I always talk about the things these illnesses have taken away from me.

And it’s right that I mourn — what I once had, what was ripped away so suddenly (and painfully), what I never expected to be taken away from me.

But it’s time to celebrate all I have been given in return.

What’s that, you say?

> The pain of “friends” leaving gave way to those who have proven to stick through thick and thin.
> My rightfully hated medical leave gave me another half a year at home with my family. I’d call that a blessing.
> The pile of compounding loans and medical bills was a harsh lesson in the value of money. Dave Ramsey I’m looking at you.
> No, I can’t eat whatever I want, whenever I want anymore. But I wouldn’t trade the knowledge I’ve gained on nutrition for anything in the world. I feel better than I ever thought I could. #FoodisMedicine
> A complete shift in mentality. School was the only thing important in my life, at the cost of relationships and even my health. This pain finally became something I couldn’t just push through and ignore. I’ve been forced to learn how to put myself first, and that’s a first!
> A support system for the ages (that’s only like 5 people, but it’s 5 more than I thought I could count on)
> The utter joy and hope when a dr actually looked at me, saw affliction, and dared to step between me and my illness.
> And in the same breath, the ultimate patient perspective. If I can become half the physician my doctor was to me, I’ll consider my work worthy.

I could’ve done without the pain, but now I couldn’t do without the lessons learned and wisdom I’ve gained over the course of this radical change in my life.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

#ChronicIllness #ChronicCourage #ChronicPancreatitis #ChronicPain #AutoimmunePancreatitis #AutoimmuneImmunodeficiency #PrimaryImmunodeficiency #sjogrens #Vitiligo #CeliacDisease #SpoonieStudent