To the Condition That Keeps Me From Being a 'Normal' Teenager, Thank You


Hey Gastroparesis!

Thank you for teaching me a thing or two about what it means to truly live.

Most of the things people are thankful in life are the basic: health, family, life, a place to call home and friends. Yet, those things don’t always come easily for me. What I am thankful for is quite different than the average person. Most people think because I am sick I don’t have much to be thankful for, but they’re wrong.

From an outsider view they don’t see what a teenager with multiple life-threatening and rare diseases has to be thankful for. People look at those who are sick and only see the extreme burden that comes with it. My life sucks so much because of you Gastroparesis, but you are a true blessing in disguise. Since I got sick a few years ago I have learned to love and value every minute of my life because I never know what is coming next. Without you I wouldn’t have that.

I would probably still be a stupid teenager who thinks she is invincible without a fear in the world. Sadly, the circumstances I have been handed have made me think twice. Since you have came along I have learned to love the good, the bad, and the ugly in life.I have learned family will stick by you when the going gets tough. They have helped me fight you day in and day out. Helping me make my medicine, spending long days and nights in the hospital, and having to sleep on that uncomfortable sleeper chair in the hospital. Having a strong family unit is important in my battle against you and I am so thankful I have been given people who want to help me fight you.

Once you came along I learned the importance of one simple text from a friend offering support and love. You’ve shown me the power of prayer from friends and even complete strangers who have never met me in my life. Life is a miracle. As a matter of fact today is a miracle.

I wouldn’t be alive without feeding tubes, central lines, TPN (IV Nutrition), surgeons, nurses, doctors and all other things that keep me alive. Yet I have learned even with all these things I am still beautiful no matter what scars make a road map on my body.

IMG_5721

So for some weird reason I am thankful for you even though you have sucked my life up like a tornado and then spit me back out again to pick up the pieces. You have given me the chance to express myself and raise awareness in my battle against you and you have shown me the type of warrior I am.

Because of you I learned I am a fighter and I have survived the worst before, so I can definitely survive it again.

Your Warrior,

Michaela

A version of this post originally appeared on It’s Not as Easy as You Think

For all of March, The Mighty is asking its readers the following: If you could write a letter to the disability or disease you (or a loved one) face, what would you say to it? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post [email protected] Please  include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.

Want to celebrate the human spirit? Like us on Facebook.

And sign up for what we hope will be your favorite thing to read at night.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Gastroparesis

Her Rare Disorder Could Have Done 1 of 2 Things to Our Family

Dear Alagille syndrome, You have snuck into our lives like a thief, determined to cause fear and pain. You shocked us with your presence in our daughter. We weren’t aware of you or the other lives you’d filled. After we discovered who you were, we wanted to deny your presence. You looked far too scary, and [...]

When I Thought My Daughter’s Muscular Dystrophy Crushed All Our Dreams

Dear Congenital Muscular Dystrophy, You came into our world and crushed all our dreams. You changed the way we perceive a lot of things, the way we think about a lot of things. You forced us to alter our definition of “normal.” You made me cry rivers and gave me heartache I didn’t know was [...]

Why the Decision to Blog About Your Special Needs Child Is Never an Easy One

“Don’t wash your dirty knickers in public.” My grandmother’s advice is ringing in my ears. I was brought up not to talk openly about private family matters; it was very much frowned upon. That’s why my recent decision to start blogging about my son’s birth brain injury (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy or HIE) hasn’t been an [...]

3 Years Ago, My Letter to Autism Would Not Have Started This Way

Dear Autism, Thank you. I know, right? I’m just as surprised as you are. If I’d been asked to write this letter a few years ago, it might have started out more along the lines of “f*&ck you.” Amazing how much your perspective can change in just three and a half years. That’s right. It’s [...]