What are you thankful for? It sounds like an easy question. But this year I have such an off-the-wall answer that I think I need to explain myself! This year I am thankful I got sick. Not just sick like a cold or flu, but so sick that for a while I wasn’t sure I wanted to be alive any more. So sick that life as I knew it was completely changed.
Before I go on, let me just apologize to all of you who are sick right now. I know for a fact that when I was going through my sickness, I was not the slightest bit thankful! And I’m certainly not trying to suggest that I’m a better person because I can look back with gratitude on my illness. That’s not what I mean at all!
I am thankful that I got sick, then got well, then got empowered... and EmpowHER’ed!
Looking back, I can see now that I would never have launched EmpowHER or set out to be a health advocate if I had not gotten sick. That experience really did change my life and thanks to it I am now in a position to help change the lives of others who need help finding their way through the maze of medical information and decisions. That is what I’m really thankful for.
For those of you who haven’t heard my story, here it is in a nutshell. When I was 42 a doctor told me I had to have a complete hysterectomy. I didn’t know any better so I had the surgery... and I was immediately plunged into menopause. The glands that created my hormones were gone and my body was in shock. I started having all kinds of crazy symptoms and no one seemed to be able to help me.
That was the real low-point for me. And I credit not just my recovery but the fact that I am alive at all to the doctor who helped figure out what was going on then, and to all the health care professionals who have worked with me since to get my hormones and my life back in balance.
That’s why I started EmpowHER – to help women educate themselves so they can advocate for themselves when it comes to their healthcare. We need to be able to take charge of our health care and make appropriate, meaningful decisions for ourselves and our families.