As I lay in my hospital bed with an IV in my arm and antibiotics and steroids being pumped into my system, my mind can’t help but wander: How are my students doing? I wish I had my laptop. Ugh, I have to do my lesson plans! I can’t get work off of my mind and quite frankly, it’s sad.
For the past several weeks, my Lupus symptoms have gone absolutely haywire. My fatigue has become unbearable, and I’ve developed daily high fevers that fluctuate between 101 and 103 degrees. But of course, I live in New York City, I have a hustler’s mentality, and I care about my team. So what do I do? I suck it up and deal. I self-diagnose and “treat” with over-the-counter medication. I continue to push myself to get dressed every morning. I get pretty, put a smile on, and get myself to work.
I’ve always prided myself on being an ambitious, hardworking, and dedicated person. Unfortunately, being all of these things AND having an autoimmune disease has driven me into the ground. One of the most challenging things I had to learn to do at the start of my diagnosis was to listen to my body rather than my head. In my head, I can do anything! Then my body begins to scream and argue, reminding me that this is not the case.
Then I ask myself, is this always realistic? I’m a single (non-married) woman living in a city that never sleeps. Where people work an average of at least 50 hours per week and the expectations are the same for us all–bills gotta get paid! Life doesn’t say, “She has Lupus, so let’s make her bills less and decrease her work load.” I work hard and do my best to take care of my responsibilities and naturally in the process, tend to put my health to the side at times.
This entire experience of being hospitalized has reminded me that I am no good to the people in my life (friends, family, colleagues, or students) if I’m confined to a bed. I HAVE to put my health first in order to do all of the things that I love doing. I KNOW how challenging it is to balance life, especially when battling with Lupus, but as someone who is going through the trenches right now, I truly encourage all sufferers to put your health first. The report that’s due tomorrow isn’t worth it. That extra hour at the gym isn’t worth it. Not even the late night dinner with your BFF is worth it. Take a step back, relax, and please be well.
Following this read, please take a moment to pray for me and my recovery. The Bible says “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and I truly believe that prayer in numbers can make mountains move!
Please like and subscribe to receive notifications of new posts by email!
If you know anyone suffering with Lupus and/or any other “Invisible Disease”, please feel free to share with them directly!