I didn’t expect to be gone for this long, but here it is my first post of the new year. I have given up on the whole NEW YEAR, NEW ME thing, but I wanted to continue to work on being consistent. I find that is the best way to get to your goals, slow and steady wins the race. I had so much more to post for my holiday health series, but I was not feeling well, actually that’s an understatement. I felt like I was dying. My body was swollen. I was beyond fatigued from the smallest tasks or doing nothing at all. I was feverish and my urine was filled with bubbles, bubbles are bad. I decided to make an appointment with my kidney specialist three months before my next scheduled appointment. The downside of meeting with a specialist is getting on their schedule usually doesn’t happen as quickly as you need it to. So I accepted a December 24th appointment. What a way to start Christmas! I was trying to be optimistic, but I couldn’t ignore what my body was telling me.
I went in on that Monday and all of my fears became realized. He told me that my hemoglobin had dropped back down to single digits 8 to be exact, a normal level is 14. He told me that there was a huge spike in the protein in my urine, over 2000 units to be exact up from 600 less than two months prior. All of this meant I had 38% kidney function. There were red blood cells in my urine and he just continued with the bad news. He told me it looked like my lupus was relapsing and fast, but he has a great bedside manner and could see my anxiety rising, and quickly followed it up with, ‘it could just be a fluke.’ He told me I needed to come in two to three weeks later and get a full blood work up that would include the tests for lupus. I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. It quickly went from quiet streams of tears falling down my face in the office to full on weeping and moaning in my car. My tears reached so far back they hurt my face, and with every tear my body involuntarily jerked with such power, I had no other choice but to surrender to its will. All I could repeat in my head was, I can’t do this again. I can’t do this again. I can’t do this again.
Needless to say my Christmas was ruined. I didn’t want to celebrate and didn’t have the energy to physically get through it. I was barely able to get myself home in the 30- minute ride from the doctor’s office, the tears and physical reactions never stopped. I wanted to call everyone coming to the house and cancel. I didn’t want to be joyous and happy, I had nothing to celebrate. I just wanted to lie in bed and be still. I never stopped crying until I fell asleep on top of my soaked pillow. I woke up late and I could already hear the house bustling with holiday spirit, but I couldn’t bring myself to join them until much later. Then something happened that I really didn’t expect and wasn’t going to voluntarily allow to happen; I became happy. It was momentary and my reality was still raging in the back of my mind, but seeing all of my family and later on my friends brought genuine smiles and laughter to my face.
I’m not going to say that the rest of the break was wonderful, but it did have its moments. I had to cancel a girls’ trip with friends I was really looking forward to. I didn’t go out as much as I had planned to either. For most of the holiday and a couple of weeks into the New Year, I felt like a zombie. I was sore and stiff, weak and fatigued, feverish and painful, and anxious and depressed. I did go back to the doctor this past week, and all of my numbers are improving. He even asked me what I was doing to bring about such drastic results. There are still some issues to resolve, but I’m happy to say that nine days into the New Year I hit the reset button, and things are looking up for me and for my health. Here’s to a New Year with an unwavering resolve to always be persistent and consistent, and the wisdom to know when it’s time to be still.