Let me tell you my story:
Before my diagnosis, I am already “critically ill” (defined by several periods of going in and out the hospital – that was the 1990s). My doctor often tell me, I have a blood infection, which at the time I did not quite understand and the irony is – neither can she. She just tell my mom that I had infection but did not pursue any workup or treatment probably because at the time technology has not come of age.
So, my life dragged on – I was a young girl. I couldn’t say my childhood wasn’t happy because I get so sick. Believe me, there are perks when you’re sick (LOL). Not all the time though, because this is only when I am sick – like having fever and so on. I don’t get to wash the dishes. I don’t get to do my laundry. Etc.
When I reached college, I took Medical Laboratory Science – one of the irony of my passions in life. I entered the portals of medical life when I am a patient myself. However, being sick most of the time did not stop me from pursuing my passion – to help patients like myself; not the kind of world peace thingy (LOL) but the kind that’s enough to let people know someone cares.
Then, the dreaded day came – burning with fever, body malaise, pains and aches that I could not understand and butterfly rash. So, lupus – along with the string of laboratories, poked with needles – okay I am not going through all that morbidity.
I rebelled. I underwent all five stages of grief – it doesn’t really matter how long each stage was.
I was in denial.
I got angry at life for being so cruel at me many years before and that time.
I went through bargaining – like “Okay, after I attend the 9th morning Misa de Gallo, please grant my wish that I’d be dead so my family can go on their lives without me being a burden to them.” (God didn’t though – for a higher purpose I suppose).
Then, I entered the period of depression. Nobody seems to care, nobody seems to understand and the likes. Well, nobody really did because they’re not me and they cannot empathize to something they have not gone under.
Finally, acceptance came. I thought acceptance was easy. Instead, I struggled some more because there are things I want to do yet cannot anymore.
But, that was almost 12 years ago. I lead a better and more mature life today.
I am a registered Medical Laboratory Scientist – had three years in medical school (stopped: and now returning yet once again). I know lupus is part and parcel of who I am. The diagnosis cannot be undone. I can neither dwell on the past nor look into the future. What I have is here and now. Today.
And, I am sure whether or not you have lupus like me, the same thing applies. We all have to lead our lives one day at a time.
Cherish every moment.
Enjoy the day with your loved ones while you’re at it.
Send a message (SMS, MMS, Video, Audio – whatever) to someone dear to you today.
Do something crazy for the first time.
Go to places you’ve never been.
Be with someone you can be comfortable with.
Dare to dream.
Love. Live. Laugh.
Because, a moment wasted is a lifetime of regret. You don’t have to master all these things because nobody expects you to. Once in a while you’ll have to face challenging times and when you do – just repeat the steps. 🙂