Everyone has a story. Everything has a story.
This picture you see here has a story too, and it’s the sort of story which might require you to grab a mug of tea, or coffee, whichever is your poison, perhaps some biscuits as well, and listen. It could well be the sort of story to make you sit up, slide to the edge of your seat, and pay attention to each word I share. At least, that’s what I’m hoping will happen, if only with just one reader. That somewhere in all of my rambling, there’ll be something to make you say, “Oh wow!” Or “I’m glad I’m not the only one!” or even, “I needed this“.
The story behind this gym bag (and its plethora of thingamabobs) is one that reminded me of something I’d forgotten. I’d forgotten about feeling. I was lost in “I think”s and “maybe”s, for so long. Almost three years now. Since August 2012 to be precise, when I saw the first three hives on my right foot and thought they were nothing but bug bites. Tenacious bug bites which refused to abate, let alone disappear, even after multiple localised steroid shots and countless topical applications. Hives which appeared on my left elbow, and then spread to cover my torso and back. I slept with ice packs every night for almost 2 years. No one knew what was going on. No one could pinpoint the trigger. From family doctor to dermatologist, endocrinologist to immunologist, and everything in between. Finally, on a whim, I went back to see my allergist and we discovered I had elevated IgEs to the tune of over 30,000. The average person has around 300, with allergies, between 500-600. I was put on weekly shots of Xolair and for a few months, I was the happiest woman alive.
That’s when variations of rashes started popping up. These did not respond to anything but Prednisone and localised injections. Having already lost 2/3 of my hair to Prednisone, I was determined to not be reliant on steroids and opted for the injections. There were days when I came out of the dermatologist having had 87 localised shots, all of which have left me with scars. In fact, this new condition differed from the previous in that the merest of paper cuts would result in a grotesquely swollen keloid.
At times I’d break down, hold my head, and on some days, I’d want to stay in bed the entire day, trying to forget everything. On some days, I did just that – I sat in bed, waiting for something to happen, passing time, watching crime shows, and writing blog posts which I never published, trying to forget about everything. Thinking that if I thought it hard enough, everything would actually turn out to be just a bad dream.
I know it’s natural for us to have these moments of melancholy, acute depression even, once in a blue moon. Particularly when things are completely out of your control. I also know it’s easier said than done to look for that silver lining in the darkest, gloomiest cloud ever. I’m sure you’ve been there. You’ve gone through something like this. A time when all you want to do is just lay in bed, doing nothing. Cry a little. Feel sorry for yourself, a lot. And feel numb.
Well, that sort of describes my story for the past few months. Until last Wednesday, the 20th, when I received a kick in the butt, reminding me to live life. To chase my dreams. Maybe put together that bucket list and start crossing things off. I’m not going to tell you (yet) what happened that day to make me sit up, get out of bed and start writing again. That’s another story for a different day but it did get me thinking that perhaps I need to stop letting life turn the pages. That I can, to a degree, control which page I’d rather be on, and for how long.
I realise this all sounds very ambiguous and up in the air but I promise you, things are happening.
And what’s going to happen involves the items you see in these photos.
Change is coming and new things will descend upon the blog in the very near future. Things which, I hope, signal the start of good days. The start of positive moments. And I truly hope you’ll still be here with me to share that new journey because even as I’m thrilled with the prospect of new, of change, of different, I’m also
a little very nervous and scared, and wouldn’t turn down any offer of company along the way 🙂
Ahh, epi pens, in the kit of all those with overactive immune systems (including mine). Doesn’t it make you wonder what in our environment is triggering so many autoimmune responses in folks?
I have an overactive immune system, getting worse as I grow older (50s now) – hives, rashes, joint pain…have no idea what triggers what.
I hope you are on the mend and it looks like a sunny horizon because those items indicate activity!
I hear you, I have several autoimmune disorders myself, all diagnosed over the past few months. I hope you’re coping well with yours, please do keep in touch? My best.