Many people make New Year’s resolutions, but I have decided to make this summer my “turning point.” I have been in a period of calm, meaning my lupus seems to be under some level of control, my organs are doing well again and my hair has stopped falling out.
I still battle debilitating fatigue on some days, but it is not every day as it once was. I am afraid to say the word “remission” out loud, but I think about it daily, hopeful with the possibility that peace might be mine for a little while.
Naturally I feel inspired to really do all I can to turn this corner. I have asked my rheumatologist, my endocrinologist, and cardiologist, who are all wonderful specialists, but who often lack solid answers. This time was no different. I got responses like, “Keep doing what you’re doing,” and, “Exercise more, but don’t overdo it.”
So, I have researched on my own and looked back at the journals I have kept along this treacherous lupus journey, and I have compiled a summer resolution list. My hope is that it inspires remission of this disease that has kicked my butt for the last several years. I have had remissions before and I have to believe that one will come again — maybe this summer.
Who’s With Me?
I am sharing my plan not because I am certain it will bring about a remission, but because I am hopeful if will set the best course for one to come along, for me and for you. Faith and hope are beautiful things and it is my hope that you will try to create a promise to yourself this summer too.
It is so easy to make choices that aren’t the best for our health, from drinking soda or too much alcohol (it is margarita season isn’t it?) to eating fast food. If you’re willing to commit with me this summer, compile a list of your own (or steal from mine), but whatever you do try to put your health first.
Commit to be fit, or fitter than you are right now (mentally, spiritually and physically), and at the very least, you may have fewer bad flare days and be in a better position to fight your battle with the dreaded wolf.
My Resolution List
From looking at my journals from healthier periods in my life, and talking to my doctors and a friend who is a nutritionist, I have found several things I have decided to commit to this summer:
I Will Avoid Processed Food
That’s right, only turkey dogs, sandwich meat and bacon that are nitrate free will pass my lips. I will avoid regular chips and all those fun snacks at family gatherings and focus on the fruit and veggie platter.
I Will Limit My Gluten Intake
While I am not gluten intolerant (according to tests), I have read that limiting it as much as possible can make a difference in someone with an autoimmune disease. I have also read that it does nothing unless you eliminate it entirely, but I am too weak to commit fully to a no gluten diet just yet.
I Will Stop Blaming Myself for Bad Days
Even though I have been feeling better for the last couple of months, I still have days where the wolf comes knocking on my door. I am gripped with fear on those days because sometimes the wolf stays and I fear each time that the bad day will turn into a bad month and an expensive visit to the ER. You just never know.
I often allow that fear to get me into what I call the “blame myself mode.” I think about what I did to trigger it and I beat myself up for having lupus all over again. No more. That does nothing but make me feel worse and I refuse to let that happen this summer.
Next Page: 6 More Summer Resolutions