Many Trails
January 30, 2014
by Adrien F. Taylor
Jan 30, 2014 | 913 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It came January and the official end of the holiday season, and I was just pooped. Since I had really done very little special for the season, there was no reason for me to be this tired. Then, a couple of weeks into the month, I went to bed one night with a sore shoulder and some pain in the right side of my chest. “Must have lifted something the wrong way,” I thought. “It’ll be fine in the morning.”

My life has mostly been that way. If something felt wrong, a good night’s sleep generally put things to rights. There are two outstanding exceptions. Well, three, really, but having chicken pox (or was it mumps?) as an elementary school pupil really didn’t count.

The first exception was in 1957 when I was a freshman at the University of Utah. That was a bad flu year. And I had the flu bad. Not bad enough for a hospital, but as we said in our youth: “First I was afraid I was going to die. Then it got worse, and I was afraid I wouldn’t.” I think that took a couple of weeks out of my first quarter as a college coed. My roommates were my older sister, Ariel, and my cousin, Janet. I can’t recall whether either of them had the flu.

My right ankle, broken when twisted over the edge of a sidewalk at BYU while we were there rooting for the Utes, doesn’t count either. Having to deal with crutches and school books was the big challenge. Backpacks hadn’t been invented for college students yet. I’ll never forget the relief of running a ruler down inside the cast to alleviate the itching, nor getting the cast off and seeing my shrunken leg.

The time that really does count was when I had a stroke several years ago. It was Halloween afternoon, for pity sakes. The minute the stroke started I knew what was happening to me and took two aspirin. That may have saved my life.

The thing I remember most was waking up in the morning those first few days after my stroke and being both surprised and utterly disappointed that I wasn’t all better, as had usually been the case in the past. It was at St. Mary’s Hospital that I learned to talk, walk, write and take care of myself again, and these were formidable tasks.

Back to the present, I have learned that I had (and still have probably) blood clots in my right lung. I don’t have any more pain, but I am taking blood-thinning medicine (coumadin) to help melt them away. I continue with my beloved spinning and knitting, and since some folks are either bragging or complaining that their daffodils are starting to come up, can spring be far away?

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