Last week, I caught up with an old friend I haven’t talked to in a while. Each time we talk, the conversation always turns to my health. But this time was slightly different. After I briefly told him how I was doing as far as my health is concerned, he came back with an interesting follow up question.
“Are you happy?” he asked.
It seems like I get asked that particular question all of the time. My knee-jerk reaction was to say, “Of course,” and that’s exactly what I did. But I never took the time to think about if I was really happy, until two weeks ago.
Mother’s Day weekend last year marked a pivotal moment in my very short life – my health scare. A few months before, I started taking hormone therapy as a solution to treat my uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts. It was even used as a diagnostic tool for suspected endometriosis which I address in my previous blog post: Joy Comes in the Morning: My Battle with Fibroids, Ovarian Cysts and Endometriosis.
I thought hormone therapy would be easy in comparison to the emergency room visits, biopsies and a ruptured cyst. In the beginning, I had a few side effects which included hot flashes, night sweats, memory loss and headaches, but within a week, the side effects became progressively worse. The headaches turned into debilitating migraines and the pain was so magnificent, it’s literally indescribable.
It was not until my mom found me in my room unresponsive is when we learned the side effects from the hormone therapy started to affect my brain function. I underwent a spinal tap procedure. Soon after, I began to leak spinal fluid. I soon lost my vision; my balance and I developed a spinal headache, which surpassed the pain of any migraine in the world. All I remember is my mother rushing me to the hospital and everything went black.
I thought about that question my friend asked as I replayed that weekend over and over again in my head. It became hard for me to accept what happened, especially when there was no solution in sight. I was literally healthy at one point and all of a sudden life changed for me in a second. I could accept if my situation was preventable or if it was something I did, because that meant I could have some level of control. But God quickly showed me the true meaning of trust. The one thing I do know is my health scare changed me for the better.
There is unspeakable joy I get when I think about how I felt when I thought joy was unattainable. I felt like Oprah having one of her infamous full circle moments. From the furniture arrangements to the blankets I slept with on the floor, everything remained the same when I had my health scare last year. And it just so happened to be Mother’s Day weekend. Time was repeating itself.
The only thing noticeably different was me. Then I realized somehow I was granted a second chance. God took me to the end of the earth and brought me back wiser and stronger than ever. Without even noticing, I developed a new zest for life. A certain part of me died during my health scare and now there is something in me being reborn. I went from traveling through a tunnel that kept getting darker and darker not knowing if the end was near. The further I traveled, the more alone I became, and when no one could find a solution, I saw God walking with me.
There is truly a blessing within the blows of adversity. It’s an opportunity to show what you’re truly made of. It’s an opportunity to pull yourself up by your boot straps and conquer the fear of starting over. It’s really a wonder to feel like my old self again, but I know I will never be the same.
What about you? What types of adversity did you overcome? Did it change you for the better? Was it a blessing? Click on the post and comment below! Be candid in your response!