PAIN: Would my life ever be normal again?

Written by Krystal Zellmer


After being transferred out of the ICU into the pulmonary ward and hanging there for a night, they had finally told me I was going to be released that day. I was ready. to. go. Bags packed, wearing my own clothes, I could not have been more antsy to get out of there. I wanted to get back to my new baby, the rest of my family, my real life.

The doctors walked in and said I was all set and wanted to know if I had any questions. After we got through all of the “so when do I take this medicine?” and “what sort of follow up appointments do I need?” type of questions, I had to get the answer to one more.


“Can I walk home?”


Silence. Head tilts of confusion. Awkward laughter.


“Are you serious?” they asked.


I guess they don’t get asked that very often. I wanted to walk home after just having been in the ICU for a pulmonary embolism, because I could. I was blessed in the fact that I could walk and I wanted to leverage what I was now seeing as a privilege.


I mean, it was just 3/4 of a mile, not a marathon. I walked to the hospital when I was in labor with my first son. I walked most of the way home just a few days earlier after having my second baby. I wanted to feel the sun on my skin. I wanted to be re-integrated into the energy of the city. I wanted to breathe in that city air. I wanted to feel normal.


LESSON: If you can, why wouldn’t you? It’s a privilege, not a birthright.



I walked home that day and realized something important: every day, every moment, we have a choice. It’s our choice if we dwell on what we can’t do. It’s our choice if we focus our energy and emotions onto what’s going wrong.


Or, we choose joy. We choose to take the next step to something beautiful. We choose to see the things around us as blessings and privileges rather than inconveniences and burdens.


It’s all a choice in perspective.


OPPORTUNITY: Make a list of 3-5 things you avoid doing because you have a “good reason” not to do them. Examples like, working out or calling your family. Now, write them out as a something you GET to do, flipping it from burden to blessing. Why are you grateful you get to do those things? When are you going to take action on them?

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