49.  How the heck am I 49?  I’m not sure where the forties went…did I leave them somewhere and forget?  Is it a case of time flies when you are having fun? Could this be fake news?

49 is a big deal for me. I know I talk about my Crohn’s history every now and then but 30 years ago was probably one of the worst Crohn’s years I had in my life.  I was in the hospital at some point of every month that year, I had numerous surgeries and I lived part of that year on central line feedings.  (Simply said a central line is a type of long term IV that is put in your chest…I’m leaving out the gory details.)

The irony is not lost on me that 30 years ago food was my biggest enemy and now I write a food blog. Food back then was impossible to love since it caused me so much pain. (Still get the pain but have found out how to love it!)

 I really don’t remember much of celebrating my 19thbirthday because I was having tests in the days before and was hospitalized less than a week after.  1989 was crammed with multiple trips to ER’s, hospitals and the ICU. It was a lot and there are times from that year that are a blur to me.

The ICU (Sept 1989) trip was the one that is making me think a lot about turning 49.  

I know I always have tried to stay positive but I look back at that day and remember it clearly. I don’t know how I lived through it.  I was in the hospital and woke up that morning and told my nurse “Today is the day I am going to die.”  She knew those were not things I thought or said and immediately acted on it.  

There was a lot of commotion around me and the next thing I know I was going to the ICU. 

With a fever of 105 degrees and a blood pressure of 60/30 (thanks for the record keeping, Mom), I’m not sure what anyone thought.  I know I was having this amazing feeling of peace and thought if this is how you feel when you die…I’m going to be okay.  

My biggest concern in ICU was if there was a TV for me to watch a particular cowboy TV show (The Young Riders).  To this day, I don’t remember the pain I was in or the sounds of the beeping equipment that was undoubtedly was in the room.  I remember seeing the concern on my mom and doctor’s face but I’ve blocked everything else out.

The next day in ICU, they “pulled” the central line. The tube that was feeding me…helping me live… was trying to kill me with an infection.  Medicine can be a twisted thing sometimes.  

That was a little more than 30 years ago.  I don’t think I even thought at that time I’d make it to 20 let alone make it to 49. It is crazy and humbling.

So in my usual form of birthday celebration and remembrance, I sort of feel 49 is going to be an amazing year.  I was telling my mom this week that I don’t see life as a bucket list of things I need to check off.  Your life should be honored by celebrating each waking day.

It doesn’t matter if I ever jump out of an airplane or swim with stingrays. I am good that I will never climb Mt. Everest or go see the pyramids.  And I can live with the fact that I’ve never been to a rave or body surfed across a crowd.

I have been living a really good life for the past 30 years. I don’t need a list to say what I need to do before I die…I just want to live the life I was given.

So….I’m 49 today.  I love the folks in my life and the things I do….and that is all I need.  Thank you to my husband, Mom, family, friends, doctors, baristas and my food families for making my life worth living.  I was given a bonus round years ago and I’m just not quite done yet!