The names, events, situations have mostly all been changed to embellish the story because that’s how I roll
Not every moment or every day is filled with pain, brain fog and fatigue. There are times I may get a short reprieve, and I mean short, but a reprieve nonetheless from my insignificant other, Lupus SLE. After eight months of fighting with Lupus and his buddy pancreatitis. Home bound or in the hospital, I suddenly was well enough to DO something HUGE! God’s grace shown upon me and I had a solid two weeks of nearly symptom free health, I say NEARLY because lupus never totally goes on vacation. I jumped on it, and….
….like Macklemore poppin’ tags at Goodwill, I took total advantage.
I went camping. An ADVENTURE it was too. It started out innocently enough at the beautiful Crater Lake. The deepest lake in the world the brochure stated! I made my way to the lookout, where happiness filled my soul and turned into pure giddiness. I found myself dancing a little jig on my way. With my trusty guard dog, Sophie, keeping a keen eye out for bears, cougars and Bigfoot, I was ready for my adventure to begin.
I was so happy to be out somewhere I asked a kind man to please take my photo so friends and family would believe that I actually did something. After handing him my iPhone, I explained that on the count of THREE to touch the round button.
I also explained the importance of following my instructions closely, as there would only be one attempt to get this right. I had one shot at it, and we had to be on our “A” game. So, at the count of THREE he did the impossible (followed my fast talking instructions) and was able to catch my one jump for joy. We embraced, I thanked him, and we parted ways as his wife was calling his name. I then located my dog and my SPF 50 hat (thank you nameless nice lady).
After my shocking display of agility and good form, I sat down on the ledge, exhausted by my enthusiasm and brief “great idea” to jump, took my prescribed $70 tube of Volteran Gel and lathered that stuff on my joints like fake tanner.
But the fun didn’t end there!
I noticed people feeding cute little chipmunks on the ledge, so I scurried back to my truck and grabbed my trail mix. I knew there would be something in that bag a chipmunk would appreciate….but to my surprise, the little beast bit me!
I decided I’d seen and experienced enough of the beauty of Crater Lake and the spoiled rodents so I made my way back to the lake and our camping site. But I knew this day, nor this energy would last for long. I figured a nice float on the lake would be fun so I blew up my old raft with the patched hole and launched my vessel into the deep waters of Diamond Lake. I would row out as far as my little skinny arms could handle and set myself adrift, to contemplate life, enjoy the beauty that surrounded me and talk to God, to thank him for this day.
But I noticed my raft wasn’t as sturdy as it had been when I launched on my maiden (not the raft’s maiden) voyage. Fear took over, I panicked as always, overreacted I called ashore, “I think the raft is taking on water! Hey! I said I think the raft is sinking and I can’t swim!” I was then reminded I had a life vest on and was only yards away from shore. Now calm and full of determination I took those skinny little arms of mine and began rowing….in a circle (fear does that to you, you lose your coordination, or was it my lupus?)
I rowed, rowed, rowed my boat (raft) to shore, complaining the entire way about WHO patches a raft?! You patch tires, or an air mattress, but a raft?! How cheap can you be to risk THAT? But my ranting bad mood turned to happiness when I saw my dog Sophie anxiously awaiting my safe arrival back to shore, obviously oblivious of the danger I had just encountered. I’d made it ashore!
Just as the sun was setting as well as my lupus brain fog was setting in. I was finally and utterly exhausted. As darkness soon fell upon our campsite, I did what any Happy Camper would do after the BEST DAY EVER since I got out of the hospital the last time,
I put the JIFFY POP on the campfire and burned it!
I then picked through it to find the good popcorn that made it through the scorching, feeling happy, blessed and thankful for the opportunity to live life to the fullest, no matter how I’d have to pay for it physically in the days to follow.
That is the end of my story of adventure. The day I showed Lupus SLE who was boss of me for a day. There WILL be more such days, I know it. My painful recovery from the adventure was worth it. It’s these times when you realize the opportunities you took for granted before an illness came knocking are now extreme blessings and, I’d have to say, miracles that I’m able to still have a life outside of the cruel enemy Lupus is. Thank you Lord and thank you body! We did it! Until next time, keep your chin up and keep HOPE alive.