Today I am grateful for…

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I’ve been taking some time everyday to reflect on all of the things I am grateful for in my life – both the big, obvious ones like my friends, family, home, and food on the table, as well as the more subtle aspects of life which are more easily taken for granted.  To help in this practice, I’m renaming this month Gratitober and I’ve committed to writing a post a day about something I’m grateful for.  Find out more about the Gratitober challenge and join us in practicing gratitude this month over at The Intersection of Everything, or right here on Terry* by sharing your reflections on what you are grateful for today.  Even better, you can share your gratitude practice with your friends while walking to class, on the bus, or over dinner!  Here’s a mirrored post describing what I was most grateful for yesterday:

Today I am grateful for having subsidized health care here in Beautiful British Columbia as well as for having access to modern medical technology and facilities to address all of my needs. This morning I had my first bone scan at the UBC Hospital and I was quite amazed at how efficient and interesting the whole process was, never mind the fact that I didn’t have to pay a red cent for the referral from my sports medicine doctor or for the procedure itself (which was booked only 3 days prior). As I was lying inside the whirling and buzzing bone scanner, I was awestruck by the amazing technology being used to survey my body and all of the dedicated research that was necessary for this procedure to be possible. All the way from the first medical researchers who discovered radiotracers, to those who discovered that phosphate would be taken up by bones, to those who discovered we could pair these observations together to study the health and structure of bones. Next, the engineers would have come onboard and helped design a gigantic machine to be able to measure and observe bone formation, in real time. We could follow a similar line of thought for CAT scans, and MRIs and all of the other wondrous medical technologies we have at our disposal to help diagnose and monitor our bodily systems and our health.

It’s easy for us to complain about the wait times often associated with Canadian health care, just as we can rant on about all the annoying paperwork and how hard it can be to get a hold of our provincial insurance providers on the phone. But the truth is, we are darn lucky to be able to go to the doctor without fear of being turned away or of sending our families plummeting into bankruptcy. And when you think about this on a global scale, for example from the perspective of a young girl in a slum in India, or a rural farmer in Zimbabwe, or a fisherman in Indonesia, we are even more fortunate to simply have access to such advanced treatments and facilities as we do here. The next time I find myself complaining about actually having to wait to get money back from the student extended health care plan (heaven forbid), I will remind myself of this newfound gratitude and perspective.

What are you grateful for today?

*What is this Gratitober thing, anyway?  Find out here!*

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Jody is a PhD student in the Department of Microbiology at UBC.