July 22 – U

363/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me.  Wow, only 3 more gratitude posts left including this one!!  When I started this journey a year ago, I was a little nervous as to if I would have 365 people to thank.  I didn’t want it to come down to posts such as thanking my mailman for the flyers he delivers in that they were the ones that led me on to some awesome deal!! ; )  Early on in these posts, I started hearing from friends that so and so had made “the list”.  I didn’t understand what that was until I was told that it was my “gratitude list”.  That put some pressure on me to say the least as there was now a “list”.  I didn’t want it to be a list and I didn’t want it to be some type of contest.  Then I heard that some people mentioned they were in the 80s and others were in the 200s!  I do have to make it clear that I haven’t had an order as to who I thank and thus whatever number gratitude post it was has no relation to ranking.  Most posts are the night before or a couple of days before.  Yes, I saved my dad for his birthday as I did with my children for theirs, my mom was first because well she is my mom but save for them and the final two gratitude posts, no one had a day or a number.  The list by the end of Sunday is far from complete.  I could thank another 365 people who got me to where I am today and this is what today’s gratitude post is about – to all of the people I didn’t name and there are hundreds of you that have impacted me!  So many former students, co-workers past and present, family members, inlaws, bosses, professors, fellow students, random strangers, neighbours past and present, friends, backhanded gratitudees (bullies and the like), service providers, celebrities etc, etc – just so many people who have made me who I am and to all of you un-named in this past year, you are part of this gratitude journey just because you were not personally mentioned here doesn’t mean you weren’t recognized by me.  To all the new people that will come in to my life, thanking you in advance as some of you will change and influence me in new ways.  Thank you to all of you who came along with me on this 365 day journey as well.  Your encouragement and support has gotten me to this end point.

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July 19 – remedy

360/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me.  Most of you probably don’t know that I have a medical condition (sarcoidosis) which has resulted in a compromised immune system – I get sicker faster and stay sicker longer than most people (I’ve had a cough/chest cold for 11 weeks running as of this moment!).  I am at St Paul’s Hospital two to three times a year (and have been for the last decade) undergoing heart monitoring, breathing tests, CT scans and xrays, in addition to weekly blood work, and daily/weekly ingestion of prednisone or methotrexate coupled with two inhalers.  My respirologist, who I have thanked earlier, is amazing but today’s gratitude post is for the entire provincial healthcare system.  Yes, many of us complain about our medical system but I am not one of those as I am constantly in and out of doctor’s and specialist’s offices, constantly in labs and constantly hooked up to various machines just so some sort of understanding can take place about the condition I have.  Have I gotten better – unfortunately, no – just a bit worse each year but I’m not upset or jaded and one of the those reasons is that my experiences in the medical system have been easy and the people have always been friendly.  The people who do the breathing tests know me by face and joke with me that I am an expert – hence, when I’m scheduled, I get the students working with the veteran on me (happened today).  The secretaries at the various doctor’s ensure that my four appointments at the hospital are all coordinated and are at least in a four hour time period in one day rather than all over the calendar.  Yes, I may have to wait a few extra weeks on occasion, but I can’t and won’t complain.  The techs in the blood lab – already queasy just typing it – know that I hate the sight of blood so they get it done as quick and as fast – or as fast as 8 vials of blood can be removed.  I am still healthy, I can still do all that I want to do but when I do have to spend my time related to my medical conditions in the “system”, I am glad that the system takes care of me well in all aspects!

June 16 – i need u

327/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me.  We all need support systems – people to be there for us.  Whether it’s to get us through the tough times or the happy ones, it is amazing when there are people to go through the experiences with.  With this past week’s events with the shooting in Orlando, I have been reading about the outpouring of support and camaraderie that is being shown.  It’s amazing to know that in times of need, people are there whether physically or in spirit – even messages on social media make a difference for people who are not directly affected by events but are still feeling a sense of loss and thus become a part of a larger community.  I love the fact that there are forums and blogs of support also to get through whatever life throws you.  I have a medical condition called sarcoidosis and belong to a few forums.  I don’t contribute but creep to read what people are going through and because of them, I don’t feel alone with my condition when I can see myself in the writings that are taking place.  If not for these community forums, I would only have the advice of my doctor.  This is the same thing when I was going through my separation.  To understand a little more about what I was feeling and especially what my son may be going through, support came both through personal friends and through online communications.  I’m not one for unsolicited advice but I do appreciate true support when I’m looking for it just to get a perspective and today I thank both the online world and real people who have given me information, a sense of community and just the understanding that I need to deal with whatever it is that I’m dealing with.  I hope to rely on y’all in the future because I’m not ever going to be done needing.

June 9 – rx for life

320/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me.  I am generally a healthy person and try to take care of myself.  I try to be active and watch what I eat.  Yes, like the best of us, I give in to temptation – okay, like the worst of us, a lot of the time 😉  Anything I put into and subject my body to – these are things within my control but many things that afflict the body are things that are beyond one’s control.   Over a decade ago, I somehow contracted a health issue called sarcoidosis.  I was gardening – okay, cutting the lawn and pulling out weeds and was just exhausted.  Went to school the next day and the principal told me to take the afternoon off.  On the third day, I was still tired and went in to see my family doctor who immediately got an xray.  I had a form of walking pneumonia. He put me on meds and immediately got me linked up with a respirologist at St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.  Fast forward a decade or more and here I am managing with a compromised immune system and nodules and scar tissues on my lungs – no cure for sarcoidosis, just different meds to see what may help (steroids and inhalers) – no success yet : (  My family doctor has been with me since I was a pre-teen.  He was the one who put me at ease when I was 18 years of age and worried about becoming schizophrenic like my father – he told me since I was asking him the question, I definitely wasn’t as I knew my reality.  He referred me to a support group for family members.  In fact, anytime I have any questions or concerns, he always eases my mind and easily refers me to a specialist who deals in the particular area of concern if need be. He treats me like a family member asking me about my career, my children and also my mom.  I’m sure he does this for all his patients but I feel comfortable in his fatherly presence.  This past month, because of healing and broken ribs and a major flare-up with my sarcoidosis, I have seen him several times.  Alas, I can see him aging and realize he will probably soon retire and give up his practice as his patient hours have also decreased.  Upon writing this gratitude post, I have realized that I definitely will let him know of my gratitude for him being my health care provider and also for being there for my immigrant parents and helping them through their concerns and being patient with them.  I only today have realized how lucky I am to have a doctor who not only cares about you but has time for you.  I raise my cough syrup filled spoon in your honour ; )