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There was a time when I took getting out of bed and getting dressed for granted. There was a time when I took going to work for granted. There was a time when I took cooking and cleaning for granted. There was a time when I took a trip to the grocery store for granted. There was a time when I took playing tennis for granted. There was a time when I took taking the dogs for a walk for granted. There was a time I took being out with friends for granted. There was a time when I took traveling for granted. There was a time when I took healing cuts, bruises and broken bones for granted. There was a time when I took breathing for granted. There was a time when I took my life for granted.

Sarcoidosis has taught me to take nothing for granted anymore. The simple act of waking up each day is a miracle. It always has been but now because I understand the value of my health in a new far more profound way, thanks to this disease, I respect that miracle and I am grateful for it. I have experienced a massive shift in my priorities since my diagnosis. I realize now that small victories are worth celebration. I know there will be days when I cannot accomplish even simple things, like getting the laundry done because the stairs are too hard to take too many times in one day. But, I also realize the sheer joy of finishing it and putting it all away now…hurray for small victories!

A trip to the grocery store is difficult when I am physically exhausted, full of pain and foggy in the brain so when I accomplish this task and manage to remember to bring everything I needed home and I get everything out of the car and put away…hurray for small victories! It truly is the little unremarkable things of daily life that become worth celebration. I feel proud now, not when I complete my daily “To-do” list but when I mark a few things off of it. Learning to make this adjustment in my thinking has given me the ability to better cope with the fact that my life has changed and will always be different now. By accepting that my body and my mind cannot do all that it once could, I am better able to enjoy simple tasks with a different perspective and a new insight.

Hurray for small victories!

The idea that I may one day have to give up playing tennis terrifies me. I certainly can’t play as I once did because my breathing is compromised and my legs are weak and sometimes unbalanced but I do still get out there and hit some balls and when I feel well enough to do this, I also feel free. I will cherish the time I still have left on the court even as my game weakens and I will be thankful for the sun on my face, the sweat on my back and for every shot I manage to make….hurray for small victories!

Life with a chronic condition is all about managing a desire for normalcy with the realities of what has changed…whatever those changes happen to be. It is all about learning to live as well as we can despite our losses and most importantly it is truly is about learning to cherish and enjoy every single little victory a long the way.

 

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