On Sunday night I was watching the show “Brace For Impact” about the heroic pilot Capt. Skully who landed the plane in the Hudson River. In the show there was one particular interview with a retail executive that struck a cord with me and had me thinking about what has happened in my life. After the crash she decided that she was going to leave her executive job and work for the Red Cross. Having been through something as trajic as that it had changed her perspectives on life. The corprate world and making the money she was making no longer mattered. What mattered more to her was to help other people in need. Until she had been through the crash I don’t really think she had really looked at what she was getting out of life.

This really got me thinking because when I got sick I to had a successful job and was making good money. I was working long hours and didn’t get a lot of time with my family. Then everything changed and I found myself disabled and my perspectives started to change. I was so caught up in my job trying to provide for my family that I didn’t stop to look at what was missing. Now don’t get me wrong my family life was good it wasn’t that it was bad, I just feel like I was missing out on certain things at the time. I wasn’t really aware of how much time I was away from my wife and kids with my job. Now that I look back at that I can see just how much time I was away from my family because I was a slave to my job. Sure I may be at home disabled however I get to be at home with my kids!!

So in a lot of ways my diagnosis has changed my life for the positive. It’s these types of things that I use in my life to draw strengths from. It doesn’t all have to be bad when you get diagnosed with an illness. When I hear stories like hers it encourages me because I can relate because it’s happened to me. As I battle from day to day to try to get better I think about the positive changes that have happened in my life. If I’m having a bad day and the pain is really intense sure there are days that I would just love to stop fighting and give up. It’s at times like that that I think about the fact that I’m at home with my kids watching them grow up. I just have to think about them for a minute and they put a smile on my face.

Sure in a lot of ways life has changed and I can’t do lots of the things that I used to do. However for every negative that has happened I like to think that there’s a positive that is there as well. Always look for the positive and you will feel encouraged.

People say to me how can you be happy when so much has gone wrong with your body??? My answer is that I’m trying to make the best out of a bad situation. I’m choosing to be positive and not let the bad things that have happened to me win. I can either choose to live my life as one big pity party for myself or I can choose to move on trying to get better and make the most out of what I do have.

I guess what I’m saying is that because of everything that has happened I value my life a whole lot more, and the decisions that I make. There have been lots of changes over the course of my illness however I don’t see them all as negative, as there are positive ones as well. I hope that some of you that are suffering from chronic illness will be encouraged that it doesn’t have to be all bad!