Thursday, August 5, 2010


Today has been the day I have been dreading for about 5 months, since my doctor diagnosed me with connective tissue disease.

Today, of course, was the day I met with the specialist.  Hearing that he was a bit of an abrupt man who didn't hold back his comments, I ensured that prior to dressing that I donned on my thick skin. I am no pansy by any stretch of the imagination, but I have been feeling in limbo for almost half a year while I have been awaiting which disease label would be safety pinned onto my shirt permanently, making me a tad anxious and ever so slightly sensitive.

Would it be Lupus, or would it be Sjogrens, lord forbid it was Scleroderma, and Rhematoid Arthritis had already been ruled out.  And while I tried to shelve my feelings, they crept back every night into my mind.  Things, such as what will my future entail, will I be a further burden on my better half, how much enjoyment will I be able to garner out of life when I am so tired and in so much pain right now.

Just prior to our trip to the specialist's office, we made a pit stop at a store where I saw this woman from behind, there was nothing distinguishable about her, she must have been in her late 70's possibly her early 80's but what caught my eye was how she walked.  She walked with a purpose. Strong, upright, long strides.  She held whatever her problems were not on her shoulders but above them.  She was carrying no baggage and I doubt that any baggage that tried to stick to her would have stayed.  When she turned around, it was evident to me that she was suffering from skin cancer but you wouldn't know it from her walk. And although I didn't know her and had never even spoke to her, I knew that I respected her immediately.

Later on while sitting in the waiting room, I heard him call my name and I sucked as much air in as possible and walked in and shook his hand.  A flurry of questions were bombarded upon me and I was trying to answer them as quickly and as accurately before the next onslaught appeared.  I would suppose that some individuals would take the line of questioning as almost a form of attack, but not me, I was sure I was sitting within the office of a genius as I could see the wheels turning in his brain and I knew at that moment, he would figure it out.  He had no definitive diagnosis for me today with the exception that I do have fibromyalgia after all.  I exhibited signs of both Lupus and Sjogrens, and now, I am preparing myself for a numerous amount of blood tests and x-rays on every joint of my body.

On the way home, I decided to let my brain rest from the questions that kept popping up, and while sitting at a red light, another woman, most likely the same age, walked across the cross walk in front of me.  She was stricken with a very bad case of osteoporosis but she had this beautiful smile across her face, and these amazing determined eyes and her gait as well was long and strong and even though she carried her disease in full view, I thought to myself, here is yet another woman who is walking with a purpose.

It got me to thinking, what am I actually scared about?  Aren't I already dealing with the worst version of it now, as at this moment it is not being treated. And besides, everyone has some form or type of burden placed upon their lives.  This is mine.  And I plan to be strong on how I deal with it.  

I suppose what I am trying to say is that whatever label is pinned upon my breast in 6 weeks time, it won't define me.  The only thing that will ever define me, is me.  And I plan on being that person that you see walking down the street one day, you know the one, the one you have never met, the one you don't even know, but the one you will stare hard and long at and I am betting that you will say:  "Look at her, boy does she ever walk with a purpose."

Until Next Time. 
Smooches Pooches  xxoo


  1. yes you do walk with a purpose

    we see it everyday Miss Tracy

    it,s about time you saw it keep smiling like

    always xoxoxoxox L

  2. Tracy you are such a strong person, and it shows in this post!

  3. Any other label will never be big enough to cover the many you already wear including, "AWESOME IN EVERY WAY!"


  4. Thank you guys, sometimes I second guess what things I share and post... but I so appreciate your very very VERY kind comments~

  5. So do walk with this post...thank you for sharing.
    Lesley :)

  6. You are strong and you will wear your label with grace and just a bit of a smirk, knowing that you are walking with a long purposeful stride. Go gettum' girl!

  7. hold your head up high and never let them take you down. one step at a time, its the best you can do :-)

  8. Thank you Lesley, Deborah and Jain for your kind words!

  9. Goosebumps, girl... GOOSEBUMPS! I love this post so much. Partly, I suppose, because I was diagnosed wit FM 7 yrs ago. And attitude really can be 'everything' with this stuff. I refuse to let it make me feel bad for myself - because there are more frightening things that I know so many people 'out there' are dealing with - so I am grateful it isn't something worse. I also have an amazing husband who has learned along with me, is as supportive as anyone could possibly wish for, and I still have an income because of disability insurance, even though I have lost a career I loved. I must admit, when I was trying to keep working under the massive weight of so much pain and fatigue, I didn't feel quite so at peace with it. I was completely overwhelmed and confused and - worst of all - was embarrassed and ashamed that I wasn't 'stronger'... Or maybe it was some mental impairment... etc. When I was first diagnosed, I think I cried for a couple of days (not non-stop, just often) - not because I had something that might not go away, but because I realized how sad it was that for so long I had been so hard on myself, carried so much self-doubt. I wondered how different my entire sense of self would have been if I'd known that all those things that were 'wrong with me' that seemed too unrelated to be one thing ... WERE one thing. That I wasn't weaker than everyone around me... in fact, I just might have been the strong one for how much it took for me to get one foot in front of the other, to care for my kids and my husband, to juggle all the challenges in such a way that we could have a happy home filled with celebrations of anything even a little celebraton-worthy, etc.

    So, Miss Tracy, if anyone has the strength and wisdom ... and surely do. And you clearly have some real supporters... I hope I can be counted among them. ANYTIME girl! I'm so glad I found your blog (well, technically, you found me first! lol). And I love the comment above, giving you the label "Awesome in Every Way"... So whatever diagnoses you do get, put that one first. Tell anyone who asks you are diagnosed to be "Awesome in Every Way ... with a 'secondary' diagnosis of FM."

  10. Oh Tamara....... you're words really touched me! Thank you so much! We were meant to find each other... my twin on the other side of the country!


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