2020 Was a Crazy Year, but It Brought Me Many Blessings

2020 Was a Crazy Year, but It Brought Me Many Blessings
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Historic and challenging events happened last year. There was never a dull moment, and if your coping skills were rusty, 2020 made you get out the polish. 

I was admitted to the hospital just after the year started and was in a medical facility until March. I was severely malnourished, with medical staff from seven different departments assigned to care for my tiny body. There was a lot of concern. 

I arrived back home in March, just in time for the world to lock down because of the pandemic. I’d already spent the greater part of 2019 locked down, because pretty much anytime I put food in my mouth, it would exit the same way a short time later. 

(Courtesy of Kellie McRae)

Quarantine was an old hat for me. The difference was that I was angry throughout much of 2019 because doctors couldn’t seem to stop the regurgitating that caused me to become severely malnourished. I wondered if that would be my life going forward. By 2020, I was already accustomed to being home alone.

I gained a different level of appreciation for my alone time. I dug deeper into the things that brought me joy. I started creating adult coloring books, learned to make jewelry, expanded on my sewing, and deepened relationships with friends whom I allowed into my space physically. 

As things slowly started to open, I would get annoyed if I had to leave home — a stark difference from the way I felt in 2019 when I was locked away. I hired a staff that allowed me to stay home. I now have a personal assistant who runs my errands, and I only go along if I’m bored or looking for something I think he will have difficulty understanding the nuances of. 

I moved into a home that I absolutely adore. I was previously in a two-story home, but because of my mobility issues, my loved ones and I were increasingly concerned about the potential for falling (which I have done twice since moving into my one-story home, ironically). 

The icing on the cake of my 2020 was that my friends conducted a fundraiser so I could buy comfortable furniture. Since I left my country of origin in 2016, I have rented furnished homes. The furniture was never comfortable, especially when I am so thin I can feel my bones. 

Kellie’s friends contribute more than $10,000 to her fundraiser. (Screenshot via Kellie McRae)

I have become known for carrying around a pillow to sit on. I tease and tell people I’m dragging my a**, and depending on where I’m going, others know to tell me to bring it with me. I already suffer from insomnia due to lupus, so sleeping on mattresses that were too firm not only caused me pain but also prevented me from sleeping.

When my friends decided to do this fundraiser on my behalf, I was surprised, but told them I would be grateful if they raised $500. They raised over $4,000 within the first few hours, and when the fundraiser ended, I had enough to buy comfortable furniture. I am in love with my Tempur-Pedic mattress on the adjustable base. I also had a custom sofa and chair made that are extra cushy.

I know that 2020 was hard for a lot of people, and many didn’t make it. I send my sympathies to those who were negatively impacted, but I must be honest: 2019 was my 2020. For me, 2020 was a year of growth and blessings. I hope that 2021 will be good for all of us, and if 2020 was particularly difficult for you, I hope that 2021 will blow your mind in the most positive way. 

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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, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.

Kellie is a lupus warrior who spends her time teaching many about the incurable disease she battles with a smile on her face. She travels the world, writes articles, has an active YouTube channel and creates coloring and activity books for both adults and children. She is known as Queen Bubbly Bee because no matter what is going on with her body, she always manages to find the silver lining.
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Kellie is a lupus warrior who spends her time teaching many about the incurable disease she battles with a smile on her face. She travels the world, writes articles, has an active YouTube channel and creates coloring and activity books for both adults and children. She is known as Queen Bubbly Bee because no matter what is going on with her body, she always manages to find the silver lining.

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10 comments

  1. Brenda Donofrio says:

    Glad you are doing better! 2020 for me was also an eye opener. When I lost my job, due to fear of covid. I found out who my friends are, when my car broke down and had no money to fix it. Some of my friends took it it and fixed it themselves for no cost to me. And family came together to help my mom move to assisted living facility. I found forgiveness in the arms of my step sister. Our differences were now a thing of the past. Things that truly mattered was the focus of all our lives, I think that is what puts things in a clearer focus. Not the wants but the needs.

    • Kellie McRae says:

      This made me smile so big Brenda when I read “I found out who my friends are” I was expecting it to be something bad but it really made my heart happy to see that it was people coming through for you. I love a good heart-tugging story and this one tugged at my heart. Glad you and your step sister got things worked out.

  2. Maureen says:

    Dear Kellie, as always I loved reading your story as well as bing able to relate to it being a fellow Lupus warrior. I love the picture!! You’re humor always enlightens my day!
    You are such a wonderful and brave woman. You are also so blessed to have those around you love and care so much to do all of that for you. You go girl! I have several of the same complaints re bed, furniture, needing help etc. I also carry pillows wherever I go to help lessen pain with sitting. I also have an adjustable bed (3 yrs old) but need a different mattress, although this one (that I’m lying on right now) seems to be too soft? Not sure. I bought a memory foam topper for it last year but I still have to get up 2x night due to pain. ugh! But, when I read your stories (as well as those on Inspire) I am always comforted by knowing that I am not alone. 🙂
    I send you peace and warm hugs. Maureen

    • Kellie McRae says:

      Hi Maureen, I got the softest mattress they had and my little boney bones are happy campers 🙂 I’m glad that my nonsense and shenanigans let you know you are not alone. Thank you for sharing a part of your story with me.

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