Thank God Its My Birthday!

Thank God Its My Birthday!

When we are confronted with a situation over which we have no control, we are challenged to change ourselves…….. to be able to see beauty everywhere.

1st Of February 2017
{Countdown to my birthday}

I have always looked forward to my birthday and celebrating it in the most fulfilling way.
So you can imagine the blow I felt in my heart when I realised that I might be spending my 31st year in the hospital. I started embracing the reality of this when it didn’t seem like I will be getting discharged.
But trust my subconscious to start poking through – I will whine to anyone willing to listen about how I feared the reality of it truly happening.

The common response that followed was, “sigh. I really hope you get discharged before the 18th. It won’t be funny if you have to spend your birthday there.”

Like our constant hope will always yield to a glorious shift!

To be honest, there’s a tiny relief that comes from wallowing in a well of issues that troubles the mind. It even gets better when we find those that are willing to give their ears and emotions – it’s not really satisfying, but its a temporary fix.

It’s my birthday on the 18th and I really hope I get discharged before then.”

I flooded every doctor that came on rounds with this unsolicited information.
I’m not sure what I needed them to do about it, but it felt like a good excuse to be discharged before that day.

But to be very  honest, I was almost loosing my mind from lack of sleep. When all my ward—mates were asleep, I will study how each of them slept, all aged women, and hysterically laugh at my misery—then I will cry with the remaining energy I had, and pass out.
I desperately needed a break. The constant lack of sleep started to have a grave effect on my mental and emotional state, and my doctors attention was brought to this.

Going home was the only safe option.

I believed lines had fallen for me on the 11th of February, my doctors gave me an option of consenting to a discharge, to continue further investigation and monitoring as an outpatient.
I got discharged, and excitedly called home to be taken home. After 2 horrific and short lived nights at home, I was driven back to the hospital for a followup appointment on the 13th, leading to a readmission.

I had no time or mental capacity to process all that had been happened in the past few days,  talk less of anticipating my birthday celebration. The readmission meant more invasive tests the following day: from a bone marrow removal on the 14th, to a Magnetic Retrograde Pancreatic Chollaniogram on the 15th, and another endoscopy on the 17th.

17th February

Wading through these procedures, for the sake of my sanity, I made up my mind. I promised myself happiness—I will no longer focus on things or issues that didn’t really matter.

Whenever anyone called and asked how I felt about spending my birthday, I told them i wasn’t going to allow my past feelings take charge. I was going to be deliberate about enjoying the day and that’s exactly what I did.

18th February 2017
(My Birthday)

My nurse woke me up, with two huge boxes of flowers and cards. It was the perfect way to start my day. The day continued with an outpouring of love with phone calls and messages from my family/ friends. I felt so much love.

In my flailing limbs, my flesh didn’t matter to me. Somehow, I believed my body had betrayed me. I was fine in my hospital garment, as I was overwhelmed from answering phone calls all day. But my loved ones insisted I dress up and attempt to look fancy.

It’s your birthday. Look beautiful because we will take pictures,” they said.

Before Birthday Turn-up 🙂

They got me this beautiful “Needle & Thread” dress, and hurriedly dressed me up and attempted to style my shedding hair, before visiting time was up. By popular opinion, we unanimously agreed that I put on my hospital trousers beneath my dress—as my limbs had to be hidden—they had become unpleasant to the eyes. I was wheeled into the reception my nurses and family had set up for my birthday.

But on this day, I felt like a rose in the midst of thorns. Every conditioned-feeling in me was perfect. I was tired—I was sincerely happy, but sparingly present. This day was my own gift and I wanted to relish in it. I had pounded yam & “egusi soup,” I opened my cards & gifts. I was able to smile. I took a lot of pictures. I laughed at how my skinny hands looked like a Lawn Tennis Racket. My sister, Aunty and little ones were all around, overwhelming me with their love. I felt profound love from family and friends. I couldn’t walk. It didn’t seem like the perfect birthday, but my joy was perfect.

Looking back at how I felt last year, I am happy I made a deliberate choice to find pleasure in the little things that made me happy—regardless of how the ‘world system’ defines happiness. Because life is too precious to do anything less than what makes you happy. There’s fulfilment that comes from spending your days doing what you love, with the people that you love.

