Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 28: Why I'm thankful for Arthur #NHBPM

Write about the unexpected blessings of your health condition - or how being a patient has changed you.

There are an awful lot of people who take things for granted - being able to breathe well, go for a morning jog, or even do something so simple as walk to the bathroom. Running has been out of the question for a long time for me and that's fine, but the other two are things that everyone has to be able to do. In the time since I began blogging, I have gone from someone with few rough days to someone with few awesome days. It has been an incredibly difficult and demeaning journey. There have been so many times where I was ready to throw in the towel, to quit and just resign to being a lonely cripple.

But I have been blessed with a great many things. I have a support system that once was only my family - which isn't so helpful when they blame being a bitch or having a panic attack for my actions instead of actually *gasp* being sick. Today it has grown and includes people that I have not met and some that I will probably never meet as well as a number of people that I have met in person only due to our shared experiences with illness. Many people I have talked to see a drop off in friends - but most of the friends that I have made seem to support my fight for awareness and offer help when I might need it. That alone makes me feel incredibly lucky.

And then there's the fiance. In all honesty, I figured that my illness would keep me from finding him. Even past experiences on dates had seemingly proven that to me. And yet, I sense that my illness is part of why he loves me - the fight I put up, the things I stand up for, the effort I put into things. That all goes into making me who I am and without it I may not have found this one person that I care about so deeply. I also wouldn't know his family, who supports and helps me so much.

I am blessed to have one of the finest doctors in my city and probably the entire state of Wisconsin and along with her comes an amazing nurse practitioner who fully embraces me for who I am and seemingly cares for me more as a friend than a straight up patient. They in turn have led me to some great doctors, a therapist,  and physical therapists who really do a lot to help support and help me mentally and medically.

I have learned a great many things about toxicity in my life that I am working to rid myself of. There are certain groups, friends, and individuals that cause so much drama and emotional distress that it greatly affects my ability to handles my illness - and can even make my illness that much worse. It is a tough process to go through as it can pull heartstrings but it is something I have to do for my emotional and physical health. Without being ill, I'm not sure I would be going through that.

Being a patient has taught me that doctors are people and are not perfect knowledge filled robots. They also may not listen a lot sometimes so you may have to nag. I have learned that enough nagging will move things along. I have also learned that you really have to get input from patients themselves sometimes since docs don't always know side effects of meds or issues associated with an illness.

Most of all, I have learned that being a patient is a pain in the ass but if I can use my experiences to help others I am more than happy to go through awkward times to make it so.

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