Having an AVM, (Arterial Veinous Malformation) having it hemorrhage without evening knowing it existed, having brain surgery and then having an almost 100% recovery is almost a magical thing. It’s actually awe inspiring for some. How I survived the initial brain surgery I’ll never know. God must have been by my side either during the operation or perhaps throughout my whole life. We’ll never ever really know the truth but I’m here and that’s what counts at this point. It is however a testimony of Gods existence and grace.
Let me explain the type of person I am. I’m a performer, a doer and a make it happen type. I work with strength, conviction, fortitude and passion. When I truly set my mind to something rarely do I miss. This is not to say I don’t miss or make mistakes but generally I’d consider myself a hustler. Someone who sets their own destiny. Why is this important?
Since my recovery from brain surgery I’ve suffered a few setbacks. The most undeniable setback has been the diagnosis of Epilepsy. As with everything in life I’ll tackle this challenge just like the next. I simply deal with it. I’m positive, motivated, I laugh about it, make jokes about it and move on. I wait for the next seizure with little fear and just deal with it. I think courage, strength, positivity and humor is an effective way of dealing with adversity.
The reason I titled this the “Outside Looking In” is I have many observers. Many people that love me, care about me and are my friends. The interesting thing is some of these people only know a small ounce of who I am. There are two reasons I say this:
- One person today said I went back to work way too early or I shouldn’t have gone at all. This is a clear indication that they simply do not know me. A catastrophic injury, surgery or condition doesn’t mean you just give up on life or do not make a comeback. I know this person meant no harm in what they said, but it shows that our life value systems or how we attack life’s difficulties are significantly different. I’ve had nothing to prove through this whole ordeal but Intestinal Fortitude runs in my veins. The Marine Corps officially tattooed it on my soul after it flowed through me long before I earned the title Marine.
- Recently I went to New York City with my family and that same person went with us. We went to Rockefeller Center to take our kids ice skating and although I knew I was going to have trouble skating, but I slapped pped on some skates on went with it. First the skates are absolutely terrible. They’re in horrible shape and killed my ankles and feet which made it extremely difficult to skate even on a normal day. Second, the other issue from my surgery is something called Left Side Neglect. In short I can’t feel the left side of my body and I don’t have a complete understanding of where my limbs are in space. It’s an interesting condition to have and I’ve had some incredibly funny experiences with it. In the end I couldn’t skate. I believe it was mostly due to the skates because my ankle couldn’t balance properly but who knows, maybe I’m wrong. After trying to skate our friend kept on saying “well at least you tried”. On the way home we began discussing it again and she basically gave in to defeat for me. I however did not concede and explained I would in fact skate again. Then I said I was going to run a marathon in retort to her explaining my own defeat and she said “well that’s just different”. These goals, accomplishments and drive that I have “to do things” are not to prove to others that “I can”. These goals are for me to achieve because I love nothing more than a good challenge. I love defying odds for myself, not for others. Defying odds, doing the impossible and accomplishing goals is a part of truly “living”. I’m not the type to sit around and do nothing or not accept the next challenge without 100% of what I’ve got.
One of my earliest mentors noticed that in me with regard to playing music. She said in a college recommendation “Will just needs a challenge”. This has never changed and I will always need a challenge and the need to take a full BREATH of LIFE.
In the end I realize that these people, their feelings and attitudes toward my recovery don’t really matter. It’s my condition to live with. They’re my goals to achieve and as much as people think they understand, they really don’t. This person, for as close as she’s been to this whole situation had never even seen the scar on my head or seen pictures of my shaved head where they cut my skull. It is what it is I’ve washed my hands of it.
They’re simply on the outside looking in.
Any thoughts or comments?
Take good care,