As you know, we lost our little pug Henry a week before Christmas. While we still think of that guy on a daily basis, I've come to realize yet another thing he taught me about life with lupus. I know, I know - I've blogged about Henry's little lessons before - but this time, I'm reminded of one if not the primary reason why I took the steps to write my book, and why I continue to keep this blog. My motivation? Because I want others to know what I didn't know when I was struggling with my disease.
I can think of dozens of things that I wish I knew when I was first diagnosed, dozens of things I wish I understood when it came to balancing work and my disease, dozens of things I wish I had uncovered about myself and the way I approached the disease. These and dozens of other epiphanies are exactly what I've attempted to notate in my book. It's the issues I address on this blog that I wish someone had told me years ago. And as I've said many times before, much of the information I impart did come from other people - the members of my support group, my family and friends, and my co-workers were all instrumental in helping me figure out the best way to live well, despite lupus. But I wanted it all in one neat, little package - with, I suppose, a front and back cover.
I've thought about this fact before - but since losing little Henry, I've been able to reflect on the things I wish I'd known about raising Mr. Hendo, too: that weight gain, lethargy, drinking more water, and slowing down can be signs of old age...but they can also indicate something else like diabetes; that his reluctance to take walks, jump up on the ottoman, get off the bed in the dark, or do steps could just be him being stubborn...or they could indicate something else like loss of vision. Of course, now that we know all that we do about diabetes, blindness, etc. Darwin's got it made. His brother Hen was just paving the way, taking one for the team, and bringing light to the world, one paw at a time.
If I can help even one person with lupus find their way more clearly, I can join Henry is knowing that my mission has been accomplished.