Needless to say, the past three months have been more than emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausting. I’ve learned to cope through many different obstacles in life, but nothing can really prepare you for knowing how to deal and cope with an autoimmune disease. What took me a really long time to accept was that there was literally nothing that I could do about it, I couldn’t stop it. It just was, it just is, it just happened. For the first month, doctors put me on oral and topical steroids, about 5-7 of them, which was really annoying. Having to put all this crap on my body just to get things to heal and it wasn’t working. I felt pretty helpless after weeks and weeks of doing everything that I could that was in my control, but literally, nothing was helping. I felt embarrassed, ashamed, angry, upset, confused. Everything. But I tried to keep my head up because my spirit and mindset was the only thing I could control. At the end of February, doctors started me on phase II treatment sessions twice a week, and finally, after countless prayers, long sleepless nights, and lots of tears, my body started to heal.
Top: one month after phase II treatment. Bottom: two weeks after strep early January.
While I have never felt more scared, yet at peace, and thankful for the friends and family who have stood by my side through this trying time and recovery, the point of sharing this is not for me. It’s for you. For educating and encouraging your family, your loved ones, and keeping this community as safe and aware as possible. Because while I am grateful my body is finally starting to heal, my immune system has not. While I am navigating the ups and downs of recovering, the world is far from that. The world has been forced into survival mode, thanks to COVID-19.
So, here is the harsh reality. Here is the real point in all of this:
I am young…almost 27 years old and my body gave out. My immune system started attacking itself, going from literally 0 to 100 within one week. I am a very healthy 20-something, but because I have an autoimmune disease, my body is extremely vulnerable. Even though I am physically healing, my immune system is not. With the events and news surrounding COVID-19, I have not left my apartment in weeks, outside of a quick CVS run to pick up the required essential items. I am young, I am healthy, but my immune system has been compromised. I am considered vulnerable. I fight every day and have learned to adjust because I can and I am able to.
But what about those who can’t?
What about those who are older and at the highest risk of contracting Coronavirus? What about those who can’t fight, who can’t adjust, and who might not be able to survive this? And not even that, because recently as we’ve all seen and heard, people who have no symptoms at all have contracted the virus. Celebrities, professional athletes, political figures. People in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s have contracted the virus. This is not a “test run” or “an exaggeration”. This is serious, and it affects the entire world.
No one knows how this will all play out, and coming from someone who knows a thing or two about understanding what is and is not within your own control…please, do the bare minimum and stay home. Hop on the ZOOM bandwagon and find a way to have fun with friends and family via virtual happy hours and game nights. Put your phone down and use this time to finally make your self-care a priority.
This will pass, we don’t know how or when, but it will. But only if you do your part in what you, and us as a nation, can control. You don’t know who has been near who and to what extent/capacity. You don’t know, outside of what NHI, CDC, and WHO, have shared is vulnerable and susceptible to contracting this virus. We as a nation are being asked something that is literally SO simple – something that is the very bare minimum of human effort. So please, for your health and safety, for your families, for your friends, and for this nation – do your part, the very bare minimum, and stay home. Put your life and the lives of our nation first. Do that, and we will all have freedom once this passes.
We will survive this, but please, do your part.