It may seem counterintuitive, but according to some of our members, there are actually some good things that can come out of being diagnosed with a serious illness. In the spirit of Thanksgiving – a time when many people are reminded of all the things they have to be grateful for – we thought we would share some of our members’ uplifting sentiments.
From our Fibromyalgia Community, some of the unexpected benefits include:
- Getting to spend more time with children or grandchildren
- Taking advantage of “good days” with a little extra gusto
- Appreciating what you have…and knowing it could be worse
- Refocusing on new hobbies like gardening and meditation
From our Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Community, some of the unexpected benefits include:
- Letting go of the pressurized feeling that you have to do it all
- A deeper understanding of how many people face major challenges
- Discovering new artistic talents, such as painting or needle work
- Slowing down the pace of life and prioritizing sleep – without guilt
From our Epilepsy Community, some of the unexpected benefits include:
- Learning to never judge a person by only what you see
- Becoming more patient and not taking anything for granted
- Filtering out fair-weather friends and uncaring partners
- Having extra motivation to live the healthiest lifestyle possible
What about you? Have you noticed some positive takeaways from your illness? Share them in our comments section in honor of Thanksgiving. And, from everyone at PatientsLikeMe, we wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday!
- Filed Under: ALS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME, Conditions, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, HIV/AIDS, Mood Conditions, Multiple Sclerosis, Openness, Organ Transplants, Parkinson's Disease, Rare Diseases
- Tags: being thankful, benefits of disease, gratitude, inspirational, patient sentiments, thanksgiving, unexpected benefits of illness, uplifting thoughts, upside of illness
Thanksgiving is a time for remembering all the reasons you have to be grateful. For patients who face numerous health challenges, this can mean reminding yourself of all the things you have gained – not lost – since your diagnosis.
One theme that we’re especially proud to hear our 120,000+ members express is how thankful they are to have found a community of people who truly “get” them at PatientsLikeMe. Our founders envisioned a way to connect patients with others just like them – so they could learn from each other, support each other and help accelerate the pace of medical research – and today, it’s become a reality. Touchingly, it’s also been the start of many important friendships among our members.
Here are some patient stories that moved us this year:
- “The people on this site deserve more than a simple thank you from me. The night I found PatientsLikeMe was about eight hours after my neurologists had told me, ‘You have non tremor Parkinson’s disease.’ That night I had some stinking thinking going on. I considered myself a freak. Thanks to this site I now consider myself unique. We are all unique. To my Parkinson’s brothers and sisters, a big THANK YOU for helping me get away from my stinking thinking.” – Patient with Parkinson’s disease
- “This is the place where we can wonder what is next, cry about what is now and rant about how unfair it all is to us. Here we are among friends and patients just like us who know have been there or will be going there. It is so much better for me to be on PatientsLikeMe then to just rant to my family and boyfriend. I figure we can all listen to someone’s rant as tomorrow it may be us.” – Patient with ALS
- “I called one of our members for the first time. We were on the phone for over three hours! Every connection I’ve made here that has progressed to the phone call stage has been like that. This is the best, most fun, most supportive group of guys and gals that I think I have ever come across. At PatientsLikeMe, we may all come from different walks of life, different locations and yes sometimes different opinions, but here we share such a unique and caring bond. I’m so lucky to have found PatientsLikeMe.” – Patient with fibromyalgia
- “I have found that I am better able to deal with my moods now that I am able to relate to others with the same/similar problems. It helps to rant. It helps to talk with people who understand. PatientsLikeMe has helped me to understand myself better too. YAY. I love PatientsLikeMe.” – Patient with bipolar II disorder
- “In large part, my success at escaping that life of depravity, depression and addiction is due to the sense of belonging I found at PatientsLikeMe. I was encouraged, and loved and, yes, even put in my place a few times. Even though my path has been neither straight nor smooth I feel that I have my friends on PatientsLikeMe to thank for the sunlight in my life.” – Patient with HIV
No one should have to go through the experience of chronic illness alone. If you’ve already realized you’re not alone in your journey, we give thanks for you…and every patient like you.
- Filed Under: ALS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME, Conditions, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, HIV/AIDS, Mood Conditions, Multiple Sclerosis, Openness, Organ Transplants, Parkinson's Disease, Rare Diseases, Technology
- Tags: community of patients, gratitude, patient friendships, patient support, thanksgiving