I hate being sick, I hate needing help and I hate having to ask for it. Yet I live with lupus, which means I am sick and need help and thus must ask for it.
While I struggle constantly with lupus to gain control of my body and prevent more organ damage it isn’t the worst of this illness. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not thrilled to know my body is attacking itself and I’ve watched the damage to my organs with fear and anger.
Still harder for me is to be dependent upon someone for something, no matter how minor. I’ve always thought of myself as independent and able to manage just fine thank you very much. But there are times that lupus takes that from me and I have to swallow pride and ego and ask for help…help to tie my shoes or fasten a necklace. Help to drive me somewhere because I can’t manage that in that particular moment.
Of course my pride and stubbornness have led me to do some pretty foolish things, such as walking with crutches on a beach. Or rather attempting to use crutches on my beach, only to have a beloved rescue me from my own foolish decision and carry me to the spot he had chosen.
He doesn’t mind, he sometimes laughs at my stubbornness, but he understands why I do it. He is there most times to rescue me from myself and when he isn’t I am blessed to have wonderful friends. Friends who know that when I say I can manage it and put on a brave face it means I’m struggling and wish they would find a graceful and face-saving way to help me.
I’ve met people with lupus who do not fight it the way I do. Sure they take meds, but they are at peace in accepting help and admitting when something is too much. I wonder what it’s like to be able to live gracefully with lupus instead of going round after round with this illness. And yet I continue to fight it, like a boxer who doesn’t know when to retreat to her corner because she doesn’t want to admit defeat or needing help.