I lost my mother two weeks after I had surgery to remove nasal polyps. She had been my point of contact with the doctors during the surgery. I was still dealing with her loss when I was diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis.
At first, it didn’t resonate with me what type of condition sarcoidosis is, or how I would live and deal with it. All I knew at the time was that I had to keep everything together for my family and myself.
After my mother’s passing, I took some time away from work to process the loss and to take care of her business. I finally returned to work about three weeks later. It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, but I knew that I had to do it. I had to resume some sort of normalcy in my life, because I was afraid of what could happen to me if I didn’t. It was time to put the Big Boy Boxers on and Man Up.
When faced with obstacles, stand strong
Returning to work was difficult. I was at work when I received the call that my mom had been rushed to the hospital, so returning to my office was like repeating a scene from a horror movie. Before the tragedy, I had been working on a video for a friend to honor his grandmother’s birthday. I had told him I’d be happy to help out, but after my mother’s passing, my confidence was gone. I felt empty.
When I returned to work, I remember telling my friend I didn’t think I could finish the job. He said he understood, but he remained confident that I could finish it. A few days passed, and I decided to try to make some headway with the video. Within a week, I had finished it, and my friend loved it!
That weekend, his family had a big celebration for his grandmother, and they shared the video. He called to thank me, and his first words were: “There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Thank you!”
I felt like I had redeemed myself. I was back!
Sometimes a challenge is what we need
Over the past few months, I’ve been feeling like I’m losing my skills and my love of the craft. With doctors’ appointments, pulmonary function tests, and everything else we’ve been going through, I started feeling empty again. I haven’t challenged myself in months, and I felt I was regressing. I needed something to sink my teeth into. But if I can’t find that “thing,” I’ll need to create it.
A longtime colleague saw one of my famous Facebook posts of food I was smoking on the grill. He left a comment, and soon after, we were chatting back and forth about smoking and grilling. The next day, he called me for some advice about video equipment and editing.
The next thing I knew, he was sending me a video he had edited, asking for my input. I shared my thoughts, and then he challenged me to create a similar video so that he could have two to share with his group. That small challenge got my creative juices churning, and I felt like I was back in my groove.
In the end, the group liked his video more. That didn’t surprise me, because he knows the culture of the company better than I do. But again, someone else’s confidence in me had gotten me back into my groove. Someone else had trusted my skills. Why was it so hard for me to have that level of confidence in myself?
Tomorrow never comes until it’s too late
I’m guilty, like many others, of putting things off until tomorrow. These past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about the question, “What if tomorrow never comes?” Personally, I think a lot of my “tomorrow” excuses stem from past episodes of post-traumatic stress disorder.
When we’re faced with chronic health issues, we focus most of our attention on “How did we get like this?” Or we just sit aimlessly by, waiting for the other shoe to drop. But if our friends and families can try to inspire us to do more, why can’t we do that ourselves?
Yesterday was then, today is now, and tomorrow may never come. And if it does, it may be too late.
Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.
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