Friday, December 7, 2012

I Figured it Out

It's been like forever since I last posted ... basically, because I felt like I didn't have anything else to say.  The last time I wrote here, it was to give an update on my health situation.  I was hoping that with a diagnosis and new treatment, I'd get back to my old self, and be able to write about how great life can be ... how we can all find the strength to get through the rough times, how there's always a silver lining, and how we can embrace change to become the buttahflies we're truly meant to be.

Unfortunately, I'm still struggling.  Since my last post, the doc has added another diagnosis (fibromyalgia in addition to the autoimmune arthritis), and she says it'll probably develop into something else later.  I'm up to 17 pills a day, one injection a week, and an infusion ever month ... and I'm still in pain every day.  Still exhausted all the time, and still nauseous more often than not.  I move in slow motion in the morning, and I'm lucky if I can move at all by the evening.  I have to avoid the sun at all costs, and I have difficulty breathing in the cold.  I've got to take extra precautions to avoid getting sick because my compromised immune system can't fight any infection.  I can only have minimal alcohol and caffeine, and I can't even get any more piercings or tattoos to make myself feel better!

To put it simply, this sucks.  

I've had my share of pity parties since this all started.  I've screamed, I've cried, and I've sulked alone in my room.  Like most people struggling with chronic illness have done at some point, I've tried to figure out why.  Why me?  Why did I get stuck with this awful disease that (won't kill me but) has no cure, and will only get worse as time goes on?  Well, I think I've finally figured it out.

To really understand this, I had to take a look at things from a different perspective.  The reality is (aside from this), I've got a pretty good life ... and it's getting better all the time.  Let's look at the facts:
  • I am married to my childhood sweetheart - my first love - and he still makes me laugh like when we were kids
  • I've got a mom who would do anything for me and is close enough to always be there for me (whether I want her to or not LOL)
  • I've been able to make a career out of what I'd done for years as a volunteer ... I love my job!
  • I live in a great apartment in the perfect neighborhood: it's quiet, peaceful and serene, but close enough to everything and everyone that matters
  • I've become friends with some truly incredible people who inspire and amaze me every day - both online and "in real life"
  • I just bought a new car - and it's even cuter than the last one ... totally hippie, totally me!
  • I just got a promotion at work, which is helping to pay for the cute new car ... more importantly, though, it's nice to get the recognition/acknowledgment after working so hard all year long
  • Hubby and I just got back from a wonderful vacation, in the most beautiful place we've ever been (Hawaii), and we're already talking about our next trip(s)
Now if I were looking at this from the outside, I'd probably think "this girl's got it all."  If I were a petty person, I might be a bit jealous ... resentful, even.  It's just not fair for one person to have everything like that.  Something's got to give.  

Well, something gave: my health.  

Maybe that's the price I have to pay for having it so good in so many other areas.  Maybe that's how there's balance in my world.  Maybe it's to keep me humble ... or to keep people from hating me for having it all. 

Or maybe there's no logic, no rhyme or reason, no explanation; maybe it just sucks.   

Still, the fact remains that despite this physical crap, there's a lot of good in my life.  So while I can't make the pain go away (and apparently, neither can my doctors), I can at least try not to dwell on it.  As I tried to explain to someone else recently, I am the sick girl, but I'm not just the sick girl.  I'm the happy girl, too.  I just need to remind myself of that part every so often. 

When going through tough times, others often console themselves by saying "at least I have my health."  I may not have that, but at least I have everything else!