“If” Doesn’t Kill You …
The winter season in the NW has been cold and wet. Lots of rain, with some white here in there. It is a reminder the temperatures have been below freezing during the day and night.
I have been trying to hide from sick people. I want to avoid another month-long adventure of cough, antibiotics, and sleepless nights. Still, I was not successful in my endeavor. My kids got the infamous bug, and so did I. Purel and Clorox was not enough.
While I keep reminding myself of the importance of protecting myself and my health, how can I not physically be by my children’s side when they need me? I can’t.
I get scared every time I get sick, as I never know when it’s going to end. It is a dangerous slope, and in a matter of days, I get sicker, and I will continue to be ill longer after everyone else heals.
My Best-Worst Friend
Medication is a critical piece of the treatment of auto-immune conditions. There is not a cure for lupus yet, but symptoms can be managed using various tools. Some stronger than others, and similar to cancer treatments, there are lots of unpopular side effects.
I have been blessed in reducing my medication little by little. It has indeed been taken years of multiple meds combined with a reeducation of my life habits. I have had to refrain from doing a lot of things I enjoy. I have been practicing mindfulness in what I think, feel, and do.
One of the most critical meds we have to take is the immunosuppressant. This drug puts the immune system down and carries a severe risk of infection. So, while the body loses its ability to attack itself ( known as a flare ), it also becomes less resistant to any given infection.
What Does Not Kill You Makes You Stronger
As I was writing this blog, I saw an analogy of lupus and immunosuppressants. They both test our limits and ability to bend, give away, and heal. They push us to the ceiling, and while we feel weak, we must stand up tall and be ready to fight. The strength is the weakness.
Because of the intangible fragility of my body, I have had to learn to become more and more resilient. Resilient to pain, patient in learning to reframe my activities, and compassionate with my limitations.
Setting the boundary is a tricky one. How can one know precisely until when to push himself? I don’t, and that is why I step on the line several times and get all the sorts of symptoms.
At times when I become sick, I get angry – angry with lupus, and mad with myself. Living behind invisible bars is hard. It does not matter how beautiful the cell is, it is still confinement.
“Life isn’t just about being happy… It’s about what you’re making of your life and whether you can find a deep pride in who you are and what you’ve given.” – Claire Wineland
Thanks to lupus, I have been learning by trial and error to listen to my body. Swapping quality time with my family, with afternoon naps. Replacing yummy desserts with colorful fruits and vegetables. Lupus is my best friend in a sense; it teaches me every day to control myself, because I don’t control it, neither my body.
Winter and Stillness
During the winter, the bugs are out, so we should probably spend more time in. Be still, rest, drink warm fluids, and restore our energies as much as possible. Also, spend time to look inside ourselves and evaluate who we are, and what type of person we are becoming.
Hard lessons can make us better. We have all the opportunities to embrace in front of us, and each one of them will have a different impact on our lives. Positive or negative. We can write our story, starting now.
May you take the time to breathe light inside your heart and health to your soul.