Dear Pulse readers,
November’s More Voices theme is Gratitude.
I know that many individuals have a gratitude practice, where they–and sometimes their children–take time each day to enumerate things they’re grateful for. I’m not one of those people, even though it seems like a worthy, fortifying thing to do.
I don’t know why the idea of mandatory gratitude makes me grumpy, but it does. Maybe because it immediately brings to mind all the things I’m ungrateful for, like climate change, racial injustice and untruths that tear our citizenry apart.
My own sense of gratitude just seems to bubble up, like water from a spring.
It happens while sitting across from my wife at dinner. (How lucky we are to have a good meal; to eat by candlelight; to have one other.) While holding a piece of fruit. (How amazing that this grapefruit made it all the way to New York!) While remembering past experiences. (Thank goodness for my older brother, who turned on The Ed Sullivan Show in time to give me my first glimpse of the Beatles.)
My gratitude extends to my most serious medical condition, type 1 diabetes, which I am not grateful for. But I am grateful that I was diagnosed after the discovery of insulin; otherwise, I’d be dead.
I’m also grateful that I developed diabetes shortly after home glucose monitoring became widely available. In the days after my diagnosis, I didn’t even have a glucose meter. Instead, I’d dab a drop of blood on a test strip, wipe if off after counting off many seconds, wait many more seconds for it to finish developing, then compare its colors with those on the bottle.
It was crude by current standards, but it was good enough: I’m still here. My eyes are as good as they ever were, which is to say, fair. I can feel my toes. My kidneys are in working order.
And it’s been thirty-seven years. How could I not be grateful?
What about you? As you visit your health provider, tend to a loved one or deliver care to a patient, what are you grateful for? And why do you sometimes grit your teeth as you express that gratitude?
Send us your lived experience. And while you’re at it, take a look at last month’s theme: Code Red–Our Changing Climate.
Remember, your health-related story should be 40-400 words. And no poetry, please.
We look forward to hearing from you.
With warm regards,