Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Off-topic Post: Things Lupus has taught me to appreciate.

This is the second of my off-topic posts; I promise I'll get back to recipes soon. 

I know this is the time of year we're supposed to be thankful for things in our life (at least here in the USA), but honestly it's been a bit of a struggle for me this year. I mean, I really am genuinely thankful for a lot of things in my life, but it's hard not to feel sorry for myself right now. So I thought I'd mention a few things that lupus has made me really appreciate (in no particular order):

1. Painkillers. Don't think that one needs any explaining.

2. Good doctors. I'm so grateful I have a PCP/GP/regular doctor who actually listens to me and doesn't think I'm a moron with an IQ of a stoned squirrel. I've had many, many bad doctors, so I know the value of a good one now.

3. "Friends in the Box" : you guys. I currently live in a teeny tiny state that doesn't have much in the way of lupus support, so having a community of people who actually get it means more than I can say.

4. An understanding boss: I'm a grad student. Brain fog + lots of sick days could mean HUGE problems for me if my boss weren't so kind. I'm incredibly grateful for her understanding.

5. Friends outside the box: Having friends I can call at 11:00pm on a work night to come pick me up from the ER is probably the biggest blessing I could ask for. 

6. Supportive church/family: While I hate being the sick twenty-something in a mostly elderly congregation, I really, really appreciate my parish's support. Likewise, having parents who are ready to help me out with medical bills if I need it is a huge relief.

7. Educational opportunities: I'm very grateful that I've been able to spend the past ten years learning about various specialities in biology. I may not know anything about how to cure lupus, but by golly I know a lot about how it works. That makes it less scary for me.

8. Things aren't worse than they are: I know that I could be a lot sicker than I am. I wish I weren't sick at all, but at least most of my internal organs are still functioning well!

9. Nail polish: Don't laugh, I'm serious! I may have funny coloured hands from the Reynaud's, but at least I have pretty fingernails. That plus it gives me something to do when I'm trying not to be sick the day after my weekly chemo dose.

10. My car: I lived for a while without a car, using (crappy) public transportation instead. This year my neighbors moved to Rwanda, and I was able to buy their car. It has been a huge blessing as I've had fewer and fewer spoons. Being able to run errands on my schedule instead of the buses'?  Invaluable.  [Is "buses' " the possessive plural of "bus?" It looks odd somehow].


  1. Counting blessings is a wonderfully worthwhile thing to do. When the blessings relate to a problem you would rather not have, well that's a bit harder to do, but you have done it. Good woman! (as they say in Ireland, lots of loving thoughts and hope things start to improve very soon. Shirley (Helen's mum :))

  2. Thanks! It was actually partially inspired by another lupus patient's doing the same thing, so I can't take full credit for it. :)