Two weeks ago I was feeling incredibly nauseous and not in control of my own body. I went to the doctor and found out that I had a stomach virus. Now, as someone living with a chronic illness, my body's ability to protect itself and fight off illness is not as strong as other people's. I was annoyed and frustrated because I had the same exact stomach virus on my birthday last year. However, last year my A1C was about 3 points higher than it is now, my body was not half as healthy as it is now, and my diabetes was no where near under control. When I would get sick then, I would get mad at myself and blame myself because I thought I was putting myself in a position to get sick more easily and to a certain extent that is true. Managing blood sugars are key in fighting off illness. However, this year I was like "WHAT THE HECK MAN" !?!? I take care of myself 24/7 and that's still not good enough?
Flash forward to yesterday, after starting to feel a little better and getting to enjoy my birthday with friends and going to Disneyland, I woke up with a burning sensation in my throat and ear. I went to the doctor and was told I had strep throat. Not the end of the world, sure. BUT for someone who has been in and out of bed for the last two weeks, annoying. Royally annoying. I again let myself get angry and frustrated and pissed off at my body. I was annoyed with the amount of things I had to cancel or reschedule in the last few weeks, not appreciating the things that I was still able to do and push through. I was constantly thinking that the one place where I live, the one place that is supposed to be protecting me seems to be nothing but trouble sometimes. I get mad at my body and it honestly does nothing but make the situation worse.
So I woke up today and had a little chat with myself. I told myself that I need to replace that anger with gratitude. I need to thank my body for all that it does instead of all that it can't do. It feels incredibly counter intuitive and it is probably the hardest thing for me to do sometimes, but I know that that is the only way I am going to be able to live with my chronic illness. This is not the first time I have been sick and it is certainly not the last, so I need to figure out a way to get through it. So every time I say to my body "I am mad at you" I am also going to say "But I appreciate what you are able to do" and although it is a very small step, that gratitude will eventually take over my anger and help me get through my bad days. Sometimes that love and appreciation is worth more than you think.