I’m Living on Borrowed Time, but I’m Still Here

I’m Living on Borrowed Time, but I’m Still Here
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Lupus often takes years to diagnose. By the time doctors work it out, the disease has usually been active in the body for long enough to cause significant and sometimes irreparable damage.

At the time of my diagnosis four years ago, I was an unusual and lucky case. Though my lupus was incredibly acute, bringing on significant kidney impairment within a matter of months, it hadn’t been around long enough to cause permanent damage.

Two years into my treatment, my nephrologist saw test results he never expected. Urine testing showed that my kidney function was over 90 percent. I had made a full recovery.

For four years, I embarked on a journey to climb my own personal Everest, and despite all of the odds, I made it to the top. And I acknowledge every day that the grace of my brilliant medical team and medicine are why I’m here today.

Every day I’m living on borrowed time.  

If I were born 20 or 30 years earlier, I wouldn’t be writing this. Back then, the medical technology to treat this disease didn’t exist. Unfortunately, people like me, whose lupus came in guns blazing and swiftly attacked their bodies, didn’t have the chance to fight, bounce back, and recover.

People ask me how I cope with being chronically ill at such a young age, and I always have the same answer. Life is a game, and it doesn’t matter what cards you are handed, it matters how you choose to play them. The grim reaper has a list of names, and in 2016, my name wasn’t far from being on it. I realize that I might not have gotten to experience every day, good or bad. But I’m here. And even with everything that lupus throws at me, I have so much to live for.

If I were to subscribe to the many-worlds interpretation, it would feel surreal to believe that somewhere out there is a universe where lupus won and I don’t exist. It’s hard to think that the many daily interactions of happiness, laughter, and love I share with people would never happen.

I can’t be upset that I’m stuck with lupus, because even though it means I’m often in the struggle, I’m still here. Honestly, I’m at peace with the fact that I will die, and lupus will most likely be the cause. But just because I have come to terms with meeting my maker doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be here.

It is easy for me to get fed up with the struggle, especially when it comes at me like an avalanche, snowing me under. But if I take a moment to step back to look at all of the wonderful experiences I have and think of every beautiful person with whom I have the honor of sharing this thing called life, I cannot be upset.

What is the single, best thing you have done with your “borrowed time”? Leave me a comment, telling me why this place is infinitely better with you in it!

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Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.

Kristiana “Kristi” Page is a surfer, barista and university student studying an Arts/Science Degree in Philosophy/Mathematical Modelling. Living on the picturesque Bellarine Peninsula on the South-East coast of Australia, she’s deeply passionate about salt water in all forms, amazing coffee – even though she’s not allowed to drink it – and above all else traveling the world: one country at a time! Diagnosed with Stage IV: Lupus Nephritis at 20, she’s determined to not be defined by her auto-immune condition. Using writing as a medium for self-expression she hopes to share her life and journey to both raise awareness and support others in similar situations! A big believer in the concept of dialectics, she loves to share her usually unorthodox – and sometimes controversial – views with the world; and in turn have others share theirs with her. Quirky by choice, inquisitive by nature and above all else: smiling, always!
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Kristiana “Kristi” Page is a surfer, barista and university student studying an Arts/Science Degree in Philosophy/Mathematical Modelling. Living on the picturesque Bellarine Peninsula on the South-East coast of Australia, she’s deeply passionate about salt water in all forms, amazing coffee – even though she’s not allowed to drink it – and above all else traveling the world: one country at a time! Diagnosed with Stage IV: Lupus Nephritis at 20, she’s determined to not be defined by her auto-immune condition. Using writing as a medium for self-expression she hopes to share her life and journey to both raise awareness and support others in similar situations! A big believer in the concept of dialectics, she loves to share her usually unorthodox – and sometimes controversial – views with the world; and in turn have others share theirs with her. Quirky by choice, inquisitive by nature and above all else: smiling, always!

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4 comments

  1. Michelle says:

    Luv your perspective. Lupus also hit me like a brick four years ago. In the brain with severe inflammation and then Cerebral Vasculitis and I am told Nephritis around the corner. My son completed two University degrees four years ago and then his symptoms began. I believe that I passed these illnesses to him but also I use my life with Lupus to show him how to fight and live. This gives me purpose.

  2. Kadi Best says:

    Hang on to your “I’m still here”. I was diagnosed with lupus at age 14 in 1963. My teen years were lupus hell. Unbeknownst to me, my parents were told I’d be dead by 24 (it had a 10 year prognosis back in the day). I learned that juicy tidbit at 18. When I got over the shock of the death sentence, I determined NOT ME! Got married and miraculously had a child. I carry my lupus like an annoying puppy nipping at my ankles. It riles up periodically but I hang on for the ride until it passes. I am now 69, retired from 20 years disaster relief work, and living/traveling the country in a van. I have 4 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. You can have a full life, too!!!

  3. Brenda Donofrio says:

    My daughter keeps me going. She is graduating this year. Unfortunately her father who died from liver failure back in 2014 will not be there to see her get her diploma. She has had a struggle herself, as she has learning challenges, but this year we have alot to celebrate. She has made honor roll twice this school season. For her that is major. Can you tell I’m proud of her. My lupus makes me tired alot, and a bit cranky at times. So I guess you could say that she is my sunshine on my bad days and good days.

  4. Christine M says:

    I appreciate your insight. Sharing your story has made a difference to me.
    I try to be supportive of family members and help them whenever they really need it. Sometimes that help encourages or makes possible : college, growth, or having a better quality of life. I am kind to strangers. I smile, and listen to their conversation. Sometimes the love you receive from a stranger can mean a lot if you are suffering.
    The world would be a better place if everyone could feel love towards our fellow humans.
    Thanks for making a difference.
    Hugs, Chris

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