Friday, January 28, 2011

The danger of blogging about lupus

...is that people will be able to read your blog about lupus. :)

For about the past two years, I've been blogging about my life with lupus - the highs, the lows, the victories, and the defeats. I've left very little to the imagination - and for some of you, I'm sure it's been way more detail than you bargained for. But I think it's important to tell you about the nitty gritty of living well, despite lupus - the challenges of raising two lovely ladies while staying healthy and rested; the not-so-pleasant details of my symptom activity, my tests results, and my bouts with the big orange jug; the balancing act of traveling around the nation to promote my book while forcing myself to nap every afternoon.

I've even written (at length) about the many boundaries I've imposed on myself over the years- the curfew at night, the naps during the day, the conscious effort to ask for help - all in an effort to stay as healthy as possible. But in doing so, I think I've inadvertently (and publicly) handicapped myself.

Can I hop on the computer late at night to return a reader's email or a customer's question about the book? Not really. I've blogged about the fact that going to bed by 11pm keeps me healthy, so what kind of example am I setting if I don't stick to my self-declared bedtime?

Can I skype my mom or leave her a voicemail at 3pm in the afternoon? Not really. I'm supposed to be napping at that time. If she knows that I'm awake, she's going to wonder why I'm not sleeping. (Once a mom, always a mom...)

Can I get away with talking about recent bouts of joint pain, a swollen digit, or a missed dose of medication without a family member calling me out on it? No way.

But it's good that I'm as exposed as I am. It keeps me honest, and it keeps me on the right track. I've said before that Johnny threatens my "bad" behaviour (be it staying up late, or skimping on a nap, or putting my health low on the totem pole) with a blog post of his own. Truth is - his idle threat works wonders. I usually pull myself together pretty quickly once he mentions a byline.

However, I've decided that it's time to make these declarations go family style. That is - to all of my loyal readers (friends and family included) who tune in each week to see what my latest move is along the path to living well - I say, it's time to pass the pasta. I'm going to ask everyone, and I mean everyone, to participate in the little blogging exercise set for next week. After all -who doesn't need to work on a little boundary-setting now and again?

On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday - I'm going to publicly declare my "X, Y, and Z's", and I'm going to ask you to do the same:

Declaration #1: Giving up "X" will come on Monday - where I'll talk about something that I'm going to do without - be it a not-so-healthy behavior, a food that shouldn't be in my diet, or a habit that needs to be broken.

Declaration #2: Taking up "Y" will appear on Wednesday - where I'll reveal my plan of attack for starting something that would enrich/better/improve my desire to live well.

And Declaration #3: "Rejigger my thinking about "Z" will follow on Friday. Living well with a chronic illness requires a significant amount of soul-searching, so I'll elaborate on my latest plan to start "thinking well".

And I'm going to expect the same from you! Why should I be the only one to publicly declare my quest for self-improvement, (besides the fact that I have a blog and you don't)? Come on, join the club. Comment, email, or write me a note about your X, Y, and Z's. I'd love to hear from you. Remember - it will help keep me honest!

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