Author: Marilyn Celeste Morris
The following review was contributed by: Sue Vogan: To read more of Sue's reviews Click Here
Ms. Morris' journey has not been an easy one, but it is one that many chronically ill victims seem to walk. Everything from losing employment and husbands, to the loss of the pet that has been your only solace at times. It's a rough path and one that Ms. Morris openly shares with her readers.
"Are you sure you have Lupus?" her newest doctor asks. Marilyn confirms that her diagnosis was handed down in 1988 and she verbally shares the test results, which showed no signs of Lupus. Marilyn asks if she might be in remission. "Or maybe you never really had lupus," he shrugs.
At first, the idea of not having lupus appeals to Marilyn. Then, reality sets in and so do the questions. "Then what was all the lung infection, the hair loss, the treatments with Cytoxan, Imuran, prednisone; the difficulty walking when vasculitis caused foot drop in both feet and I fell down a lot?" No lupus? "Then was with my red, swollen joints?" She goes on to wonder about the "intense pain and swelling," and more of the gut-wrenching symptoms she has had to endure with lupus.
Marilyn writes, "I wish I could tell you that my disease came on suddenly, that I went to the doctor, was diagnosed and treated immediately, and everybody lived happily ever after." But, like any chronically complex disease, it's never that easy.
This intimate journal shows what the life of a lupus victim is like. We become privy to Marilyn's humor, her puzzlement and her anger. She’s angry at being unable to work because of her lupus, angry because she is financially strapped, and angry because her marriage hasn't worked out -- once again. At a low point, her beloved Sabbath passes away. Sabbath, the cat that was more friend than pet. And, if all this isn't bad enough, her father dies.
Marilyn expresses herself with poetry -- included in "Diagnoses: Lupus." Her pain and joy flows as each day brings her something new. Another bad day, the insurance company refusing to pay, or another medication that didn't work out; a blessed good day, a new grandchild, a new kitten, or time out with friends. Whatever she was feeling, she seemed to find writing an ideal outlet. It's a safe way to share her feelings of depression and frustration. No one will judge her as they do in public. No questions or statements. But, it's lonely. So lonely that you can almost feel yourself reaching out to hug Marilyn so she won't be so all alone.
Ms. Morris wonders when or if she'll ever feel better. She asks God for guidance. In the end, she claims to have learned something from lupus -- "to be patient with others; to be humble before God and my fellow man; to be compassionate with those less fortunate; to treasure every moment of every day; to stay in The Now;" and, "to know that in the end, it's just me and God." And, she prays that she never forgets what this disease has taught her.
Emotional, painful, joyful, and above all else, this book is honest.