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Joy and Pain

While in pain, Kristin writes about music and resilience.

Exhaustion

Like sunshine and rain! Here we go, here we go ...

When I was about seven years old, it was all about Rob Base. And now, in my current state of agony, I recall my purple and pink turntable (really? Yes.) and my Awe. Some. Vinyl collection that deserves a capital "V" because it demonstrated one of my finer, intrinsic qualities -- my killer, eclectic taste in music. I still shock my musically-inclined, former radio DJ boyfriend when I tell him which records I owned "back in the day." But I digress.

I get ill ...you know the deal ...

Rob Base used to make me bust a groove (still does). And my mom liked him. Today, my joy comes from my 4-year-old niece and soon-to-be 2-year-old nephew. I love hearing my niece say, "I really like this song" when I play MGMT in the car or teach her to find the beat while she dances. I love tickling my nephew until he says "don't do that!" and yet continues to laugh. But my joyful little petri dishes always seem to leave me with a souvenir after my trips to Santa Barbara. I can't seem to escape without a virus of some sort. Lupus just makes me suck all the juicy germs right off of them -- my Jurlique hand sanitizer be damned!

Bring me down ... I'll have to fight to get back up ...

News flash for the "normals" reading this: normal people get colds. People with lupus (or fill-in-the-blank arthritis) destroy 10 boxes of tissues in two days and cough so hard they throw out their back. So here I am, not quite lying down, not quite sitting, wincing in pain, because my respiratory infection of the past five days wasn't enough pain. I felt like I was hacking a lung out but instead my bursitis, tendinitis and spinal stenosis conspired against me --

I keep smokin' hot like fire.

My boyfriend says I'm smokin', but he only gets a nasty glare from me in my current state of stuffed up-hacking-can't-breathe-can't-hear-haven't-showered-for-God-knows-how-long-ew-Gross!-OMG-THIS-HURTS! But somehow, somewhere in my head, I know that with pain comes joy. With stress, comes resilience. With all the hatin'* that comes when you are sick, comes strength, power, endurance, courage.

Don't talk back, I'm not a new jack ... 'Cuz fresher than you, an' you're whacked ... I keep tryin', I'm not lyin', Up to number 1 is where I'm flyin'

In an upcoming column I plan to dive into some uncharted territory -- chronic illness and bullying. This is subject matter I am very well acquainted with and prior to sharing my experiences, I'd like to know, what is your experience with illness and bullying?

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