Out of the Blue

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I am honored to have a guest blogger this week. Author, speaker, performer and my wife, Sheila Collins had a unique resilience experience that she’s offered to share with this community.

People, especially health care professionals often comment on my unusual good health, for someone my age. My answer, “I do what I can do but I know we are healthy until we are not.” This mindset has helped me to never take for granted my good health, to keep up my exercising and eating programs and to appreciate the benefits being healthy.

But these past 16 days, my husband Richard and I have had the opportunity to actually live this truth.

A headache that began with what I thought was sinus congestion and intermittent shooting pains in my skull developed into head pains that moved from ears to teeth to eyes and jaw. Hot showers, cool compresses and Advil gave me intermittent relief enough to sleep and do some activities of daily living. But when the pain broke through it was excruciating. We visited the dentist, the pharmacist, the emergency care center, the ear doctor, (who ordered two MRIs) but still no answers.

The case got solved when a family member suggested we see a headache specialist and through some good fortune with a professional colleague and friend, we were able to secure an immediate appointment. The headache specialist had a hunch about the diagnosis and sent us directly to the ER where a thorough assessment led to an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Speed was of the essence as any possible delay in our taking action could have led to serious consequences like blindness.

As I know from facing other health challenges in family members, and as I wrote about it in my own book on resilience, “Warrior Mother,” the challenge doesn’t just happen to one person. Those who love and care for us experience a serious challenge too. “Having a network of social support to rely on” is how they talk about it in the resilience world. But I like the way the Beatle’s sing it, “We get by with a little help from our friends.” We definitely got by with a lot of help from our friends.

Check in with your peeps and make sure those bonds are strong.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2017

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