It wasn’t until a week after my official diagnosis that I realized there might be a slight possibility that my doctor was wrong. Maybe I don’t have Lupus. Maybe I have something less serious that actually has a cure. Maybe it’s something that mimics the symptoms of Lupus and my medical diagnosis will change. Maybe my symptoms are just stress induced and will eventually get better.
Or maybe not.
Maybe I’m in such bad denial that I’m desperate for another diagnosis; one that has a cure. I asked myself so many questions after that week. Why me? Why now? What’s going to happen to my future? Will I be able to function as a mom? What happens if I can’t work? Will people treat me differently? How do I tell my family? All of these questions overwhelmed my thought process. I couldn’t think straight. I wasn’t able to drive alone in the car without crying. I constantly felt alone. I kept wondering if there’s something I did to deserve this. I wanted my diagnosis to go away. I didn’t want this disease. I wanted to give it back to wherever it came from.
I remember crying on my way home one night from running errands about a month ago. My two sisters were together in Nevada while I was at home in Texas. I was feeling the weight of my illness on my chest and I felt like I was going to literally suffocate. I also knew that some sadness and grief is part of the process when dealing with life’s obstacles. I knew in that moment I needed to somehow dig myself out of that dark hole. I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t stop asking God, “why me?” and I had this overwhelming sensation that no matter how bad my illness becomes, I will somehow push through it. As I sat in my car outside of my house in the dark, I sobbed into the phone as I called my sisters. I knew they were together and I needed them to tell me that I’m going to be OK. I needed to hear it from someone else. Someone who knows me. I’m not the type who requires reassurance but in this moment I certainly did. The voicemail picked up and I left a message. I begged them to call me back.
My phone rang a few minutes later and both of my sisters were on the line. A huge sense of relief came over me. They listened quietly as I cried and expressed my sadness. I told them I decided I didn’t want to have lupus and it’s not fair. They both said just the right things to calm me down. They really are the two best girls anyone could ever call friends. I can say without hesitation that their unconditional love and support has filled my cup. I cannot imagine not having my family’s support.
I continue to battle accepting this as my diagnosis. I will probably always wonder why this is happening to me. But—I will not let it define who I am. I refuse to wear a label. I will, however, take the medications that are recommended and take precaution against things that will harm my immune system. Each day is a reminder that I have lupus. There’s no way to escape that. Whether it be losing a ridiculous amount of hair, side effects of medicine, horrible blisters and rashes all over my body, or increase in muscle weakness; I still have days that I wake up. These days are filled with smiles and hugs from my favorite teenager, moments in this life that no one can take from us, laughter that fills the house when he tells me jokes, burnt popcorn smell for days, dirty socks all over his floor; these are also the days that remind me why I am here.
I’m still learning how to overcome and get through my days. Most people would never know I have lupus. I’m becoming increasingly aware of ways to hide it. I have amazing skin care remedies that save my life most days. I found some pretty kick ass secrets to covering up spots on my face with makeup. I’ve considered a makeup tutorial blog but I’m pretty sure my socially awkward personality would turn the video into a nightmare.
My bad days are followed by good days and that’s all that matters now. I know that there are good days beyond the bad. Right now, today; it’s been a good day.