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This morning at my three month Rheumatology appointment, my doctor raved about my commitment to my well-being. I reveled in the praise. My scans and bloodwork were textbook awesome. She even threw out the elusive remission...I did not know this was even a thing! Nevertheless, I was NOT feeling as spectacular as my internal makeup so stated. Lupus is my primary illness, however, my secondary illnesses, Fibromyalgia and Sjogren's, are now claiming the spotlight. Three months ago, my rheumatologist increased my Etodolac, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug which treats pain and arthritis from once to twice a day. Increasing the milligrams of the Lyrica, Nerve pain medication lessened my joint, muscle and nerve pain but increased my fatigue.

Chronic Fatigue, which interferes with the ability to carry out daily tasks. The fatigue is severe, does not improve with rest, is not due to activity is persistent. The medications were silencing my body into a dormant state.

A month ago, I intended to walk 10,000 steps a day as my daily exercise. I bought the Letsfit Smart Watch, Fitness Tracker with Heart Rate Monitor, Step Counter on Amazon. My ten-year old twins saw it and started calling it the Apple rip-off watch...rude but funny. It looks exactly like the more expensive brand without the extras. Ok Lupies, so my intent was not enough to complete 10,000 steps a day. I would start off the week strong but by Wednesday I was unable to walk a mere 3,000 steps. On my worse day, 67 steps were recorded. Realistically, I need to adjust that 10,000 step amount. My rheumatologist agreed that I needed to walk for comfort not exertion.

I left the Rheumatologist office feeling, oh so, physically and emotionally tired. I wanted to cry. If my doctor lessened my Lyrica, I would not be so tired but I would suffer from my pain. Is there really a choice? How about neither?

I saw this woman, who was parked two spots down, struggling to get out of the car. I know the stance well...slide both legs to the left, feet on the floor, hold the wheel with your right hand and your left hand is on the door ready to propel you in an upward motion. I then looked at her. She reminded me of Missy Elliot. Her entire outfit made me smile. She had on this really colorful, loud teeshirt. A Coach bag and a matching Coach mask. I loved the entire ensemble. It just screamed, Look At Me! She was not hiding. She was taking her time and breathing as she attempted her first swing up. As I was passing her, I commented on her outfit. I told her it made me smile and her whole vibe was just outstanding. Her eyes lit up and she started to laugh and said thank you. I started to laugh because I just found her expressive response so unexpected. I drove off, craving my afternoon Dunkin' coffee when I stopped at a red light and realized I didn't want to cry anymore. I was tired as all hell but I was not feeling helpless. I selected George Michael's playlist from Spotify because you know...Lupies got to have Freedom...belt it out...it does make you feel so good!



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