Although I am not an American or Canadian (Aussie through and through) I really like the idea of sharing what is is that you are thankful for. I am thankful to have so many things to be appreciative of and I will share these with you today (yes I know thanksgiving was yesterday).
1) My husband
First and most importantly I am thankful for my husband, Russell. I honestly do not know if I would be so held together if it weren't for his incredible support over the last 4 years especially the last 2 years. He thinks I am the strong one in the relationship but I'm not, he is. He accepts and takes on every new challenge with grace (sounds a bit feminine for a guy and probably a better word but it is 5am and my brain is all worded out lol). I have only ever seen him upset a few times but his strength is amazing. I know he had to brave a lot and keep a strong front. I never asked him to but its what he does. He knows if I see that he is hurting watching me go through everything it will make me feel worse about myself, and he is right.
He works so hard to support us as I am unable to work until my doctors think I am well enough. It hasn't been easy and has been so hard but I have learnt to budget, well didn't learn was more forced to and I am glad I did. I worked out every bill and every expense we have and calculated on a weekly basis what needs to be paid. Every pay day we sit down and pay the bills together Russ has the list on his phone and I have the bills stored in my internet banking. Besides he wouldn't know how to pay the bills (its interesting when I am in hospital the amount of calls I get asking me how to do something or where something is).
So Russ thank you for everything you have done and everything you continue to do.
Secondly, I am thankful for my stoma. It was as much of a life saving operation as much as it is life changing. It hasn't been easy, I won't lie. But it has given me my life back! I was having a shower a moment ago and I remembered what it was like not even 6 months ago before my stoma. I wouldn't say the life I had was living life it was debilitating and restricting and painful. I wasn't able to leave the house unless I knew just where the toilets would be. Sometimes I would be in the shopping centre practically running to make the toilet, and I mean lucky to make the toilet. If I went to dinner it was a quick rush home to make it to the toilet. Staying at friends and relatives was so embarrassing as I would disappear for a while after meals. I practically spent almost all day every day sitting on the toilet wishing that the toilet seat manufacturers would design comfy padded seating for those with bowel problems.
At first I absolutely hated my stoma and I thought my life was over! I didn't realise that it would give me my life back well should say give me a life.
I can eat now without running to the toilet immediately after. I am no longer in horrendous pain everytime I eat. And I have so much more time to do things through the day and can enjoy dinners or staying at friends or relatives without feeling judged, ashamed and guilty for being rude.
You know I have been asked a lot since I had my surgery how it is that I have been able to grow my business so much (especially when I should be taking it easy). I don't think many believe me when I say I have been able to push limits in my business because I no longer have a bowel. It is the truth. I have so much time to focus on orders and work on building my brands awareness. I am feeling so much happier and free in myself that it is reflecting through to my business!
3) My family
I am also thankful to some of my family. There are those who have really stood by my side over the last few years and will help me when I need it. And I hope they realise just how appreciative I am. I love you!
4) My Dad
Although it saddens me that dad is no longer here with us I am thankful for the time I got to have with him a whole 21 years and 2 days. My dad has taught me a lot and life lessons I will never forget.
5) My business
I am thankful for the opportunities that have and continue to be presented to me. Without having my business to rely heavily on I don't think I would have coped as well as I have. I am thankful to turn a creative outlet and my mental health issues from being a weakness to becoming a strength in creating a viable enterprise.
6) Health care
I know a lot of people speak negatively of our healthcare here in Australia I honest think we have it pretty good, and a lot better then most of the world. We are so lucky to have access to free healthcare and systems like Medicare. Yes it still isn't free and there isn't much of a rebate from doctors appointments but it is still a lot cheaper then places overseas. We have public hospitals where everyone has the same level of care whether privately insured or not.
I am really appreciative of the medicare scheme there is for people with stoma's and ensuring that we have the supplies we need. Under this scheme all of my supplies are fully covered and I don't have to pay, its all subsidised. I have heard of fellow ostomates in places like the US or UK where their supplies are so expensive in excess of thousands! I feel bad when they talk about how much their supplies cost and just think how lucky I am to live in Australia!
There is so much more that I am thankful for but these would be the most important ones and aren't in any particular order of importance.