Vanity

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2007 - 2011

Beauty bloggers: how do you do it? Every hair in place, juicy lips, perfectly shaped eyebrows. Bright eyes. Shiny smiles. If there’s a flaw in your skin — I can’t find it.

On Friday night, I was so tired I fell asleep in the clothes I had worn all day. I didn’t wash my face, I didn’t brush my teeth, I forgot to take my meds. I took my Plaquenil at lunch on Saturday — 12 hours after I normally do. I was scared to take a second dose that night, so took it early Sunday morning. Sunday night — back on track. But I could already see and feel the consequences creeping up on me.

My eyelids were itchy and my cheeks were red. When I put moisturizer on my face, my skin burned. My arms were too heavy to brush my hair. I could feel my body moving in slow motion. Even washing my face was a chore.

The last time lupus took over my face, it ate part of my left eyebrow, I’m not certain if it will ever grow back. It left dark scars around my eyelids. I have permanent charcoal like smudges under my eyes. Sometimes, in pictures I look like the uncle on the Addams family. No amount of sleep will make the dark circles around my eyes go away. I’ve tried all types of concealers, vitamin E oil, dark spot corrector — I’m going to try a professional makeup called Dermablend next. Professional as in thick — caked on — take your time to apply — for actresses and models — makeup. I didn’t start wearing make up until I was 21 — I have NO idea what I’m doing. NONE.

My rosy cheeks remind me that I have to be diligent in my care. Lupus is waiting for me to let my guard down, to forget to take my meds, to not take my vitamins, to wear myself down, to not get enough sleep. Lupus is waiting to take more of me.

I’m thankful — I’m absolutely one of the lucky ones. So far, it’s just my skin and my joints. Severe fatigue and rash. I can deal with it. But occasionally, when I catch a glance of myself in the mirror or see a photo of myself pre-lupus — I can’t help but be a little sad and indulge in my own brand of vanity.

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