I think about when I had Cochlear Implant surgery for my left ear in February 2022. I remember waking up from anesthesia and suddenly bursting into tears for absolutely no reason. I later found out that’s a side-effect of anesthesia. What was most memorable about that surgery wasn’t the surgery itself. I’d had the same one for my right ear back in May 2021. What sticks in my mind is how awful I felt from feeling dizzy every day after the surgery for almost a month. This was a new side-effect, that I never got from my first surgery.
I remember feeling very useless to myself. Could not work, could not walk in a straight line, or sit up without my eyes turning. I didn’t have a lot of pain from the surgery incision itself. I didn’t even get any side effects from the drugs which I completed in a week. What struck me was how meaningless everything was when I became so helpless. I could not even stand without everything in my view spinning. I remember thinking how lucky I was that I used to be able to sit up straight and even walk without feeling like I would fall.
That was another reminder about how life can be great one minute and then suck in the twinkle of an eye without warning. Of course, my first lesson on that was when I first lost my hearing in 2015. Before 2015 I wanted to be a singer. Everyone who knew me at all would hear me sing all the time. And I mean all the time. Just practicing endlessly. I used to write songs too. I remember thinking, “Err, I don’t have money to record anything now. Once I start to work I would go to the studio…blah blah blah..” Of course that never happened because I lost my hearing. Though I can listen to music now, it’s just nowhere near what my hearing used to be. I can’t even identify pitch now. If I had to go back in time, I would have done whatever I could to get myself in a studio. I’m not saying that I would have sold a record, or been a huge hit or anything. It’s not about that. It’s about doing what you wanted to do while you still had the chance to do it. Now I regret not ever even trying while I still had my hearing. Can you imagine? I never would have even guessed that I would lose the option to ever hear music in the same way again.
It’s why I can’t take anything or anyone in my life for granted ever again. It’s why I don’t waste time cutting off terrible people. It’s why when I say I want something, I go out and get it with everything I have. It’s why I don’t joke about my health. It’s also why, when I have a dream, I chase it. Every day is a gift, nothing is promised. Not tomorrow, not nothing.
When I was forced to lie down because if I didn’t, the world would spin around me, I found myself recommitting to old goals, promising myself to finish everything I started, to be my best self, to stay in touch with friends, and just continue to be a better person.
I want to make sure that if I ever find myself losing something I had in the past, my regrets would never include me taking it for granted. I don’t want to forget how quickly we can be humbled by life. How could I forget?