Friday, June 25, 2010

Patience and Gratitude

There are two wonderful lessons I learned today: patience and gratitude. Well, let me rewind a bit: I'm here! I made it to London in one piece, which is pretty amazing if you know me--my luck is always causing fun surprises in life. ;) The flight wasn't the greatest--I was sandwiched between a guy with horrible breath catching flies and an old woman watching all the love scenes off the movie menu--but it sure beat missing my flight and getting lost like I did last time I traveled! (had some issues getting to Mexico) Plus, I can never argue with free movies, especially since I NEVER go to the actual movie theater. My favorite on the flight was HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON--if you haven't seen this one you must! Something about Toothless the dragon reminded me of my Little Guy back home (most especially his personality), so of course I shed a tear or two for that, but all in all I thought it was an adorable movie with a good message, and I even laughed out loud a few times.
But the most wonderful part of the past 24 hours is that I'm here and I'm whole! I am exhausted and hungry and have a headache, but I realized something to do that humbled me yet made me feel just wonderful. Four of us shared a taxi to the London Centre, which was about a 30 minute drive, so we got to talking; one of the girls happened to go to Provo High, and it turns out she is the little sister of a girl I went to high school with. In and of itself this isn't all that exciting, but my old high school peer happens to be a fellow Chiari-survivor, and there aren't many of us! She actually had her surgery back in high school, years before I had mine, and I was always a little jealous, thinking that she healed quicker and was better off for it, being in the prime of life and all. I was only a few years older when I underwent surgery, but from my extremely impatient perspective, it's been a LONG road to recovery, and there were several times I wondered if I would be sick for the rest of my life.

So as I chatted with this girl, she explained to me that her sister (Chiari patient), although her surgery was years ago, still suffers quite a bit even now, especially with migraines--she pretty much has to deal with them every day, and talking even a small vacation is difficult on her; if she were to take a flight to London like I just did, she would definitely have to dope up on sedatives and painkillers galore, but even then she may not make it--at least she would suffer for it for several days following. And there I was, surgery only a year ago (my hair still hasn't fully grown back), coming off of a long and unusually turbulent flight to London, just chilling without any problem at all. I did have a slight headache, but I soon discovered it is more from lack of food and sleep than anything, and even then it's not debilitating. I used to suffer from killer migraines every second of every day, like this girl still does, but now only a year later I have absolutely no trace of Chiari, minus a scar up the back of my head and neck, but even that is rapidly fading.

I can barely believe that it was just a year ago--I thought the torture would never end, and anyone who knows me well knows how impatient I was about the whole thing (and still am--patience isn't one of my better virtues, that's for sure). I thought I would never be the same, but I can honestly say that I have never been better! I didn't know if I would ever be able to fly, and here I am 13 flight hours later and I'm just fine. It easily could have gone another direction, like it did for this girl--but miraculously for me, I have been blessed beyond measure. It didn't come quickly or easily in any way, but here I am, ready to take on the world and without any health problems (knock on wood) to hold me back. It's moments like these that you realize just how blessed you are and just how wonderful life really is. Thank goodness for such a loving and patient Heavenly Father, an understanding and healing Savior, and for the two most stubborn gene pools on the planet (thanks Mom and Dad): it really does pay to be a Snouston... or a Ho. ;)


melissa said...

I'm so glad that you made it so well! You know how well I love traveling still! We love and miss you! Guy is still going down to your room trying to find you. He is not sure where you have gone.

Carolyn said...

Guess what I saw on Friday night? How to Train Your Dragon. And I really liked it.