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today i spent four glorious hours at the aveda lifestyle spa.   no cell phones.  no televisions.  no ipods.  just some new agey, ethereal pan fluted spa music, a perfect haircut with beautiful rich color, and deliciously relaxing massage.  it was fantastic…i went in at 3:15 in the afternoon and came out after dark, at 7:15.   let me just impress upon you the words –four hours– of all that is pampering and relaxing at the aveda spa…what a treat!  and on my birthday! weeeeee!   

after a consultation to decide what i should look like when i ultimately leave the place,  i sit in the stylist’s chair where she carefully applies various shades of brown and red to my hair.  there i am looking like one of those weirdos who think they can talk to spacemen…you know, with the foil all over my noggin.   reading a magazine, under the dryer (except that in an aveda salon, you can expect a steamer instead of a hot dryer.  just sayin’), the color on my head radiating stink to high heaven.   then, “ding!”.  i’m done.  over comes my stylist to pull me out from under the steam dryer, take out my foils, and release me!

fast forward to our convo during the hair cutting portion of my visit…  and we are discussing how i have lupus.  how women are generally diagnosed in their early thirties and all the ways it can affect a person.  my stylist is telling me about another client of hers that regularly comes in to get her wigs styled…yes, wigs.  lupus can, and does regularly, cause your hair to fall out and many women find it necessary to wear a wig.  my stylist continues that she is amazed at how upbeat and positive this client is.  i get the general impression that this woman is a bright ray of sunshine on the cloudiest of cloudy days…a breath of fresh air… a cool breeze on a hot day…(ok, enough hokey analogies, but you get my point 😉 ).  

then my hair stylist asks me questions about what exactly is lupus and how does it affect me.  so i give her my rendition, kind of explain that lupus is an autoimmune disorder, which means that my body is always attacking itself–it sees itself as the invader, so i am left with little to fight real infections and constantly feel crummy because my body always thinks it’s sick.   (PFFFTTTT!!  that’s what i think about it all, but anyway i am digressing.  literally.)     we discuss why i am getting my hair color foiled in instead of the usual way of all over color, which is sectioning the hair and applying with a brush.   i explain that because of the lupus, i can not have the hair color touching my skin.  i explain that it causes me great pain and inflammation and ultimately puts me in bed for 3 or so days to have the color sitting on my skin for any length of time.   i would much rather have to sit through a lengthy three-hour-long process and look like a stinky alien-talker than be persona non grata for three days!

our conversation takes a turn where we begin discussing some of the more difficult aspects of lupus and of having lupus.  we talk about the pain aspect, the cognitive problems, arthritis issues, lung disease, the idea that many of us are on disability,  aaaaaand etcetera ad nauseum.  she asks me if lupus patients have to do chemo?  i begrudgingly have to answer yes, that some do.  (blech.) and that most of us (myself included) are on a hefty medication regimen that includes the dreaded prednisone. (double blech.)  but hey, we’ve all got something we are dealing with, right?  we all have our own “thing” to get through.  that’s all it is after all…this is my “thing” to deal with, get through, and go forward. 

so i ask my stylist, “how old is your other client? the one with lupus?”  and i’m expecting her to say she’s in her 50’s or even older, maybe.  i don’t know why, but that’s just how i  pictured her.

stylist,” oh, i think she’s probably in her 40’s.  maybe late 30’s.  older…definitely.”

and as i sit and think about that it hits me like a ton of bricks.

today is my birthday.  and today, this minute, i am in my late 30’s.    

o.  m.  g. 

officially, i am 36 today.   but this means, in essence, that i am nearly 40.

i am in my “late 30’s”.

how the H did that happen?

 

 

i invite you to share any stories like this of your own!  any moments of clarity about a milestone in your life?  any funny stories about turning 21 or turning 30 or 40 or 50 even?

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Breastfeeding Achievement Ribbon :: 2 Years