“Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count.” -Unknown

Isn’t it just the way that when you think you have planned for everything, accommodated your health in all forseeable ways, something changes your best-laid plans?

This December, I did my best to make sure my life was as balanced as possible as I wanted to maximize my ability to enjoy the season and keep active. I kept my workload (while high) manageable by setting boundaries and “rules” regarding my cellphone, email, and travel. I planned very carefully around a late December business trip to Ottawa-Gatineau, fully determined to ensure maximum health accommodation so that there would be minimal health fall-out. I used my cane in the airports as docs suggested, exercised at the hotel every evening (cardio then yoga) and took the mornings a bit slower before my meetings, ensuring maximum stress management. I made sure my holiday prep and shopping was done slowly over the course of December. I ensured minimal commitment to functions in order to give my health the play it might need. But even so, by Boxing Day, I found myself pretty well bed-ridden, dealing with some of the worst days of “brain bursts of sensation and light” and spinning vertigo in a long time.

So – what happened? Well, for one thing, turbulence happened. Turbulence in the air, specifically. I am rapidly discovering that flying during winter months can throw a significant wrench into things for me. I don’t really know if it is as a result of the severe concussion damage I still have from my first seizure episode a few years age, or from the temporal lobe (same one) lesion/tumour which triggers my seizures, or if it simply a matter of medication and/or menopause that just does not function well in a pressurized cabin with turbulence. Or – was it a case of seizures trying to happen, but meds not letting it? I dunno…No matter what the cause – it blind-sided me and changed my plans.

My plans to come home from my business in Ottawa and write a personal pre-holiday season blog were blown away – replaced by a foggy and slightly woozy brain. My plans to do yoga and get some extra cardio in so I could indulge were blown away – replaced by the need to ensure my own personal safety by not jumping on a moving treadmill nor moving my body into yoga positions that put my balance and spinal safety at risk. (Even simply moving forward at a rate faster than a tortoise sends my brain spinning!)

After a sufficient period of self-pity, where I whined and bemoaned my plight of being, for all intents and purposes, physically immobilized by my brain, I flipped into my usually optimism and looked at it for what it was – another learning opportunity.

I learned that winter air travel can really sucker-punch my brain by making things a bit woozy and “squishy” in there. I learned that sometimes it can be a blessing to lie in bed with a TV remote and watch Discovery Channel marathons, or Ancient Aliens, or other fun things. I learned that deadlines can be missed and the world keeps on trucking. And I learned that I really hate being foggy and dizzy! (Well, I already knew that one.)

I learned that the best laid plans can go awry, no matter how well laid out, but that the world continues to move forward, and it usually all turns out just fine.

Happy Holidays!

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.  ~Peg Bracken