(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.


Bree | March 23, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Big hugs, EPP. You do the best job of hanging in there of anyone I know and you are a badass motherfucker in the best sense of the phrase. xoxox!

Emily | March 23, 2013 at 5:52 PM

BRIGGLES! Thanks. That means a lot coming from one bad ass motherfucker. xoxo right back.

ELV | March 28, 2013 at 11:02 PM

I was thinking "who the hell is EPP?" Funny and sweet. Any time you want any thing, call me. I'll organize a parade, schedule a shop(lifting)-spree, a fancy lunch- anything forever and always. Love you forever, EPP. K. dot com.

Karrie Kaneda | April 12, 2013 at 7:21 PM

So good to see you writing dear sweet Emily. Hope that it helped even a little bit. Yes indeed you are a badass. I see it inside and out. XO.

Byinna | April 14, 2013 at 8:34 PM

She's back! Missed ya girlie. Glad to see you posing and persevering. Big hugs to you.

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman | May 15, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Emily, you are a total bad ass. You’re doing great, kid. Chin up. Don’t let the motherfuckers get you down.

Says, Jenny

PS I know. I know. I KNOW! And, I am sorry, not in a "I pity you" way, but in an "I get it way."

PPS Seriously. You are a total bad ass. Be gentle with yourself.

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman | May 15, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Emily, you are a total bad ass. You’re doing great, kid. Chin up. Don’t let the motherfuckers get you down.

Says, Jenny

PS I know. I know. I KNOW! And, I'm sorry. Not in an "I pity you" way, but in an "I completely understand" way.

PPS Seriously. You are a total bad ass. Try to be gentle with your yourself. Thinking of you.