Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year In Review

2010 will go down in my mind as the most challenging year of my 34 years.  And I'm still shiny-side up.

The first few months of the year were riddled with pain, headaches and monthly calls to Dr. Gentili waiting for my surgery date.  I'm happy to report the pain of the first months of the year is behind me because of my June decompression surgery.

In February we celebrated my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary.  Theirs is a love from which I try to model my own marriage.  They didn't want any big celebration, just cake and coffee with the family.  I ordered letters and certificates of congratulation from Queen Elizabeth II, the Prime Minister, the Governor General, the Premier, and the Mayor of our city.  I was so proud to say I have grandparents who were married for 60 years.  It is a remarkable achievement. 

My grandma's health began to fail shortly after her 83rd birthday in April.  She was admitted to hospital and we knew it was very touch and go.  In true grandma fashion, she surprised us and started to get better and was moved to the rehab hospital.  She had been given a discharge date.  And then her tired heart gave it's last beat.  And it broke my heart.  It broke everyone's heart in my family.  And not a day goes by when I don't think of her a dozen times.  And at least once or twice those memories are coupled with tears.

A few days after my grandma passed away I received a phone call from Dr. Gentili's office with my decompression surgery date - June 22, 2010.  I won't reiterate the whole story.  It's here  and here.  It was the scariest thing I've ever had to face.  Worse than public speaking in grade school, the first day of high school, even traveling across the ocean to live in Italy.  I was petrified, but I was calm, prepared and anxious to feel better.  And I do.  If I had to do it all again, I would.  The difference it has made in my life is amazing, and I'm just 6 months post-op.  With 2 years to fully recover, I can only hope that I continue to feel this good.

The months after my surgery were long and very lonesome.  I did a lot of walking and a lot of physio at home.  I rested when I needed to.  I did what I could.  With the help of my dear husband I made it through.  I still struggle with my nerve issues in my right arm, but I will head to back Toronto Western on January 28th, 2011 for a nerve conductive study.  And that will hopefully provide a prognosis or at least a firm diagnosis.

November and December were good months, preparing for Christmas and craft shows and returning to work.  I kept busy with crafts as much as I could, a little at a time.  I did two successful craft shows and 1 trip to sell crafts at my mother-in-law's old office.  I'm very happy with the craft season this year.  As I was off work or only working 3 hours a day I had extra opportunity to bake, write Christmas cards, and get ready for the holidays.  I have never been a Christmas person, but this year I was actually in the spirit.  I wanted to get the tree up.  I was finished my shopping and wrapping early.  And I baked enough goodies for a small army.  And on the actual days I wasn't sick, exhausted or miserable.  I was fortunate to not get a headache or flu or cold.  (Well, I did end up with a bit of a cold on December 27th, but it wasn't on the holiday for a change!)

I'm very happy looking back at this year with all of it's trials and struggles.  I can say I'm still shiny-side up after all of it.  And that's what matters most.

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