I have been blessed with pretty good health throughout my life (knock wood.... another big reason to be grateful!) yet even though I have not battled a major disease or anything like that, I have many reasons to be grateful for modern medicine. Just today, I was thinking about this as I drove BB to the Kaiser clinic -- last night, she began showing a prominent rash on her chest, belly, and back, and she's also been complaining on and off about a sore throat, so after a phone consult with the Kaiser advice nurse I was told to bring her in for a strep screen, just in case it's scarlet fever.
Once upon a time, not too long ago, the mention of "scarlet fever" would have sent mothers into a panic. Now, while I'm not delighted at the prospect, I know that if she does have it, it is treatable and my daughter will likely be fine. I have my doubts that she has anything wrong with her, actually, since her appetite and energy levels have both been very normal. But better to be safe than sorry with something like this. The fact that I can bring her in for a quick throat swab (didn't even need an appointment!) and know by tomorrow whether or not she's in any danger? Now that is something to be very grateful for.
In my life, I have benefitted from basic antibiotics, pain medications (especially when I slipped a disc), and the support of various health practitioners (doctors, midwives, acupuncturists, massage therapists, occupational therapists, among others). Infertility specialists worked with us for almost three years to allow us to (finally!) conceive our son. His life and mine were likely both saved by the emergency c-section that I underwent when he was born -- my severe pre-eclampsia was treatable when my daughter was born.... I shudder to think how things might have turned out so differently if I was living in a time before our own.