Thank God for….. – Chronic Illness Challenge, Day 14 

Give five things you are thankful for. 

Five, just five!!! Is that it? I know a lot of this blog has been me moaning about how much my life sucks sometimes, but I really do try my best to think on the positive side of things. I may have a limited to life but at least I have one. I may always been in pain but at least I have the NHS to keep it at a manageable level. I may have a very limited social life but the friends and family I have are amazing. I may struggle financially, but it could be way worse! I may not be able to be a midwife or a social worker but I can work. So yeah, there’s always good stuff to look upon in the dark days! Anyway let’s try this, five things I’m grateful for. Annnndddd… in reverse order: 

5. Social Care and the Welfare system. It may not be perfect, it may have deteriorated in recent years and it may seem cold and uncaring but at least we do have a welfare system. A system that prevents work houses and people on mass being homeless and in poverty. The benefits system allows me to live my life, it helps me with the added costs of being disabled and it keeps food in my families stomachs and a roof over our heads. I struggle to make ends meet, all the time but I do manage it. I’m also thankful for the fact that we are not solely dependant upon them. Social care and the equipment and support they provide for me helps me to be just a tiny bit more independent than I would otherwise be. 

4. Books. I used to be a complete book worm, always had my head in a book. I LOVED being pulled into a fantasy world, it always helped my anxiety but eventually helped me to, at least slightly remove myself from my body, my symptoms and my life. Then I became unable to process written information with any speed at all. I can still physically read and write (clearly because I’m writing this), but the process is long and tiring, and rarely enjoyable. No, I don’t really enjoy writing this blog (I would have but it does come with a lot of physical and occasionally mental payback) but I do enjoy speaking out, speaking up and hopefully showing people how chronic illnesses actually affect people. When I read now it’s like when you’re reading something but not really paying attention, you have to read it over and over again and even then it doesn’t seem to go in right. That’s what it’s like for me when I read anything but the difference is I AM putting ALL my concentration into it. So I had to stop reading, the joy wasn’t there anymore and the pay back was just too much to cope with. Then eventually I discovered audiobooks and was so happy, practically ecstatic when I bought one and realised I COULD listen to it, follow the story and understand it. Thus my audiobook addiction begun. I can’t watch tv much, I spend my evenings alone in by bedroom even with a house full of people, it can be very lonely. Audiobooks allow me to escape into another world, one that isn’t where I am. I also struggle in light, bright places with lots of people, audiobooks help me to stay calm when I do manage to be out and about.

3. Technology. I’m a bit of a tech nerd, mainly because of how much easier it makes my life since I became ill. Since I haven’t been able to read anymore audiobooks have become my life. I can’t watch tv often but when I can I don’t have to move out of bed to do so and I can use the internet to access things that I wish to learn about and keep my mind active. Technology allows me to work, where I simply would not be able to otherwise. My job is 7 hours per week, whatever and whenever I can complete those seven hours. Smart phones, iPads and cloud computing allow me to complete my work from my bed if need be, I get to feel useful in society again and to help people. 

2. The NHS. Quite simply, without the NHS I may well be dead. I would be completely unable to afford private health care, therefore I would have continued to get more and more sick over time, and instead managing to stabilise my conditions they may have deteriorated further. The wonderful care and support I receive from the majority of medical professionals is outstanding. Most of them care so much and just want to do their best to help those in their care. This has become harder for them in recent years (in my personal opinion it is because the government is looking to destroy and dismantle the NHS by making it look as though it’s failing). They still try so hard to provide the best possible care they can but everything is limited by minimum staff and budgets. So please people, even if you CAN afford private healthcare please put everything into supporting the NHS, after all, illness and disability can happen to anyone, in the blink of an eye. Don’t become like me, dependant upon a healthcare system that you didn’t work to save, or even, possibily, helped to destroy. 

1. Friends and family. I do not know where on earth I would be without my friends and family. My friends look after me, talk to me when I need to talk, look out for me, pray for me and ask after me. Chris moved in with me and my dad when we had only been together for 6 months to care for me. Between him and my dad they ensure that I have had 24 hour a day, 7 day care for over 13 years. And, of course, the one thing I am MOST thankful for, above anything and everything else in my life, my little Wildchild. She’s just incredible. My miricale, my life and, somedays, the only reason I smile. 

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