Thankful.

Photo credit: Madison Faith via Flickr

Photo credit: Madison Faith via Flickr

This Thanksgiving, I have a lot of things to be thankful for: Steve, my family, my friends, my job, our new house, etc. But I read a post by Ali from Ali on the Run yesterday and it made me realize the one thing that I am overwhelmingly thankful for: my health.

I’ve been reading Ali’s blog for a long time because I can relate to her. We’re both runners (although she is much faster and runs farther) and we both deal with digestive disorders. While our conditions differ, we share many of the same symptoms. I’ve often read Ali’s posts and thought, “Yep, been there.”

I don’t talk much about my health issues for two reasons: 1) It’s not the most interesting or enjoyable topic to discuss, and 2) I’ve been feeling much healthier for quite awhile. (I did write about it for Glamour.com once.) But I do know how tough it is when your health spirals downward.

When I was 20, I got sick and went from the point of being a normal college student to a patient getting a colonoscopy (fun!) from a gastroenterologist after losing 20 lbs in three months and not being able to eat anything without being sick.

I know what it feels like to cry and be angry.

I know what it feels like to beg and plead with a doctor to fix you, no matter what drug or procedure it took. And then what it’s like to search for yet another doctor.

I know what it feels like to feel claustrophobic. To feel like I needed to run away and escape. To feel trapped in my own body that was doing nothing but betray me.

I know that no matter how amazing everything else in your life is, it’s easy to feel like everything is slipping away when your health is compromised.

Every day felt like a battle.

It was a long process, trying process to get me “healthy” again. After almost eight years of on-and-off flare ups, my doctor and I finally found a good medical combo. Adding in acupuncture helped, too.

That doesn’t mean that every day is good—but there are many more good days than bad. (But I won’t lie and say that I don’t fear a flare up.)

Today, I’m thankful—for doctors who work with me, for future medical possibilities, and for each day where I feel like my body and I are on the same team.

Photo credit: Matthew Roberts via Flickr

Photo credit: Matthew Roberts via Flickr … because, puppies.

 

2 Comments

  1. Renee! I’m not supposed to cry anymore! This got me teary, but not in a sad way, for once. I am SO happy you are feeling well and appreciating every single good day you get to enjoy. That is amazing and makes me feel hugely hopeful for my own future. I’ve loved following you (er, stalking you online…) ever since I read your Glamour piece and I feel lucky to “know” you and be able to relate to you and what you’ve been through. I hope you had a perfect Thanksgiving! All my love.

  2. Oh my gosh. I can relate 100%. “I know what it feels like to beg and plead with a doctor to fix you, no matter what drug or procedure it took. And then what it’s like to search for yet another doctor.” Yes yes yes! Glad that you’ve found a combo that works for you. As for me, I’m getting there but still have some work to do in that department. Thanks for sharing.

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