Green Room

When “crummy things happen”: A Thanksgiving story

posted at 9:03 am on November 25, 2010 by

What exactly does Cheryl Douglass have that has enabled her to bounce back after such a blow? Two years ago, at age 62, she contracted a sudden, severe bacterial infection which almost killed her:

Cheryl lived. But her body, in a last-ditch effort to save her vital organs, had abandoned her extremities. Her hands and feet turned purple. They would have to come off.

When she woke from a drug-induced haze two months later, she had no limbs.

“I just thought, okay, this is not what I had in mind,” Cheryl recalls. “I guess this is going to be my next profession.”

And now she’s cooking Thanksgiving dinner. And working on a cookbook for chefs with prosthetic hands. And walking and re-learning tennis and thinking about taking up running. Says Cheryl, “Crummy things happen and hardships occur and you can’t make them go away, so you just have to make the best of it.” Maybe the key is her ability to look reality in the face and accept it.

Read the rest and watch the video. I think you’ll be impressed, and perhaps a little chastened, as I was. I guess I’ll have to stop complaining about my feet hurting after a long day in the kitchen. Instead I should be grateful that I have feet, and hands. There’s so much to be thankful for. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

Cross-posted at Potluck.

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davidk on November 25, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Thanks for the reminder. It gets so easy to complain and b!tch about daily life, sometimes we need a little wake up call to remind us things aren’t that bad.

Every once in a while I get to feeling sorry for myself, sick of dropping things and being unable to do a few things thanks to this Parkinson’s and fibro crap. But I still have my hands and feet and legs and even when they’re doing weird things, I can still make use of them. I have no idea how I would handle such a situation, but I can tell you I know I wouldn’t handle it all with such grace and good will.

Thank you for this reminder that life is for living and no matter the obstacle a person CAN find joy and fulfillment if they’re willing to try.

Hugs to you and all of you at Hot Air and the conservative Universe this Thanksgiving Day. Your work makes my world more interesting and informed. You’re all on my list of “Thank you, Lord, for…”

Mad Mad Monica on November 25, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Bless her heart. Reading stories like this makes me ashamed when I complain about all my aches and pains. Thank you Pundette for this article and thank you Cheryl for your courage and helping others. God be with you.

letget on November 25, 2010 at 12:52 PM

This is an awesome story. I wish her luck!

upinak on November 25, 2010 at 1:02 PM