Diary Entry: April 7, 2013
I was looking through my photo albums on my computer last night when I stumbled on these pictures of me wearing a bright pink jumpsuit. Besides the fact that it’s hilarious looking back on my fashion choices at that age, I also felt happy being reminded of that particular day.
These photos were taken when I was 19 in July. I had just come home from a particularly painful consultation with a doctor at the time who I felt rather uncomfortable with. I’m not quite sure what it was about him, but I can remember feeling misunderstood and somewhat judged for being his office. Did he think I wanted to spend $300 Australian dollars an hour just to talk to him and waste his time? Ok, maybe there’s a little residual hurt when I talk about the experience. This doesn’t sound like a happy memory, I can imagine you thinking. It wasn’t really. But right after. This is what made me happy.
I was on 10mg Prednisone (one of the lower dosages I’ve been on) and 125mg Azathioprine [Imuran] at the time. The subcutaneous nodules aka leukocytoclastic vasculitis were dominating my legs and arms. The photos don’t really show how much so. They were painful. I was having a hard time with the ones that were “conveniently” placing themselves in my most often used joints – the wrists and fingers. Arthritis in my knees was acting up too. As it was winter at the time in Australia, it was pretty cold and arthritis always tends to flare up during the colder months. To sum it up – I was in a lot of pain. Not just physically but emotionally too. I kept thinking when was it going to stop? (Here I am 4 years later still thinking the same thing but my coping skills have improved). So, forward back to last night. I started crying. This still doesn’t sound like a happy story, but I promise it is.
Change your perspective
I didn’t see a girl in pain. I saw someone who wants to be like any other 19-year-old girl. Someone who is able to let herself feel girly. Someone who isn’t afraid of dressing up, and taking photos of herself. I know I don’t look that bad, but most times when you feel like crap/in pain/conscious of the bruising, taking photos isn’t exactly on the top of your list. The photos reminded me of how so many of us lose that feeling when we get lost in our autoimmune part of our lives. It’s hard to feel beautiful when you’re in pain or when you feel like you don’t look that great. There are many other times when I stopped trying to feel good, but these were the times that were the hardest. Having a positive attitude has helped me so much and I know it can help you too. My pink jumpsuit reminded me of changing my perspective. What’s your ‘pink jumpsuit’? Something silly that’ll make you happy, put it on, even if no one else sees you in it, you see yourself in it and that’s what matters.