I hate autoimmune diseases. See that nice lady in the center of the family picture below? That is my Aunt Eloise, one of the sweetest creatures on God's green earth. When she was a teenager, she had polio and survived that. Now she deals with post-polio syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. The RA has crippled her, but she can still shuffle to/from the wheelchair on a good day. She hasn't had many good days lately. In fact, she just got out of the hospital for breathing problems (RA can impact your lungs, did you know that?).
The night she got home, she started having intestinal bleeding. She had a colonoscopy on Friday, and they found a mass. She'll be going back to the doctor on Thursday to get the results of her biopsy, but the doctor said that it didn't look good. I have to try to figure out a way to go see her. It will be a long drive, because I just can't afford a plane ticket right now (and that would only get me within 2 hours of her). I could have seen her in May but didn't get to. She was very disappointed, and she told me on the phone the other night how she had been looking for me to show up at her house that weekend. It made me feel terrible.
She is my last living aunt. I have no uncles left. She was married to my mother's only sibling, my uncle Willie Dennis Dimsdale. Everyone on my dad's side is gone. I want to see her so badly. I would be facing a 14 hour trip alone, but I think I need to do it.
I would rather see someone alive than show up for their funeral. I want to hug her and tell her I love her. She hasn't judged me one bit for being gay. She just loves me. And like me, she lost a child too soon. Her youngest daughter, Melba, died from a shotgun wound to the chest when she was 24 years old. She is one person on this earth who knows how I feel about having lost my daughter. Just the other night, she told me that sometimes she goes into Melba's old room and looks at her high school picture and it all seems like it happened yesterday. I know that feeling.
I hate autoimmune diseases. They don't just kill people; they rob people of their autonomy and mobility. They kill them slowly, painfully. If there were a ribbon for each autoimmune disease, I'd have my car plastered with them. I appreciate that we need breast cancer awareness, and it is wonderful to see how much good comes of that awareness. But we need a ribbon for autoimmune diseases. Diseases in which your body turns on itself, in which your body launches an attack on healthy cells. I know, because it's going on inside of me right now, too. I hate it. It robs me of time I'd rather use doing something other than trying to fight the pain.
Because of my aunt's trouble with her breathing, there isn't much they can give her for her pain. She is enduring some awful pain, and I don't know how she stands it. She sounded so weak Friday night. I just have to figure out how to get there. I want to tell her in person how much she means to me.
Please pray for her. I don't want her life prolonged if it means she's in horrible pain, but I am not ready to lose her either.
peace - D