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Thankful Heart!

Happy Sunday! I am happy to say that I am home. Yes, it is 4:30 in the morning. I have to get up in order to suction and nebulize myself in order to keep the mucus thin enough so that I do not get giant clogs. Whatever it takes to keep me breathing, moving forward, and doing my assignment I will do it.

While suctioning, I started thinking about all the blessings that I have experienced during the last four years. Even if some of the blessings didn’t actually feel like blessings at all. Pain happens; it is a part of the journey. In 2008 when I first started feeling the symptoms of Vasculitis, in my joints and in my throat I never thought I would actually see the end of the tunnel. Here I am at the end of the tunnel. I have to admit that I do not like the results, having a plastic tube sticking out of my throat is not attractive, but hey at least I can inhale oxygen and that makes it worth it to me. In honor of being home I am going to proclaim and let everyone know ten blessings that I am grateful for. Stay tune for Monday when I am writing my first article for Chronic Pain Awareness week from September 10th until the 16th. I am writing about laughter.

My blessings:
1. My cat Nicholas: Nicholas loves me at my best and he loves me at my worst. I love it when it sticks his nose on my nose and tries to share his oxygen with me.
2. The opportunity to bless others in ways that I cannot comprehend. Such as meeting Irvin and his family at the UW Medical center and sharing our experiences together. Please join me in prayer as he is still in the hospital. I am honored to meet him and to feel that kinship with someone who suffers from a subglottic stenosis similar to mine. It amazes me how God works.
3. My family, Kris and Carri who drive me to Seattle for my appointments, even when it strains them. I am still thankful to them for their help. And to their children and spouses who suffer when they are not able to be with them because they are with me. I have had great support from them all during this whole journey.
4. My friends, Summer, Karen, Amber, and many others that I have met and whom I have known all along. I am grateful with the help, drives to Seattle, helping my family when they are not able to help me, and with still being my friend even when I am a huge, ugly mess. Let me share that I am grateful most of all for that because I had one friend who just vanished after I got sick and disappeared.
5. Myron, my care provider who makes me laugh, who relieves the pressure from Kris and Carri so that Kris and Carri and I can have a sisterly relationship instead of a care giver type of relationship.
6. All the friends whom I have met on The NW support group of Vasculitis and who offer me encouragement and a place to vent my fears and frustrations to and who understand what it is I am feeling and going through.
7. God, with providing me amazing medical doctors, nurses, nursing aides, medical equipment, medications, contraptions that modify my body so that I can appreciate and have oxygen. And the many, many things that I am learning on my walk through life.
8. My suction machine, catheters, nubilzer, medications, and other medical equipment that makes my life a lot easier.
9. My warm bed, apartment, pjs, fuzzy socks, and friends who send me small tokens of fuzzy socks, and pjs so that I can feel comfortable and relaxed. I love them all. I love the balloons and thinking of you cards. They do cheer me up.
10. I am mostly grateful for OXYGEN! Oxygen does the body good. Not milk, not chocolate, not music, not people. OXYGEN! I am so thankful that I can breathe and enjoy the smells, taste the tastes, and do what I can because of oxygen.

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