Calling my cold “the sniffles” may have been a bit condescending in my last post. The result? A vengeful, viral throw down of grandiose (and snotty) proportion. I’m on Day 11 and am FINALLY feeling like I’m getting better. It was a humbling and grounding way to bring in 2011, feverish and lathered in VapoRub, nose raw, sinus headache throbbing with the midnight countdown. I came to a realization: This was the sickest I’d been in a very long time and it had nothing to do with Lupus. It’s just a cold! No organ is failing or joints inflaming or neural synapses malfunctioning! The thought made me feel so silly and wimpy as I sat huddled and cranky amongst my mounds of crumpled tissues, that I was all at once just grateful and happy. So, in that way, it was great way to start a New Year with such clarity and gratitude, but I have to admit I’d rather have gotten the same effect with less mucous. Perhaps, Lupus had a hand in how long this thing has lasted, but all is forgiven. I do, however, reserve some bitterness to my stupid allergy to anti-inflammatories, which is present in virtually all cold syrups and remedies. There’s no positive spin on this one, folks. It just sucks.
Well, it’s 5 days late, but I might as well do a tardy, “Face Forward 2010 Year in Review:”
- Back to work half-time vs. “all-the-time,” in January 2010 after 5 months sick leave. By far, the best and the hardest decision I’ve made in my life so far.
Uprooted and Replanted:
- Moved out into a new apartment after healing and recuperating in my parents’ home for 8 months.
- Parents sell my childhood home!
- Work moves to new office space.
(Re)Discoveries of my Creative Self:
- Acted onstage for the first time in 6 years!
- Took a drawing/watercolour course.
- Completed the first four months of a year-long dance class!
Lupus Warrior Victories:
- Went from 14 pills a day (and four rounds of chemo) to 7 (and four of those are vitamins!). Weaning off Evil P – should be off it entirely by February 2011!!
So, in retrospect, it’s been an awesome year. It was also a difficult year, as I was swept away with emotion, struggling to process the changes in my life, of transitioning from a life and identity so connected and entrenched with work, to one that was not. By making the decision to change job roles and decrease my hours, I believe that I’ve reached an integral point in my “Lupie Life.” I am feeling the best I have ever felt (pre and post Lupus) and I know it’s because I now have time to rest in between working days, I’m less stressed, I have more time to be with the people I love, more time and energy to take care of myself. It’s taken me 9 years, but I’m finally learning that working less doesn’t mean that I’m less, it means that I can be more. Being able to reflect now and see the positive effects of that decision over the last year, I feel more hope than I ever have that I have the ability to create a largely pain-free and quality life for myself. That decision, of course, could not have happened without the support and efforts of my keepers, the amazing people I have in my life. You know who you are.
Due to my cold, I had to cancel my plans on New Year’s Eve, but my parents wouldn’t hear of me spending the evening alone. So, my amazing, superhero parents scooped me up from my apartment, poured me some juice in a wine glass, and surrounded me with my favourite snacks. As a tradition, my parents have always insisted that we all jump up and down at the stroke of midnight to ensure that we would all “grow” in the upcoming year. This year was no different, so I hopped up and down, trying not to trip on the blanket draped over my shoulders. So, it’s a bit late, but Happy New Year, my friends. Don’t worry, I jumped a few extra times for all of you.