Second chances

You don't have to come back from the dead to have a second chance at life, but that's exactly what happened to my mom a week ago.

My mom had a heart attack and then went into cardiac arrest, was worked on for several minutes (we don't know how long yet, but the estimate is 15) by EMTs and was pronounced dead at the ER. Miraculously, she started breathing on her own and revived.

At the age of 69, this is amazing enough, but today she is being released from the hospital into a skilled nursing facility for rehab. During her ordeal over the past week she experienced some damage to her lungs, small fractures to her sternum from CPR, breathing on a ventilator, and an infection which made her confused and disoriented for several days.

But the doctors believe that, in about a week, her lungs will be healed, her pain will lessen, and she will be able to benefit from the physical and occupational therapy she'll receive in rehab. She should soon be standing and walking on her own again, and back living the independent life she was living before.

Last month, I wrote about my own experience being in a car accident that changed my life in many ways. But I can only guess at how facing death changes one's life.

Have you been given a second chance at life by facing your own death? Maybe you haven't, but that's no reason not to reassess your life anyway.

How's your diet? Do you exercise? Do you get enough sleep? Are you happy in your relationships, in your job, where you live? Is there something about your life that you would like to change, but haven't been motivated?

"Life is short," as people say. Too short not to live the life you want to live. You don't have to face death to give yourself a second chance. Or a third or fourth, for that matter.

As long as you're alive, you have the option to make your life what you want it to be. Will you?


Linda Menesez said...

Great blog entry, Lisa! Your family and your mom have surely been blessed to have a second chance together. I so believe in the empowering effect of recognizing our choices! I work with my clients on this all the time. We can change our choices, and therefore change our lives. It's up to us.

Be well,

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thank you for your comment, Linda. Life is all about learning!

Cate Colgan said...

Wow, she's only 69! -

the comment about her having "an infrection which made her confused and disoriented" struck home with me - sometimes "infections" can be our choice of friends or unhealthy habits we continue to culture - they too can make us confused and disoriented! - Choose to change - I do :}

Did your Mom share any changes with your family that she wants to make?

Thanks Lisa for sharing your personal life with us. Peace, Cate

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Great analogy, Cate!

I haven't talked to my mom about any of this yet. She's not really able to hold long conversations yet, due to the oxygen issue and just being exhausted from the whole ordeal. But I'm looking forward to asking her!