A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Agora

“Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life.” –Promises

So uh…despite the pre-departure post, I never actually made it on the plane. I was having what doctors believe to be an allergic reaction so Carlene suggested I go to the hospital. Turns out, the allergic reaction triggered a bad case of Lymphangitis, running through my body at a rather rapid pace. So for now, I’m home in Boston, waiting for a doctor to clear me for air travel.

There’s always some annoyance when it comes to roadblocks in life but in this case, the real sticking point is that it wasn’t as though I did something dumb, got injured and then couldn’t go on the trip. I literally did everything I could to prevent this: as soon as I saw the bites I took Benadryl and put a cold compress on my hand. Yet within hours it turned into this scary mess, even though I did all the right steps. My body just wasn’t having it.

I think that the most frustrating aspect is that I’ve been eating healthier than ever, I don’t engage in any kinds of dangerous behavior, hell, I’ve even got a regular sleep pattern of 7-8 hours! I treated my body terribly before I met Molly, and now she’s got me buying organic and I’ve stopped consuming multiple energy drinks a night. But now is when I start to fall apart, when things are good. I guess there’s something to be said here about inertia.

But I bring all this up for a level of perspective: my experiences in the American health care system–difficult as they are–are leaps and bounds above the level of care so many refugees scattered throughout the world are receiving. And in this moment of self-centered frustration, I remember the Graditude Gangstas, a group chat I was in where we listed 3 things we were grateful for each day.

Does being bed-ridden in overcast Boston suck when I was supposed to be in sunny Thessaloniki? Yes. But is it better than being in Thessaloniki and trying to find a doctor who speaks English after spending ~17 hours on flights in which whatever this thing is was getting worse? Without a doubt. Ultimately, I’m grateful that this came when it did, and I’ll be back with my team in a few days time.

In honor of the Gratitude Gangstas and all they taught me, here’s my gratitude list of the day:

  1. I’m grateful for the ability to access healthcare
  2. I’m grateful for Molly who came to the hospital and stayed the whole night with me
  3. I’m grateful for perspective, allowing me to see how lucky I am to even have these difficult circumstances.

Got something you’re grateful for today? Let me know in the comments!


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