Monday, February 27, 2012

"I would do anything but that", says I, the lupus patient

I admit that I'm a hyperbole user. That is, I use exaggeration in order to make a point. And I can't help it - I just think hyperboles are the best. (See, I really do!)

But every once in awhile, I have to stop myself. Everything can't be the best ever, and I can't always have a bazillion things on my to-do list. Just like Meatloaf can't say he'd do anything for love...

So while I used to think that I would do anything, and I mean anything, to make my troubles (lupus or otherwise) go away, I have to remind myself that over the years, there have been a few exceptions.

Here's what I mean:

After the first few years with lupus, I was pretty down and out. Physically, I was at my worst. I had trouble dressing myself, I could barely buckle my seat belt in the car, and my list of symptoms just seemed to go on and on and on. And I told myself, just like we all tell ourselves when we're in a bit of predicament, that I would give anything to feel better. I would make any kind of sacrifice or do anything necessary to make my lupus symptoms go away. And yet - when it came right down to it, I didn't. I wasn't willing to work less. I wasn't willing to rest during the day. I wasn't willing to scale back on my commitments, obligations, or "shoulds."

So yes - I was more than willing to do whatever it took to get better - except change those areas of my life that I didn't want or expect to change.

And you know that strategy didn't work out so well.

One of the next opportunities to make life easier came when Deirdre was born. I chose to breast- feed, and while it worked out pretty well in the end, there were a few ups and downs. I remember calling the lactation consultant in the beginning, and asking for advice on engorgement, soreness, milk supply, etc. etc. I remember saying I was willing to do anything to make the process easier. As she rattled off the things I should try - things like pump after feeding, feed Deirdre more often, take extra time to care for the sensitive areas - I remember thinking to myself, "Well, I can't/won't/don't do that", probably based on the lack of time, energy, or both.

Uh huh. At least I can say that I learned my lesson the first time, as there weren't too many "that's" when Bernie came along!

So today - while I try to stay away from the use of hyperbole when it comes to my commitment to wellness, I've realized that everything has to be fair game. If there's something preventing me from staying healthy, then I need to do something about it. And yes, it's usually the one thing I don't want to change...but most often it's the thing that has to change.  

So here's to our willingness to do whatever it takes to live well. May you have no  "that's" in the year 2012!

(And I couldn't resist including a link to the song. You're just lucky I didn't make it start playing automatically!)

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