In that time, I spent one day in the emergency room getting an abscess underneath my armpit drained. I was in a wedding. I went to Atlantic City. I spent time in the city and then, tired and out of breath (and money), I left the city for my parents' house, where I was given Gatorade and pretzels on command. It was nice, and it was fun for awhile. Life with Ozzie and Harriet got boring though, and I craved the company of peers, so I headed to my grandmother's. She's not exactly a peer (Sorry, G.) but my two cousins, Colleen and Samantha, live there. And we are close in age and have been raised (sometimes like a pack of wolves) pretty much together, so I spent five days there. I studied for the GRE and wrote. I even went to the Rutgers Library, where I realized that I am old and college boys are loud. And hot.
And then I returned to the city, for more doctor's appointments to devise Kill Lupus, Kill! treatment plans. I was prescribed new medicines and a flu shot and then I spent two days puking and feverishly moaning on the couch, clutching my left arm (now infected) to my side while watching marathon of classic episodes of The Nanny. I went out briefly in Brooklyn on Friday, for Ross' birthday, but Gen punched me in the wrong arm so I went home and took painkillers. On Saturday I went back to New Jersey, to see Katie, Allie and Emma. Aren't they cute?
This will have come full circle.
I have rested much of this past 40 days, but to what relief? None. There were bright, shiny days when I felt I could do what I wanted. These were days I cherished, perhaps in ways that healthy people do not. I did what I wanted while I was well, but I have spent much of this month with the shades drawn and my laptop humming beside me on the bed.
I am supposed to use this time to get well, or at least better myself in some way. Despite my lack of physical relief, I know I have. I feel stronger mentally and emotionally than I have in the past 2.5 years. I feel loose on my feet, and even though steroids have made my face fat, I think I might be. I did a jig in Grandma's kitchen last week, and I thought it was pretty damn good.
It annoys me that my life is so cyclical--sick, okay (for a week or so), and then sick again. I haven't turned a corner because I have been jogging in place. I have no progress to show and no idea when I will be ready to work again.
But I can at least rest knowing that I'm using this time for some good. Later today will be brutal, gruesome, bloody and unpleasant, but at least I have a better grip on it than I did a month ago.
This time has not been fruitless, after all.
(Thanks, as always, for the emails, Twitter @'s, messages, care packages, and kind words. I appreciate it all.)