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Jim Simpson

Jim SimpsonMy Choice and Chance

I’ve never met the individual, “Author Unknown”, but there are certainly a lot of profound statements from this person. One I recently came across was particularly applicable to me:

“When something bad happens you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.”

My story begins on May 26th, 2015 but I wouldn’t really call it a bad occurrence since it was the blood clot in my leg that got me to the hospital. There, during the tests to remedy the clot, it was discovered I had a descending upper aorta dissection which in layman’s terms meant a critical heart problem that needed immediate open heart surgery. I’ve been told that these aneurisms are usually fatal if not discovered before they rupture. Along with the surgeries came a blood compartmentalization issue that led to the removal of my leg. Following the initial weeks in two hospitals, I spent several months undergoing cardiac rehabilitation which was then followed by advanced rehab at TRISL, gait training, and outpatient therapy.

I’ve not looked at these events as “bad” since they are now facts, the milk is already spilt and how, and what I choose to do, is up to me. My choice is for strength since I can’t go back and reverse what happened and if I let my amputation lead to a definition of myself, I’ve only partly revealed who and what I am. I also came across this saying by Ken Keyes:

“To be upset over what you don’t have is to waste what you do have.”

While I no longer have my leg, I’ve realized I continue to have my faith, my family, and my friends. I’ve also been given the wake-up call reminding me that tomorrow is not guaranteed and it can be end in an instant. So I choose to gather strength from what I have, to have and share a positive attitude, to be grateful for my many blessings, and to celebrate the life I have today.

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