The Positive Changes

My diagnosis came in 2015; although, there were several signs for many years prior (quite common).

Focus on the positive

The process of learning to focus on the positive each day was not effortless by any means. Only recently, have I been counting the positive changes in my life.

I was so busy in my professional career, taking college classes on weekends and evenings, traveling for work, traveling for professional associations, etc. that I didn’t have time to just stop and breathe. I took for granted my tribe of girlfriends, believing, they will always be there.

SLE diagnosis

Today I see things differently. Getting the news of SLE was devastating; I was 43, young, and hopeful for news of something that could be easily “fixed”. Get me back to my “normal” life.

I used to run 4-6 miles daily, go dancing, hiking, biking, etc. Facing a diagnosis that didn’t come with a quick prescription to be all better was a hard pill to swallow (pun intended).

Fast forward to 2021. The positive changes are voluminous and multifaceted.

  • The stars in the sky; I look each night and try to find a satellite.
  • The first sip of morning coffee; I savor that warm smooth flavor each day.
  • In the spring, my Cherry blossom tree in my back yard; I take a photo each day, documenting the progress leading up to the first blossom opening (and today was the day).
  • My graciously, caring, compassionate, patient husband; I thoroughly enjoy each smile, conversation, decisions we make together, and every moment we have; in a way I am certain would not be the case before.

Do not overlook positive changes

As tragic as this horrible disease is; the positive changes are a multitude of meager things previously overlooked as we all are guilty of at some point in our lives. Now I’m not saying I don’t have hard days; because I would be in total denial if so. Those days are quite dark and dreary and painfully real. After much internal debate; I do not deny myself the downtime necessary to recoup.

I am still learning each day more positive changes; these are not easy things to look for. It’s ok to be sidetracked with the struggles of negative changes and all the loss, just learn not to stay in those struggles too long. Come up for (positive) air often; soon it will become a much-welcomed habit.

Lisa Jo Pelkey

Cherry blossom

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