But that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel deeply, deeply thankful. Perhaps I’m even more thankful than I might otherwise be for that remaining quarter of the glass. What is scarce is precious.
This year I am thankful for:
Mr. Eos and Boy Scientist. All summer, when I was cooking up wacky kitchen concoctions, they gamely tried every single thing that came out of the oven or off the stovetop. Sometimes, they were even more game than I was. They bent their diets, chose to forego eating at some of our favorite restaurants, and didn’t poach my safe chocolate too much. Mr. Eos schleps me to and from scopes, and Boy Scientist bravely lets me sleep it off. For my birthday earlier this month, uncertain what treat would be mom-safe, they concocted a beautiful plate of fruit with a bowl of first-class melted chocolate. They stuck a candle in the banana. They bring joy to my life every day.
An amazing medical team. EGIDs are often mystery ailments, and some people wait years for a diagnosis. But right next door, I have a gastroenterologist and an allergist who are on top of this game, part of the next generation of doctors trying to crack these conditions. What’s more, they are capable, compassionate, and open-minded. They don’t balk at my many, many questions. They answer emails. They talk to each other, and they tell me about it. There’s also my amazing new family doctor, who walked into my first appointment and said, “So tell me something non-medical about yourself.” She always greets me with a hug and she warned me up front that the practice often runs late because they want to give everyone their full attention. In fact, they do often run late. And when it’s my turn, I get her full attention for just as long as it’s needed. I’m fine with the running late part.
Corticosteroids. Really, what else do I need to say?
Food allergy awareness. It stinks that the incidence of food allergies and EGIDs climbs and climbs. It’s rotten that there are so many people with celiac disease. But thank goodness for the shelves of crazy ingredients at my local Whole Foods and my food co-op. Thank goodness for allergy-aware bloggers and cookbook authors such as Karina Allrich, Colette Martin, and Cybele Pascal. My plate would be much emptier and more bleak without the forces that bring safe ingredients to the stores and the culinary whizzes who use them to develop tasty recipes.
The Interwebs. I’ve said it before: When I was first diagnosed some thirty (!) years ago, eosinophilic gastroenteritis was weird and lonely. Today, the miracles of blogs, Twitter, and online patient groups have shifted the landscape beyond recognition. Online, I’ve met amazing strong people who deal with EGIDs and many other challenges with grace, wisdom, humor, and generosity. I’ve learned so much that I wouldn’t know otherwise. My understanding of healthcare, health professions, and patient-hood has become so much richer and more nuanced. With so many good people out there, here is a reason to feel optimistic.
So, there is much to be thankful for, and it feels good to immerse in gratitude. May you find a day, an hour, or even just a moment of joy this Thanksgiving. May you have much to fill your glass.