10 Things You Become Grateful For When You’re Chronically Ill
By Michelle | @ehmichelle | October 18, 2018
1- Friends who don’t forget about you.
It’s so easy to become isolated and kind of forgotten when you’re chronically ill, especially when you’re stuck at home a lot or all the time. Friends who hang on are special.
2- Low pain/High energy days.
When you’re chronically ill not every day is the same. Some days your illness will be overpowering, and sometimes you’ll get days where you feel pretty good compared to how you normally feel. Those are the best days!
3- The ability to eat.
Many of my chronically ill friends have either lost the ability to eat, or go through flares where they can’t eat normally. And so you become grateful for being able to eat. Even if you can’t eat completely normally, or pain free, you become grateful. And you learn that you should have always been grateful!
4- Being able to get around on foot.
A lot of us rely on mobility aids to get around because well, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to. Another case of you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. So those of us who CAN get around on foot learn to not take it for granted. And those of us who can’t... brings me to my next point.
5- Mobility aids.
When you lose the ability to go where you want to go, it can be a huge hit to your independence. So sometimes we have to learn to be grateful for the tools that can help us live a fuller life. My wheelchair, as much as I wish I didn’t need it, gives me freedom that I had once lost.
6- Good doctors.
When you’re chronically ill, you usually end up seeing more doctors than you can count on two hands. But you can probably only count on one hand the ones that have made a big impact on your life. Complex chronic illness is a handful for doctors. It sucks, but it is. Many times they don’t know what to do with us, and will pass us off to another one of our specialists. Sometimes they’ll have no idea why something is happening but won’t want to admit it. But those special ones, the ones who fight for you, and don’t give up on getting you proper answers and treatment, they are something to be so grateful for.
Us chronically ill learn quickly that we spend far more time with nurses than we do with doctors. They are the ones who get to know us. Who advocate for us to our doctors. Who try to make sure we’re always comfortable. Who deal with all the gross things that go on, but don’t make us feel uncomfortable about it. Nurses are angels on earth.
8- Friends who go the extra mile in regards to your illness.
A lot of us say that one of the best and most comforting things a friend, or even a family member, has said to us is “I googled your illness.” Having that friend who wants to learn about your illness, so that they can support you, is something special. Especially ones who support you on awareness days, for fundraisers, or share articles. It just shows how much they care.
9- Functioning body parts.
When parts of your body malfunction, it’s pretty impossible not to become grateful for the parts of your body that work!
10- The ability to travel.
As young people, we have so many places in the world we want to explore. But sometimes traveling to those places becomes unrealistic or impossible due to poor health. There are periods of time where things are too unstable to take the risk of going on any sort of trip. So anytime we have the ability to visit somewhere new, it’s something extra special. Even if it’s visiting another place for medical appointments!
Michelle was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 12. After being stuck in the nightmare of being a mystery for several years, she is now finally being treated for a rare neuromuscular disease called Stiff Person Syndrome. This blogger also lives with Dysautonomia, Endometriosis, and a few more, and loves raising awareness. Co-founding Chronic Love Club with Derek has been the highlight of her year, and she truly believes that we’re better when we stick together.