Emotions of Lupus

Two Psychotherapists

Dear Diary,

I finally found a psychotherapist here in Reno who I feel I can work well with and be productive. Her name is Dr. B, and she’s a licensed marriage and family therapist. I found her kind of organically through my new physical therapist, who specializes in working with patients who have Lupus and other autoimmune diseases. My new physical therapist has been a great resource for managing my pain and helping me understand what Lupus is doing to me physically. My two therapists—physical therapist and psychotherapist—often work together with people who need help managing pain without drugs.

Dr. B helps with the mind-body part of the pain management as well as the background emotional and psychological issues that contribute to the overall diseased state. She has some big shoes to fill in replacing the therapist-patient relationship that I had in Las Vegas with another psychotherapist, but I feel confident that I’ve found someone who can help me continue on the path to recovery.

I found this psychotherapist in the nick of time, too because now there’s new emotional drama in our family. Yesterday, we found out that the breast biopsy that my sister had last Thursday revealed that she has breast cancer that has spread to her lymph nodes. She sees the surgeon tomorrow, and we’ll find out more about what stage it’s in and whether or not it is metastatic. She’s been feeling like crap for a long time now, so while the diagnosis is shocking, at least we have an answer and can move forward as a family. As you can imagine, Mom is beside herself.

As far as my own health, I’m managing the Lupus issues as best I can. Last week, I met with a hip surgeon that my physical therapist recommended. She seems to think that things will be better for me if I have hip surgery. Unfortunately, as I suspected, the hip surgeon told me that the risks outweigh the benefits for having a double hip replacement. He said he wouldn’t touch me with a 10-foot pole! He recommended, instead of surgery, that I should continue working with my physical therapist, start doing pool exercises, and slowly get back into yoga. That will help to release the fluid in my hip joints, reduce inflammation, and help me to gain more strength.

I got a real treat when my son visited from Boston two weeks ago. We had a blast just hanging out like we used to. It was nice to experience our familiar shorthanded communication that only he and I understand. The jokes and memories that only we share. Whenever I see him I realize how much I miss him. Whenever he sees me, he can’t believe the toll this illness is having on me.  The “visual” of my illness gets to him, he says.

Knowing that he’s doing well proves to me that all the years of illness and pain didn’t stop me from raising an amazing young man. His life is progressing despite having a sick Mom. He’s a college graduate, working full-time in Boston, and he’s just moved in with his girlfriend, who he plans to marry. Yikes! Just kidding, I really like her a lot. 🙂

So take that, stupid Lupus!




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