If home is where the heart is, what about the hurt?
Would it follow me there, too?
Upon my return from university, I sat in my straight jacket of pain watching my parents take action.
My dad pulled out the plaid sofa bed in the basement so I could sleep upright by leaning on the back of the couch. He moved the TV close, pushed the shuffleboard out of the way.
My mom brought me warm towels to pack around my chest. When that didn’t ease the hurt, she wrapped her arms around me, trying to minimize the ripping pain that came with each breath.
They’d booked me an appointment for the following day with our family doctor, but I was without hope. After five doctors and 18 months, I already viewed the medical profession with doubt and disappointment.
But as I unspooled my story to our GP, he didn’t take his eyes off of me, or scrawl a prescription for sleeping pills. He put a stethoscope to my chest, probed by tender joints and then leaned close.
“I think you have systemic lupus,” he said.
I remember thinking, ‘Lupus, like a wolf? What an awful name for a disease.’ Continue reading