I feel completely blessed to be able to experience another shift in time. I am incredibly grateful and happy I can allow the free and simple child inside of me to LIVE.

February 2018 – Restored

 

It’s amazing how our lives can change in a space of one year. I feel completely free. I am stronger. I am healthy. I can walk. I am blessed.

Through the clarity of my past experience, I believe this feeling of happiness, is a conscious effort. You decide that you are going to be happy, you choose something to appreciate, no matter the circumstance and live in the now.

Today, I hope you find the strength and zeal to choose happiness and hold onto what really matters—to make the most of this beautiful, terrifying, messed up life—to never give up on yourself, on the people you love—I hope you never give up on happiness. Because life is an incredible show!

Namaste!

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8 Comments

  1. Adaugo nkwonta
    February 18, 2018 / 11:22 am

    Happy birthday Nicole.. Don’t know if u can still rember me. D lord is ur strength and always remain happy ok. Do have a wonderful bday and d peace of God always remain wit u. Happy 31 years and stay strong and blessed Amen

    • February 18, 2018 / 12:54 pm

      Thank myou so much. And of course I remember you. I will make sure I have a blessed day. God bless you

  2. Meshel
    February 18, 2018 / 9:44 pm

    Happy birthday dear Nicole!

  3. Busayo
    February 18, 2018 / 10:04 pm

    Happy birthday Nicole. Much as I do not know you personally I am truly thankful for the gift that you are. I have journeyed for the past 6 years and still am journeying on a similar path as you have and your words bring hope to me. My hearts prayer is that this year I get the celebrate my birthday completely drug free and while I still struggle with the possibility, your post has brought some hope to me. Please don’t stop writing I won’t stop reading either. Sending so much love and good wishes your way today and always. You’re loved. 💜💜

    • February 19, 2018 / 9:40 pm

      Hello Busayo, I’m so grateful for your encouraging words and I am sloo thankful that I get to hold your hands with my words. All I can say is to keep that faith up. You keep hoping, and even if circumstances don’t change, you hope again. It will definitely be a cycle of, ‘hope, despair, hope, despair….’
      The one thing I stand confident is in the word of God and the battlefield of your mind. The power of our mind the control unit of our body.
      And I won’t stop writing. Your words have been very encouraging. Please feel free to email me if you need to talk to anyone.
      (Nicole.oginni@gmail.com)

  4. Victoria
    February 18, 2018 / 11:32 pm

    Happy birthday Nicole.Wow!Your story touched me.What amazes me is your resilience and determination.I attended IUO also but you were a year ahead of me,but I knew Debo. I just want to say admire your strength.I am rooting for you seriously and you are in my prayers.May the healing hand of our Lord Jesus touch you.You are blessed in your rising up and you setting down.It is well with you everyday of your life…On a lighter note,I love your writing style.

    • February 19, 2018 / 9:41 pm

      Hello Victoria,

      I am so thankful to you, for reading. God bless your kind heart.
      Your words have been very encouraging too. I deeply appreciate you.
      And Amen to your prayers.

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This is my story

Hey there, I am Nicole and this is my Survival Story in style.

I was living my best life, feeling quite balanced: physically, spiritually and emotionally, until May 2015 when I fell chronically ill with series of unrelated diagnosis. I eventually got a breakthrough in March 2017 with a provisional diagnosis: Inflammatory Myositis, an autoimmune condition.

It's been a whirlwind journey: from immense pain, to tears, laughter, love, comfort, fellowship, fear, confusion, anger, despondence.

And then, Hope.

Somehow, all the suffering I had to endure has lit my way and given me new courage to face and live my life victoriously and cheerfully.

I am grateful for this whole experience, as it has pivoted me into a different spiritual realm {The Zoe Life} and reshaped my general mentality about life.

This blog chronicles my walk through the valley and shadows. I will be giving my best to you, my readers, by stealing momemts to do the things I love: which is to share my catharsis through words & my complete passion for FASHION & STYLE, in hope that it will encourage and inspire you.

I hope we remain a community that support and uplift each other.