amber rahim

Chronic illness: the parts we don't talk about

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Gratitude: it always has a place in your life

Just when one doctor shakes your faith in the profession, another will remind you why you put your trust in doctors.

In the Great Mickey Change Challenge, we have had a lot of set backs, with each event adding to the trauma.

But on Friday, something different happened. Using a combination of a nose spray and laughing gas, we put F to sleep and the mickey got changed.

I could talk about how her blood pressure dropped so low that we couldn’t wake her for 2 hours.

I could talk about how her heart rate dropped to 50 bpm and we had to place an IV to get her salt up.

I could describe how exhausted and worn out she looked as she stepped into the car.

But today is not that day.

Today is a day of gratitude. I’m grateful that the mickey button finally got changed after 6 months, 4 months after it was due.

I’m grateful that the doctor was kind, thoughtful and treated her like a person.

I’m grateful that they saw her flip from sweet angel to angry terrified monster when she woke and saw the IV in her arm (so now they have seen for themselves why the gas is necessary).

I’m grateful that J took her to this appointment instead of me. After my appointment on Thursday with a really stupid doctor, I couldn’t face it.

But most of all, I am grateful that F has finally had a mickey change experience that was not traumatic, frightening or painful.

I’m not sure how long we will need to keep using the laughing gas and the spray, but knowing a timeline doesn’t actually help. What I do know is this: finally we have found a way to make a very necessary procedure easier for F. We are not adding to the trauma any more, we are gently and ever so slowly, showing her that it doesn’t need to hurt. She doesn’t need to be afraid. Not of this.

Gratitude always has a place in your life


My own Oscars thank you speech

I would like to thank

In Oct 2012 I started my journey of changing my life so that I could do the work I want: supporting others to discover and develop their intrinsic strengths and to live a lighter life, unburdened. A major milestone in this journey has just been reached with my submission yesterday of my written exam for my certification as a Professional Co-Active Coach. I would like to take a moment to thank the people who made it possible.

To F.

From before you were born and they unceremoniously pushed your feet back in and told you “you’re not coming out that way” (ok, maybe that was only unpleasant for me), with your cesarean birth 10 weeks early you have learned that new experiences are painful. You almost dehydrated to death and they spent the first 24 hours poking you with needles, trying to get IVs into your teeny tiny veins and pumping 3 times your body weight in fluids into you to keep you alive.

Even every gentle touch on your preemie skin was unbearable because it wasn’t ready for touch yet (so they asked me not to stroke your cheek). Every day brought more needles, more medical procedures.

Cuddly toys were intriguing but you were punished for your curiosity because touching them would make you shudder, sometimes even vomit.

So many experiences were unpleasant or painful. Yet you still try. You are cautious yet you amaze me with your ability to actually try new things and you blow me away when you jump in with enthusiasm and belief that this new thing could be good.

To S.

No matter how many times you fall you get back up and go again, smiling, full of energy and determination.  Everyone around you can already do these things but that does not dishearten you, that they are better than you. You want to be good too so you keep practising until you get it right, growing each day in your ability to adapt your plans when they don’t work and try a new way to reach your goal. Such determination.

I thank you both for showing me the way:

Dare to try something new, even if experience has taught you that new things aren’t always good.

Keep trying until you succeed.

Above all, do it with grace and laughter. Enjoy it.

To J.

You always believed in me and never faltered in your faith that I could do this. You took up some of my burdens, without me even asking, without fuss, so that I could focus. You listened to my frequent self doubts without rolling your eyes in frustration or disdain (ok, sometimes you did that but only after I had tested your patience to the max).

You put aside your own goals to support mine, yet still managed to find time to actually pursue your goals.  How you managed to do all that I will never know but I thank you for it.

To my clients and fellow certification colleagues

You gave me your trust and let me practice and hone my craft on you. You showed me what is possible when you step into your life with fierce courage.

You have all shown me what happens when you give yourself permission to be yourself, to pursue what you really want and when you realize the strengths that you already have: