GO!! Really Take the Time to Smell the Flowers!!!

Posted on March 17th, 2009 by Clinically Clueless

From Southern California, “Hello, Flower Smellers!!” I know that some of you know and some do not, but I just spent about a week in the hospital for bilateral interstitial pneumonia. Translation: both lungs lining were inflamed. Bottom line: I was seriously ill and am still recovering. I had somewhat of a paradigm shift with this. I discovered that I really want to live. Not live life to the ultimate fullest, but to live life and really Smell the Flowers.

What became important wasn’t the piles in the house, cleaning, shopping (shhh), bills, etc… Those things are important. However, when it came down to it the important things they were God, my husband, my family, my friends, my church and my blogging friends. I was faced with thinking about my own mortality and I didn’t want to die. However, it wasn’t about being afraid of death as much as it was the people in my life. I am finding more and more that those connections are the important things in life. However, I do get caught up in the materialism and business of day to day life…….

It was both encouraging and heart-breaking to see who responded to my crisis and who did not. Who was supportive and who was no where to be found. Who focused on themselves and who focused on my well-being. Just another time to really see who your friends are…I’ve had lots of opportunity recently. My heart is saddened and disappointed and excited and surprised.

The little things” are important too. I missed cuddling with my husband, just his presence, my Bible, my ability to connect to others via Internet, the feel of my husband’s face, the voices of my friends, the stupid barking dog next door, the smell of chocolate and coffee, my tastebuds, good food, my bed, simply being able to breathe and not being in pain.

Also, as I lay in the hospital bed, I felt blessed to have a window so that I could see the sunrise, sunset and the flowers, to see my husband’s face everyday, to have good (not perfect) care, the nurses who talked to me with dignity and respect, those who genuinely cared and demonstrated compassion, those that supported my husband, and those that supported us with prayers and warm thoughts.

Thank you so much for your support. Just a warning that I may be sporadic as this has tired me out and I still do have pneumonia just not enough to be in the hospital. I’ve been told that it is going to be about a month to six weeks to fully recover…still on medications. I know there are different opinions out there, but I am grateful for modern medicine and glad to be home recovering. Nap time!!

For me when, it really comes down to it, the most important things are RELATIONSHIPS of all types.

What is important to you? Be honest with what and where you spend your time and energy.

23 Responses to “GO!! Really Take the Time to Smell the Flowers!!!”

  1. Jim says:

    Hi CC,

    Welcome back to GSTF and it’s quite a journey you’ve been through as your capture the essence of GO! Smell the flowers so well.

    The tag line ‘ one journey, many discoveries’ also holds true here and you’ve certainly been a shining example of that.

    An apt post after my Benjamin button one about life being too short and you’re right – relationships are key – both on and offline and one key one we all need to work on is the one with ourselves – knowing, being & loving ourselves and the rest follows, right?

    My time n energy starts and ends everyday online – I love setting posts / comments up for the day / overnight and coming back to them the next day – planting seeds, watching them grow. In between I like to connect with ‘ real’ people and here in Dubai you’ve got to dig deep through all the barriers and labels to really do this.

    So, welcome back, take plenty of time and enjoy your next 4-6 weeks of recovery so you really do smell the flowers, wherever possible!

    Thanks for keeping in touch with me from the messages your husband sent through – it was great to know you were ok….

    • Jim,

      Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I did forget the most important lesson learned/learnt which is that I also gained a wee bit more compassion for myself and increased my ability to accept help. This is key!! I too look forward to the Internet and connecting with others all across the universe, um…globe.

      My husband thanks you for your support and enjoyed bringing me little notes to make my day a little better. He is happy, but tired. It has been quite a year for the two of us.

      Thank you again,

  2. A/C says:

    So glad your back safe and almost sound again girl, have missed you.. :) *HUGS*

    What a journey you are on at the moment huge changes..

    Hmmm your question is one which every person should think long and hard about, it is the fundamental thread that binds all of us together…
    The way I see it if I one day to live and new it what would I do,
    The answer is

    Gather my family and friends together and have a heck of a party because when it comes down to it we are here for and because of our families, our friends become part of our extended family and we all just want to have a good time … well I do anyways…

    Glad you decided to hang around the place and brighten our day mate..

    • AC,

      Thank you! I missed you too. Yup, friends and family…and dogs!!! I’m not going anywhere…unless Jim says differently! Glad to be back on a limited basis. “YAWN!” Thank you so much for your encouragement and support.


  3. Hilary says:

    Hi CC and Jim .. it’s so good to know that you’ve developed this understanding of each other and CC’s family .. that’s what I like too .. people are really kind and I’ve developed some really good friendships over the net .. yes I have my friends, actually around the world, as I’m single and have lived abroad .. so don’t have a home network as such – people in other areas of the UK. It’s the caring and sharing .. an American youngster 21 was in the Acute Brain Injury Unit when my mother (88 & 3 strokes later) was there .. & we communicate quite regularly – despite the age difference .. she and her mother just have that rapport with my mother & I. There are others I’ve never met .. but feel I know .. and it is so refreshing to have that support. I too am grateful for the positive FB notes & posts.

    Sadly I don’t have the same relationship with my family .. and it’s not easy .. I’m certain I’m wrong in some areas .. but mostly right in the care of my mother and ensuring that as much as possible she can still laugh and enjoy her last days .. though that’s been sorely tested recently by the Home .. in two respects. But I don’t want to dwell on that .. enough of my emotional strength has to be free to cope with it.

    My mother has amazing strength and spunk – it’s the only way I can describe it … she’s still so knowledgeable – coming up with words such as Emanuensis and subhirtella & remembering the names of flowers, or shrubs if I bring in some from my uncle’s garden .. do you know their meaning. I didn’t know either .. & she’s right!! & could spell them for me! So my family’s inability to communicate with her really distresses me .. but there’s nothing I can do about that – except provide her with the best.

    I’ve brought in a lady who does amazing things with my Ma & can help spiritually, brings her qualifications in alternative health to bear .. butterfly massage, reiki – to help with the hiccups Mum sometimes gets with the PEG feed and as she qualified as a nurse and spent time in the States we can both monitor what’s happening .. my mother thinks Janice is wonderful .. and always asks when she’s next visiting … Janice has been with us for 16 months now!! and is now visiting 5 times a week .. when I had a week recently over the States – Janice went in every day .. the family didn’t!!

    Good luck CC with a full recovery .. it’ll be wonderful being home with the family and your husband, and just slowly improving .. just take it slowly & get lots of rest .. then we’ll have you back full time in the summer ..

    Thanks for the post .. it always helps me to rationalise my thoughts …
    Hilary: Be Positive Be Happy

    • Hilary,

      Thank you so much for sharing so personally. It sounds like you really have a lot of emotional things going on. One of the many things that I have difficulty with is that emotional strength isn’t “holding it together,” but rather letting one’s emotions go by crying or being angry. Tension builds and will come out in other ways, but this is a healthy way…just cry. Thank God for Janice…good caregivers are hard to find.

      Welcome to Flowers…at least, I think you are new to me. My memory is a bit foggy…Southern California fog, not London fog! :-)

      Take care and I wish you the best. Thank you for wishes for a full recovery. Luckily the type of pneumonia I had usually does not leave any lasting damage if treated well.

      Happy Day,

      • Hilary says:

        Hi CC .. I’ve been around before you changed the site .. but not that active .. & am just gearing myself to be active on a few blogs and develop the knowledge of the net and marketing etc

        Just appreciate your comments .. fortunately I’m fine .. & I do ‘rant & rave’ occasionally .. but I have to just be ‘in the now’ I think it’s called – as I need to keep myself together for my Ma.

        The most important thing is .. you take your time to recover completely – the body knows what it wants .. just listen to it!!

        Look after yourself .. you’re in the sunshine state – so I guess you’ll get good weather to take it easy in .. let others do things for you .. for a while at least!!

        All the very best .. Hilary: Be Positive Be Happy

        • Thanks Hilary,

          Being in Southern California is great…nice, warm and sunny yesterday. Ironic thing is that the evening that I went to the emergency room it was raining!!! I never do anything easy. Loved your comments.


