Here is my list of things I am thankful for:
1) For an early diagnosis. It only 10 months. In the world of M.E., this is a very quick diagnosis as many go years or decades, unable to receive any diagnosis.
2) To receive a diagnosis. At the time, I didn't think expecting a doctor to offer a diagnosis was expecting too much. One gets sick, they go to the Dr. and the Dr. tells them what is wrong with them. That's not the case with M.E. though. Many times, people actually go backwards as their doctors don't even believe they are sick. They are told it's all in their heads and then given advice to do things which will not help them and quite often make them more ill. Hearing these reports, as well as my own experiences with doctors since my initial diagnosis, I now realize receiving a diagnosis is a major accomplishment.
3) For a Dr. who believed M.E. is a real illness, had extensive knowledge about it but also be one of the top M.E. specialists in our country. He not only got it, believed in it but has written about it.
4) To live in Canada where universal healthcare enabled me to visit so many doctors, specialists and have so many tests done, all at no cost to me and no 'questions' or disputes from insurance companies on whether these tests and/or specialists were necessary. When one doctor needed a test completed or for me to see a certain specialist a requisition was all I needed and off I went.
5) My on-line M.E. groups and friends who, unfortunately, also suffer from this dreadful disease. They willingly share info, what has worked for them, what hasn't and have suggestions of things to try. Sharing this info is nice of anyone, but when one has the debilitating fatigue and other issues of M.E., using your already limited energies to help others is exceptional.
6) The friendships I've made.
7) Dr. Sarah Myhill, her work with M.E., the M.E. community and the info she shares on her site. When I fist became ill with M.E./CFS, an on-line acquaintance pointed me in the direction of Dr. Myhill's site and it was invaluable. Her information and suggestions were a large contribution to the improvements I have made over my journey.
8) A supportive family. Without my husband and children believing in me, supporting me and generally picking up the slack, I would not have been able to make the improvements I have. They gave me the time to rest, to research and implement various things. They supported me through the things that didn't work and rejoiced at the ones that did -- no matter how small the improvement.
9) The improvements I have made. I am at 50 - 60% of my pre-illness state but considering I was at around 2% when M.E. first hit, I've made considerable improvement.
10) The other positive life-style changes I've had to make.
It is easy to focus on all this illness takes from us -- and lets' be crystal clear, it does rob us of a lot -- however shifting our focus can be very helpful.
What are some things you are thankful for?
Shifting focus to remain
Balanced....despite the chaos!