B is for Bummer Backstory

In 2005, I had to leave a job that I absolutely loved due to health reasons.

I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus in 1991 and while doctors have since tossed around different names for my disease, everyone agrees that I’m sick and something is hokey with my immune system.

After the diagnosis, I quickly learned the importance of rest and recovery.  Each year, the amount of downtime increased.  By 2004, I began needing more rest than there were hours in the day.   I struggled to get out of bed without assistance.  My husband would lift me out, help me dress, and drive me to work.  It was wicked painful.  There were a lot of tears.

After work, I’d go back to bed.  That was my life:  pain, work, pain, bed.  Pain.  It felt hopeless.

My ability to concentrate was disappearing.  My speech and memory became impaired.  It was time to concede to the doctor who had been telling me that work was no longer an option.

I had held a job in one form or another since I was 12.  It was my purpose.  It’s what I was good at.  At work, I was important, smart, necessary.  I contributed.  Leaving my job broke me more than any illness.  It wasn’t on my terms.  Some disease was deciding how my life would go.  It sucked.

Now what?

I’d get a few hours a day of “normal” and I’d use them to be a mom.  I’d give my daughter rides to tennis and church and school.  But all activity had a price and the pain was intense.  I remember thinking that I should pass out or go into shock.  I didn’t understand how my body survived it.  I was grateful for the few hours of normal even if it was costly.   I knew that I’d never get those years back and I could tolerate a lot for the privilege to participate in my child’s day.  I reminded myself that not everyone was so lucky.

Somehow, eight years passed.   After a lot of trial and error with medication, I’m finally in a decent place.   I respect my need to spend the majority of each day resting.  I try not to over extend myself very often.  I have great doctors who understand that I need to live a little.

I’ve missed a sense of community.  So, I’m building one.  This is why I blog.  These are stories I would have shared in my workplace, during a lunch date, at a tennis tournament, on a business trip.  Now, I can share them here.   Usually, they’re meant to be funny but today was more about explaining what got me here.

What got y’all here?

Some of the things that always remind me of how good life is.

Some of the things that always remind me of how good life is.

American German – language lesson #33

Morgen geht es um Katzen. (mor-gan get es um cat-zen)  Tomorrow will be about cats. – Actually, I haven’t planned that far ahead.

Blogging from A to Z participants list


  1. Aw Julie we love you so much! B is also for being beautiful which you guys are very much! BTW, nice anniversary gift! It is hard to believe 10 years have gone by………

    • julieyoujest says:

      Volker did a great job picking out the rings and with no help from Cindy this time! Love you guys! Come visit us!

  2. Well, my lifelong friend, you have got me teary eyed first thing in the morning. You and the pregnancy hormones. Thanks for the gratitude reminder, for being a constant in my life and for being the best Humorous Duet partner a ninth grader could ask for.

    • julieyoujest says:

      Thanks Sam! How lucky we were at age 11 to find each other! (We were 11 not 12 because we met in the summer before our birthdays. We’ve been saying the wrong age for 34 years.) The rest of the alphabet will be happy. I think. I really should have planned this out.

  3. I’m really glad you found a regiment of meds that work for you…stay healthy!

    I started blogging 4 years ago (on a different site) when I was going through a divorce. I’m not kidding when I say my blogging friends from that site saved my sanity on several occasions. The kindness, support and friendship that was gifted to me from people I had never met in real life was staggering. One of my friends there has said on many occasions that blogging is her lifeline…it’s sure been one for me too!
    Maple Syrup Land recently posted…B is for BalletMy Profile

    • julieyoujest says:

      Here’s to blogging for sanity! Divorces suck ass, by the way. I’m glad you found the support you needed. I’m happy that I stumbled upon your blog. You are fabulous!

      I’m also so glad I started blogging. There’s a whole world tucked into my computer. Who knew? Well, maybe everyone but me!

  4. It is so wonderful that your meds are helping you. You made me realize just how grateful I am to be living a “normal” life. Even though I too have medical issues, they are totally controlled with medication. I want you to know that you touch lives with your blog. You have touched mine. Thank you.

  5. Hi Julie – just thought I’d hop on over from the A to Z Blogging Challenge. I certainly appreciate your pain and while it’s never easy, I’m super happy that you’ve built the support group that you need 🙂 Looking forward to your other posts – and I still need to catch up on yesterday’s!

    Julianne Snow (@CdnZmbiRytr) recently posted…B is for Boy Eats GirlMy Profile

  6. Thanks for sharing your story. I am glad you got into blogging and I stumbled upon your post today.

    (Stopping by from the A to Z Challenge)
    Kate recently posted…Birthday bluesMy Profile

  7. What a terrible ordeal. I’m glad you’ve something that works – both with meds and with forming your own community. Here’s hoping that science can eventually find something that helps you get back to a pain-free life.

  8. Hi Julie, Nice to meet you. I’d love to be a blogging buddy since you can’t hang out at the water cooler/coffee pot at work. :0) What brought me to blogging? Hmmm…I’ve been blogging for 3 years. One girl in my writing group mentioned blogging, so I checked into it and I haven’t looked back. I love how it connects you to folks all over the world. I love the encouragement. I work full time and write in my spare time. Stop by and visit me!
    The Write Soil
    Dawn M. Hamsher recently posted…Attributes of Writers – BMy Profile

    • julieyoujest says:

      Hi Dawn! Then it’s official, we’re blogging buddies! I’m on my way over to your site now.

  9. So sorry to hear this, but glad you’re able to blog and build a sense of community through it. 🙂
    Lola recently posted…B is for …My Profile

  10. I love your reason for blogging! A sense of community…I love that. And it’s so very true.
    Kelly @ Dysfunctionally Functional recently posted…E is for . . .My Profile

    • julieyoujest says:

      It is true. This whole blogging journey (of almost four months now) is the best thing I’ve jumped into for a long time! I’m so glad I got past my fears and went for it!

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