When I was selling homes, many first-time homebuyers wanted the world, but their budgets didn’t allow for it. I often told them that buying your first home is a series of compromises. No matter how you spin it, compromise means settling for less, giving in to things you really don’t want, accepting something you aren’t overly enthused about, and doing your best to find satisfaction.
Lupus has taken so much from me, but I have found ways to work around it. I’ve accepted so many compromises, and I really am tired of it. Lupus said, “You can’t run,” so I started walking. Lupus said, “You can’t walk,” so I started sitting. Now it’s saying I can’t sit, so I must lie down. I’m frustrated.
I find ways to make it work. I look for the silver lining, and then I move forward, embracing the new change. But I am sick and tired of accepting less than what I want, because it seems never-ending.
Since I was diagnosed, I’ve not only traveled quite a bit but also I’ve lived in three different countries. I have two more on my list to interview, but for the first time, I don’t know if I will be able to accomplish something.
A friend of mine messaged me saying she was moving to Istanbul. I found videos on YouTube because this place was never even on my radar. I wanted to see where she was headed. Maybe I could visit at some point in the future.
As I learned about the location and looked at the crowded streets and markets, all I saw were things I can’t do. I don’t recall ever having so many “can’t”s in my head as an adult.
I imagined trying to navigate the streets with my walker and energy levels. As I looked at foods I would love to try, I wondered how much misery they would inflict due to my insane stomach issues. I looked at historical places that wouldn’t be accessible to those who are challenged by stairs.
That looks like a great place. I hope she loves it, I thought.
Then I pulled up videos for the last two countries I want to interview. Right away, I found problems that had not been problems before. Part of me does not want to suffer the pain my body would endure by rebelling, but another part of me does not want to suffer the pain of regret. I’ve lived my life regret-free up to this point. The question is, when do I start to reclaim some of what lupus has so blatantly stolen from me?
I am now doubting myself and my ability to navigate situations I never would have considered difficult in the past. After all, I climbed an active volcano (with help) six months after my diagnosis in 2016.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I am going to do my best to make those last two countries happen. Maybe I will jump over to Istanbul to hug my friend, whom I haven’t seen in a couple of years.
I’m over smiling through compromises. Over the last year or so, I have laid down my boldness in my fight to survive, but perhaps it’s time to pick that up again. Otherwise, I’m a just a shell — and there’s nothing fun about that.
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, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.
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