I’m Heading Into the New Year With an Attitude of Gratitude

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by Jaime Christmas |

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As we head into the Christmas season, I want to be mindful that not all of my readers celebrate the holiday. Additionally, I know not everyone is looking forward to the holidays. Still, I want to encourage all of us to embrace gratitude as we prepare for 2022.

No doubt, 2021 has been wrought with challenges. For those of us affected by ATTR amyloidosis, the pandemic has added stress to our hardships. As a caregiver to a spouse with the hereditary form of the disease, the lockdown imposed here in New Zealand to curb the spread of the virus has affected many aspects of our lives.

As a liver transplant patient on immunosuppressants, my husband, Aubrey, is more vulnerable to infections. With my family living under one roof, my children and I have had to be extra vigilant and careful not to bring the virus home and infect him. This has affected our daily activities and social lives.

The isolation has caused Aubrey to feel incredibly lonely at times. Access to healthcare has also been affected, with many of his medical appointments being canceled or moved to a less personal telehealth system.

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I’m Bringing Christmas Joy, Despite the Challenges We Face

I’m sure many of you reading have experienced similar situations. My family’s tears, laughter, and pain probably resonate with all of you.

But I believe that if we mindfully look for better things in the future, rather than focusing on today’s reality, we can channel gratitude into the new year. That way, when the clock strikes midnight and 2022 begins, we can feel more positive and thankful to have reached another milestone.

Why is gratitude important? A Harvard Health Publishing article notes that practicing gratitude can help us to build stronger relationships with one another and to recognize the positives in every experience. Giving thanks can also improve our health.

Maintaining an attitude of gratitude allows me to appreciate what I have. I recognize that my life is far from perfect, but many elements encourage me and propel me forward. As author Charles Dickens said, “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”

So often, we as humans become overwhelmed with our issues and fail to see the goodness before us. Lockdown has certainly limited activities and increased fear. But the close proximity with my family has forced me to take a closer look at what is paramount in life. While it doesn’t guarantee our situation will have a good outcome, gratitude can be an excellent anchor to hold on to, no matter what challenges we’re facing.

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Note: FAP News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of FAP News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to familial amyloid polyneuropathy.

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