With a chronic illness it’s so easy to focus on all the things that are wrong, the things that are hard and disappointing. It’s easy to let these things take up more space than they are worth. I know I often spend too much time worrying about the newest thing that seems to be wrong, like the return of a facial rash, or a joint that has just swelled up. But this Thanksgiving while I was sitting surrounded by friends and loved ones, I realised how much, both in my personal life and medically, I have to be thankful for.
I am truly thankful for all the amazing doctors and specialists who I have been lucky to find here in Boston. Boston Children’s hospital is truly a special place, one in which I feel listened too more often than not. I am thankful that it feels like they respect my part as an active participant in my healthcare. I am so thankful that my doctors here have never stopped thinking, questioning and looking for answers. Even when it takes way more than one try to find them.
I am thankful that I have access to medications, tests and treatments, and that I have never had to worry about financing them.
I am thankful that although I may not be in remission, I am in a place where my arthritis does not hinder what I want to do, or what I am able to achieve. A stark contrast to where I was a couple of years ago.
I am thankful that despite all the worry that the multiple fractures, which I sustained to my right ankle and foot a couple of months ago, would form non-unions, they seem to be healing nicely. Allowing me hopefully to partake in some of what’s left of the swim and dive season.
I am thankful for friends who are willing to drive me to appointments and for those who come to many of my appointments to provide entertainment and moral support. I don’t think you could ever understand just how much it means to me, and how much your presence there helps. For everyone who listens to me when things get tough, who understand that they don’t have to solve the problem (because lets face it they can’t) but know that just being there is more than enough.
All this and more I am thankful for.