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(Bree took this picture at a parking structure downtown that had a zillion levels. This was towards the top. It makes me laugh.)

Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with all of the health bullshit that I feel as if I’m drowning. Like it’s all too much.

That happens a lot actually. And then I’ll calm myself down or Peter will help me. And I’ll just keep swimming.

It’s a whole hell of a lot, though.

I don’t want pity or to be felt sorry for or attention. I just want it documented. For myself. For someone else who needs validation or encouragement.

I sit on the couch this morning, with the dog in my lap, snuggling in a blanket next to a huge window with the blinds pulled up so I can soak up as much natural light as I can. It is snowing wildly and all is quiet. Well, not totally quiet. Hadley is learning a Mumford and Sons song on the ukulele up in her room and I can hear her sweetly singing along.

I am nursing a tear duct infection in my right eye. It weeps constantly, and the area around it is sore and tender. I have to explain to people that I’m not crying as I constantly dab my eye. At first I thought it was just allergies, so I ignored it. It got really bad, though. I am on antibiotics (oral) and eye drops (every 2 hours). It is a huge pain in the ass and it isn’t showing any signs of going away. It’s been 3 days.

I was supposed to have an ultrasound on Wednesday for abdominal pain but had to cancel it because I was at urgent care for the freaking eye!

In addition, my back pain is so frustrating and debilitating that I have a love/hair affair with pain meds. Love because they help with the distracting, needling pain. Hate because they are terrible for you and they cause depression, which I already have because of my fucking chronic illness.

Are you sick of me yet?

I am.

Depression and I go way back. I’m taking anti-depressants. Probably always will. But opiates (percocet or vicodin) break through the anti-depressants and cause irritability, sadness and dark thoughts. Total pain in the ass. Not scary dark thoughts just not helpful thoughts that make me feel worthless and not enough.

I know I’m enough, dammit.

Damn jedi mind tricks.

So I do the dance in my head.

I am in pain. Do I take something or can I just deal? Hm. And for those curious, Tylenol and Ibuprofen do nothing for the pain so I don’t even bother.

A lot of the pain comes from lupus too.  Oh yeah, remember that bitch?

And I’ve been having MORE pain lately because I started a drug called Benlysta about 2 weeks ago. This drug works by calming down the hyperactive immune system of lupus by stopping a protein called “B lymphocyte stimulator”, which is believed to increase inflammatory reactions  that attack and damage my body’s own healthy tissues.

Basically, Benlysta is suppressing my immune system. Specifically, those jerkface B cells. This is the second drug I am taking that  suppresses my immune system. (The eye infection is suddenly making more sense, right?) I am that much more susceptible to infection. (fun!)

Benlysta is an infusion, which means I have to go to the office, get an IV and sit there for an hour. In the beginning phase, which I am currently in, I go once every 2 weeks for 3 times, and then it’s just every 4 weeks. Forever. (if it works) A separate blog post in order to regale you with infusion room tales. Oy.

The issue is that the drug causes a huge ruckus in my body. My first infusion was March 12 and it knocked me the hell out. HUGE flare. I still don’t feel right. My next infusion is Tuesday, March 26, which is perfectly scheduled during the kid’s spring break. Awesome. I’m worthless for about 5 days following the infusion.


I am telling myself to give this drug time to work. At least 6 months.

As I said, I’m not looking for sympathy or playing poor me. I’m just  documenting. Because I tend to not to focus on the negative. It’s not productive. I focus on the goodness in my life because that makes all of the shit seem more bearable. And there is so much goodness.

But I want it documented so I can look back and think “I did this." Or H&F can look back and read this and know that I was trying. As hard as I could most days.

It’s helpful even just writing it all out. Cathartic and validating. I spend so much time pretending I’m fine and blowing it off that I forget to say to myself “Emily, you are a total bad ass. You’re doing great, kid. Chin up. Don’t let the motherfuckers get you down.”

Just reading that made me smile.

Thanks, self.

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Remember this scene from GIRLS this season? Episode 4, I think. Hannah and Jessa were in the tub together and Jessa was crying after her breakup with Thomas John.

It was a beautiful scene. But here was my issue.

That tub is filthy.

Like Did-someone-break-into-your-house-and-paint-excrement-on-the-grout? filthy.

In fact, while watching this scene, I was so distracted by the filth of the tub that I started thinking about how I would clean it. (Which makes me a TOTAL ma’am, I’m aware. I’m officially old.)

Here’s the tape that played in my head:

“Bleach would be involved for sure. And I would totally use one of those CLOROX bleach pen things I’m in love with that you use to bleach grout. It’s wildly satisfying. And so precise! I love the feeling of accomplishment you feel after. I cannot believe they are sitting in that tub? Would I have sat in a tub that dirty in my 20s? I’m sure I did. Wow, that’s really gross.”

Credits role.

DAMN! I missed the whole scene.


Do not be distracted. Do not be distracted.

Distracted again! That nasty tile sucks me in every time.

I had to watch the scene 3 times. And I loved it.

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