Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Secrets We Keep, The Lies We Tell

Alright, it’s confession time…

- Last year I had an “episode” that I never told anyone about. And now I’m forced to wonder if it was a foretelling of things to come, of a body gone haywire, an immune system on attack mode.

One morning, I woke up and I felt weird. A little nauseous, a little dizzy. But the worst part was that I couldn’t focus on anything, couldn’t think. I attempted to read e-mails, but my mind couldn’t process the words. I tried to watch TV, but it was like the people were talking in a foreign language.

Could it have been a massive episode of brain fog so common amongst lupus patients?

Something worse?

- I can’t maneuver my arms to close the back of hospital gowns. I’ve never bothered to ask for help. They’re usually so big, anyway, that they can go at least fully around me without needing to be closed.

- I have a hard time opening prescription bottles, so I have to ask for the non-child proof kind. But it embarrasses me to have to ask. It makes me feel like less of a person.

- I’m not sure if I know what I’m doing with my life.

- After the first connective tissue tests came back positive and my first primary care doctor sent me for more blood work, I cried in the lab chair the whole time.

The lab tech perceived this as nervousness toward the impending needle stick. By this time I had already become desensitized to this caveman type ritual.

I told her to go ahead.

It was more of the fact that I couldn’t believe I was sitting in the chair, facing so many unknowns, with nowhere to run and hide. I’ve never told that to anyone.

And you know what else? I’m not sure I’m much different than that girl sitting in that chair eight months ago…

- You know, I’ve talked a lot about how so often, it’s people in their prime who are struck down by autoimmune diseases. And I’ve gone as far as to suggest that I am one of those “prime” people.
What if that’s not true?

My new RA/SLE/sick/ill persona would seem to suggest otherwise.

- You know, I’ve been thinking, and I think that at some point in all of our lives, to some portion of our social circle, we are posers.

We act like those around us. We pretend we are people we are not. We appear as happy and healthy, when in fact, that combination of identities couldn’t be further from the truth.

The sad thing is that society has made us feel compelled to do this at all.

It’s dishonest. Not only does it cheat those around us out of knowing who we really are, it cheats ourselves.

Some of us hide more. We have more to lose, so we have more to hide in order to protect ourselves from the loss that would ensue.

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