It's a week until my birthday, and I've been thinking a lot about getting older.
I can't say that I'm looking forward to the day itself. I'm currently stuck in a bit of a gastroparesis flare, so there will be no cake, no Champagne, and certainly no 7-course dinner at Le Gavroche for me! None of my clothes fit me, I have even less energy than usual, and forcing myself to take in at least some nutrients is causing pain, nausea and vomiting.
Despite that, I like birthdays, even this one. Every year I feel pride at surviving another year. Yes, every year I survive things that I might not have survived. More than that, I celebrate having survived the pain, nausea, boredom, frustration, breathlessness. I have survived everything that my failing body has thrown at me and everything the medical world has thrown at my failing body.
I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to have lived long enough to get into my 30s; so grateful to have had the opportunity to marry my very best friend, who loves me more than I've ever been loved before; to have travelled the world, met amazing people, and spent time with those who mean the most to me.
I look forward to celebrating this next birthday, regardless of whether I'm healthy enough to celebrate in the way that I would like. It's enough for me to be here - everything else is a bonus!