Earlier this week, I found myself with a special opportunity to practice gratitude.

Those who follow my Instagram stories might have seen that while I was in Pittsburgh for my first conference last week, I caught a little something that decided to stick around and travel with me to my second conference this week. 

I had pretty typical cold-like symptoms, so I gathered my DayQuil, cough drops, and Kleenex and tried to squeeze in some extra sleep when I could. After arriving in Orlando, I still wasn’t feeling much better and it had been several days, so I looked up the local urgent care.

In all my traveling, I’ve learned this important lesson: when in doubt, go to the urgent care.

As I was sitting in that waiting room for the few hours that it took to get seen, I was feeling a lot of gratitude. Here’s why:

  • my conference schedule had a day built in where I didn’t have anything else on my calendar, so I had plenty of time to wait for the doctor
  • Orlando has lots of Uber drivers, so I was able to easily get to the local urgent care (I gave bonus tips to all the drivers who drove me while I was under the weather)
  • I trusted my instincts about needing some extra help with healing and those instincts were right — it turned out I have an ear and a sinus infection
  • the doctor was able to give me an antibiotic shot (never had one of those before!) that almost immediately offered me some relief, as well as some other medications that I can easily take while traveling
  • my health insurance covered the majority of the urgent care visit and the medicine I had to purchase was all inexpensive
  • I ended up not needing to miss any of my conference presentation obligations due to illness
  • despite being sick and in a different time zone, I’ve been able to sleep like a champ and that has helped so much
  • the Orlando hotel has a really easy food option for me that’s making picking up meals to-go super convenient when I need to rest in my room
  • the second conference has a lot of evenings on your own, so it makes it really simple for me to turn in early at the end of the day
  • I’m traveling with kind colleagues who all offered to help get me anything I might need

Now that I’m on the mend, I’m also riding that post-illness high where everything feels amazing. Food tastes great. Breathing feels awesome. Walking around outside is like a miracle.

Best of all, I’m starting to feel back to normal and like myself again.

Thanksgiving here in the U.S. will be celebrated next week and this experience was just the reminder I needed of all the things I have to be thankful for.

Wishing you a gratitude-filled and healthy holiday!