I Feel Purple Today

3:53 PM Posted In , , Edit This 3 Comments »
Last night I had a great conversation with my friend on the telephone. I was laying in bed, frustrated about how I felt, and how most people don't understand. When I look completely healthy and radiant, it doesn't mean that I am. It's hard enough for most of the general population to understand an auto immune disorder such as lupus. But it's even harder when most days when the person, such as me, doesn't even look sick. I tried to explain to my friend whom I'll refer to as M&M, what it really means when I tell her how I feel. When I say I feel "OK" for a healthy person it would be their version of a sick day. If I were to say "I feel sick today" for the average person, it would mean they would feel like death warmed over. Occasionally I mutter the words "I feel like death warmed over." A healthy person would have been six feet under for six months at that point.

99.9% of the time, I tell people I feel "OK." Why? Because no one wants to hear my sob story about how my joints hurt, my muscles ache, and my organs are burning. No one wants to hear about how exhausted I am but I can't sleep. Don't even get me started on everything else that is wrong. A sob story is only good for one time and I had to use mine up a long time ago. Plus if you say anything other than "I feel OK" you get asked a lot of questions. There is nothing else in the world that bothers me more than a nosy person. Most people don't ask questions because they care. They ask because they want the inside scoop, they are curious about my health, and not in the right ways. So there are lots of people on this earth, people I work with, people I go to church with, friends, family, who all think I'm "OK."

Maybe it's because I feel like I don't have a right to complain? My life could be a heck of a lot worse, it has been a heck of a lot worse. I consider what I'm going through right now as an upswing. Sad but true. If I say "I'm OK" I'm not complaining but I'm not really telling the whole truth either. There is no easy way to explain how you feel when you have lupus. There is no way to force people to understand either. Some days I don't even understand how I feel. I can go from being somewhat OK to being sicker than a three legged broke neck dog in a matter of minutes. But I don't have the right to complain, I'm healthier than I have been. There are sicker, sadder, poorer, and more alone people in this world than me. I'm lucky.

My friend M&M came up with an absolutely brilliant idea last night. I should start wearing a mood ring, it would make this whole business of telling people how I feel much easier. I wouldn't have to go through the explanations of how I'm feeling and how lupus is affecting me. I wouldn't be lying either because the color on the ring would say it all. Someone could say "How are you feeling today?" Being the amazing person that I am, I could look down at my mood ring and say "Actually, I'm feeling quite purple today." Of course I would get an odd look and a "What does that mean?" I could say "It means just that, I feel purple today." See, I'm not lying because I'm saying exactly how I feel because the mood ring is supposed to know exactly how I'm feeling.

I know it sounds goofy and odd but when you are faced with a disease that doctors have a hard time understanding, you need that sort of fun. When you have to answer the same questions and lie through your teeth because no one likes a sob story, it's time for a fresh new idea. Sometimes the only way I can get through living with this disease is by being quirky. So if wearing a mood ring will make M&M and I laugh, if it will make people puzzled, then that is what matters. Life is too short not to laugh, not to make memories with those you love. Life is too short not to find happiness in the little things. Life is too short not to be honest.

So if I say "I feel purple today" you might want to back up a few steps for the sake of your shoes.



Cynthia said...

I had a mood ring when I was in college. It was a lot of fun. It came with a piece of paper telling you which color represented which mood. I think it worked with body heat. Too bad they aren't made now.

Tina said...

Love the mood ring idea! Not only ingenious, but also a great remedy for your answer to "how are you today"?
Great outlook. Laughter is so important!

Here's to a new year, new hope and new possibilities!

Anonymous said...

Love this. Last night my bf kept asking how I was feeling and I don't think he understands "ok" either so maybe I'll try the mood ring. Or just show him this post :-)