Join the Club

>> Monday, September 27, 2010

In October of 2005 when one of my dearest friends lost her precious daughter, we had many conversations about how we had both joined this most unfortunate club of moms who had lost their children. It is a club no one would ever choose to join, and yet it is helpful to have others to lean on who have walked a similar road.

Well, 5years later I find myself joining another unfortunate club. This one is WAY less tragic but still kinda life-shifting. I have fought this diagnosis all along. But the more time that passes, the more it seems that I am indeed in the Lupus club or the chronic auto-immune illness club. Just typing those words makes me want to throw up. But with all that is going on in my body lately, the words seem difficult to avoid.

People are starting to associate the illness with me and I am not sure how to feel about that. A new friend forwarded on some information about a benefit where the recipient charity is some Lupus foundation. So very thoughtful of her and yet I am not sure if I would ever go. Knowing that I have been doing some running lately, I had several people tell me about this Lupus walk that is going on next weekend in Grant Park and on the Naperville Riverwalk. It is a 1 or 3mile walk similar to like a Heart Walk or something where you are supposed to be on a team and raise money to benefit the Lupus Foundation of America.
I have no team. I am not a fund-raiser kind of gal. And yet I feel like I should go. At the same time, I REALLY don't want to go. I would feel like a poser there even though I have been given this diagnosis by 4 reputable rheumatologists in the last 6months. I don't know exactly what I am afraid of. Maybe I am afraid of truly feeling like a part of this club that I have been trying to avoid joining. But that is part of the reason I feel like I should go. Maybe it would be good to meet others who are walking this road. I could ask them a few questions or simply not feel so alone in this whole thing. Maybe I could talk about the painful mouth sores or headaches or debilitating fatigue and joint pain and NOT feel so much like a whiner.

I can't bring myself to register but I did ask a co-worker to cover my call for a few hours. Clicking "register now" feels like resigning myself to the truth that I have this illness and I am not mentally at that point yet. I am still very much in the "yes I have all the signs and blood work, but this couldn't possibly be what this is" phase. Maybe not healthy, but where I am none-the-less.

What do you think? Should I go? Is it lame to go alone when everyone else there will probably be with some sort of team? I thought about asking someone to go with me, but that might make me feel even more awkward. (Anyone want to come with me?) Or maybe I just want to walk alone and try to sort out some things in my head.

Chronic health challenges can be a very isolating thing. Maybe this would be a good way for me to connect with other people who have Lupus and also bring my friends a little more into this journey with me. Or maybe it would feel too uncomfortable and I should wait for another year when I feel a little more at peace with this whole mess. Oh.... I don't know. Help!

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Literacygirl September 28, 2010 at 12:00 AM  

Oh, I wish I could do it! I am camping that weekend. I hope you find support for this new season in life. Don't let it define you. Blessings!

krbc September 28, 2010 at 7:53 AM  

I'll be on your team and walk with you, Farrah! Are you gonna do the one Sat in the city or on Sun a.m. in Naperville. Sun would be better for me, but I could make Sat work, too. I want to do what I can to help find a cure for this stink-o lupus. I want you to feel better and not have to feel so crappy all the time!

Terra Jones September 28, 2010 at 9:15 AM  

I would TOTALLY walk it with you! I think you should definitely go - can your family go with you so you aren't alone? Praying for you as you make this decision!

Shannon October 1, 2010 at 8:29 AM  

I would be on your team! But I also want to say that you are allowed to approach an illness in any way you want to. You don't have to join a support group or be in a walk if you don't want to or aren't ready to. You don't have to have a positive attitude all the time. Some things just suck, and you should be free to process that as you like.

Tracy October 3, 2010 at 9:41 PM  

I remember when my Mom was first diagnosed with Parkinsons she didn't want to attend any of the events or support groups. But, like you, she kinda forced herself to go. She brought me or a friend. We were actually talking about that recently as she now joyfully goes to the same events. She said it was hard at first to look around and realize she was like "those people". Then she would hate herself for feeling that way towards them. Also hard because she knew she'd see people farther down the road with her progressive disease and know that she may be there someday.

Anyways, I think it is totally normal to fight things like this. Heck, I think we were designed to fight the suffering of this world! To ask boldly for healing and deliverance. We're standing with you Farrah!

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