Life with Lupus (again)

Well, Kyle did say we needed to post more - and it just so happened that within the last 3 weeks, everything has completely changed in our lives! As we celebrated our fourth anniversary, the phrase "in sickness" has definitely been a new theme. 

We have shared with some of you already that my lupus reactivated drastically so for the first time in really ~12-13 years. (See this post if you want to read some thoughts from me about lupus at age 14 or thoughts on finishing medical school and being a doctor.)  I thought I was sick with a viral illness for 3+weeks, which was true, but it turned out to be the perfect storm of finishing intern year, working nights for the first half of July and being sick altogether. Little symptoms were missed (read: rationalized, yes I'm a bad patient) while I was working and when I went to the rheumatologist hoping for some reassurance and a routine check up, it ended up being the worst and finding out that my lupus not only out of control but affecting my kidneys again. 

It's definitely been an unexpected hiccup and definitely unsettling in the sense that I've always wondered when this could happen again, but God's sovereignty, timing, and the thankfulness we have for how this has panned out thus far has left me feeling overwhelmingly grateful and thankful despite the new struggles ahead. I am so thankful for our new community here in Ann Arbor through work and church, and the friends/family that extend across the country, that are back in Upstate New York, and friends that were there when I was even first diagnosed in high school and how they once again have encouraged me and prayed for me. 

I ended up having a kidney biopsy one week after my birthday and was hospitalized (definitely another dose of empathy for what it's like to be a patient...), Kyle got to experience the hospital life (yes, there are random people yelling "ow!" or "help!" at all hours of the night and it might not mean anything serious) - and we watched a lot of golf and HGTV and wheel of fortune. My doctors have been so great and I couldn't ask for a better team of people to help me get better. 

I still continue to process what life will be like now with a more active chronic disease than it has been over the last years and I know there will be ups and downs along the way. There are a lot of new medicines to take, I haven't slept well in 2+ weeks due to one of them, my face is going to be as round as it was freshman year of high-school. At some point I worry I might go crazy with lack of sleep and juggling work and health,  but I am reminded of one of my favorite lines of a hymn that says "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, Because He lives, all fear is gone, Because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living, just because He lives".  There is so much more to hope for and rest in eternally and this is just an earthly body. 

And now for some fun pictures, because it wouldn't be a blog post without them:

Photos range from thinking that it was going to be an outpatient procedure, getting hospitalized and waiting for a bed, Kyle experiencing the joys of my residency $$$ in the cafeteria/Jamba Juice, Kyle's bed/vacation in the hospital, waiting for my procedure, one of my many visitors (so many resident friends came to visit that I did not subject to a photo!!! thank you friends!!!), the blanket Jonathan got me from Child Life (the children's hospital) and flowers from other friends, busting out of the hospital, and an outpatient infusion when it was all said and done. 

Thank you for reading! If you ever have any questions about lupus or want to talk more, send me a message, I'm always open for conversation. 

- Olivia