Double Whammy

I have multiple sclerosis.

I have lupus.

Double whammy.

Not only do I have 1 disease but I have 2. It’s the summer. It’s REALLY sunny. I don’t know which disease (or it could be both) is acting up in my body or why but I do know that I don’t feel good and symptoms are starting to flare up. I was told by my Rheumatologist today that because I have both diseases I may never feel “good”. There will probably always be something happening in my body to cause me discomfort.

Now I know things are never for sure for any reason. Experience tells me that only time will tell what really happens or doesn’t happen. I went almost 8 years believing I only had MS and how I felt was “the way it was” until I was finally diagnosed with lupus 2 years ago and I learned I could feel “A LOT BETTER” than I had been feeling. And you know it’s true. I feel a lot better today than I did 2 years ago. Absolutely. Thank goodness and I am very grateful for that.

BUT…my doctor pointed out that I have been on a physical plateau for awhile and since it had been awhile she was thinking that may be my new baseline. Well OK–but NOT OK. So what happens from here? Isn’t it the unknown that’s so scary? Isn’t it our heads that freak us out too? I hear this and I start thinking, “Well this is it. This is all I have. I don’t ever get to feel better.”–but then what is there if I live with just those thoughts?

AND it’s back to one moment at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time–whatever it takes to keep the “time” idea really simple. Because right now the summer and the sun are fogging my perspective and making me think that there is a LIMIT TO HOPE. I DON’T BELIEVE THAT! I have a wonderful husband, I have an adorable kitty, I have amazing supportive friends and family, I have a roof over my head, I have AC (THANK GOODNESS!), I have a great car, I have clothes, and the list of HOPE goes on and on.

BUT–I can’t mask it.

I am really struggling…

I’ve been very confused lately. I’ve been functioning better, able to exercise more, be a bit more active, I feel stronger, but YET I still have really bad fatigue, pain is coming back in my joints and especially my hands, I’m getting weird rashes, I get to the point in the day usually where I CRASH and my body is all done, I’m starting to have digestive issues again and I DON’T GET IT! What’s going on with me? Am I getting worse? But I thought I was better? How will I know when the weather is wacky and I’m so darn sensitive to it? And how can anyone really figure out which disease to treat when both diseases have been known to act up exaggeratedly during the hot times of the year????

My Rheumatologist and I had a very in-depth conversation about all of this today and that really means a lot to me that she took the time to talk and listen with me for quite awhile. She was understanding and compassionate but also very direct and to the point and not too harsh about it. I have MS. I have lupus. Double whammy. She confirmed that it’s going to be really hard for me. Will I be able to work again? What will I do now? What can I do now? She’s not really even sure that I’m much better than I was 6 months ago, it’s just that “THINGS ARE DIFFERENT” and so this probably really is my plateau. Perhaps I’d feel much better with only one disease (you know, as if only 1 of these diseases is a cup of tea–they’re all sucky)…but that’s not the case.

REALITY TELLS ME I HAVE MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS AND LUPUS.

Reality HITS me these days. This is it. This is my life. Yes I could be a lot worse. Yes I could be a lot better. But the truth is, I don’t feel good. Will I ever feel “good”?

I will do my best to have hope but right now I AM TRUDGING and the muck is really thick and it is very easy to feel stuck…

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