I feel great.
I know it’s backwards to write about a disease when I feel great, but feeling great seems so foreign now, I’d almost forgotten what it felt like.
I have Lupus.
Lupus is an auto-immune disorder which means my body doesn’t get along with itself and decides to attack different systems in completely random order that–ironically–fits well with my random, spontaneous personality.
Speaking of personality…
In spite of having a blog, facebook, website, twitter, and a whole other host of social media platforms I interact with daily, I’m actually a private person. Extremely private. I’m borderline hermit. I love talking to and with people, but I keep a lot deep down. I live inside my head. Usually, my hubby is the only one who really knows what’s going on. (Poor guy). Which is why I haven’t talked about my disease before on here or any of the other places. But…for some reason I feel the need now.
I have Lupus. It stinks. It’s annoying. But oh well.
I think I have a mild case of it. Most days I function well–at least before 6pm. To look at me, you’d never know anything’s wrong–also assuming you see me before 6pm; after that, I turn part-zombie. I could list off my various symptoms that have come and gone over the last 15 years, but I won’t bore you.
But right now I feel great. And I’ve felt great for about the last month (*knock on wood).
Why have I felt great?
I HAVE NO IDEA!!!!
That’s the most frustrating part of the disease. I’ll feel great for a few months, then SMACK. It’s like I’ve been hit by a semi and need six months to recover. A new part of my body misfires in weird and mysterious ways (like the time my calf muscle twitched every few seconds for a month straight–drove me nuts!).
I spent the better half of this year battling with my eyes. Most days I could see fine until about that magic hour of 6pm. Then my eyes stopped wanting to focus. Technically they could focus, they’d just make me work for it. Driving at night was tossed out the window. Contacts were abandoned. Eye drops of every size and shape were used and abused to get me through the day.
What’s strange is that even though the symptoms revolved around my eyes, the rest of me was exhausted, too. Like sit-on-the-couch-all-day exhausted. “Worn out” is probably a better description. I felt like I was nine months pregnant only without the basketball belly and cute baby on the way. Supposedly I had “acute dry eyes.” How the heck does that make the rest of me wanna sleep twelve hours a day?
Anyway, the eyes have cleared up. Hooray! Was it because of all the eye drops? No. Because of the extra sleep? Doubt it. Doctor visits? Sadly not that either. They never could figure out what or how or why other than their standard answer of:
“It’s probably just auto-immune.”
(I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve heard that phrase. I loathe it. FYI, if you’re in the medical field, don’t take offense to what I have to say here, but I’m SO done with doctors. It’s not their fault. It’s my body’s. By the time I get an appointment, test my symptoms, and get a follow-up appointment to discuss everything, my symptoms have changed. Again. I’ve decided that Lupus is the Bermuda Triangle of medicine. Everyone knows something strange is going on, something with bad consequences, but nobody can quite explain how, why, or what to do to stop it.)
Anyway, I hadn’t realized how lousy I’d felt, how worn down I’d felt, or grouchy I’ve been until this last month of feeling good. (*knocking on wood again).
Honestly, feeling great is a little depressing. Backwards, right?
My husband keeps saying, “I really like it when you feel good.” He keeps looking at me with this sad, empathetic expression. The kind of expression he should give me when I feel lousy, only he’s giving it to me now. Because he realizes what I do. Lupus has worn me down. It’s affected me more than either of us realized.
Anyway, this isn’t a pity party. I promise it’s not–or it wasn’t supposed to be. :)
Of all the things to struggle with, I’m fine with this one. Most of the time, it’s annoying more than life-changing. Mild case. Hopefully it’ll stay that way.
Why I wanted to write is to let you know that everyone has struggles. Even if we don’t see them, they do. I’m sure you’ve had your fair share. Sadly, struggles are a part of life. It stinks. It’s rotten. But oh well.
There are blessings from my disease, though. For one, it’s given me ample time (and excuse) to sit at my laptop and type away. I’m currently working on my sixth novel. Honestly, I’m not sure I would have written that many if I felt great all the time. Some months, all I feel like doing is hanging out on the couch with my laptop and a blanket. It’s a blessing that I’m able to do that more often than not.
For two, this has made me appreciate the joys in life, the friendships of others (who rally around me when I feel like garbage), my kids and my husband (who have endured years of whining), and the fact that happiness is a choice. Some of the happiest people I know have the largest struggles. It’s a choice. It’s a choice. It’s a choice.
That’s my goal in life. To be happy amidst . . . whatever. Through the good times–as depressing as they can be :) –and the bad.
Last Christmas I watched the kids open all their presents from a beanbag. So far this Christmas is shaping up to be much better. I hope and pray my body will keep cooperating, but if not, if the next strange set of symptoms comes my way and knocks me off my feet, I hope to still be happy.
I will be happy. It’s a choice. I’m committing to it. Which is why I just wrote about it in my blog. Hold me to it, people.
I hope you guys can find happiness amidst your struggles, too. It’s a choice. It’s a choice. It’s a choice. Maybe if we tell ourselves long enough, we can make it stick. ;)
Love you guys! Thanks for all your love and support. You guys are the best!
(Out of curiosity, any of you out there with Lupus? Know anyone with Lupus? Have any advice for me? Leave a comment.)