In the past few days my flare has been getting better, and I finally feel hopeful of going back to lower pain days. Even better, I left the house yesterday all by myself! I went to get a pedicure and a manicure after a long time! I also managed to meet a friend and have a cup of coffee for an hour!! Now that felt like the biggest achievement, because a few days ago having a chat with someone was completely exhausting.

There are still challenges left, like the pain, which has become much less but is still substantial. It keeps me on the couch a whole day. Another symptom that has been driving me completely crazy has been my swollen stomach. I have inflammatory bowel diseases as part of the behcets. Consequently, my stomach can swell like a balloon even when I eat a handful of food for meals. Add that to the steroid moon face and I look like I’m four or five months pregnant.

Today the pain was a bit higher than yesterday, but I made an effort to leave the house and accompany my husband as he left to drop the kids at school and buy my medication etc. As part of the errands, we passed by the supermarket to do some house shopping, and as we were checking the groceries at the teller, the lady decided to tell me how fat I look and that it seems I can grow really fat given the chance! I tried to play it cool because I’ve become used to such comments every time I am on high prednisolone doses (it gives me the worst moon face). I thought she would stop after the first comment, but no, she went on! It seemed she was not going to get satisfied until she notices that my feelings had effectively been hurt. I stared at her for a moment in utter shock and completely speechless! How unprofessional… and mean! I usually shop at that supermarket a lot, but that does not give a teller the right to talk to me on such familiar terms. I decided not to reply as I wondered why someone would do that. Why go out of your way to be hurtful?

Going through flares is always hard whether you’re on the couch sick wishing you were out doing normal day things, or you’re out facing the world with a million body image issues from the medication and the disease as the flare begins to settle, in world where people take pleasure in tearing each other apart. It is a challenge, learning to just be in the moment, and accepting the moment. Learning to accept that in this moment I am sick, I wish I felt better, and I do not look as I would like to look. People will be hurtful in this hard time, and there is nothing I can do about it other than live this moment as it is, as I am. Being! It is a lesson I have to teach myself every day.

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