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A Transplant Journey: Staying Thankful With Chronic Illness.

It's so hard to be thankful when your body is failing. I had appointments with my immunologist, rheumatologist and nephrologist on Halloween. The immunologist didn't change at the time. We did discuss not to getting the new COVID variant vaccine as studies has shown they cause immunocompromised people to catch the virus at a higher rate. My nephrologist said I could only have two gabapentin a day and not three as my rheumatologist suggested. But my rheumatologist did give me methotrexate (low dose) an folic acid to help with the joints. So far I don't see too much of a difference. I saw him again on Dec. 5 and he took more blood and but we can't up my meds. Since Halloween, my immunologist and nephrologist have talked and changed my medication, I'm down to 20 grams IVIG with fluids before and after every treatment. I'm still on a two week rotation. It will help my kidneys they say. I hope in January to go back to subcutaneous. The lady at the transplant center called. Checking in on the things I need for my re-evaluation. After asking a bunch of questions (it seemed like she wanted to go but I didn't care; I needed to know), I'm left with four steps! Yay! They didn't get two doctor's reports so I have to get them to send records. So that's fun. My nephrologist has to write a letter about my increased activity (and pain). The last is insurance and I have a plan. It's the time of year we are suppose to be grateful, I don't feel particularly grateful. I can hear some of you now: “It's so easy!” But it isn't. I'm for mindfulness, meditation and gratitude but some days, when you are so exhausted you can barely move (and all you did was sit at a computer and write) to take time and focus on these things. I try to schedule my meditation for ten minutes three times a week, during the day if I have a break from work. (Miracle Laurie May's Beauty and The Bittersweet podcast have been a godsend. I meet her way back at my first Dragon Con; she's also an actress best known for Dollhouse.) And sometimes I juts don't have the energy to work on changing my thoughts. Brain fog is real. So no it's not easy with chronic illnesses. It takes mental effort. I try to turn negativity into positivity: I have another friend that will help me at transplant time! I have a new medication that should help with me falling (I've had three major falls within three months)! I have a boyfriend who will listen when I talk about my fear of dying! I have doctors who are working to keep me from dying! Holy crap. When I can put in some effort, I can really see things I'm thankful for. This holiday season, I can still cook some so I am focusing on only one or two favorite dishes. That way I can stay alert and and useful. So at Thanksgiving I can say thank you. So at Christmas I can cherish the spirituality I've worked hard to cultivate. Forget the big dinners I was training to take over. I am grateful I have a small meal plan that makes me happy. So there are days I'm not thankful and that's OK because I pick myself up and start again the next day. I keep up my gratitude as much as I can. I just have to adjust my life so I can succeed and I can be grateful. Photo Caption: Pictured left to right: Tahmoh Penikett, Myself, Miracle Laurie May and Eliza Dushku. Miracle’s current work has been so helpful to me. She provides meditations and has a podcast The Beauty and the Bittersweet. She has helped me work out some of my questions about life.

Audrey Elaine Adamson

Instagram: @spoononthewall

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