As I begin my month-long thanksgiving, you might expect me to begin by expressing my thankfulness for my God or my Savior or my family or my home or my. . . . Nope. Not this year. I wish to begin by expressing my thankfulness for my health. I might not have the health I want, but I have the health a lot of people would love to have.
You see, “I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes until I met the man who had no feet.” It doesn’t take me long to see people who are suffering far worse than I am. I’ve placed people on the church prayer list who have been suffering from ALS and cancer and renal failure and pancreatitis and strokes and other far more serious illnesses than dystonia. I’ve visited a family who had just lost their son in a tragic ATV accident. I’ve visited a young widow who had preschool aged children; her husband had been killed in a tragic mining accident. I don’t know trouble. I don’t know what it’s like to struggle.
My health isn’t what I wish it was. I cannot work full-time – maybe after I have deep brain stimulation, but my doctor doesn’t think I can handle the demands of full-time work even then. I’m becoming more and more dependent on a wheelchair, and I sent my physician a short note yesterday asking for a prescription so that I can get a new one. No “becoming more and more dependent” on my cane; Mr. Cane has become a constant companion. The pain – what can I say? I know it doesn’t come close, but I’ve often said that the pain feels as though my legs are dangling over the fires of hell. The meds? I take handful after handful and the side effects can be horrendous. But, my health is far, far better than situations – health or otherwise – that others face every single day.
I am blessed with good health: I get up every morning, I’m able to make my own breakfast (pouring Cocoa Pebbles in a bowl does count as making my own breakfast, right?), I can drive myself to the gym, I can swim (I need the lift chair to get in and out of the pool, not exactly the end of the world), and I can come home and write. In the evening, I’m able to sit with my family and eat and we’re able to talk about the day and laugh and enjoy one another’s company. I’m able to gather with the saints on the Lord’s Day and worship my God. My health may be troublesome, but I’m a long, long way from dead. I’m thankful for that.