Every now and then I’m reminded of how precious life is. The reminders have come in the form of losing loved ones, reading a post on social media about the passing of someone, but health scares seem to be the most effective of them all.

There’s been a few times when I’ve been in situations where I feared for my life. There was the time I convinced myself that I had breast cancer, and I could never forget the summer I allowed a bug bite to lead me to believe that I’d been bitten by a brown recluse spider.

I worried myself silly thinking about how I would have to have a portion of my leg removed due to the venom that was potentially killing me. I wondered if I’d live to tell the story.

There was another time when I thought that leg pain was the result of a blood clot.

The most recent scare was when a headache led me to believe that I could be left with the same diagnosis as someone that I had recently spoken with. I researched the internet and found a site that listed the top 10 symptoms of a brain tumor. I convinced myself that since I had experienced at least half of the symptoms over the past few years, then I could possibly be in trouble.

One symptom that was listed was the loss of balance, and I thought about how I’d stumbled a couple of days earlier. Another symptom was nausea that could be mistaken for pregnancy. I thought about a candle scent that I’d smelled a few weeks earlier that I hated when I was pregnant. It immediately made me feel nauseous. I was sure this was another related symptom.

With a few of these scares, I found myself fearing the worst. I wasn’t sure if I’d have the chance to live the long life that we all hope to have. I feared that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to make my life count the way I wanted it to. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to fulfill all of my goals.

During these moments of uncertainty, I had a will to live like never before. It was more than your normal will. I craved the most fulfilled life ever. In those moments, I thought about all that I hadn’t done and all that I wanted to do.

These are the moments when your thought process becomes geared more toward any and everything you ever thought of accomplishing. I wanted to start the garden that I always said I’d have once I had the space. Here it was, four years since I’ve had five acres of land to start the process but never set aside the time to even consider the area in which I’d plant.

Aside from this, there were still a few other personal goals that I’d been taking my time to accomplish.

During those moments I’d think about how precious and short life is. I would tell myself after each scare that I’d make life count a little more if given the opportunity, and for the most part, I would do just that.

Sometimes a little scare is just what I need to help me focus on my goals and to remind me of the important things in life.

It seems silly looking back on these situations, but I found them to be pretty serious at the time. My sister tells me that I’m a hypochondriac. A friend tells me that it’s good to be cautious.

Thankfully I continue to receive a clean bill of health from my doctor, who never makes me feel like I’m too extreme when it comes to my health scares. These scares have been nothing more than unique ways of reminding me to never become comfortable with taking life for granted.

For that, I think every scare I’ve experienced so far was well worth it.

Christine McCormick Cooper lives in Florence and is employed at PGBA. She enjoys

spending time with her husband, teenage triplet sons and daughter. Contact her at citizencolumnist@florencenews.com.

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