Slightly Tilted: Listen to your family and friends

By Jen Adair, blogger at Slightly Tilted, Entrepreneur, Homeschool Mom to two fab kiddos

When I think of life advice, the phrases “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “turn the other cheek” come to mind. Rarely, if ever, have I considered the things family and friends have muttered under their breath in my presence to be the very things that would turn my life around. I’ve realized over the past couple of years that what I mistook as funny little things people said when they didn’t understand me were actually true, caring statements of people worried about my well-being.

Who’d have thunk it?

This week I’m going to have surgery because my brain is a tad too bit for my head and it’s dripping down into my spinal cord. Sounds dramatic, huh? It’s actually not too bad, except for the headaches and the klutziness. They will have to enlarge the hole in the back of my head (foramen magnum) and slice open my brain stem to put a patch on it so that it can be more flexible. Less rigid. Allow for more chemicals to flow between my brain and the rest of my body.

People have been telling me I needed to do something for YEARS, and I didn’t listen to them.

For example, as far back as I can remember, my parents have said to me, “Something’s wrong with you.” I thought they were just being funny. NOPE! They KNEW something was wrong. They flat-out told me something was wrong and I just thought they didn’t get my sense of humor. I wish I would’ve taken them seriously a long time ago.

And how about all the people that told me “You need that like you need a hole in your head!” I mean, I thought they meant I didn’t need whatever it was I was asking for and I totally got it wrong! I DID need another hole in my head, I DID need that fake yellow diamond earring and necklace set, I DID need that camouflage prom dress! I DID! How did you know? And why didn’t you make yourself more clear? I’m so sorry for all the misunderstandings.

For those of you who told me I was “messed up in the head”, you were right! You must have ESPN or something. I completely misunderstood what you were saying. You were lovingly letting me know that my head was screwed up and I thought you were saying that I was dumb or something. I sure feel dumb now!

“What were you thinking?!” is something I also heard a lot. Apparently, I wasn’t thinking a lot due to reduced blood flow and a bad headache. Thank you for making me realize I didn’t know what I was thinking. At all. Ever.

All of this is to say LISTEN TO YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS. They love you. Even when they don’t know they’re being helpful, they are.

I seriously would like to thank all the people in my life who have made this surgery a little less scary for me. I am surrounded by people willing to help me through this and I know that, no matter how scared I am, that I will be just fine.

What I have is called Arnold Chiari Malformation, or just chiari for short. It’s not common, but not exactly rare. More people have been diagnosed due to increased availability of MRIs. Don’t worry…it’s not life threatening and not remotely as serious as a tumor or cancer or anything like that. Take care of one another and always be willing to make someone smile.

Hey, I’m Jen Adair. I’m an entrepreneur, Homeschool mom, CEO of organized chaos. Ok — it’s really not all that organized. Some days are great, some are not, some days I feel invincible, some days I can barely get out of bed. BUT… it’s my life and I’m living it. Browse my collection of random thoughts, humor (well, I think I’m funny!), images, links, whatever… at my blog Slightly Tilted. Sharing is caring, people!