#rarediseasejournalingchallenge Day 2

Here's today's prompt!

Make a list of 10 things you are grateful for that you can relate to having a rare disease or having a loved one with a rare disease. Have an attitude of gratitude!

November is traditionally a month of giving thanks, and when we acknowledge the good things in our lives, we tend to feel more upbeat and content. But did you know there is actual scientific research on the benefits of being grateful?

Researchers are finding that gratitude can:

  • lower blood pressure (source here)
  • increase HDL or "good" cholesterol / decrease LDL or "bad" cholesterol (source here)
  • reduce stress (multiple sources)
  • lower creatinine (source here)
  • decrease Hemoglobin A1c levels (source here)
  • improve heart health, sleep quality, and the immune system (source here)

So let's be intentional about practicing gratitude! The great thing about gratitude (and something embodied by this blog's title) is that it can be felt even in difficult circumstances if only you know where to look. Maybe you aren't grateful for a particular situation you are in, but you might be grateful for some of the positives that have come out of it.

Here's my list and journal page. In truth, there is a blog post waiting to be written about each of these items and the connection with cystinosis—but that is another project (or 10!) for another day.

I'm grateful to cystinosis for:

  1. An incredible community of strength and support
  2. Providing me with an analogy for redemption (from sacrifice, life—a kidney transplant)
  3. Allowing me to hear the mountains call
  4. Medical knowledge 
  5. World travel (Tanzania, Turkey, Germany, France)
  6. Helping me discern the identity of my soul mate
  7. Positive impact in my professional positions
  8. #inspirationporn
  9. Weakening me so I must rely on strength outside of my own
  10. Beautiful flaws