Major milestones of life and stressful life events sometimes come in pairs: in and out, beginning and ending, firing and hiring, full and empty. Lupus milestones come in pairs, too: flare and remission, energy and fatigue, awake and asleep, comfort and pain.
Just over two years ago a major life event and lupus milestone both started. With life and lupus the contrasts help make up the landscape of our lives. So, too, the events beginning two years ago affected my health and my family greatly.
Two years and two months ago, I began receiving Benlysta infusions and started a major period of quiescence of my lupus.
My health has steadily improved, although some aspects of lupus continue tenaciously. The previously extremely disruptive CNS lupus symptoms are very quiet. Yet, my neuropathy and related nighttime nerve pain are slowly and steadily increasing, despite the help I have received from gabepentin and tramadol medications.
Then, shortly after the beginning of Benlysta treatments, a major life event occurred.
Our daughter and son-in-law moved in with us. His employment by a major national corporation was over after 14 years, and in the wake of the recession, his position was dissolved nationwide. He received a long notice before the layoff, and despite a generous severance package, the not quite newlyweds quickly learned that one income was insufficient.
Thankfully, our daughter was able to keep her job as a public school music teacher through threats of possible layoffs and local government budget cuts. But, it was almost a year before her husband found a new job in his field at half of his earlier salary. The new job was still a great find in his career in the new post-recession economy. It took them the second year to re-position themselves financially for moving back out on their own.
Empty Nest Photo by Kenneth Allen
So, last week, after two years and twelve days, the kids moved out and have their own place. Along the way there was a little more stress, and a little more getting to know our son-in-law better. A few good times and conversations to remember and cherish that might not otherwise have happened.
So, our family saw a new ending, and a new beginning.
An empty nest — again, and the beginning of dinners for two — again.