I decided to do my gratitude list a little differently today. I want to look a little more closely at why I’m grateful.
I know, I know — I am grateful to everyone who does something for me, or who fills a certain niche in my life or who wishes me good will. And I am — don’t mistake that: I am grateful for all of the amazing people around me who give so selflessly of their love, friendship, strength, driving skills, humor, and insight into the workings of my soul. I am grateful that I am well enough to write this, when I remember well so many times I might not have been so lucky, or so blessed, or strong enough not to cross over.
But I am also grateful that I have developed chronic kidney disease, (I use the word disease very guardedly, because my mind is more open to being influenced by that kind of word than I ever wanted it to be,) because, without the scare of the result of that condition, I seriously doubt that I would be keeping a good log and eating the right foods, and minding my blood sugars. I never did before, for longer than a few months at a time, and I could see myself walking down the candy bar path, directly into terminal diabetic troubles.
My kidney situation is an example of something that, had I not developed it, I wouldn’t have wanted. But the lessons are simple and clear — every day I keep my blood sugars near my target of 150, I am adding on a couple of hours to an extra day. That’s reason to be grateful.
My encounter with my dermatologist is another type of negative experience to which I’m grateful. I have not, for a very long time, met with a doctor who completely ignored me, and then blamed my psyche for her misunderstanding. I’m grateful for that, because, had I gone to a dermatologist in the small world of Morgellan’s syndrome, I would not know of some the tough issues which need my examination. My psyche IS part of the problem — I tear my skin on a regular basis, one function of Obsessive/Compulsive disorder. I would never have sought help for that; me, OCD? No way.
I will see a psychiatrist in a couple of weeks for that part of the problem. I should have been prepared, however, for the disbelief of the doctor — current literature tells me that something like 95% of doctors refuse to believe the condition exists. (Don’t click this link if you have a weak stomach.) Link here to see some very graphic photos from Morgellan’s sufferers. Morgellon’s syndrome, and my doctors’ reactions to it, give me a reason for gratitude — gone are my last notions that doctors’ advice and diagnosis is always right. Also gone is my belief that, if I tell the truth, people will always believe me; that was an unreasonable belief from the start, and I am well rid of it.
I know, finally, what people have said my whole life, that all experiences are lessons. And I’m still alive and kicking; I didn’t let the doctor’s attitude slay me, as it would have before. I am grateful for all the lessons, people, ideas in my life. This is a curriculum I can’t duck, and I hope I’ve learned enough not to want to!