The biggest thing after my diagnosis of lupus was the realization that I had to say goodbye to some of the things that made me- me. You know what I mean. With that, I also had to say goodbye to the person that I always wanted to be- an athlete. Okay, maybe that is a far stretch from the truth, but we all have dreams- right?
It was very hard to admit to myself that I wasn’t going to be able to do the following:
- Bike from Michigan to Maine
- Be the first professional baseball player for the Cincinnati Reds
- Win the first award for the best mom in the world
- Run a 5K in the fastest time ever
- Hike the highest mountain
- Have the best garden and yard in the neighborhood
- Be the best dancer on the dance floor
If I were honest with myself, I would have realized that I hadn’t been able to do those things for years prior to my diagnosis. But, just because those goals were no longer in my future, didn’t mean that I was less of a person. I just have to re-evaluate my abilities.
Now, I’ll admit- I’m not the healthiest that I can be – I’m trying to work on that. My pain keeps me from doing a lot of things. I’m unable to walk a mile. I’m unable to clean my own house. I’m unable to garden or do yard work. I’m unable to be in the heat and sun.
On a daily basis, I have headaches, pain in my neck, back, hips, elbow, knees, feet, fingers, hands and just about anywhere in your body that has joints. Some days are better than others. But, basically day after day I experience pain in one or all of these areas. So, eventually depression sets in. Depression is another evil thing that is sometimes worse than your initial diagnosis.
So, what can you do? Focus on things you enjoy without causing so much pain. Focus on the NEW YOU.
Say goodbye to the OLD YOU and fall in love with the NEW YOU.
After a doctor told me to “get some exercise”, I wanted to slap her. How can you exercise when your body feels like nails running through your joints and muscles? So, I did nothing – getting worse everyday.
I had to make a change. My husband purchased a couple kayaks to try them out. I didn’t think I would like it at all. After a couple times going to the lake, I’ve learned to love kayaking. I can go at my own pace, enjoy the peace and quiet of nature and most of all I’m getting out there and doing something.
Through my kayaking experience, I’ve also learned a new hobby that is something I can do anywhere- photography. I invested in a professional camera and take it with me while kayaking. It’s amazing what you see when you are gliding through the coves of lakes and rivers. From beautiful flowers, unique birds to strange people doing weird things, I want to capture those moments. I won’t ever be a well known photographer, but that’s okay. My photos don’t have to be perfect – sort of like me.
I may not be able to walk two miles or run a lap around the track anymore, but I have a new love that keeps me active.
What will you do?
*Check this out: Meditation good for the soul