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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Ever thankful...

          Some might wonder what a person with RA has to be thankful for and at first glance it does give one pause.  But when I take stock of life in general and see the war torn countries or disaster ravaged corners of the the world I know that I have much to be thankful for.  RA, whether you ascribe to the roots of it coming from fate, environment, genetics, etc. forces you to consider components of your life you might otherwise ignore.
     By looking at the "big picture" you can begin to see that we have much to be thankful for!  In addition to the elements of life that make our very existence worthwhile - and here I am referring to family, friends, work and community life - I am so very grateful for others who support me in this RA journey..namely my Rheumatologist and his wonderful staff, the local pharmacist who is so considerate and caring, the various surgical teams that have worked on my joints over the year, keeping me moving and able to continue to work and stay active. 
      Without the dedicated care and patience of my ENTIRE team I would be far less happy and satisfied with my life. It is actually fortunate that we have a time of year that was historically developed to bring our country together following the divisiveness of the Civil War and has evolved into a time of general thanks for all that we have to be grateful for.  Thanks to Abraham Lincoln for this holiday!
     He understood the need to take time to express gratitude for our well being and believed it would bring people together.  Little did he know it would become such a profound holiday. Thanks, Abe!
          RA does provide me with a unique perspective on life that cannot be dismissed...I have fine tuned my ability to appreciate each and every day.  More specifically my gratitude for feeling good and enjoying being active and mobile.
     It is a perspective that only another person who has to juggle the realities of a chronic disease can appreciate.  Each day as I move through the day (both figuratively and literally) I am keenly aware of my joints, the pain or lack of, the range of motion or lack of, the strength or lack of.  These "sensitivities" are a normal part of my day now...not so pre RA.  
     The highs and lows of RA are part of why we are so finely tuned to our bodies and able to deeply appreciate the "good" days and despise the "bad" days. 

      I have times when I am simply walking outdoors and every sense is so sharp I can smell the air, feel the light breeze, see the mountains that surround our home in sharp contrast to the beautiful cloudless sky, hear the wind howling as I circle the corner to head back home, taste the snowflakes as they land on my lips - all while truly feeling deep and profound thanks for being able to experience all of that despite the RA!  I truly believe that if there is a positive to be gleaned from having a chronic disease it is this ability to feel a depth of gratitude that is unique to RA sufferers.  
      So my wish for each of you is to reflect on what you have to give thanks for this year, no matter how large or small it may is an exercise well worth your time!


1 comment:

abcsofra said...

I can't agree more! With your thankful list and to try and give thanks every day if possible. Happy holidays!