Sunday, February 19, 2017

Gratitude

      As most of you know by now, a lot has been happening with my health lately and I am trying desperately to get it all under control. I hope you all don't mind, but I thought that instead of going into the details I might jot down a few people (and groups of people) that I am particularly grateful for at the moment. I've been "looking for the helpers," so to speak, and luckily I am surrounded by so many wonderful people that it isn't a hard thing to do.

  • I am grateful for my dad, who drove 13 hours each way to spend last weekend taking care of me after several sobbing phone calls with my parents, lots of medical treatments, and utter exhaustion. My parents always take such good care of me and it was so nice to have my dad in town to get a break from campus and focus on returning to a manageable state of health. 

  • I am grateful for my mom and sister, who have been ensuring that I have everything I need, making me laugh over phone calls, text messages, and FaceTime, and encouraging me to hang in there by creating summer plans that I can look forward to.
Hannah and I enjoying our glory days
  • I am grateful for the Tulane Student Health Center, whose doctors and nurses have proven to be angels on earth. I am thankful for nurses who bring me dissolvable medications when I cannot eat or drink, calm me down during and after breathing treatments, provide me with blankets and free sunscreen samples, and promise me that I am going to get better. I am thankful for doctors who see me almost every day, allow me to participate in treatment decisions, and listen to my fears and concerns. 

  • I am grateful for my roommate Allison, who puts up with all of my tears and confusion, listens as I try to sort through some of what is going on, offers all the love and support a girl could ask for, never complains about my early bedtime, and lets me hold warm, fresh-out-of-the-dryer sheets.

  • I am grateful for my suitemates Maddie and Zada, who always treat me kindly when I have to cancel plans due to my health and who manage to make me smile even on my worst days with their wild stories and positive energy. 

  • I am grateful for my churches, both in North Carolina and in Louisiana, and for everyone there who has been thinking of me and praying for me over the past few weeks. 

  • I am grateful for countless friends, at Tulane and at home, who have offered their love and comfort in-person as well as over text, email, Facebook, and phone calls. Thank you for teaching me that you can never say "I love you," or "I care about you" too many times and that hugs are a solid form of medicine. Thank you for not disappearing when things get rough.

  • I am grateful for a particular New Orleans Walgreens, and for the pharmacist there who once saw me cry and is now one of my favorite New Orleanians. Compassion and empathy cannot be overrated, my friends, and this pharmacy knows that better than any other. 

  • I am grateful for my case manager, the disability center, and my academic advisor at Tulane, all of whom have been working with me closely and quickly to manage my illness from the academic side and communicate at-large with my professors. Their advice and support have been keeping me sane. 

  • I am grateful for my professors, who have shown incredible understanding in the midst of all of my absences and worked with me to maintain my course load and stay on track.

  • I am grateful for my local hospital, and for the ability to see my test results and schedule appointments online. The care I receive is integrated and coordinated, and as a patient and public health major I place quite a lot of value on this. 

  • I am grateful for the chronic illness community, for understanding all that I am going through and holding my hand, even from a distance. 

      There are a lot of scary things happening right now, and unfortunately the road ahead is littered with daunting decisions and frightening medical tests, but I have so much to be grateful for. Thank you all for lifting me up. 

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