I had always assumed I would have tired eyes from reading too much. It stood to reason that with all the reading I do for work as well as for personal reasons, if my eyes would be tired, it would be from reading. Sure, add in the fact I use computers a lot, and therefore tired eyes would seem logical.
I had not counted on tired eyes from lupus. Well dry eyes which lead to feel like tired eyes. Dry eye disease isn’t uncommon with lupus. After all Sjorgren’s Symdrome is known to come come along for the ride when lupus enters your car.
I should have known this would be the cause, but I didn’t. Because denial is sometimes something that comes along with lupus as well. Or maybe it’s what comes along to help cope with the ups and downs of lupus. And I must say denial and I have become rather good friends, for better or for worse.
Denial is why I waited at times to seek medical help. Because some times you just need a break from things. And sometimes if you hide from things or pretend everything is okay (because that’s who denial works for me) it’s just easier. Until it isn’t. Because denial doesn’t protect you from ill health or bad things. It just sort of offers you a bit of a break, but may make things worse because you let things sit too long.
My tired eyes, as I called them, were things I denied. I denied that it was more than just tired eyes because I wanted just one thing, one thing, that lupus did not touch. But the truth is, there are a lot of things lupus never touches. Denial does that to you as well.
While in the kitchen I dropped a slice of banana on the floor. The four-footed one was faster g thing to the dropped fruit than I was. She happily consumed the fallen slice and waited for more.
Large, hopeful eyes followed my every move as I sliced strawberries and a pear. With no more items falling, probably her version of mana from heaven, she wandered off to flop on her current favorite spot on the floor. She looked as if she was asleep by the time I brought my bow, of fruit to the table.
Looks can be deceiving. This I already knew, but she decided to remind me of this anyway. The phone rang and I got up to get it. By the time I came back the four-footed one was in my bowl of fruit. Eating out of it. Not even using the spoon!
So much for leaving sleeping dogs where they are! Because not all sleeping dogs are actually sleeping. And some have apparently learned how to climb onto the kitchen chair in order to reach the food on the table.
And those eyes that were so large and hopeful earlier didn’t even hold the tiniest bit of shame. Just love and a knowing look that she had gotten one up on me. And my fruit.
I spend a good portion of my time and energy pretending to be something I’m not. I try to be like a healthy person and I’m not. News flash, no matter how many times I fake it I will never make myself into being healthy.
I know dear readers we have had this type of conversation before, and if you are fortunate enough to healthy you may not get this. Today while having a conversation with a friend in a restaurant, our waitress decided to offer my friend, and inadvertently me, this lovely gem of advice that if you fake it till you make it anything is possible. This includes dealing with chronic illness according to this waitress who clearly has a medical degree as well as working in the restaurant.
So if one fakes being well one will simply become well according to her theory. Believe you me, if it were this simply there would thousands of people with chronic illnesses and serious conditions on this band wagon.
Lim not sure why people who know nothing about me or my condition think they have the right to offer me unsolicited advice on what to do to get back to normal. It is a bit like this: let’s say you invented a widget machine; it is your pride and joy, you live for this machine. Now I come along knowing nothing about widgets or machines, but I tell you what you need to do to make it work better. You’d laugh at me, throw me out of your building and have a great story to tell.
With chronic illnesses like lupus I’m on the one with the widget machine and some stranger comes over to me and says things like: it’s all in how you view things, eat a healthy diet and avoid X, or have you tried Y it worked for my aunt when she had a cold. When I try to tell the stranger to get out of my shop the stranger gets offended and makes a comment about me not trying to get well or wanting pity.
So here’s the thing, just because I have lupus it doesn’t give people a free license to offer unsolicited advice.
The problem with invisible illnesses is that all too often people have a hard time understanding how sick you may be. The problem with chronic illnesses is the toll it takes over the course of time. If it were a shorter time you could gather your strength and get on with getting healthy. At least that’s what I tell myself.
The problem with chronic invisible illnes is that you never actually look as bad as you feel. You never look like you are completely falling apart and torn and tattered to being threadbare. All of this can make it hard for friends and family members to understand just how completely overwhelming a chronic invisible illness can be for the person who has it. I know from my own experiences that I’ve had people tell me that if I simply didn’t talk about lupus or think about it as often I’d feel so much better. If only it were that simple, believe me I’d be all over it.
The problem I have with lupus, well besides how it has taken over so many things in my life, is that because I do not look as sick as I am, I tend to try to be “normal” as much as I can. Being “normal” can be forcing myself to keep up with the healthy people. It can also mean that when I feel better than I usually do, I tend to cram too many things into the small amout of time I have. And I end up paying a steep price for it. Which results in me feeling worse than before.
I understand that it can be hard for healthy people to understand that even when I’m feeling a bit better than usual, I’m still not well and can’t just jump into the full on “normal” routine I once had. So I get tired of explaining and simple carry on pretending. Because it is easier that way, it becomes routine and chronically easier as time goes by.
My eyes hurt, my neck was burning and the throbbing in my head made concentration impossible. I had taken aspirin, tried a warm pack, attempted massage and nothing was working. I was utterly miserable and it seemed that the more I tired to eliminate the miserable feelings the worse it got.
some times you just have to stay with where you are, not because it’s easier but because doing anything else is too much. And some times, when you stop forcing things the situations change faster than when you force something.
You see things happen in their own time and change in their own time. When we try to alter plans or force things all that we do is make things worse.
So how did I get rid of all the pain in my eyes, neck, and head? I gave into it all, laid down and rested until it passed. Granted that was easier than what some people deal with, but my experience has been that it’s better to not force things. The same holds for people, we cannot force them to be or act in a way that is not true to who they are.