With Thanksgiving coming up this week I want to point out a few things I wasn’t, but should have been, thankful for last year. My goal here is to help myself, and maybe a few others, think of some of the small things we take for granted and be truly thankful this holiday season.

  1. Showers! I’m sure anyone who has ever had a cast feels me on this one. I have a PICC line in my right upper arm that can’t get wet.  Each time I shower I am disconnected from my IV and wrapped up like leftovers in Glad Press and Seal. I feel like I’m doing the hokey pokey but only my right arm is playing.  Put your right arm out! Put your right arm out!
  2. Traveling. Everyone this time of year, especially in the military community, asks (with good intentions), “Where are you going for the holidays?” This year my answer is nowhere. The Army B.R.A.T in me cringes. In order to travel, I would have to remove myself from the transplant list. The viability of a donor heart is so short I must remain close to the hospital. Looking on the bright side everyone is coming to me!  No packing or long car rides full of “Are we there yet?” Next year, I hope, we will be on the move!
  3. The dinner. Thanksgiving dinner is delicious! I love it!  Stuffing is my favorite of all time – slathered in gravy of course. This time last year I was doing better health wise.  If I made a mistake and ate too much sodium my body could cope. Not anymore. Too much sodium causes water retention especially in my lungs. Imagine walking.  Easy right?  Walking in water? Significantly harder.  The same goes for your organs. They can do their job but when surrounded by water they have to work significantly harder. My mom came up last week to help even though she won’t for the actual holiday. She made sausage from scratch with no salt but seasoned to perfection! I made corn bread today, skipping the salt, to make our stuffing perfect. No brining on the turkey. No salt on mashed potatoes. No slipping up on the diet.

It’s very easy to take things for granted until you don’t have them anymore. I don’t think I ever actually mentioned I was thankful for my health until I didn’t have it anymore. I will obviously miss things each time but, I hope to make my thankful thoughts a part of my daily routine. My goal in making time to be intentionally thankful is to bring focus to the positive and appreciate all that I have a little more.

Courage, dear heart. ~C.S.Lewis

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