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I Almost Forgot I Was Sick…

STOP!

If you’re looking for a funny post, this isn’t it.  Nor is it a home decor post, or a cute kid saying post, or a religious post, or an art post.

What this is, is a health post.  Not a whiny, woe is me post, but rather an epiphany post.

Late last week I picked up a prescription at one of our local pharmacies, and as I watched them through the drive-through window, my heart leapt and I thought…I could work there…I could do that!

And then came the epiphany…No, sadly, I couldn’t.

Not because I couldn’t learn what to do, nor because I lack the customer service experience.  But because my health wouldn’t allow it.  {ok, I whimpered a little here…ok, in all honesty I said “damn”.}

In the past year, my Sjogren’s Syndrome has gone from being a somewhat silent illness (under control with the right medicine…as long as I didn’t overdo it), to my daily foe.  15 years ago I was known as ‘The Energizer Bunny’ – able to multi-task with the best of them; juggle job, motherhood, work, community plays, you name it – I had energy for it.  13 years ago, I couldn’t seem to find any energy, I hurt everywhere and became depressed…I’d just had Gabi.  It took 2 years for doctors to figure out it was Sjogren’s Syndrome causing the problems.  Medication helped tremendously until last Fall, when my body fell apart.  Now don’t get me wrong – I’m better than I was a year ago – the shoulder has been fixed, the lower back/sciatic is lots better – it’s the regular Sjogren’s stuff that’s still running on high.

There are millions of people who have Sjogren’s – in fact approximately 4 million in the US.  And there are millions more with RA, Fibromyalgia, MS, Lupus, and many other auto-immune diseases.  These are the group of chronic illnesses described as ‘Invisible Illnesses’.  Why?  Because you don’t see a limp…or an open wound…or a cast.  You can’t see it…period.  On any given day ‘we look good’…in other words, we can’t be very sick…right!?!  Wrong.

Auto-Immune Disease is described as ‘when your body’s cells attack themselves’.  No need for an infection to get you sick…your system does it for you.  Infections just make it that much more fun (jk) – they just throw your disease into high gear.

It can be like having the achy flu EVERY DAY…or being so tired that you can hardly keep your eyes open, even when you’ve had a good night’s sleep…or your joint pain may flare up – with or without exercise…or your eyes and mouth are so dry that you need medicines, surgeries, or dental work to help…or you may get hit with Brain Fog and it leaves you wondering if you are getting Alzheimer’s because you’d swear your child never told you the fact she insists she did – even though your spouse saw it.  There’s no cure, but there is medication to help (thank God).

There are so many more symptoms that all these diseases bring with them…and so many levels within each illness.  Some people are better than others.  Some unable to work…while others can.

We need to all remember this – there’s no “ONE SIZE FITS ALL” auto-immune disease level…so PLEASE don’t judge others.  A – you don’t know what health issues they have…and B – you never know what someone else is going through in their lives.

I think I can speak for most people who have auto-immune diseases when I say the following:  If you don’t understand what I’m talking about above, we pray you never do…because sometimes the only way to understand what someone is going through, is to go through it yourself…and we hope you never have to.

And if you do understand, thanks for the moral support…know that I’m here for you if you need an ear, or a gentle hug…and best of all…I believe you.  Let’s keep smiling…whether you dress up or have a sloppy day…do whatever makes you happy – and don’t forget to look for the BLESSINGS and HUMOR in everything!

As for the job thing…I’ll keep watching these two funny, little, daycare babies…we can hang out and color, or work on our alphabet, or rock-a-bye.  And sometimes we (they) run, chase Motzy, or march around the couch playing cymbals while we listen to John Philip Sousa on the stereo.  They’re pretty flexible with how I’m feeling…and thankfully, so are their parents.  These two little girls bring great joy to me – I hope your life is just as blessed!

Have a great weekend!

Patty O

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7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Well written, Patty

    Like

    November 4, 2013
    • Thank you Barb! High praise coming from you.

      Like

      November 4, 2013
      • Well a free critique is worth just that. 🙂 But thank you.

        Like

        November 4, 2013
  2. I understand!
    I wish I didn’t but I do. Even if our struggles are different health wise, there’s and underlying determination in both of us to “be who we used to be”.
    I’ve begun, (as you have), to realize that’s not possible and am struggling with decisions like yours.
    Can I keep up this pace at work throughout yet another bout of illness and infection, and what will I do with myself if I’m NOT working?
    We’ll work through it as we always do Patty, and we’ll still be the people we were. We just won’t be able to keep up with the physical world as we once did. I can live with that.
    Prayers and wellness wishes for you xx

    Like

    November 5, 2013
    • Oh Meg – thanks so much for your understanding. I’ve missed you! How are you feeling? I’m guilty of not taking the time to read many blogs for the past month or so. Went through a hard illness with my father-in-law. Anyway – take care dear Australian friend!

      Like

      November 5, 2013
      • I’ve missed you too Patty! I’ve had little motivation for blogging, since the big operation in June, I couldn’t sit down at the computer for ages and it was too hard to concentrate with all the drugs I was on. I slept for a month!

        Things were really good in September and early October, and then I relapsed and got another infection. Back on the Merry-go-round!
        I hope your F.I.L. is ok?
        Heading into summer down here in the Southern Hemisphere, I expect it will be catastrophic this year with the heat, dry wind and drought. The bush is just kindling waiting to go up. Just a couple of weeks ago we had over two hundred serious bushfires burning in our state alone!

        It’s hard to relax living in the forest with a threat like that hanging over your head. Lucky we have a huge lake out the front door, so I don’t fear for our lives so much, as I do others in the area.
        There’s always something to worry about isn’t there Patty? (Other than our health, I mean?) Luckily that keeps us from internalizing to the point where we just give up!

        Like

        November 5, 2013
      • Oh Meg – I’m so glad you’re surgery went well, I have been thinking of you! So sorry about the infection though! Is it all better, I hope?

        My FIL is doing much better. Amazing recovery considering what his body went through.

        Will definitely pray for a little rain down in Australia…STAY SAFE!

        Yes, I think we too have another thing in common – we’re both worriers!!! 🙂

        Take care and keep in touch!

        Your friend, Patty

        Like

        November 8, 2013

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