I often read in interviews that people say they are thankful for their illnesses. That being sick has taught them so much and made them better persons.
I can not say that I am thankful for “my” illness. Not at all. I accept it, but I would much rather have been without. But I can safely say that being ill has taught me a lot.
Patience for one. Everything takes a long time, big and small things alike. Getting doctors appointments, waiting for them to call with test results, long chemo sessions, getting better, comping with getting worse at times.
I have also had to learn to stay calm in stressful situations. Stress is harmful for everybody, but it’s like poison for lupus patients.
Coping but all kind of prejudice is another thing I have learned. ,,But you don’t look sick” is the most common one. I look allright, therefore I can not be sick.
Some lupus patients have the typical butterfly rash, but not nearly all. I have never had it. Lupus is for the most part not visible on the outside, and a little makeup can go a long way in hiding the little signs that are.
Being sick has changed me, but not very much. The common saying that “a healthy person has a thousand wishes but a sick person has only one” is complete rubbish in my opinion.
Even when I was very sick and not able to do the most common everyday things, my wishes were no different that they are now. I am a mother and my first and foremost wish is that my children and grandchildren may grow up healthy, safe and happy. Of course I want to be healthy too, but that was not my only wish and it never will be.