My Thanksgiving List



As each year passes, living with chronic pain and disease, I find myself grateful to still be alive to be grateful, to be grateful to still be alive, well, you get the picture. The older I grow the more grateful I become.


I’m thankful for modern medical care which saves us from the old fears of scurvy, consumption and the ingestion of laudanum; however, we still have a long way to go.


I’m grateful for each change in medical research and science I have been privy to see each year for many and varied diseases, always remembering the families impacted by these horrendous diseases.


I’m thankful for many medications, like the dreaded prednisone, biologics, chemo drugs, NSAID’s and anti-malarials, in spite of their numerous side effects.


I’m thankful there isn’t as much fat in my tush as there is in my chin or chins…I think.


In spite of living with daily pain, I look back in awe and wonder why I still have as many marbles rattling around in my jar sitting on my shoulders as I do.


I’m thankful for the insight which I have gained from all my suffering, without which I would be a shallow, narcissistic, self-indulgent, spoiled healthy person who felt great every day. Huh? Guess I would have to think about that one if given the choice.


I’m thankful for the rain that falls almost daily here in the Northwest without which we would not have all this greenery that surrounds us like green bricks, green sidewalks and green pet paws.


I’m thankful I still have enough joy in my heart to daily understand there is still much to be joyful about.


I’m grateful for the God-given insight to look through the rain clouds toward the sunshine; to see the promise of buds on a huge camellia bush in the midst of winters chill and the faith to plant bulbs for next spring.


I’m grateful I still feel enough hope to buy green bananas.


I’m appreciative of the faith I have in my many current physicians who are a prince/princess, in spite of all the frogs I’ve “kissed” along the way in my medical history.


I’m in awe of the many fantastic individuals I have met who travel along and survive the same road I travel, riddled with pot-holes, dangerous winding curves and faux dead ends.


I’m thankful each curve in the road is not a dead end but a change of direction with new hopes and possibilities.


I’m thankful for the immense Hand of God that is always there to lift me out of the slumps of my own depression.


I’m grateful for the lesson of living for today and only today as exemplified by innocent children, pure souls and all furry creatures with wet noses.


I’m thankful for the child who still lives within me to help me enjoy building blocks, play dough, crayons, water coloring on construction paper and a stick of glue with all of their inherent possibilities, limited only by imagination. I’m thankful for a Christmas full of red fake noses and fart putty for everyone.


I’m grateful for the laughter of a child when his/her mouth is spewed with a spray can of whipping crème. I’m also grateful for squirt guns, silly knockknock jokes and all toys that walk, dance, chime, zoom, giggle, burp, “toot” beep or sing.


I’m grateful for the ability to climb a flight of stairs irrespective of the pain. It’s getting to the top that counts, as well as arriving at the bottom while still standing. The pain becomes unimportant if I can still function. Independent function is of prime importance.


I’m thankful for comfortable shoes, warm socks and a heating pad on a chilly day and night; as well as long silk underwear, soft sweaters and hooded jackets.


I’m thankful for a spouse who sees me with eyes of memory, love and acceptance;splattered with that always needed forgiveness.


I’m thankful we don’t live in an era when we have to pick bird shot out of the Thanksgiving turkey. This also includes plucking out feathers and dealing with decapitation of the bird. I like to think our Butterball was born in that white plastic bag.


I’m thankful we can afford mail order food for the holidays when needed.


I’m thankful for the delicious crackling edge on a piece of turkey, a moist serving of cornbread stuffing and the sweet memories that accompany every piece of pumpkin pie rich in spices and heavy with whipped cream.


I’m thankful for the constants in life like the love of a child, the changing of the seasons,the wag of a tail after any absence and relief after a painful episode.


I’m grateful it always feels so good when the pain subsides and the many modern miracles which make it possible to live this altered life.


I’m always grateful I was born with a cussedly independent stubborn spirit. I’d have been dead long ago without it.


I’m ever thankful for the grace to live with dignity in often horrible physical conditions. I thank God for the ability to always believe in the sun coming up tomorrow.


I’m often grateful there are only 24 hours in each day.


I’m humbly grateful nothing has fallen off of meyet. That doesn’t take into consideration those parts which have been surgically removed. I still miss my breast but, oh well, I never miss my tonsils or appendix.


I’m thankful and appreciative for the odors of the season; candle wax, scented or not, a roasting turkey, sage and onions in Mom’s cornbread stuffing and that unique fragrance of crisp, clean Fall air.


I’m thankful for the inspiration of survival exemplified by our old house that has withstood 130 winters of fierce, buffeting gales and pouring rain.


I’m thankful for my constant and deep assurance of life after the many miracles of life and death I witnessed as a registered nurse.


I’m ever aware and thankful for a loving family. I’m thankful for so many wonderful friends, old and new who share their life stories with me.


I have much to be thankful for this year and pray that you do, too. Please enjoy preparing for the season ahead of us. Eat what agrees with you, spend time with those you love to be with and don’t forget to look around you and be thankful.



16 thoughts on “My Thanksgiving List

  1. I could not have said it any better.

    I was in a rear end car accident in 2014 and my life has never been the same. I also have fibromyalgia, which just compounds everything.

    I too am thankful for modern medicine and doctors, but moreover God that made that all possible.

    Stairs are one of my big fears as well. Some days I stop half way and just wait for the pain to stop and energy to build to go the rest of the way.

    I am very thankful for my husband and so, their patience and understand and helping me up and down the stairs. They are also my chauffeurs. God has given me so much and I am so thankful.

    I too am thankful for just getting out of bed, whether I can sit up by myself or need help.

    I have to keep going now matter what. I refuse to give in to pain or I lose.

