Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Calling For PFAM Contributions: What Are You Grateful For?

As autumn begins, all kinds of traditions stem from celebrating the harvest, starting with Sukkot next week and ending with the American Thanksgiving in late November, and plenty of other traditions in between.

In that light, and in an effort to count our blessings, my family recently started making a point of sharing something we're grateful for at each meal we eat together. (Ellie is often grateful for things like "princesses," "pink" and/or "fairies." :-)

It's easy to find things I'm grateful for, ranging from my husband and daughter to the home I live in to the good food we eat and even the fact that even with my medical expenses, we're managing. 

But it's harder to find a silver lining in my debilitating chronic illness, that has affected every aspect of my life and my family's life. 

And yet, there are things I'm grateful for:
  • We've had some amazing babysitters come into our lives. Until I got sick, we didn't know anyone who would/could babysit for us. We got our first babysitter thanks to a woman in my MOMS Club chapter who called churches and high schools until she found someone willing to come babysit weekly to give Scott a break. Two others are the daughters of men Scott works/worked with, who knew we needed help and offered it up.
  • Ellie spent just over two years at an amazing preschool that, before my illness, we thought was out of reach financially. Funny how you sometimes find money you didn't realize you had when you have no choice! (And that's something else I'm grateful for -- that we've always lived within our means and without debt beyond our mortgage, which meant when push came to shove, it was possible to cut back and stay out of debt despite medical bills and related expenses, like full-time daycare.) The school was amazing with a PE program, Spanish class with a native Spanish speaker, good teachers with long tenure, a hot lunch included in tuition, and an extended day program.
  • I've found some good friends thanks to the online chronic illness community, and reconnected with old friends via social media like Facebook. 
  • I found the fabulous outlet of blogging, and reading other people's blogs (although there's never enough time to keep up with all the blogs I want to, especially the prolific writers!).
So what silver linings have you found in or despite your chronic illness? Share your experiences with me and other blog readers in the upcoming edition of the Patients For A Moment blog carnival, which I am delighted to be hosting right here next week for the first time ever! (Thank you, Leslie, for allowing me this honor!)

Maybe it's a person or people, or your chronic illness's effect on your ability to work full-time inspired you to create your dream job working from home. Maybe, like me, you appreciate extra time to read books and magazines, or like my daughter Ellie, you're grateful for magical things.  Maybe there's something totally unrelated to your health issues that is the biggest blessing you feel grateful for. Or maybe you're a medical professional who's grateful for a certain type of patient. Whatever it is, please share it with all of us!

To submit your post, simply e-mail the information below to me at
  • Your name (as you would like it to appear)
  • Your blog’s name
  • Your post’s title
  • Your post’s URL
Please be sure to put “PFAM” in the subject line.
All submissions wishing to be considered need to be received no later than 11:59 p.m. Sunday, September 19.  (Ok, really they just need to be here when I wake up and start working on the blog carnival sometime on Sept. 20. But the midnight Sunday deadline is a Sure Thing.)

And please come back on Wednesday, September 22, to see what other people find to be grateful for, from the silly, inconsequential stuff to the big stuff.

Thanks, everyone!

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