Arriving home I felt pretty average in my kidneys, a common feeling post air travel for me over the past few years. I had some pain and although it eased on Tuesday by Wed morning instead of turning left to IKEA with my wife after existing the highway I said I think we need to turn towards the Logan hospital instead. I'm sure she thought for a second that her husband had never stopped this low to avoid IKEA.....this was new!!
Thankfully the hospital was only minutes away and within maybe 15mins I was under the spell of that magnificent drug called morphine and pain free! What a stroke of good fortune that I was right near the hospital as anymore than that amount of time in kidney stone pain makes you seriously question "how can you survive this?"
I was incredibly blessed to have amazing people looking after me that day and an incredible desire to help their patient and have his "best case scenario" play out. I was transferred to another hospital that night in order to give me a chance of making my Sunday flight to Japan for stage 3 of q school for the 2016 season. The hope was that I would somehow fit into their busy theatre schedule the next day and that the stone would be removed allowing me to travel. The worst case was that they wouldn't be able to get it and that a stent would have to be inserted again. I seriously struggle when those things are in my body so my prayer was definitely against that although it would have allowed me to travel and attempt q school.
The opening in their schedule arrived and before long I was lying on a table waiting to be pushed into theatre. It is an uneasy time, you know in a matter of minutes there will be a loss of consciousness and you will be completely helpless about what is happening to you. I think in life where we all kind of like to be in control of our lives and where we are headed, this moment seems to be one of a number of emotions, fear, uncertainty, trust, distrust, hope and faith just to name a few.
It is still to me one of the most unexplainable things I have experienced in my life, being awake and "with it" one moment and then waking and feeling totally "out of it" the next but having had minutes or hours pass in between those moments. For a big dreamer when I sleep, I don't believe I have ever dreamt under a general anaesthetic. Weird, I think, why don't you dream, what is actually happening to you during that time of unconsciousness. The good news was that when the Doctor came to see me some time later that afternoon he told me the good news that the op had gone as well as could be expected, got the stone, no stent, off to Japan you go!
The days that followed told a different story of what life's about. I was recovering from the operation, slowly, but whilst that was happening I had a Friday I was looking forward to and a Saturday with my family to enjoy before heading to Japan hopefully on Sunday. Friday was "Pool day!" It was a day we had been dreaming about all year when the seed of putting a pool in was planted by my visionary wife! She had a dream and a vision for it and took some serious convincing and budgeting to sell me across the line. 4 months on from the day they first dug into our yard and many ups and downs along the way, we were at the day where we could finally open the pool! The kids were at school but Rach and I prepared for their return and hoped to see faces of true joy when we told them they were allowed in. The pool had just been filled and was no doubt cold but we were backing the well known fact that "kids don't have a thermostat" and that they would dive in with gusto! We weren't disappointed and in that moment all the pain and frustration during this project seemed to melt away and was replaced by images and sounds that will remain with me forever. It was the look on Rachy's face too that meant a lot to me. She is my rock and incredible support for the work I do and this project was designed to make her life so much easier and better too, I have no doubt it will!!
Saturday was great too, hanging with the fam, the kids swimming and then we headed south to the Gold Coast to hang at the beach before heading to a friends 50th. The beach and surf weren't perfect, still a little cold but the waves were magic and the joy I have in being out there in the water and teaching, guiding and protecting my son in the waves brings me real joy and satisfaction. I love all my kids dearly and those moments I cherish. To see him take off on waves beyond his talent is both exciting and breathtaking, will he make it or will the power of the waves win the battle...! Awesome.
At night we went to a party for a friend who lives down the Gold Coast. Our kids used to go to school together before they moved south but we have stayed in touch. You know in your life you meet hundreds, thousands of people. Some pass you by and others leave a lasting impression on you. This guy and his family have done that for us. He is an incredible person that I find inspiring, humble and someone to both look up to and learn from. It's the quality people you come across, you know those that no matter how much time passes between catching up you just simply pick up where you left off. What a cracking way to end the week before I jet off to Japan. Catching up with quality people that inspire you to reach, stretch yourself and simply yearn for more joy in your life. To live each day pushing hard so that hopefully your marriage is better, you're a better dad, a better family man, a better friend and a better person in society and the community and world we live in. Can I make a difference in my world and the world. I believe it's possible, I believe I can be better and make the lives around me better. These people have challenged that and inspired me to keep pushing. What a blessing to have great people in my life, I have so many and only hope I can be that person in the lives of others too.
I encourage you to push, to make a difference in someone's life today, tomorrow and the next. Living for others is rewarding, so rewarding and I thank God for the opportunities he gives me to do that. I'm not done yet, in fact I feel like I'm only scratching the surface, I only hope I can improve at this thing called life!