    I pray for those in pain that can’t afford pain medicine or any of the necessary care. I don’t know how I would be able to function if I didn’t have the things to make it bearable.

    Thank you for what you do. It really helps me to refocus and keep going.

    • Dear Cindy, thanks so much for your sweet sharing from your heart. One of the things I have always missed since not being able to practice my nursing career is the intimacy that develops between a thoughtful caregiver and her patient. Thank you so much for opening your life and heart to me as we do indeed have so much in common. I am thankful you have a caring husband and son to be there for you. Keep looking up my dear. I can see you don’t allow yourself to be sucked under into the sadness and depression that we all feel when our lives are compromised and please continue to be strong so you can enjoy the parts of your life that are still there for you to enjoy. Find them sweet friend. Some days we have to search mighty hard though, I know. Thanks for your kind and uplifting remarks to me. Fondly, Sue

      • Sue, you mentioned friends. I have a few really good friends and my Sister-in-Law that really understand my situation and are very understanding. I also have some that don’t. The medicine makes me sick a lot as well so I can really not make plans, I have to do things when I am feeling up to it. That is my biggest challenge. I don’t like to tell my friends I can’t go with them or cancel on them, but that is my life. Thank God for giving me my good friends and family members.

        It is very disheartening and depressing to have to deal with that, but I take 1 day (hour) at a time and keep moving forward.

        Your funny messages do help alot when I am stuck in the house and can’t get out. They not just give me hope and encouragement, but a well needed laugh.

        Thank you very much.

  2. Great blog again sue
    I love the wide range you have looked at things and your way of seeing it and putting in writing with the hint of comedy always there
    Yes we all have something to be thankful for it’s great that we can share it here
    I do wish you better

    • Chris dear, glad you liked this thanksgiving piece. My family is all over at my daughters because, as you know, I am still down with a severe case of diverticulitis. This is still bad and still on very strong antibiotics. Still on liquids, and even my faithful usual rescue food are not good right now like soft eggs and baked potatoes…strictly liquids. Should lose some weight but drinking so many sugary drinks I doubt it. Practically living on hot jello and tea and broth. No turkey for Sue this year. My grandkids baked pies and my dear daughter the rest, although my Jim did peel the potatoes; his contribution to the day. Do take care of yourself as I know we share this problem. More testing next week but hopefully better with time and no surgery will be needed. Too many other problems for this old gal…yuck. Love you, Sue

  3. Sometimes I think the antibiotics keep the runs going ,do you still have a temperature at all with it. I always feel yuk on the meds
    You must feel quite weak on liquids for so long . Its difficult here to get jello ..we call it jelly..with proper sugar in it, all seems to be sweeteners which in turn upset the tum as you know
    I notice myself each attack seems to be longer…but restricted foods and to only chicken eggs .rice potatoes pasta and ham oh and cheese .nothing else allowed well cheese scones! And butter it staves off a bad attack
    Having no fruit and other veg is a bind sometimes you long for something fresh
    I found some jam that is only made with sugar and no seeds or bits in it.i have that when I feel like fruit.just keeping the pre diabetes away is ongoing but my last tests were good for it and now back to normal.
    Ain’t life difficult…

    • Chris, Thanks always for your many tips that work for you. I have found every case of divert is different although there are some rules that apply to all. For instance, I love fruit and eat a lot of it like melons, oranges, apples peeled, etc. as long as I stay away from the bad seeds. I also just each jams and jellies without seeds and eat a lot of honey mixed with peanut butter on toast. Potatoes are my go to food when I’m having a bad attack but this last one, the worst I have ever had called for clear liquids only; lots of broths, herbal teas, Gatorade. Finally, last night had my first bowl of chicken noodle soup and no ill effects. Thank God I am better. Ct scan this week.
      My problem is never diarrhea. I have the opposite problem, even on antibiotics but I always take probiotics. I have to watch too muc dairy because cheese is very binding. Love to hear you got out for scones. Love you, Sue

    • Chris
      Wish I could send you some of my sugar and preservative free jam. I have learned so much over the summer about not using sugar. It’s really good. My baking I do with honey mostly, maybe a bit of brown or unprocessed sugar. Really has helped my weight loss.
      Sorry I have been so long away. My life has been crazy of late. Now I hear it raining and I turned Red out in his blanket, ugh ! I will have to bring it in and wash it.
      Sue, praying for you daily, you know this. Love y’all and really hope we can all have a nice Christmas wi5out a lot of pain and exhaustion !

      • Yea Tonie
        Watching my sugar ….along with having to cut other stuff….made weight loss much easier
        That’s when the glucose levels get better as well
        You’ve done well
        I bet your jam is really good
        I expect now you’ve got used to using less sugar you’ll stay that way,
        I’ve seen people put loads of spoonfuls in drinks and I cringe ,it seems the more you have the more you want
        It’s dangerous stuff…..says me who just eat a whole box of chocs the other day !
        I hope all have the best Christmas and good new year

  4. Cindy, I think our lives are very similar. It is difficult to make commitments because I never know what each day will bring although I can gauge certain days based on the day of the week I take my methotrexate or other chemo. All we can do is our best and be kind to ourselves. Glad and reassured to hear you have a group of folks, friends and family who “get it”. Take care my dear and oh yes, one day at a time. Fondly, Sue P.S. always keep looking for the laughter.

      • Cindy, That’s great. A good sense of humor is a vital quality in any man. My husband is a real character and always makes others laugh. With me he’s a bit more serious. Sue

    • Lyn, I’m sure you’ve had a busy last few days. Indeed, life always offers us something to be thankful for if we have the eyes to acknowledge it. Love ya, Sue

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