A few months ago, my daughters accompanied me on a series of errands, one of which was a trip to Quest Diagnostics, our friendly, neighborhood routine test lab. This quick visit included a sample drop-off, and you can imagine the giggling from the back seat when they learned that "the orange jug in the back contains Mommy's tinkle." (GIGGLE, GIGGLE, SNORT, GIGGLE, SNORT.) It was an uneventful trip (which is, frankly, what you want when you're transporting 24 hours worth of you-know-what), but, boy, were there questions. And questions for those questions.
Truthfully, I welcome the opportunity to talk to my girls about lupus, and everything that goes with it. It gives me the chance to explain, enlighten, but also to reassure. They see me juggle medications and doctor appointments, and hear me talk about my blog topics and lupus concerns. They live with my daily nap, my avoidance of too much sun, and watch me adhere to a healthy lifestyle. I do those things to stay as well as possible. But it's when I do tests like these that I can confirm that my hard work is paying off. And even if a test comes back a little off, the doctor can find out right away, so that we have the chance to fix it.
Once the girls had asked all they could about the intricacies of the medical component of the test, they turned their sights to the aesthetic. Specifically, they wanted to know why the windows of the laboratory were tinted? What didn't they want people to see? What was so secretive about what happens inside?
To these questions, I smiled. For two reasons:
One, because apparently, given all the open, lupus discussions we have as a family, often over the dinner table, my girls find no shame, discomfort, or reason to hide any aspect of my life with lupus. It is not a word that is whispered in our household. It is something to be embraced, and my girls do that with much grace.
And two, because in answering their question, I was reminded of the primary issue that led me to design and develop the pillbags: privacy.
Why should the outside world have to know what our lupus business is, in or outside a lab? Why shouldn't we be able to tend to our disease unobserved? Isn't it nice, in this age of Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter, to be a little discreet once in awhile?
Who knew an innocent trip to the lab would reaffirm a value on which my business was built. Medical privacy and discretion is a patient right, and our pills (and how we carry them) deserve the chance to be included in that freedom, too!
In honor of lupus awareness month, be sure to check out our custom-designed Fabulupus pillfold, now available on Amazon!