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It tíaint easy, but itís doable


Ralph Thomas


  This is, I hope, the last column I will ever write about medical issues. Those who know me well, know I usually try to find the up-side of most things, even when it comes to admitting my failings and bouts of stupidity of which, I might add, are many and varied.

  This is the year that brought many of lifeís complexities into perspective. Like many readers, once I thought I had dodged the bullet, it hits me in the head. It has been suggested by some that I have already been whacked in the head too many times. I sometimes agree with them.

  A quick summary: Since the beginning of this year, my wife who has enjoyed excellent health for 74 years, has been discovered by the medical establishment, the health insurance establishment, and various hospitals, treatment centers, doctors, pharmacies and all to her dismay. Breast cancer, surgery, radiation treatments, gall bladder removal, shingles and now, scheduled laser surgery on one eye. But, she is tough. Through it all, she has been able to not only deal with her own medical issues but also has dealt with those of close family members. One son-in-law hospitalized four times this year along with two surgeries, a daughter who endured four weeks in intensive care, three weeks in acute care and now recuperating in our home would have taken the starch out of most people. Of course, as a dutiful husband, I rode the medical train with her. We claimed, it tíaint easy, but itís doable.

  Along the way I have come to realize how strong people can be when the chips are down.  Pushing age 80, I have enjoyed good health so have not had to endure the effects of serious medical issues. We are a large family. We are also a close family. I am overcome with gratitude when I recall how three of our daughters rallied around the fourth daughter as she spent many weeks in the hospital during which at times we did not think she would survive the night. One daughter gave up two weeks of her short summer vacation to be at her sisterís bedside 24 hours a day. The other sisters and granddaughters assisted when they could while balancing the demands of work and family.

  Now, we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel as the medical problems are under control and healing is progressing nicely. It is now that I can take a step back and reflect on the turmoil we have endured over the first eight months of this year. The suffering and concern for our loved ones seems to fade as a sense of joy and thankfulness rises to the surface.

  I like to think our world could be like this. After all, we are all one family, regardless of our differences.  . . .  created by the same creator, but given free will to do as we please. Somewhere along the road we forget how closely connected we are to each other, how the actions of one person or group can affect others.

  Who am I to think one person is more valuable than another or more deserving?  I believe there is a force within each of us that is constantly trying to get our attention  . . .  wanting to help each of us  . . .  wanting to give us hope  . . .  wanting to nudge us to become what each of us were created to become.

  Life isnít easy and sometimes it might seem to be unendurable. It tíaint easy, but itís doable.

  Ralph Thomas is a Locust Grove resident and the author of Doing Great, but Getting Better and Getting Old Can be Fun.




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