Overcoming obstacles with Optimism

I temporarily lost the ability to see.  At one point, after surgery to cure epilepsy, I was nearly blind.  I had lost most of my sight.  I saw a picture hanging in my hospital room only through the descriptive words of a hospital volunteer.  In an effort to help keep the patients comfortable, volunteers would switch pictures around to different rooms for patients staying an extended period of time.  I explained to a kind lady that I would not get bored because I no longer had the ability to see what was held within the frame.  She sat on the edge of my bed and provided me with an extended description of a photo my mind could paint.  I never grew bored with thinking of that picture.  Her kindness filled a void the darkness of missing sight had created.

For a short time, I also lost the desire to want to hear.  Because of the recent memories of a loud retractor snapping within my skull, loud sounds created an extreme discomfort.  However, I learned that when the loud sounds of the world are shut off, you can hear so much in just paying attention to the way a person shifts or in the hesitation a person’s body exhibits as they walk into a room.  In losing my ability to want to hear, I was extremely fortunate in gaining a unique ability to listen.  I wish everyone could learn this skill.

I lost the ability to feel with the left side of my body.  In slowly regaining the ability to judge temperatures with my left hand, I more than once burnt myself.  When you cannot automatically see the left side of your body and lack the ability to distinguish whether the touch lands on a hot stove or a cold countertop, the kitchen can carry unrecognized dangers.  The sense of touch is still slightly decreased on my left side, the side affected by my stroke, yet I try often to rub my fingertips on denim or cotton in an attempt to see if I can again guess correctly.  With the right hand, I relish in walking through stores and rubbing fabrics. I feel like a child out on an adventure of a great learning experience.  I am half aware of what it is like to feel normal sensations.  Through the right side, I try to absorb everything that the left may be lacking.

Everyone has lost something important to them at one time or another.  Every person falters and feels lost when they recognize this special something is missing.  It becomes important then to not dwell on what we lack, rather realize the strengths that develop.  I am glad that I came to my senses.  I am glad to realize that even though you may not have sight, does not mean that you cannot have a vision.  Even though seizures stole my body at night, I still had the strength of the day.  Even though half of my body was weak and paralyzed, I was still able to lead an intense version of the “Hokey Pokey”.  After all, I excelled with putting the right side out and shaking it all about.  Remember we all lose something at times; however, when that loss has cleared away, what is remaining may turn into our newest prized possessions.

Comments on: "Coming To My Senses" (9)

  1. Magnificent, Tara. I am in awe.
    You are the best ambassador in the world for gratitude.

  2. Your ability to find the hope in life is truly a gift. And inspiring.

  3. Sarah,

    What a nice feeling to log on and see this comment! Thanks so much for stopping by. Your kind words are very much appreciated!


  4. thanks for sharing your story. keep on.

  5. You are amazing and thank you Tara for showing me so many things that I could have missed just because I have them.

    Hugs and love to you 🙂

  6. I just checked out your blog and I was encouraged by what little I read of your story. I pray that God may continue to encourage you in His love and mercies that continue despite whatever we struggle with in this present world.

  7. Tara, did you know that in the apparel industry, the way a fabric feels is called the “hand” of the fabric? It’s true. 🙂

    I also relish in the tactile sensation of many different objects; it really is the “simple” things in life that can be so very profound. I’m delighted that you have had the opportunity to experience this.

    And I was touched by the description of the hospital volunteers changing out the artwork for the long-term patients. So many “little” things people take for granted really can have a significant impact. Again, a terrific reminder.

  8. Stef,

    It is great to hear from you! I have never heard of the apparel industry referring to the feel of fabric as its “hand”. Very interesting. Makes perfect sense!

    Yes, the volunteers were amazing. What a great program!!! I benefited from it and can only imagine the number of other people that do also.

    Thanks for stopping by and taking time to leave a very nice comment. I always enjoy seeing your thoughts! 🙂


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