First, let me say that, for whatever reason, I am having an incredibly sick week. This will be relevant to the rest of my post in a bit.
Two days ago, a gnarly flare led to my being unable to stay awake for more than a couple of hours at a time and my husband and daughter began conspiring – in the best kind of way, out of concern for my rapidly declining health – to get me to the ER.
So, late last night, Sara and I set out for the emergency room, where I got my usual: lots of labs, fluids, IV steroids, and anti-inflammatories.
Of course, my inflammation markers are all kinds of up. That wasn’t surprising.
We got home early yesterday morning and have rested all day but I am still running a gnarly fever with some nasty body pain. The pain is improved a bit but far from gone.
Soooo. . . I am taking increased doses of oral steroids – trying to avoid a second round of IV steroids – but, if things aren’t better in the morning, sometimes the RA wins. . .
hrrrmmmm. . .
Something else that is heavy on my mind – and many other women’s it seems – is the sudden death of Kate Spade.
Like a lot of women my age, I first saw her Sam handbag when I was 19 and the woman that I was nannying for had it. I had never heard of her but I fell in love with it and had to have one. Needless to say, it took awhile for me to save up, but, oh my word, when I did get it. I loved that bag so freaking much.
And now? These days I’m a consignment shopper and thrifter – and generally not a brand person – but I still love Kate. I have a bag I carry regularly but she travels with me every day in this form:
I have every intention of carrying it until it actually falls apart – kind of like I did my first Sam bag.
I don’t even bank with the Regions in my town, but when I have gone in for business stuff, the sweet lady who is the head teller noticed it was Regions green and I told her our Mom retired from Regions. Because of that, she remembers me and my lil’ wallet, even though I’m not a customer. Just a funny, sweet thing.
So I was totally shocked when I woke up Tuesday morning to the notification that Kate had passed away and then just heartbroken when all the details began pouring in.
Tonight, as I sat down to write, I looked through some articles and think this one bears passing on (just because I love it):
Because she died due to depression and anxiety, there are a few things I want to share:
I noticed that many people who knew her wrote that she “seemed happy” and almost implied that they supposed that wasn’t true and both her husband and father spoke with her the night before she died and said she was upbeat. She may well have been. Her happiness didn’t have to have been an act.
Two common risk factors for suicide are chronic physical illness and mental illness. As someone who lives with both, in the form of RA and anxiety, I can honestly say that, even during flares, pain and anxiety are often much easier to cope with during normal waking hours than in the middle of the night so I can see how she could have been fine that evening and then very not okay later.
During the day, there are distractions and there is activity and people are around.
At night, when it’s quieter, it’s easier to get into the bad places – anxiety tends to come on and pain actually tends to be worse – so you are really in danger if you are already struggling in some way.
I am so blessed to have my husband and daughter I can wake up if I really need to – if the pains are paining too much or the anxiety has me on the ceiling – and this little dude who always burns the midnight oil with me on wakeful nights:
However, everyone doesn’t have that support system – and everyone who struggles NEEDS one – so the best advice I can give is for us to all do our best to be that friend and that family member who is available – to be woken up or inconvenienced or to go and sit with someone who is having a really bad night.
And, also, let’s all love on our people and be very aware of when they are struggling.
Sometimes life is just plain hard, and everybody – no matter who they are – needs help at some point.
Be well, everybody. Look after your people.
Grace and blessings.