|Biting off more than I could chew at a Halloween festival last year.|
I obviously have a lot to be thankful for. Not that I don't do plenty of kvetching, which is one of the perks of being a member of the people who invented that ever-useful word. Whenever I complain about some minor frustration, Keith usually says something along the lines of, "Oh, I'm so not in a coma. I'm so not dying. I'm so not in a wheelchair," or something along those lines.
The truth is, until my coma, I never really thought about what I had to be thankful for during Thanksgiving. After all, I didn't believe there was a god to bless me, to hand me good fortune. It's not that I was ungrateful, it's just that I never really bothered to count my blessings.
But ever since my first Thanksgiving back from the nursing home, mere months after I returned from the brink of death, I have thought about about my blessings--and not only on Thanksgiving. They are many.
I think about all the people in my dire circumstance who weren't so lucky. I think about all the covertly aware patients who haven't been discovered or managed to wake up on their own. And I think about what might have been.
If my doctors had been right and I was profoundly brain damaged, I would've been irreparably brain damaged, a shell of my former self. That's the reality for far too many people. There but for the grace of the God I don't believe in go I.
And that's assuming I even survived. A doctor discussed with Keith what they would do when, not if, I started going into cardiac arrest. He overheard one doctor asking another if I was a candidate for lung transplant. The second doctor replied, "No, we should save it for someone who has a chance."
But I did have a chance. And so many others didn't. And tomorrow, as we sit down at the table Thursday, I will spare a thought to those in my situation who weren't so lucky. I think prayer is a waste of time because there's no one on the other end of the line to receive the call. But I will do something that's a lot more effective: I will pledge to do my best to inform the public about that the one in five consciousness disorder patients with covert cognition. And I will spare a thought to the family and friends who didn't get to see their loved ones wake up.
I have only my doctors and providence to thank for my recovery, but that is enough.