As a long time sufferer of a chronic illness, one never knows when a relapse will occur. It is an event that none of us look forward to. The sufferer and care givers live in limbo 24/7, 365 days a year.

Approximately ten years ago, I woke up on a Sunday morning the week of thanksgiving with literally no strength to even get out of bed. I had experienced many similar days of extreme fatigue before, but this was different. Was it symptomatic or was it a MS relapse? My symptoms of the disease had always been a slow progression, so this extreme event was a mystery. With no improvement throughout the day, we headed to the emergency room at the University of Colorado Hospital. When visiting the emergency room at any hospital the possibility of receiving care from a doctor that actually knows your story is pretty rare. A neurologist was on duty that day so we assumed that I would get the care I needed. Turns out the neurology department doesn’t necessarily have knowledge of Multiple Sclerosis. So, the battle was on! The Rocky Mountain MS Center, where my specialist was located doesn’t work with the Neurology department at the same hospital. Neurology admitted me and wanted to run tests to decide what kind of treatment I needed. Finally after two days I was taken in for an MRI which located a new lesion on my brain. My neurologist demanded five days of steroids immediately. 

Due to all this confusion, I ended up spending Thanksgiving day in the hospital. 

A blessing? You wouldn’t think so.

As soon as word spread throughout my family and friends, I received visitors through the revolving door of my hospital room. The priests from my church, friends from my Bible study group and several very special friends all visited me throughout my stay and on thanksgiving day, bringing me coffee, smiles and prayers which I didn’t even realize I needed. To top it off, my family brought me dinner and desert that evening.

I have to say, it was one of the best Thanksgivings I have ever had! 

Blessed? You bet I am! My ideas of a traditional Thanksgiving completely changed from that day forward.

My advice? Never discount the result of a disappointing event, because you never know the joy it might bring.