It is difficult to explain to the onlooker what having an autoimmune disease is like, for when the body takes aim, at itself, the symptoms vary from person to person and from time to time. So in the end, there is no coalition of forces, no army of women that personify the illness. The definition is fuzzy while the disease waxes and wanes. The pain bounces from joint to joint; my eyes burn and then my hands. My feet either develop blisters (I can't sense any irritation) or they burn and tingle. Meanwhile, my obligations are pretty steady. I lug a rather invisible disease - no one knows or quite possibly cares, that I am sick. So I do the best I can, explain when I must and try not to become that mother, defined by an endless list of complaints. For I am more than my pain, more than a label - I'm just trying to make the best of it.


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