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Sunday, April 4, 2010

April 4: Update

I haven’t updated this in quite a long time. This isn’t because I was being lazy, or forgot about this blog. Honestly, I felt like it was becoming too negative. I know my purpose when I started documenting my struggle with lupus was to be blatantly honest about how I was doing and feeling. But when I was flaring up, my posts all sounded like complaints. So I decided to take a brief break—I decided to resume updating this blog when I successfully completed at least one half-marathon while wearing my “Cure Lupus” shirt. I have successfully completed two half-marathons in the past nine days! Yay!

But let me backtrack a little. In February, I was exhausted and in a lot of pain. My joints felt heavy and stiff—like they were filled with cement. It hurt to move. It hurt to lay still. It hurt to leave my warm mattress pad and covers. Most of all, it hurt to go out into the cold. I became a bit reclusive, resting on our bed whenever I had the chance. Because of my uncomfortable joints, running and cooking—things I truly love—were no longer enjoyable. They turned into chores. I still ran, but I did not keep the running schedule that I had planned. I put in less miles per week than I wanted, and my longest run was only ten miles.

Towards the end of February, I flew to Texas to see my rheumatologist (whom I absolutely adore). After reviewing my labs, inspecting my joints, and performing a thorough physical exam, he decided to prescribe a different medication. He prescribed Imuran, a somewhat harsh immunosuppressant. He told me that I should notice a difference within 60 days.

Just having a different medication filled me with hope. Having lupus can be emotionally exhausting. I feel like I’m missing out on so much—like I’m sleeping my life away. So having a new-to-me medication—one that could possibly end this flare-up—is exciting. I’ve been on the Imuran a little over a month, and I can honestly say that I feel much better than I did in February. I’m still not back to normal. I still feel exhausted and my joints don’t always want to cooperate, but I am getting better. I do not have the energy to do all that I want to in a day. But if I plan my day right, I have enough energy to get some chores and work done and still go for a run. I know that having the energy to go for a run might not seem that important to some people, but it’s so important to me. I’m filled with hope and optimism on days that I run, but days that I physically can’t run seem so dark and bleak. Running makes me feel human—makes me feel normal. When I run by other people in the park, I feel like I’m just as strong and just as healthy as they are.

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