Sunday, November 11, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons...

In my high school yearbook, my quote beside my graduation photo was

"When life gives you lemons, you make orange juice.”

To my knowledge, I made this up, though others have probably thought of it. I almost forgot about this phrase, when recently it crept out of the deep banks of my memory and proved to be relevant again. 

Years ago I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis, which is actually a very common disease but not so common amongst teenagers. In some degree or another it does affect my day to day life, but I’m very used to living with it. I really don’t put that much thought into in, but it’s about to be at the forefront of my life.

Unfortunately I have to cut my time in Chicago short to go to Edmonton for surgery to reconstruct my temporomandibular joints. I received a call this past week offering me the surgery on December 7th, I said no immediately, not wanting to pause all the exciting things in my life for this less exciting experience. Then I was informed that if I didn’t take the date, the next opportunity probably wouldn’t be until the late spring.  The surgery requires me to be in Edmonton for a minimum of two months afterwards, so I figured that it’s probably better to be there for the winter and just hibernate my way to health than to miss out on summer fun.

I’m not thrilled about spending that much time in freezing cold Edmonton, or about the side effects of the medications I’ll be on, or that they’ll shave the sides of my head to perform the surgery. HOWEVER, I’m so incredibly fortunate to be receiving this procedure for free under healthcare! And fortunate that my parents are in Edmonton and are willing to take care of me in a very needy state for two months! And fortunate that I get new joints and won’t have to live with the pain and restrictions of my condition (at least in that part of my body) for much longer!

And this is where the orange juice comes in. If I’m stuck in Edmonton for two wintery months then I’m going to cherish the unique situation I'll be in. I've been really busy for the last year, so living with fewer distractions and using my days to work on satisfying side projects could be wonderful. In days when I’m too drugged out to work, I’m going to read that stack of graphic novels that have been untouched for too long. In days when I can work, I’ll have two photobooth animations that require hundreds of hours of editing. And days when I’m feeling better I have a book that I need to finish writing and lots of artwork for it that I’m so excited to tackle.  And on top of all of this, I’ll have endless quality time with my family cat.

I only have fifteen days left in Chicago, which makes me terribly sad, but I hope to be back in the new year. And before I go back to Edmonton, I’ll be making quick stops in New York, Vermont and in Montreal for interviews for my book. It should be interesting. 


  1. Best of luck and a speedy recovery Meags!! xo

  2. I'm sure Edmonton will be happy to have you back, as will Canada. Here's to getting well! Healthcare!

  3. Best of luck with that Meags. I know what it is like to have life interrupted by illness. You will be stronger overall for being out of the loop for a while and then great things await you. Best wishes Katherine Griffiths