  4. Kathleen says:

    Welcome back. It is interesting that being near death helps us live more fully. So many people find renewed vigor from physical adversity. Perhaps some people were “nowhere to be found’ because your illness was uncomfortable for them. I try to spend my own time and energy in the moment – it isn’t always easy, but I”m with you – there is much more to life than worrying about bills and keeping the house clean. In fact, one day I’m going to get my clothes put away from the last three laundry cycles. Do rest, and keep us posted on your progress.

    • Thank you Kathleen,

      It is good to be back at a slow pace. I still get tired and my stamina is lousy, but I’m getting better each day. Yes, it is interesting that being near death helps us live more fully. I actually think that my paradigm shift was bigger that I want to admit.

      In terms of the “no where to be found,” unfortunately, these have been relationships that I have been avoiding dealing with the reality of what really isn’t there. So, it is helping me to see them in clearer view, sadness and letting go of my “fantasy.”

      Laundry…never ends. I still haven’t unpacked from my hospitalization from January/February…oh well, at least, I have clean clothes and underwear!!! :-)

      Take care,

  5. Ange Recchia says:

    Hi CC… you were in my thoughts when Jim announced you had been hospitalized. Glad to hear you are back home. My mother-in-law had pneumonia last year and I know it takes all your energy to try and stay upright for a short while. Rest up and get your strength back.

    I believe you can’t be completely happy if you’re alone. Life would be empty so relationships are a priority. I don’t always put family first however, they can forgive and bribes work well… especially for children. Sometimes you just have to be selfish as you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

    Be happy and get well soon while you enjoy smelling the flowers :)

    • Ange,

      Thank you! Sorry about your mother-in-law, but glad that she recovered. I just need to learn to let my body tell me what I need. I feel a little better, then I think I can do more and end up overdoing it. No, you can’t please everyone all the time. I’m learning that more and more. “Selfish?” I think, more in terms of setting boundaries and taking care of myself which may appear selfish to others when in fact it is the most healthy thing that we can do for ourselves and others.

      Off to smell more flowers,

  6. Purple13 says:

    Welcome back CC and if I missed a post/reply whilst you were in hospital – then I can only apologise.

    Anyway’s, its nice to have ones family around you especially when you’re poorly and thank gawd the hospitals now seem to realise this and are more relaxed about visiting hours than they used to be.

    Keep well – suggest keeping your vest on till end of May.

    • Thank you Purple 13.

      No worries about missing the post. I appreciate the thoughts now. Even though, I’m not in the hospital, I still have pneumonia and am recovering. I just don’t need hospital care. Yes, the vest may stay on all year!! :-)

      Good to hear from you,

  7. Emma says:

    Hi CC,

    Welcome back and glad to know that you are on the mend. The site is never quite the same without you!

    I spend most of my time and energy with people in all sorts of situations and know that if I am having a bad day then connection with people is the one thing that will pull me through. Can’t be without it.

    Speedy recovery CC

    • Emma,

      Oh, thank you…so very kind. It is both Biblical and scientific that people require a community of connection to live and thrive. Trying to take care of me for the speedy recovery. Thank you!!


  8. Melinda says:


    I’m so sorry to hear you have been ill! And of course, I am so glad to hear you are recovering after such a terrible scare. I do know what it’s like to be faced with death head on and to come through it–I know it gave the same feeling of gratitude you describe.

    I had been wondering what was going on since we haven’t heard too much from you. I guess I figured you needed a break from it all.

    Welcome back!


    • Melinda,

      You have faced death head on and won. Thanks you. I thought that my husband sent you an update. Sorry, you were intended to be notified.


      • Melinda says:

        No–I surely didn’t hear you were ill or I would have sent you my best wishes, a card, or flowers for sure. But not to blame your hubby–he’s had a lot on his mind with you being ill also. It’s very hard on our loved ones when we are ill, I know that for sure.

        I’m so glad to see you back here–but make sure you take it very easy! I had pneumonia once myself and it is possible to relapse if you take things too quickly, so let others baby you and you just take care of you! :)

        Welcome home, again, CC!


  9. Melinda,

    Thank you! Gee, I can’t understand why I didn’t catch all the details with the pneumonia and 102.7 with ice packs. :-) A card would have been nice…now, I have something to imagine. :-)


  10. Robin says:

    can you please tell me what the purple plant is at the top of your blog? Love it and wnat to plant in my flower beds. Thanks so much

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