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(recorded 1/29/05 @ 3:37:17 AM)
True Life Survival Stories
We've all heard of at least one. You are impressed when you hear them, yet 5 minutes later, you've forgotten most of the story.
I used to fall into the same category, however my life has now been touched by one of those survivors, and I am in a whole different category, lets call it, "A-new-perspective-just-slapped-me-in-the-face-and-I-realize-all-my-troubles-and-concerns-are-petty-and-insignificant-compared-to-what-you -have-been-through-and-overcome"
Maybe you think a little explanation is warranted, and maybe I think you are right. So here we go.
First off, background on me. Lately I had been fairly down, a recent incident had me trying to hide from my "problems". Well at work, I met and helped this patient who had been through so much, who has real problems, and overcame so much, that I felt like a little self-centered prick when I heard exactly why she was in physical therapy.
So here is the basic scoop. This woman had cancer. In order to get rid of the cancer, they had to remove about 2/3 or her hip. (For those who know their anatomy, draw a little half moon shape from the illiac crest down to just above the glenohumeral joint). For those who do not know, a huge chunck of bone is now gone, in her pelvis/hip. Now this alone would have been a tremendous obsticle to overcome, because a whole lot of muscles attach to that part of the bone. So this means...those muscles are only attached to one bone, that means, they are useless. Well, there is more to this as well. It turns out that the cancerous growth had also completely encapsulated the femoral nerve. That would be the nerve that sends messages to the quadricep. Well in order to remove the cancer completely (which they were able to do) they also had to remove this nerve. So effectively, this patient has no function what-so-ever in her quad. And she will never have use of it again. Now I didn't find out this story until about the 4th time I worked with her. And here's why I am amazed. She can walk. She uses a cain, but that's only for long distances. She can walk short distances without any aid. She has no freaking quad in one of her legs, a whole lot of other muscles are rendered useless, and she can walk! She also takes her son to all his football games, and goes to work, and does almost all of the things that she used to do.
....Now that is fucking incredible. The human body is capable of a lot. Yet it can only preform to its maximum potential when it is pared with a human mind that is strong and determined. And a person with such a strong will can do miraculous things. After hearing the story behind her, I was speechless. I think I muttered "wow" about 5 times before I actually spoke again. Incredible.
The amount of respect I have for this woman is...I can't even express it. And my life has been givien a new perspective. There was so many times where she could have given up, just said ok, give me a weel chair, or ok, just take the leg, or just give up. Yet she didn't. She struggled, she is struggling, she persevered.
Kind of makes your "problems" seem like they are trivial. And you know what? They most likely are. Your so called "problems" are merely annoyances that can easily be dealt with, if you just confront it and deal with it.
I know I won't ever complain that what I am doing is too hard, that "I'm so stressed" because of my "problems". Screw that. Me and my new perspective...we're going to move on. Deal with what we have to deal with, and accept the things that I can't change. Because what I have to deal with...could be a hell of a lot worse.
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