Slowing down for Lupus Awareness Month
HAPPY LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BEAUTIFUL SISTER BRIE!!!
Back in February when my rheumatologist
suggested totally bitched me out that it was time to start making some lifestyle changes, it took my hardheaded self a lot of time to get used to the idea. I’m always on the go, bouncing around from one place to the next. Once my doctor put the bug in my ear, I spent a lot of time talking to my Hubby, my sister, some of my doctors and a few close friends. They’ve all said over the past few months they’ve watched me get worse, and want nothing more than to see me slow down.
I still wasn’t sold on the idea, but as my health kept declining, it became increasingly obvious that I needed to do something to decrease some of the stress in my life. So on a day off, I contacted the company that handles FMLA/disability for my employer, and started the process to take a leave of absence from work.
It was much easier than I imagined. I already had an intermittent claim to protect my job from days off when I am flaring, but this would be considered a short-term disability leave. I chose the dates, gave the rep the information for my rheumatologist, and… that was it. He told me he would contact me if he needed anything else or didn’t receive the paperwork from the doctor, to call on my last day of work, and good luck with everything. That was it? (I’m not complaining) Why hadn’t I done this sooner?
Next on the list was discussing things with my boss, the nurse manager of the Cardiac ICU. A few weeks prior she had pulled me into her office saying she was worried about my health, so I think she knew it was coming. Although I don’t have to reveal any information about my health, I’ve always been upfront and honest with her. She was genuinely surprised to hear that chemotherapy is used for the treatment of lupus (which again solidifies that most people, even health professionals, know nothing about the disease), and I thought she was questioning me, but now I know it was just due a lack of knowledge. She told me to take the time I need, and to come back when I’m feeling better.
So here I am 4 days into my leave of absence. I’ve had doctors appointments, tests and bloodwork every day, so I haven’t had much time for relaxing just yet. I started taking the Arava yesterday, and aside from a bit of nausea, no earth shattering side effects so far.
For a girl who’s constantly moving, I’m wondering how long it will take me to go crazy from too much daytime television and time on my hands. But right now, I’m going to enjoy this time to relax, blog, heal and respect the Lupus.