad for the years to follow. For my daughter in her endeavours. And for my new knee and all of the adventures it will take me to!

And I am looking forward to all of them!