Happy Thanksgiving.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012. Today is Thanksgiving Day in the USA, a national holiday set aside to give thanks for all of the blessings in our lives.

I know it’s the easy way out to do a post like this today. But I also know that sometimes the only thing that keeps me from cracking up during this time of year is to give in to a little sentimentality now and then. So in no particular order (except for the first thing), here are a few things I’m thankful for today:

– Any message of thanks has to begin with The Great Spousal Unit. Maureen has been my rock and my champion. She’s put up with a lot of crap from me, especially this year, the busiest year I’ve had in recent memory. And through it all, she still meets the original criteria: When I wake up in the morning and think, “Who’s the most fun person I can hang with today?”, the answer is always her.

– While we’re at it, I’m happy to have The Live-In Niece around today. Rachel is absolutely different from The Live-In Nephew who came before her, but I mean that in a complimentary way. She’s adapted to Baltimore and learned about my diabetes with boundless enthusiasm and a big smile. As for Brian… here’s a kid who came to us with all of his possessions in a duffel bag. Eight years later, he has a great job, a home, a wife, and a daughter born on my 50th birthday this year. To say I’m proud is to damn with faint praise.

– I’m thankful for a roof over my head and a dry basement, especially after hurricane Sandy. Even though you’re not reading this New Jersey, my thoughts and prayers are with you today.

– I’m thankful to my endocrinologist. When I look back on all of the doctors I’ve trusted to help me with my care, less than half have been good. So when you get a good doctor, who speaks your language, who encourages you, who helps you with useful suggestions that actually help you manage your BGs better, they’re worth their weight in gold. And after going through so many absolutely horrible doctors prior to her, I’m even more aware of how great that is.

– Can I say that I’m thankful that the election is over? I’m glad the bickering is over for a couple of years. Now, get down to business. We’ve still got a long way to go to climb the rest of the way out of this crummy economic hole we’re in. You can start by ensuring that we don’t have another economic meltdown by clamping down big-time on the shadow banking industry. If you don’t, I’ll be putting my money under the mattress waiting for the next meltdown.

– Thanks to all of the writers you see in the left column of this page. In case you’re wondering, I read all of you. And day after day, I’m reminded that I’m still in the learning process with this thing because I see smarter, more inspirational, more thought-provoking prose than I’ve come up with. Thanks for showing me how to do it. It’s not an overstatement to say you’ve changed my life for the better.

– A special note of thanks to the Center for Diabetes Technology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, where they’re working on Artificial Pancreas technology. I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, relentlessly asking a ton of questions. And they not only answered them, they invited me to an open house at the center this summer, allowing me to get up close and personal with the AP, doing my first real in-depth story on something that I find positively fascinating. And right now, necessary. Right now, FDA.

– And I am so thankful for this blog. For the chance to tell my story, in my words, without an editor for the first time in 30 years. Thanks to all of you who have left comments over the last seven months. I still get a twinge of excitement every time I see a new one. But even if no one bothered to read or comment, I’m grateful for the outlet that’s helped me unload some of the things I’ve been feeling over the past few years.

I hope your day, Thanksgiving or not, helps you to remember to be thankful for the things you hold most dear. I’m not a bible thumper, but my favorite passage is still in the book of Luke, chapter 17. Where Jesus comes into a town, ten lepers ask to be healed, he heals them, and one comes back to thank and praise him. And Jesus says something like “Were not ten healed? Where are the other nine?”. I am very lucky to have my life. And very thankful.

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  • Scott E  On November 22, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    I’m not sure how to follow that, Stephen, it looks like you pretty much covered it all. You even were thankful for your OWN blog, so I can’t even add that one!

    With regards to Hurricane Sandy, I’ve seen your messages of concern and offers to help towards several people, and while I don’t know if anyone has taken you up on your offers, we are certainly lucky to have you here. Thanks for that. I hope your Thanksgiving was a good one for you and your family.


  • Scott K. Johnson  On November 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Thank you, Stephen! I loved this. You should know that I am just as thankful for you and your blog.


  • Jocelyn Foster  On November 23, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Happy Thanksgiving to you! I have been following your blog and look forward to each new post. I am thankful for people like you in the DOC for all of the information, stories and encouragement. I feel lucky to be part of great community like this. Have a wonderful weekend!


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