Life is hectic for a Lupie.

Balance is where I find serendipity.
Serendipity is whenever events come together happily and unexpected, kind of like luck! The first time I heard the word Serendipity was in a movie that I watched as a teenager. It was a Rom-Com about two people running into each accidentally who fall in love but get separated only to meet again 10 years later.

I like the sound of the word itself, Serendipity, it even sounds playful. It does not come from Latin or Greek, it came from a British nobleman in the mid-1700’s who created the word from an ancient Persian fairy tale. Who doesn’t love a good fairy tale? I digress.

Lupus life is so far from a fairy tale that it’s insane. Living with lupus is living with a traveling circus of inflammation. Lupus has affected everything from my hair to my stomach to my heart and, of course, my joints. It’s an awful relatively invisible disease that requires constant juggling. Along with Dr. appointments, lab testing, imaging, procedures, medications and insurance verifications, there is joint inflammation, pain, debilitating fatigue, and too many other complaints to list.

I think everyone needs balance in their life. Everyone plays the balancing act game, balancing work and home. Balancing healthy food vs. junk food. Balancing emotions like happiness vs. sadness and anger vs. delight. Life is about balancing peacefulness with playfulness too. For a lupie, not only is it important to achieve life balance but it’s finding the right balance of medicine to manage symptoms and coordinate with the right doctors. Then there’s emotional balance, stress management and learning to accept the situation we’re dealt.

It takes a great deal of effort to balance everything that’s going on in my mind and body but when I have a good day, a really good day it is serendipity! It’s as if all the planets have aligned perfectly. That particular serendipitous day would involve feeling good with minimal joint inflammation/swelling, adequate sleep, having my pain controlled and a normal heart rate. It seems like I live my life in an “on hold” manner just waiting to feel better, to feel good enough to have fun, something healthy people take for granted. But when everything is balanced it’s serendipity!

Since my lupus diagnosis, I’ve lived my life waiting for that wonderful day. Honestly, it happens about as often as a blue moon.

On my bucket list is a place in New York named Serendipity. It is an ice cream parlor. One day I hope to get there and if I do it will truly be serendipity!

Michele Palermo

Michele is a retired registered nurse who spent 15 years in Emergency Medicine. That's where she learned there's a fragility to life. Diagnosed with lupus, after going through a divorce, taught her to be a survivor instead of a victim. With her career shortened by illness she turned to books. She fell in love with the written word as a young child. To her, words convey emotion. Her new passion is writing. As an aspiring author, she hopes to inspire others on this roller coaster called life.

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