I Miss Her...The Old Me
Last updated: April 2023
I miss her! The “her” is me, well, the old me. The one that woke up in the morning with a long list of to-dos, a cup of coffee in hand, and ready to tackle the world. The new me opens her eyes, assesses the pain level, and decides how to proceed.
A vicious cycle
Every day is different, heck, every hour is unpredictable. On the rare days that the pain is tolerable, I charge ahead and tackle the long list of tasks I never get around to doing. At the end of the day, it feels like I climbed a mountain, and I celebrate that items have finally been addressed, only to regret it the following morning when my body screams, “What were you thinking?”
Breif moments with the old me
When the dreaded flare-up occurs, and it will, I know that my normal tricks will not touch the pain. In comes the calvary of steroids and pain meds. After a few days of these precious gems, I see her, the old me. She is pain free, happy, and ready for the day. Sadly, in my case, it is a short joyful reunion. That time is like catching up with an old friend and realizing how much you missed her presence in your life. I am sad for all the years I took her for granted. Her departure happened gradually, but one day she was just gone, and I had to learn to live a new normal.
Finally getting answers
It took years for my Lupus diagnosis. I was told everything from "You need more exercise," "You are perimenopausal," to "You are suffering from depression." Yes, I was most definitely sad because I felt awful! In December 2018, I was finally diagnosed and felt validated. For years family and friends said rest, take a vacation, change jobs, etc. I knew deep down this was more than just being “tired.”
Learning to accept my "new normal"
I miss the old me, I am angry that I have to plan my weekends with one day “on” and then one day for “recovery”. Luckily, I have a great support system and specialists. Most days, it is one foot in front of the other. On the days that I just can’t, I have been trying to be gentler with myself and trust that my body knows what it needs. This is not always easy, but then again, neither is living with a chronic illness.
How are you most likely to respond when someone offers you unsolicited advice about your lupus?