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Near Miss

A little over a week ago, I was in the hospital.

The brief, one-day stay came about because of some stomach pains that wouldn't go away. I went to the ER, they ran some lab tests and a CT scan, and discovered diverticulitis. Some IV antibiotics (and potassium) while at the hospital, followed by oral antibiotics and pain meds have seen an improvement, though I am still not 100%. Overall, I've appreciated the situation, which may sound odd.

It is by no means a new, startling sentiment to note that our down times help us appreciate when things are good. Hills and valleys and all that. This episode of diverticulitis (my first and, hopefully, last) has been such an experience. As I lay on the utilitarian bed, under the harsh, sterile glow of the ER lights, a multitude of thoughts went through my mind: Is it cancer? Is this the beginning of the end? Have I done all I want to in this life?

Fortunately, there was no death sentence passed down that day. That is the first thing to be appreciative of. Not everyone who goes to the hospital comes out, or comes out with such (relatively) decent news. At some point, yes, that day will come for me, much like it does everyone else (or I could just be taken swiftly by a heart attack or stroke). Until then, I am thankful.

I am currently on a soft foods diet for another week or so, letting my digestive system do some healing. It's been fair enough. Dishes such as mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, rice and soup are certainly nothing to sneeze at, though I do desire a cheeseburger or a pizza more and more. Again, there's the renewed appreciation for things I was taking for granted.

During the hospital stay and recuperation at home, my bosses at work were exemplary in their manner. They wanted me to rest up and get well. Friends and family members would text to check-in on me. Yet another avenue of appreciation. I am fortunate enough to have a job that comes with sick days, managers who are understanding, and am surrounded by people who care.

Finally, there is simply the appreciation of feeling well. I'm not back to full throttle yet, but am getting there. I feel lucky to be in such a position, to know that, while I haven't felt great the past week or so, I will have the opportunity to feel better again. It's a shame that we so often have to rely on these episodes in order to treasure what we have, but then I guess that's life.


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