Happy New Year!

Well, I’ve been busy getting my office together, throwing out old papers and files and I found myself reminiscing about the bad old days.  I say that now knowing I stressed my body burning the candle at both ends.  At the time, I thought I was fine and all was well when all was not well.

I believe I’ve had Lupus since childhood.  The crazy things I suffered as a child are too numerous to mention here.  However, upon receiving the diagnosis at 40-something, all that craziness made sense, my immune system was the culprit.  I can also identify every stressor that caused what I now know as flares.

I’ll never forget a photo project I was trying to complete for finals.  I think the project had something to do with hints of people.  I shot so many images and when I developed, printed and started mounting the images, I discovered I didn’t like several of them.  I needed 12 and I only liked 8.

The next morning I started out trying to capture more images for the project.  It took all day because I didn’t want to shoot just anything.  I did finally get those images and I also got something I didn’t want, pancreatitis.  I’m not a big drinker so quite naturally this confused my doctor.  He thought I had an ulcer and I was inclined to agree with him except everything he gave me, including milk, made the pain worse.  Several tests later – one including barium – the diagnosis was pancreatitis and the remedy was a bland diet.  I should have realized then diet would play a very important part in my life.

It was stress then and it has always been stress causing bad flares.  My reminiscing took me back to the business I had and looking at those old client files brought back memories, some good, some not so good.

Yes, I worked too hard all right with both a business and a full-time job.  I managed, for sure, but I also knew – going back to that bland diet – good, healthy food had a way of making things better for me.  If I forgot about eating well I would surely hit bad times or a rough flare.  When I hit the ultimate flare in 2005, I hadn’t been eating well for a few years and I had also stopped exercising regularly.  Combine a good deal of stress and you have a recipe for disaster.

Looking back, I now know what I had done was not good.  I also didn’t know I had Lupus.  I’m lucky and grateful to be alive today.

I had to give up the business and transfer clients to other virtual assistants who could handle the kind of clients I had.  Fortunately, I knew a couple of women in my group who were not only paralegals, they could also handle the heavy transcription work.  I found others who could handle some of the other work I had, particularly one client I loved, great guy with interesting work but sadly, I could no longer carry that load.  It was sad to give it up but I had to if I was going to heal and make it through the tough times I knew were ahead of me.

That’s all behind me now and I’m relishing the ability to spend time with friends, go out to dinner, take a long drive somewhere, anywhere, all that I couldn’t do before because I was always working.  All work and no play . . . .

It was good to shred it all away and get rid of things I no longer needed.  Now, everything is set up for more creative pursuits and that makes me very happy.  I can enjoy life now and yes, I know, I’m blessed.

Now I have my office back.  I’ve been dreading this job for years and just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  It was not easy.  I had to move things, get down on the floor and oh my God, read tons of stuff and try to get my brain around all the new technology, software, I cannot believe how much has changed in a few years.  My brain exploded.

I will add a new category to this blog soon called “Bits & Bobs,” which will have helpful hints for computers, tablets, etc.  And a few aids for those who have gotten up in age and maybe can’t see so well or suffer from arthritis.

Happy New Year and hopefully, 2017 will be a good year for everyone.

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