Good health is a privilege. I hope you appreciate it every day.

You know when you have a cold and your nose is all gross and stuffy and blocked. Every time you blow it, your nose is still blocked – it’s like nothing happens but you’re still going through boxes of tissues and getting a sore red nose.

You tell yourself, “when my nose is unblocked, I will be so endlessly happy!”

Then you get better, and you somehow don’t notice going from not being able to breathe through your nose to that first nasal breath.

There’s something about your body doing what it’s *supposed* to do that means we are completely unaware that it’s doing it and we take it for granted.

 

I’ve been that person that’s always been sicker than most of my friends and family for most of my life. But that’s always been my normal.

Being more sick was just the way things were and I’ve been fairly ok with living with my immune deficiency and being happy regardless.

This all changed about 8 months ago when I was smacked in the gut with a bowel disease (connected to my immune deficiency) which meant that basically everything I ate was giving me the most intense pain, bloating and diarrhoea.

The fatigue was overwhelming and ongoing. I lost 20% of my body weight (and I didn’t have that much to lose) to drop to a pretty unhealthy weight. I had to work very hard to figure out what was wrong and what I could and couldn’t eat, so my mental and physical health suffered very badly.

In this time I have learnt a lot about what I took for granted in my life before it.

Good health is a true privilege. More than we ever give our healthy bodies credit for.

Our healthy bodies do the most amazing things.

For example, they take the delicious food that we eat, then take the nutrients out and send them off to do special things around the body – healing cuts, keeping your nails and your hair strong, your gums healthy – so many things!

Our bodies digest the food and  turn what we eat into energy, and our bodies then use that energy to be able to do all of the physical things we need to be able to do. That energy is also used to manage our emotions and our mental abilities.

Our bodies do so much automatically that we barely consider it a thing.

All we know is that we eat when we’re hungry, and we do things as we want.

Sometimes we get sick or tired, then have a lie down or a sleep, then our body does some more magic. It fixes us.

It rebuilds our sore muscles, kills the bugs that are making us feel bad, tops up the energy, then we get up again and keep on going as if a miracle didn’t just happen.

You laid down and your body fought a massive battle. It literally fixed you. It saved your life.

 

But what we forget is that one of these processes could stop working properly at any time. We’re not invincible.

You could get hit by a car and lose a leg. Your sight could go. Your gut could stop digesting your food properly. Your lung could collapse. You could become bedridden. You could get extremely ill.

If this happens to you, you may never get it back. You’ll wish you appreciated what you had when you had it.

 

When one day I stopped being able to eat the foods I liked, I wished I had appreciated it properly when I could eat them. Like, really put thought into food I made myself and truly enjoyed the taste.

When I couldn’t eat foods I liked, I would ask people to describe the food they were eating to me so I could live vicariously through them. I put more thought into that than most of the dinners I threw myself together in the past.

When I didn’t have energy to do anything, I thought about the lunchtimes I spent working rather than getting outside, going to the gym, just moving. The waste of a good thing that was never fully utilised as if it was the gift it was.

Right now, my symptoms have improved a lot after a sneaky parasite in my gut was found and killed. My energy has improved and I appear to be able to eat without many repercussions (right now).

To say I’m excited about my energy is an understatement. To say I’m excited to have an appetite and very little symptoms when I eat is an understatement.

I refuse to take these changes lightly. It’s nearly impossible to after months of living a nightmare.

After 8 months of waking up physically tired and wondering if I’d be able to work or do anything, I’ve woken up feeling able to jump right out of bed.

Yesterday when I woke up, I couldn’t see when I’d be able to go to the gym in the day so I did a 45 min workout in my lounge… at 6:30am!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am NOT a morning person. But right now, I refuse to see my energy go to waste!

I am so excited and grateful to be feeling more like everyone else and I want to make sure I use this privilege wisely.

 

This is why I am asking YOU to think about your body and all the things it does for you.

Every process it does properly is a privilege. It’s a gift. If you lose it, you’ll be sad you never really appreciated it.

Trust me.

That isn’t to say that anyone who has a body that can’t do everything is missing out and this isn’t to say that you should feel lucky that you’re not someone else who happens to be in a less privileged situation.

Everyone has their own strengths that they can appreciate and being able bodied isn’t the be all end all. We can all make our lives work for ourselves regardless of what happens.

But I do think it is helpful for everyone to look at their body and say “I appreciate that my body can do XXX without me worrying about it. This is a privilege that I am grateful for.”

Today, and every day, I want everyone to appreciate at least one thing their body does for them.

For me today, I appreciate that my body has been digesting my food properly and that I can use my gym session today to turn that into physical growth. This is a privilege that I am grateful for.

What do you appreciate about your body today? Let me know and share the bodily love 😊

Love,
Charlie x

 


 

📷 Featured Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

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2 thoughts on “Good health is a privilege. I hope you appreciate it every day.”

  1. Hi Charlie,
    Thank you for sharing your story which I can 100% relate to. I’m so happy that you are now on the right track to recovery.
    Just wondering if you might be able to share what type of parasite was found, how it was found and treatment to remove it?
    Thanks so much
    Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah

      The sneaky parasite was called Cyclospora Cayetanensis and it’s apparently quite rare to get (more common in unlucky immunocompromised folk). Luckily my immunologist knew to check for it when my IBD symptoms weren’t improving with treatment. Just a stool sample and one week of antibiotics was what it took to find and get rid of it!

      If you relate and you’re asking this, I can only imagine you or someone you know is going through a tough time. I hope that this helps! If you’re on Instagram and want to chat more, you can DM me on @coughcoughblog 😊

      Charlie x

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