With all the turmoil in our nation and the world, I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed this past week. So it’s worth the time to pause and just take stock of what is going well. Even living with scleroderma, I actually feel relatively healthy and have a lot to be grateful for:
- Since I had my hand surgery two years ago this fall, I have had minimal digital ulcers. Most of the time, I just have bandages on both thumbs, due to all the calcium deposits in each. But that’s it. Pretty amazing after so many years of multiple ulcers. My hand surgeon essentially removed all the tissue that had the worst circulation. Even if my hands look odd, what’s left is pretty healthy.
- Despite all the hassles of switching to Medicare, especially Part D drug co-pays, a significant portion of my health expenses are still covered—and I have a good, affordable Medex Plan that includes my long-time team of doctors.
- Although my lead rheumatologist recently told me he is retiring this February, he has been mentoring a replacement. It will be an adjustment, but I won’t have to go searching for someone knowledgeable or have to worry about a long wait for getting into a new practice.
- We have the resources to pay for complications like my tooth extraction and implant, as well as for routine medical care.
- I have energy and strength to lead an active life, run my own consulting practice, take hikes, participate in exercise classes, and keep up my daily routine.
- I live in a time and place where there are excellent medical professionals who understand this complicated disease, who take me seriously, and who give me good advice that I can trust.
- Because I work for myself, I can set my own schedule. On days when I’m more tired, I can cut back. On days when I have more energy, I can do more projects. It evens out over the long run, and I always hit my deadlines.
- It’s fall. The days are getting shorter and colder. But my house is warm, and my husband never complains about setting the thermostat for my needs.
- Even as my dexterity is limited, I can still cook a gourmet meal for company, weave beautiful textiles, sew a garment, draw, write.
- I have the loving support of my daughters, other family, and friends. Most especially, I have Al, who has never babied me with this disease, but always given me the care and encouragement that I’ve needed, when I’ve needed it.
Okay, now I feel better. Those are my top ten. How about yours?
Image: Ricardo Gomez