Chronic Illness 30 day challenge… day 14… five things I’m grateful for

30 day RA information challengeDay 14… five things for which I am grateful…. (that prepositional phrase sounds better to me that way… not even because I learned to not end sentences with prepositions… it just sounds better… )…..

My family (family of birth, and family of choice… human and animal)

While they may not all understand, and while they weren’t always what I needed at the time, all have helped to make me what I am, who I am.  I am nothing if not the sum total of all that has touched my life, all of the people who have walked in and out of my life, all of the experience… plus just a little lunacy thrown in for good measure.

Windows

I don’t know how to explain what windows mean to me.  Regardless of the season, regardless of the location, if there is a view to something other than other windows and a wall, it helps relax my mind and center me in the world.  It also reminds me that it is daylight on those days when I start working at 5 am and don’t stop working until 9 or 10 at night.  Daylight helps. Daylight helps immensely.  Today, while I wait to see what problems arise with my upgrade at work, I can (at least) see out at the sunshine, breathe in the afternoon, and enjoy the end of autumn leaf season.

Phablet phones

People were so excited about smaller and smaller phones.  Smaller phones meant that I had to carry twice as many devices (or more) in order to get done what I had to get done.  Enter Phablet phones… phones that have big enough screens and sufficient horse power to enable me to write, take pictures, work, do whatever I need to do, all from something that still fits reasonably in a pocket.  Added benefit, I can also see what is on the screen without having to squint.  Now, if I can just figure out how to get things that are only made to run on an iPad to run on my iPhone (my work phone) I will be in good shape.

mornings

Mornings are my quiet time (usually… not always).  It’s the time that I connect best with myself, with the world around me and meet myself where I need to be.  It’s when no one else on earth seems to be alive, yet I can watch the world around me come to life.  The deer are out and about and returning to their daylight haunts and the birds start to be active.

RA diagnosis

Yeah, this one usually throws me, too.  It’s particularly hard to remember that I’m actually (mostly) grateful on days like today when I’m popping Napproxin because Tiger Balm and even Voltaren Gel isn’t really taking the edge off and I know I need to push harder to get through the day… and the day is going to be LONG.

RA has taught me how to deal with forever conditions.  It was something that I desperately needed to know how to do when my daughter was diagnosed with Epilepsy… when my son was diagnosed with Sjogrens and POTS.  Forever conditions aren’t something that a lot of people have to cope with, deal with… but… I think having had to come to terms with mine before I had to come to terms with my childrens’ made it more possible in my head to not freak and helped me to help them… because I understood, and because they knew I understood.

RA taught me that I need to slow down… not always, but frequently… and when I do, I have to… and there isn’t anything I can do about it but slow down.  It reminds me that it’s particularly good to smell the leaves, watch the sunrise, listen to the waves kiss the sand and laugh at the squirrels as they jump over each other in the evening chill.

It also opened up possibilities for me.  When friends had to deal with their own diagnosis’ I was able to help.  I could be a shoulder to cry on… or to lean on… I could be the humor when it’s dark… and the advice when it is darker.  What dwells most deeply in my brain and my heart is the fact that I’m my son’s hero… and that is something that I don’t take lightly.  He has seen me dragging my sorry butt up a horrible hill hurting so badly that the tears could not be stopped but continuing anyway… he walked by my side cracking jokes and letting me know that it was okay… if it weren’t for RA, I would probably have always taken feeling human for granted…

The diagnosis validated, for me, that I was hurting as badly as I thought I was.  It taught me to listen to my body and to myself and to believe myself even when no one else does.

I could find another 10 things to be grateful for… but… it said 5…

 

wearing it proudly

Author: April Wells
Updated October 25, 2015

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