A big fat thank you made up of loads of little thanks

No really, I mean it.

I’ve taken a bit of an unintentional break from the blog over the last couple of months but I want to rejuvenate my posts by writing a bit about how grateful I am. It’s unfashionably late to be writing this – I probably should have posted along with the tides of well-wishes at Thanksgiving, Christmas or even when others were making resolutions for the new year? Never one to follow a trend, here are my plural thank yous* on the last day of February in 2019:

Thank you to the NHS

I know our relationship is strained at times, especially with your impenetrable and unfathomable admin systems and lack of answers but I love you really. I love that I’ve finally found a place where I feel understood and listened to. I’ve found a team of staff who try their best every single time my puzzling airway shows up at their clinic. A team of people who greet me with smiles, determination, and intrigue as they join me on this quest for answers and understanding. They keep the momentum up when I feel disillusioned and boost my morale with just the right amount of positivity without sacrificing truth and transparency. I am so lucky to have finally stumbled upon a place where I have faith in the fact that they are and will continue to do their best for me by creating multidisciplinary teams of brilliant people with incredible minds. They’re not afraid to try new things, they’re not afraid to ask for help from other specialties and admit when they don’t know the answers. I feel completely respected and safe in their care which is a huge testament to the staff who I’ve been fortunate enough to meet on the way. Thanks for treating me like a VIP and trying not to get too visibly excited when uncovering the weird and wonderful maladies of my respiratory system.

Thank you to my friends

Thanks for putting up with the wheezing, puffy, croaking, tired, sad, frustrated and ill versions of me. Thanks for being patient when I’m forced to cancel plans or leave something early. Thanks for checking in with messages or putting up with my squeaky/croaky/broken voice on the phone. Thanks for the books, the playlists, film recommendations, doctor knowledge, the coffees, the flowers and cards. Thanks for not relenting on your sense of humour and continuing to make jokes at my expense. Thanks for the updates, thanks for reading my blog posts, thanks for listening, asking questions and trying to understand. I don’t think I was prepared for the biggest silver lining of illness – getting a sneak preview in to how much people care about you. It’s really lovely and means a great deal. Please know that I always want to come to your things, even if I can’t physically get there as much as I’d like to.

Thank you to Team O’Sullivan

We’ve had learning curves involving wheelchairs and cobbled streets and some haute cuisine in various NHS establishments. Mum, you hold my hand when I’m scared and never fail to be there at my appointments. You’re primed to ask questions when you know I’m exhausted and you’ll always cry with me if I need to. You always seem to understand and never lose patience, always just showing endless kindness and support. You don’t even moan when I’ve ruined your birthday plans or when we’re at the hospital several times a month. Dad, thanks for the cups of coffee made with love and for never failing to keep me smiling when we’re waiting for appointments. Your relentless positivity rubs off and I’m glad I’ve got you. Neil, your daily texts are the best. You, Emma and Junior never fail to brighten my day. Thanks to my Grandma for saving articles from Best and Women’s Own, most of them are massively irrelevant but I know the sentiment is always there…as well as the manuka honey! Emily, you’re really good at pretending not to mind that you’re spending your weekend on a ward or indoors watching me sleep. You listen and reassure me, put up with my worrying and even lie to me about my voice not sounding ‘that weird.’ Thanks for always lifting my mood regardless, you’re the best.

Thanks to all of you, you’re amazing and I don’t think I mention enough just how appreciative I am to have such a great team around me. The last couple of years have really helped clarify how important people and relationships are when you’re feeling rubbish. You all make the tough times much more bearable and the good times even more enjoyable. So please let me say thank you over and over again because I really do mean it.

*I agonised and over-Googled how to type ‘thank yous’, even now it looks a bit weird so I won’t be making a habit of this – lap it up while you can!

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