"My life-threatening disease is a blessing in disguise."

Image: Michaela Shelley

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 for in life are the basics: 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.

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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.

Image courtesy of Michaela Shelley

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 come 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. They've helped me take my medicine, spent long days and nights in the hospital and have slept 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.

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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 the 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.

Need some inspiration to make you thankful for what you've got?

This article was first published on The Huffington Post. Read the original article or follow Michaela's blog.

Do you know someone with the same attitude towards their disease?