Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What normal feels like...

This week I realized that for the last 7 to 10 years, I forgot what normal felt like.  I am on Celebrex which is an anti-inflammatory like Motrin and is used in Lupus but also for patients with arthritis.  What I have noticed, is that I feel normal and human.  I am not constantly so exhausted that just doing something simple is tiring.  I don't feel so anxious and stressed, and I think that's because I have some energy and I am not constantly sore and in pain.

I also didn't realize how incredibly sore, in pain and tired I really was.  It all snuck up on me kind of gradually these last 10 years, and it started to FEEL normal to me...even when I knew it wasn't normal. Waking up in the morning and being able to walk normally without pain in my legs, and not constantly feeling like I can't catch my breath, or not having pain in my hands after typing, or a killer headache every single morning all feels so great!! I have been waking up in the morning thinking "wow, this is pretty awesome".  And at night, I still have some energy left over.

I do still have some fears.  I know this is still there and always will be there.  I have to live with my wolf, Lupe (I named her) forever.  I know that there's a chance I could still have organ issues (will find out soon) and I know that these drugs are not great for my body and I will have to be monitored very closely.  I also know about the greatly increased risk of cancer that Lupus patients have.  I know all of these things, and yet I feel pretty optimistic.  Feeling good physically really affects how you feel mentally.

This has all made me realize how little awareness there is for Lupus, and how many women are probably being passed-off as depressed.  I want to start advocating for mandatory/regular auto-immune testing for women who complain of symptoms like soreness, headaches, fatigue, etc that doesn't go away easily.  I know I am not a doctor or a medical professional, nor do I understand how the insurance system works, but I do know that they diagnosed me with a series of blood tests.  No big fancy machines.  Just a blood test.  Maybe it's not "just a blood test" and maybe it's really costly, but I want this to be something that is part of a regular blood test at a physical.  I feel that if it was, then I would have been diagnosed years ago and I could have had all of those years to feel GOOD physically, even if the "good" is just as good as I feel today...which is a whole boatload better than I felt a few weeks ago.

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