Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lupus Flares, Bad nights and Dreams

With systemic lupus comes bad days and bad nights. With the weather jumping from 65 degrees during the day to mid 80's with lots of rain, my body has taken a huge beating. 

Last night was a bad night. I didn't fall asleep until 5:00 a.m. this morning. When I finally did fall asleep, it was with the aid of pain medication and pain patches all over my body. 

The one advantage of sleep is beautiful dreams. Because I slept so hard, I had the most beautiful dreams ever. When you're chronically ill and your life lacks quality, you are thankful for beautiful dreams. Sometimes I wonder if your dream is so real, so vivid, does the person you dreamed about have a similar dream about you?

But when I finally woke up, my heart was broken. I returned to a world of loneliness, illness and no one to lean on when I need them. It has been a hard struggle recently with medical bills pouring in and stress building up. 

I look in the mirror and wonder who that person is looking back at me. Am I where I wanted to be at this age? Not even close. But sometimes when you are so sick you just have to take it one day at a time. Those days just keep coming up empty. 

I keep reminding myself I am not the only person on this earth who suffers, deals with chronic illness alone and has to take life as it comes. It just isn't what I thought I'd be doing at this point in my life. 

Asking why never helps, but it does help when someone gains some insight into this world by reading a post, somehow gains hope from someone who keeps on going no matter what, and is reminded they, too, are not alone. 

Beautiful dreams come in waking hours just like they do in sleep. Sometimes it is hard to let go of them. Why should we? Dreams are a beautiful gift. I'm thankful for them when I can finally release the pain I suffer from and walk into another world of being able to walk without a cane, look like the woman who was not scarred by this horrible disease, and actually feel loved, something I've long forgotten in my waking life. 

Next week is my college reunion. They open it to all who have graduated from Asbury University (college during my day). I took a look at the list of those attending. Didn't know one person. Yet, I will attend at least one event.  So many years have passed. People have married, had children, those children are now having children. The end of my college days began with a dying mother and continued with care giving to my dad and brother, who also died within my 30's, while I worked full time jobs as a teacher, in two churches, and other fill in positions. Instead of marrying, I became a care giver. Instead of having children, I buried my family. Instead of climbing the ladder of success, I lost my health. No matter what road we had to travel, we are not the same people that we were in college.

No matter what road we are given to walk (and believe me, I never chose any of those things), we learn, gain wisdom and keep on going. Within the travels we are blessed with moments we will never forget - meeting Pres. Jimmy Carter and his wife, meeting and spending time with Kevin Spacey, meeting John Stamos when his band came to the local fair in Dothan, AL in the late 80's. Life isn't always what we planned it to be, but we have a fresh start each day. 

My life isn't exciting. That's okay. I'm thankful for moments God sends my way where I can just enjoy them and not drown in suffering. Sometimes they come in dreams. Sometimes just good sleep. Even though my life did not take the normal road most peoples' lives did, I refuse to believe my life has any less purpose. We are all here for a reason, many reasons. They just come in different seasons. 

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