Working Against Myself

>> Monday, June 21, 2010

I am putting this post on Dupage Mamas tomorrow, but thought I would share it with y'all too. It has been an interesting few weeks. But, things are getting better and I am thankful for that.

All the blood they took on just one of my trips to the lab.... yikes!!!

As a medical professional, I have been told by many older patients to appreciate my body while it is still in good shape. We have all probably heard that at some point- from our parents or grandparents or someone lamenting the health challenges that come with aging. Whenever I have heard that, I just laugh it off and say that of course I don't take my body for granted. But in light of some recent health challenges of my own, I can see that up until now I have totally taken good health lightly.

About 4months ago, I started having some pain in a few of my joints. My first thought was honestly that I am grossly out of shape, which isn't un-true. I had started the Couch-to-5K running training with the hopes of losing a few pounds and getting ready for swimsuit season. But as the joint pain continued to get worse, I backed off the running to make sure I didn't injure myself. And the funny thing was, even when the running stopped, the joint pain did not. It was spreading from my ankles and knees to my fingers and wrists and toes and elbows. This wasn't running related anymore. So after a trip to my doctor and some blood tests indicated something a little more complex may be happening, I found myself sitting across from a rheumatologist who was telling me I have Lupus (SLE).

It was a bit of a shock, if I'm being honest. I was totally expecting this doc to tell me to take a few Motrin and stop wasting his time. Instead, he is listing off to me my new list of dos and don'ts and writing prescriptions. This can't REALLY be it, right? I couldn't wrap my head around it. I am only 33. I shouldn't have a chronic health issue at this point. Not yet.

After two second opinions made it three specialists telling me the same thing, I am now at a place where I am trying to come to terms with what is probably the truth. I still say probably because I am holding out hope that this may not be the true diagnosis and I will be able to stop taking these medications a few months down the road. But for now at least, I have begun walking down this path of treating Lupus and trying to get rid of this joint pain.

Lots of people take medication everyday and LOTS of people have WAY worse things to deal with than this. It is totally treatable and hopefully without very many long-term complications since we seem to have caught it early in the progression. I am well aware that this post may come off as whiny or "poor-me." I hope not though. As much as this could be worse, it has been a bit of a blow. I am taking medications to keep my body from attacking itself. That seems to strange to me. It is like I am working against myself- that left to it's own ways, my body would continue to damage my joints and eventually my kidneys and other organs. And now I have to take measures to keep that from happening.The first couple days after starting the meds, I had to will myself to take it. I want to do the right thing, I am not trying to be stubborn or over-dramatic. It is just taking me some time to adjust to this idea of being on long-term treatment for a chronic illness and having this diagnosis of Lupus be something that will forever be on my radar screen. Even if I get to a point where I am symptom-free (hopefully soon!!!), I will still have to be mindful of it enough to take the medicine and make wise decisions about my life and my body. I am not 20 years old anymore with a semi-immortal view of my own health. I am 33 with some challenges that are changing the way I see myself and my body and my health.

I did eventually run a 5K, two actually. And I am doing another in a few weeks. The running doesn't make it better or worse. So for now, I am sticking with it. I am making some lifestyle choices to reduce stress and get more rest. Trying to at least. I will get this under control. And once I am pain-free again, you know I won't take it for granted. My body may be trying to work against me, but I am determined to turn this around. I am using this as the motivation to take my body back under MY control. Trying to anyway.

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Just Me June 22, 2010 at 6:41 AM  

Oh Farrah- I soooo understand exactly where you are coming from. Very very well. My stuff is more annoying than serious but if it is
not cared for it can become serious.

so lots of hugs and prayers that you don't get discouraged or overwhelmed. I am thinking of you.

TwoSquareMeals June 22, 2010 at 12:10 PM  

Oh, dear friend, I think it's perfectly okay for you to feel the way you do about this. I would be just the same if I had to take medication every day. I suppose I would be thankful for the meds, too, that help to control the disease and the pain, but it would still be scary. I'm praying for you, that you will start feeling better, that you will see His strength as you deal with the weakness of your body, and that you will find peace and joy in the midst of it all. I love you!

Melinda July 6, 2010 at 8:25 PM  

I know how you feel. This is how I felt when my hubby had a heart attack and bypass surgery at age 30. It took both of us a while to get past the shock and denial. But you'll get there and it will just become a part of your daily routine and not as big a deal as it is right now. Life goes on and you will too and you'll be just fine. I am still thinking of you and praying for you every day!

PS I am posting a video of Abby walking for one of the first few times, I hope you can stop by and see it.


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