Home > Stories > Our True Stories > My Lessons from the Light: During 17 Separate Illnesses
Lessons learned the hard way by Betty Hatch
6/15/07 to 11/11/11 & 2/11/12 to 7//24/12
Specifically I learned from 17 issues I experienced since 11/11/11:
- from Prince Metal’s Angina, to get a second or more medical opinions.
- from H1 N1, I could sleep for a week without trying.
- from a Latashia hernia, & Anorexia, I could no longer sing or talk loudly; now I shut up more and listen! Also what it was like NOT to want to even think about food, or eat it (now I love to eat).
- from the first stroke, how painless it was and how weird it was to not have control of my right arm.
- from the sleep neap, to sleep on my side and that it is as bad for the one who snores as it is for those who are bothered by it!
- from the microscopic colitis, I have learned how to live with it.
- from the heart disease, I learned to organize my medications, to take on correct days and at the scheduled times.
- from the two stets, how beautifully they work and how painless the procedure can be—the first was, the second was not.
- from the pneumonia, that though depleting, I could still function.
- from the pleurisy, that ice will help and that I could stand having twice daily shots in my abdomen, just to relieve the pain
- from the hives, the importance of using lotion on my very dry skin .
- from the food poising and subsequent Global Transient Amnesia, I
- learned how nice an excuse it is when I forget anything and how great it is to have forgotten most of the pain mentioned above!
- from Erythrocyte , taken after a tooth infection, I learned not to continue a drug for ten days, if it is making you deathly ill. from the 14 issues above, I learned the importance of being balanced, of how to say “NO” if necessary, even though my heart is saying “yes.”
- Finally, from Swollen Joints, when my hands, feet and legs began swelling during the night, I could feel it happening. I spent an hour or two wondering if my body was just tired and ready to go. I thought of so many things that had to be done before I take my final trip. Suddenly I thought, "Why don't you just get ready to die and then you can live as long as you like?" Perhaps this is the message I have been receiving all along! Now I'm preparing our home and myself. We are also finalizing our wills and I’m feeling better now that I know I'll be ready when my departure time arrives.
Lessons Learned the Hard Way
- I found I could be even closer to my husband of 30 years. I did not believe this was possible; his constant care for me was very supportive.
- I became aware of the many real friends I have who kept supporting.
- Never having been seriously ill before and not really believing one had to be sick; I now can empathize with those who are.
- I also have more compassion for those who are suffering ill health.
- I'm more careful about my expectations now. I expected to be totally well in 2008. Then I expected to be well after every illness I created. Now I take my health a day at a time and am grateful for it.
- Now that I am well again, I’m even enjoying my life more.
- I'm grateful for the positive influence my attitude, during these illnesses, has had on others.
- I learned the joy of appreciation, when given, before my death.
- The most important lesson was noticing the peace that comes from not fearing death. I was never afraid; I learned to deal with what ever comes and I love myself-more doing so and that really makes me happy.
Appreciation and Realizations
From close friends, I learned that knowing the horrors of illness does no one any good, but seeing the possibilities for spiritual growth, that can follow serious maladies, does wonders. I thank them for helping me to recognize this. Now I will focus on the gain rather than the pain. Appreciating and sharing the lessons learned is more valuable than repeating the details of the disease. From sharing my lessons, I appreciate the interest I have received. From the many medical problems since all of the above, I learned the value of just focusing on learning the lessons from each. From the physicians & health care specialists who assisted me, I learned how valuable their training and sensitivity is.
I applaud my Santa Barbara physicians; Jeff Superman, my primary care physician, Bruce McFadden, Cardiologist, Edward Bentley, Gastroenteritis, Charles Curatorial, Neurologist, Julie Taguchi, Hematologist, Vincent Tubiolo, Allergist, Joe Ilvento, Heart, Stuart Winthrop, Vision, Henry Han, Chinese Medicine, Ramona Clark & Kim Crafton, Radiologists, Duncan Turner, Gynecologist.
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