medical miracles - the sequel
High on endorphines, I'm feeling the full effects of the medical miracle of surgery. Sweating on that spinning bike, I realise how far I've come since I lay in a hospital bed struggling to stay alive. I'm thinking of the phenomenon of people physically challenging themselves after severe illness. They are running marathons, doing triathlon races, climbing dauntingly high mountains often for a good cause such as raising money for research in particular area. I completely understand the rush of returning life and movement to bodies frozen in time. Blood starts flowing through our veins and our comatose hearts wake up to continue their familiar beating. I wanted to do everything, everything I hadn't been able to do for such a long, long time. I wanted to catch up on whatever I had missed. It was a wonderful feeling to suddenly exist in a world that wasn't just grey anymore and where I no longer was a pale ghost on death row. Many leaves have been turned since, good ones and bad ones. I had many lessons to learn to do with acceptance, healing, moving on, prioritising, realising what is important and much else. I'm nowhere near where I'm hoping to end up, but when the instructor asks if we are happy with our performance tonight, I find that I'm raising my hand. It's not that I really did my best or gave it all. It's that it doesn't matter and that it's ok to not exert myself. I'm still ok. Life was a marathon race for too long, I have no intention making it one again if it can be avoided. So no, I won't be running any marathons or climbing any mountains in the near future. Instead you might find me sipping wine, watching the clouds' movements and tending to my plants. I'll be busy learning to live a life where fight or flight aren't my only alternatives and where there's no price for the one who works themself too hard. I'll be busy learning to be happy and putting love first. I will continue going to the gym, but I've nothing to prove there. I'm there for the endorphines and not for a medal. So for all of you running those races and climbing those mountains, I hope you're doing it for your enjoyment and not because you think you've got something to prove. I'll be cheering for the side of the tracks or the bottom of the mountain - always on your side, even if you decide to not participate. There's no reason struggling to take control of a life that sometimes goes haywire due to IBD - we'll be ok anyway. If I ever will become as I'll as I was, I hope I'll choose a different path. I hope I'll be able to let people into my dark places, to not make the people who love me my enemies and to prioritise what matters.