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Edition 401 – Blessed

It’d been a long day in a client meeting. An early start combined with a late afternoon finish consisted of a lot of talking, advice and guidance. It was a very productive day,  much like the ones where you feel you’ve made an impact in someone’s life and their business.

I hopped into the car at the end of the day to head into the City. I was overnighting there to attend a full day training session the next day. A night’s stay would beat the almost 2 hour journey home, only to be up again before the sun rose to head back into the centre of the Emerald City. As I usually do, I phoned Trish at the start of my journey to check in.

“I didn’t want to worry you, but when I saw the doctor today, he told me that he wants me in for surgery next week”. Whilst my wife has a soft, compassionate way of speaking, the words hit me like a brick. It was a bolt completely out of nowhere.

12 month ago, Trish was diagnosed with Glaucoma. For five years, she’s been in the care of an Ophthalmologist who has been monitoring the pressures in her eyes. Then, in the third quarter of 2022, his (and our) worst fears were realised and a twice daily regime of medication commenced.

A couple of months after the diagnosis, he divulged that Trish had developed cataracts and that within five years, she’d need surgery. It was a second bolt, but at least it was a few years down the track. Or, so we thought.

As they’ve strived to bring the Glaucoma under control, the dosage of the medication has changed at almost each of her regular visits. “Strived” turned to “struggling” to the point where the Ophthalmologist made the call to operate on the cataracts early. His theory – it’ll take the pressure off Trish’s eyes, thus making the Glaucoma somewhat easier to manage.

So, on a Tuesday morning a couple of weeks back, the first operation took place. It was an early start, which we’re both fond of – best to get things out of the way early. All up, Trish was in and out in a little over two hours, quite incredible when you think that over 30 years ago, I remember my paternal grandmother recovering in hospital for a couple of days after her cataract surgery.

As the nurse opened the door to discharge Trish, I was shocked. She looked pale and drawn, with an enormous bandage across half her face. I’m always weak at the knees when it comes to medical things. This was no exception and, for a moment, I could feel the colour drain from my own face.

A couple of days of caring for her, making sure she’s comfortable, fed and watered transpired. This was the part of the vows we exchanged 31 years ago that addressed the “in sickness and in health” part. Trish isn’t a sickly person, so just how unwell she looked had me on the back foot, mentally, all day. She seemed so vulnerable and in need of care, when I’ve always assumed neither of the former and merely come to expect little of the latter, from a health perspective, for each of us.

We’re blessed to have good health at this stage of our lives. There’s a few little maintenance issues for each of us. However, compared to most others, we’re very fortunate. Blessed is definitely the right word. May that continue for as long as is possible, so we may continue creating our life together, as it ventures forth.

This Week’s Tip

“How blessed are we to live in an age where health care is so advanced, and to live in a country where it is so accessible?”