If you cannot read this post in two minutes, consult your local reading specialist.
On February 5th, I woke up at 3:55 AM in agony.
It felt as if someone had kicked me in the crotch and refused to remove the foot.
Within three hours, I was at Seton Hospital about to go undergo surgery for testicular torsion. For all of you Phi Beta Kappa’s and verbal SAT champions, you know exactly what that means – my testicles were twisted (just typing this sentence makes me grimace).
While neither I nor the doctor could explain the root cause, one thing was clear: I needed to have surgery. The clock was ticking. After six hours, I would lose blood flow in the area of my body that I treasure the most.
By 7:30 AM, I was going under for surgery, and within two hours, I was gingerly walking out of the hospital. For the next ten days, I would spend the majority of my time confined to my bed. This is what I learned:
1. No One
Should Will Value Your Time More Than You Do
My first order of business was canceling my meetings for the week. I sent a short note to my administrative associate asking her to reschedule meetings for the following week. Soon, I started to receive “end-arounds” from people trying to force me to meet with them. I typed “no” as diplomatically as I possibly could. Finally, I just started to type, “This meeting won’t happen until April. Look forward to seeing you then.” They countered with options. I typed “no” again. Finally, they stopped.
This was a valuable lesson for me. Don’t let other people force you to play cards that you don’t want to play. Take a breathe. Look at the ceiling. Keep it Moving (#KIM).
2. Get Over Yourself
At first, I wondered how the world would go on without me. Here I was, lying on my back, staring at the ceiling for hours on end. I tried to do some work, but any movement felt as if a troll was shooting electrical currents into my core. After a day, I noticed something – the world was still spinning. My students were disappointed in class cancellations (or so they typed) but they moved on. My co-workers missed me but they moved on.
3. Give Thanks
Gratitude is my word for 2016. I decided to put the word to practice as I lay motionless. Here’s the list that I came up with:
- A bed
- A ceiling fan to keep me dizzy
- An understanding wife who was willing to put up with a 37-year old whiner
- Time for a Netflix binge
- A daughter who was excited to use my recovery to hone her Doc McStuffins skills
- Spotify playlists
- Not having a TV in my bedroom
Three weeks later, I am alive and well, and gearing up to start running again. I have a 5K title to defend in a month.
But for now, I am going to take it easy and breathe in the positive vibes. I suggest you do the same.