Second Chances

Imagine if we were all blessed with nine live?  Nine opportunities to repaint a new canvas.  Imagine the possibility knowing what we could ‘correct’ from the last life.  The reality is however much we look after ourselves or how well we live, ultimately death is inevitable.  The book has to end somewhere and no pill, meal, book or thing will change that.  I personally feel that when we accept death is one day inevitable, we live each day as gifted with the best purpose and intent possible. 
But what about those who stare death in the eyes, yet wake with another chance to continue living?  

We all know someone who has experienced it at some point or maybe you have yourself.  That experience where the fear comes over you wondering if that breath you took could be your last, that anxiety of knowing deep down that your book hasn’t been written.  But then upon coming back, there’s a renewed sense of gratitude for the precious life you continue to live.  Everyone has their interpretation of what near death is, but whatever capacity it comes in, it’s just that: an experience of death and resurrection or shaving the line towards it.

To put context to what I want to discuss in this blog, I want to recount my own near-death story:

Back in January 2010, I went into natural labour with my daughter Tayla.  Everything was going fantastic and was right on track for a natural delivery.  There were some complications with the second stage of labour so I had to have an emergency cesar.  Unfortunately, it was a complicated process due to where Tayla sat so I required a transfusion afterwards amongst other things.  Recovery-wise, I felt great…. Tayla was healthy and happy and I was discharged a couple of days later. 
The day Tayla as born.
My condition deteriorated a week later.
Within two days of being home, I deteriorated quite quickly.  I struggled to eat and drink, could barely walk and was in an incredible amount of pain throughout my body (more pain than my labour).  I went into emergency and they gave me antibiotics and sent me home.  A week after Tayla’s birth, my mum and sister took me to the doctor for the routine check-up.  By this stage, I was pale and could barely walk 500 meters without assistance.  I hadn’t eaten in a couple of days because I physically couldn’t even chew.  I was sent home and told to go to the hospital if I wasn’t better by the weekend (long story).

Mum dropped me home and Tayla fell asleep in the porta cot while I slept on the couch.  A couple of hours later I awoke to Tayla’s feed cry and proceeded to feed her.  As she was feeding, I could feel a trickling.  Oblivious to it, thinking it was the typical post birth stuff, I casually looked down.  To my complete shock, I found I was heavily hemorrhaging all over the floor.  In a state of panic, I placed Tayla in the cot and called the ambulance.  I want to note my great fortune that I lived right around the corner from the ambulance so they got to my place super quick.  And mind you during the stage, the bleeding DID NOT STOP.  I genuinely thought I was going to bleed to death at home.  I remember being in the ambulance and the paramedic trying to keep me calm as I started to go into shock (for the record Tayla was with another paramedic in an ambulance car – I could never thank them enough for the wonderful work they did that day.) 

My last recollection was lying in the chopper emergency room as all the wards were full and about six doctors (including residents) trying to fit me with a canular.  I had bled so much and was so heavily dehydrated from being sick that they struggled to find veins.  They were even trying for between toes (I still have a needle scar on my arm).  I passed out and then woke in the maternity ward.  It took me almost a month for my body and a few years for my mentality to fully recover from that ordeal.

I am not after sympathy and I have since moved on.  This post is NOT about that, it’s more about using personal context to make a point.  But I will still to this day, never forget the experience that forced me to evaluate the direction of my life and consider the purpose I had.  This experience reminded me that I wasn’t done yet and I desperately needed to get off my ass and do something about it.  When I thought my book was closed, it was reopened and I was given a second chance to keep writing it.  And mind you, I didn’t just get to this point over night.  Like any other person who has experienced near-death, it’s a journey of experiences to truly get to a point of healing and acceptance. 

Most recent photo.  One of the two
great gifts I received from this experience.
What did this experience do for me?  It gave me a second chance to make my story better.  To become a hero in my own story.  To evaluate my journey and figure out that I was going nowhere fast.  That there was more to my life than just sitting on the couch, cooking, cleaning, being a ‘taxi’ at parties and fixing house damage from a party the night before.  It forced me to seek something higher and bigger than myself.  I was one of the lucky ones that got to live through the experience and now get to truly LIVE a life bigger and better than I could ever dream of. 

Not every second chance works like this, nor does every individual respond like this.  But can I encourage you today that when life grants you a second chance (or multiple chances) that it’s a sign you’re not done yet.  There’s something more for you out there.  You are yet to write the most brilliant part of your story.  So stop wallowing in pity and letting life drag you through the ground.  Get up, grab a pen and start creating the best darn personal story you could ever write.


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