I know there are a lot of you out there with chronic health problems or you’re taking care of someone who has them, so I thought I’d write about my recent diagnosis in terms of a humorous side so as to look at health troubles through a lighter tone. I recently found out I have an autoimmune disease called polymyositis, so of course I had to jump on google to figure it out and read about all of the worst-case scenarios! Autoimmune means your body has decided to see your inner peace and calm as a threat and then attacks itself. Apparently, I got sick and tired of functioning normally and instead of attacking my mile long “to-do” list, my brain decided, without asking me first, that it’s way more important for my immune system to fight the healthy cells in my muscles instead of doing something constructive or helpful. Like I had nothing better to do. It’s as if my muscles went into full Irish mode: some are so “fighting Irish” mad at each other and are in a constant state of spasm with a daily low-grade fever for months thrown in, others are trying the Irish silent treatment and went numb and basically lifeless. My symptoms are similar to someone with Lyme Disease, but at least those people were bitten by an insect carrying an infectious disease! They didn’t just make up a threat like my body did! Of all the crazy things I’ve done, I think attacking myself for no reason takes the cake. So thinking how lucky I am to be able to see a rheumatologist, I get home with my medicine that’s going to help and pull out my list of side effects. Do you ever read the literature that comes with your pills? I’m paraphrasing here, but essentially they say ridiculous possible side effects include: you’ll have zero sleep now, baldness, severe acne, bullseye rash on your forehead, zebra stripes, eye floaters, lazy eye, pure laziness in general, the shakes, the spins, the squats, the blinks, leprosy, Tourette’s, drooling, restless leg syndrome, bad dance moves, hangnails, slivers, paper cuts, swollen tongue, puffy eyes, crooked toes, boredom, ADD, loud stomach noises during quiet meetings, facial hair on women, constant rambling daydreams, forgetfulness worse than you already have, a case of the bloaties with serious gas, facial tics, gambling problems, and nonstop trips to the bathroom. Perfect. Sign me up; can’t wait to get started. You get done reading this and you think, is this a joke? How does the scientist who came up with this pill present it to the FDA with a straight face? Does the scientist say, “Yes, the test subjects came down with a few setbacks, but they’re totally fine?! You can barely notice Billy’s twitching! The pill helps what it says it does!” The FDA standards of approval must be that anything short of death as a side effect is acceptable. Humira is a medicine for autoimmune diseases, and their commercial is filled with rainbows, butterflies, and Grandma going for long walks on the beach. What it doesn’t show is how Grandma has to inject Humira by stabbing herself in the thigh or stomach with a spring loaded, dynamite stick shaped liquid filled “pen.” I’m assuming it’s because they believe that might hurt their sales. For me specifically, the fun side effects of my two medicines that helps me walk and drive again include a puffy red face, pain and a burning sensation at the site of my injections, susceptibility to catching every cold and not being able to fight them, scatter brain troubles, extreme hunger and roid rage. So since I’m trading in my normal face for the ability to function again, I just hope I can fit my big red harvest moon shaped head into the car when I drive places now! Can’t wait to show off my new look and Irish temper! Although it took weeks of steroids until my legs’ strength came back, now that it’s here I feel like pulling a Forrest Gump and just taking off running places instead of driving. My family is going to put a tracker on me. I warned my family of my roid rage too and I’m thinking of ordering a straitjacket and a Taser gun on Amazon just in case. For now they just have a spray bottle filled with ice water handy to calm me down. Just remember you’re not alone because each and every one of us has problems, and I love the quote that says, “It’s not always the load you carry, but the way you carry it.” So lean on your family and friends when you need to and take a minute to have a good laugh every day!