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The "I" on my chest...

Posted Dec 03 2012 8:00am
Wow. I mean wow. I just discovered gel nail polish (I know...hello!), and it really is amazing. I'm not used to nail polish actually staying on my nails; instead, I'm used to watching it go right down the drain, literally, within hours after a manicure. Once I wash my hand a few times, forget about the polish. But now...oh, my. Am I ever sold!

This new stuff really is indestructible. Even within 90 seconds of my gel polish being applied, the manicurist was rubbing lotion all over my hands and fingers, a thing I wouldn't normally do for days after a standard manicure. And the shine! My nails looked fabulous day after day after day.

With 10 shiny, intact polished nails staring at me after about 10 days, I thought, "You know? Some days, I feel just as indestructible." Some days, it's as though my life is completely unaffected by lupus. On those days, I have energy to spare. I wake up rested and go to bed feeling equally as good. I take a nap,  of course, but there's no debilitating fatigue clawing at me for an hour beforehand. All day long, I feel young and active and alive. When I take my medication, I don't even think twice. So what if a few pills and some lifestyle changes are helping to make me feel so good?  Feeling good means feeling good. And on days like that, I feel like living with lupus is a cinch.

But then, there are other days. Days when I feel anything but indestructible. On those days, the figurative "I" on my chest stands for things like "incapable" or "incapacitated." As I'm going about my day, unable to "do" or accomplish, I feel "inferior" and "insecure".  When I venture to the doctor, I feel more "intimidated" than anything, and my disease is best described as "inconsistent". On days like that, I may feel "immobile" and "incoherent", but I struggle to verbalize either, much less any of the other emotions mentioned above.

This serves as a valuable reminder to me that those feelings shouldn't be ignored. They are very real and very valid, and unfortunately, very common for people with lupus.

So here's the goal - instead of working so hard to construct a veneer of "indestructibility" on crummy days  like that, how about we seek "introspection"? How about we take time to evaluate how we feel, acknowledge and perhaps verbalize those emotions, and then remind ourselves that we won't feel those things forever, no matter how permanent they feel at present?  

Of course, I'm much better at doing this than I used to be. More than a decade with the disease has given me a good chance to practice. But here's hoping our days of indestructibility, be they intermittent or more frequent, give us the courage we need to get through the rest.

 


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