Introducing: My Autoimmune Struggle
I have multiple autoimmune disorders that my doctors can’t quite pin down. It’s some crazy mix between Lupus, RA and mixed connective tissue disease, with a blood clotting disorder (Antiphospholipid Syndrome) to boot. I also have diagnosed Endometriosis (with recurrent cyst ruptures) which is a co-morbidity to autoimmune disorders. Recently, I’ve discovered I also possibly have Sjogren’s with the manifestation of vaginal atrophy. As if that wasn’t enough.
When I lived in New York a year ago I had a full-time salaried job at a big institution and lived comfortably in my Manhattan-shoebox apartment. It was great because of the beautiful exposed brick that lined half the walls. I thought of it as my personal art gallery. I had always hoped to set it up as such with my photography. That didn’t quite happen, but that’s ok.
My fiance and I took the next step and he moved into my place along with Calypso, our cat🐱. He is extremely well educated with a Masters in Musicology and a Masters in Lute Performance from Peabody but New York can be hard on a musician and he had to resort to dog walking to earn some income. (Student loan debt is cruel).
I supported us both and did it with love, but every day that passed my health grew worse. The hour and a half stressful commute in the bowels of NY, my incompetent boss, and my highschool-clique-from-hell coworkers, caused my health to spiral.
We knew it was time for a life change when I started coming home and would burst into tears.
It got to the point that I’d contemplate throwing myself down the staircases in order to break a leg and to get a break from life. There were more than a few times when I’d have a cyst burst so painful that I would up admitted in the hospital, but I’d see it as a blessing. I’d have time to breathe and rest. I wouldn’t be stuck in a toxic job, with toxic people, in a toxic city. We decided enough was enough. We were going to get the hell out of New York.
My fiance, originally from Philadelphia, suggested we move there. I had to admit, I had fallen for the City of Brotherly love and agreed. In my eyes, it was a “watered down” more laid back and less congested version of New York with a hella lot more trees. Much better than New York.
TREES. To Philly, we went.
We looked for jobs and though I had some promising interviews, no luck for anything concrete. When we decided to move, the intention was that he would support us, and I could rest. My fatigue and flare ups were becoming too much to handle and working another full-time job just stressed me even more. I had taken care of us, and now it would be his turn. A difficult change for me, but I’m glad I did it. I ended up snagging a part-time work-from-home job as a medical scribe, so I’m making NOwhere near what I was making back in New York. A difficult fact to swallow, but for my health? It was the best choice. He found a door to door environmental marketing position. 100 percent commission. Not ideal, but it paid what we needed. The best part is, we found a fantastic apartment (it’s so amazing I can’t believe we LIVE here) and after a rough transition, we moved to Philly. Now I can focus on rebuilding my health because that is what’s most important right now. We moved on April 1st, 2018.
So how it is going now?
I wish I could say that everything was a smooth transition and that I’m doing much better, but “not so fast!” said Life. As I mentioned earlier, I was very recently, as in 5 weeks ago, officially diagnosed with vaginal atrophy and placed on an estrogen cream. My sex life has suffered, our relationship is stressed. It also doesn’t help that my fiance works super long hours and his only day off is Sunday (sometimes he works those days too).
As of right now, I’m doing all I can to keep myself together and work on getting things settled. I thought up the idea of starting a blog and telling my story. I have this hope that writing and sharing my struggles and victories can somehow help me heal, allow me to reflect and possibly (hopefully) help someone else who is living and fighting through agony. All because of their body’s inexplicable decision to destroy itself one cell at a time. (Read: internal temper tantrum)
If you are wondering why I named the site LunarEclose, I am a huge fan of the moon, and eclose means: when an insect emerges, as an adult, from the cocoon.
I will get through this more beautiful, healthier, and with bigger wings. <3