I went to a meet up this weekend with a few people from the website 'Bronchiectasis R Us' which was set up a few years ago by the lovely Charlotte as a way for people suffering from this rare disease to connect and share information and support. We've been having an annual meet up for a few years now. These guys never cease to amaze me with their zest for life amidst such suffering.
You may be thinking these meet ups must be depressing, talking about illness, sharing symptoms etc. So far from it. It's a chance for us all to let go. I think that we know we can simply be ourselves with each other, because we share such a deep bond. We understand each other - we don't even need to say anything, we just need to look at each other and we know. We get it. It's like a breath of fresh air (no pun intended) Lovely family and friends are wonderful in their empathy and compassion but there is something about spending time with those going through the same as you, something liberating.
And you know, we don't sit moaning and grumbling (not too much anyway) ;) We have a giggle, mainly. There are people there who have more to contend with than 'only' bronchiectasis, they have other chronic illnesses, and yet there they are, smiling, encouraging, being there for others. I wanted to write this post as a tribute to the bravery of Brussians, and to their general attitude on life, which is positive, affirming, fun. Brussians don't go under, even with the most hideous of circumstances. Of course we all have times we scream and rant and moan and cry, but the support that comes from other members during that time is amazing, even when these others are yet again in hospital or struggling to breathe. Knowing these people has changed me, changed my outlook on this disease and you know what? I thank God for them.
So Charlotte - thankyou, thankyou and thankyou again, because you setting up this little site those years ago made many lives that little bit happier. And I am so glad I know you and the other Brussians. Sometimes I'm even grateful I am ill because of meeting you all, lovely, brave people. God bless. xxx