What if we viewed lived experience as an asset? As an asset of professional, economic,…
However unlucky I feel, however bad things get, in between each crisis, I still consider myself very lucky. It is true a that there is always someone worse off than you, but I’m not a fan that saying because I feel like it belittles everyone’s suffering and experience. What the worst thing in the world is for one person, someone else would give anything to be in their position. It’s all subjective and relative to each individuals’ life, experiences, health, mindset and outlook on life.
|My sister Vicky, mum and I
I am grateful for many things, even if at times these are overshadowed by all the negatives in my life. For starters, I have a fantastic mother and sister. Without them life would not be worth living, nor do I think I could cope like I do without them. My mum is my strength. She keeps me going, keeps me fighting and keeps me happy. She is so strong, so brave and so able; she can adapt to and deal with everything that comes our way. She won’t admit is, but she’s amazing. She’s my hero. I bet she’s the most skilled, unqualified nurse. She’s proficient at so many things; TPN, Hickman lines, catheters, stomas, PEGs, mixing drugs, giving injections, and syringe drivers, and probably others I can’t think of. She keeps me alive – physically and mentally.
My sister and I, who have only got close since I was ill, have the best relationship now than we’ve ever had. I class her as a friend as well as my sister. I’m glad she is out living her life, doing everything that I can’t. It’s nice being in touch with some of the outside world through her stories.
There are a few friends and relatives who are extremely kind and always willing to help. They are there when we need them the most, even if it’s only for moral support. My carers I am also grateful for. We employ one directly, four from The J’sHospice, and have some night cover from Premier Children’s Care. They take some of the pressure off mum, and allow her to go to work. Unfortunately they can’t do my medical care, but they are a great help with my personal care and they keep me company. Some also help with some of the chores, but not all of them, which is a shame. It is good when they do since I can’t help mum out.
|My best friend Becca and I in 2007
|Becca and I in 2011
|Becca and I in 2011
I also have one friend, the only one who truly stuck by me when I got ill, who is a wonderful young lady. She moved to Lincolnshire to be a groom for a family of competitive horsewomen, yet when we speak on the phone or she comes and visits it’s like we’ve never been apart. We met through horses as we used to ride together, and became best friends over the course of the year before I got ill. She will never know how much her friendship means to me.
Then we have my medical team, from consultants to therapists to district nurses and the hospice, they all play their part. I have had a lot of not so good doctors and therapists, but thankfully I now have a wonderful team of people working to improve the quality of my life. It isn’t perfect, things don’t happen as people say it will and we still have to fight for a lot of things, but my team are doing their best. I wouldn’t be here without them. Thank goodness for the NHS.
I am also grateful for what I have; a roof over my head, central heating, TV and other material possessions. Some people don’t even have that.
Finally I am grateful for my little puppy Molly. It was incredibly sad losing my lurcher boy Ben earlier this year, as he was my friend as well as my pet, and he gave me six and a half years of fun and laughter, and kept me going because I looked forward to the next time I could take him for a walk. But without his death, we would not have Molly. She has helped ease the pain of losing Ben. More importantly though, she has given me a reason to keep going, a reason to fight through the pain, a reason to get up in my wheelchair and go out and also something to pour my energy into, as I will be training her. She will also be my assistance dog, whether we can get her trained as an official assistance dog so I can take her everywhere or whether we train her ourselves to help in the house and places where dogs are allowed. She is the light of my life, my friend, my baby, my everything.
So despite all the pain, the sadness, the frustration, the hospital stays, the procedures, and all the negatives and problems, I am still grateful.
What are you grateful for? Really think about it.
The secret to having everything you want, is knowing you already do.