Wrapping 2019.

by - Monday, December 30, 2019

Let’s just cut to the chase. 2019 obviously wasn’t a good year for me. I’ve lost a lot, I gained a lot, and I also grew a lot(mentally, and literally hahaha). I basically went through different stages of life in the span of just one year. From looking like I was still in my teens, at the pink of my health weighing only 49kg, growing rapidly at the peak of my career, to contracting chronic condition that almost, almost ended my short-lived life. I vividly remember how it felt to just doze off from the burning fever while I was hospitalized. I kid you not, it still frightens me whenever I start feeling light headed and weak. It usually is because my body is still adjusting and I simply over exerted myself, but a part of me goes into panic attack fearing a flare coming up. Because there is no cause, no cure, and no prevention to AOSD.

Started the year real good by bidding goodbye the to the second most toxic company I’ve ever worked for, and took a solo trip to Taiwan to cleanse myself off all that toxicity. When they say time alone is essential, it’s true. It’s when you are alone that you realize what exactly is important and good for yourself. You’d be surprised how self-sufficient and independent you can get, and how you really don’t need to live to please. Other people’s emotions really don’t matter, neither do their problems. Nobody will be grateful to you, or remember all the good you’ve done for them. One thing I’ve learnt? Mind your own damned business and start loving yourself. If you spend all that time worrying about how people feel, then who is going to give a damn about how you feel?

Returned to Singapore full of hopes and motivation to only end up in the most toxic company I've ever, ever, ever worked for. I had met plenty of people while paging that resume. People from all walks of life, and all type of MBTI. None like this superior who went around spewing lies about me just because she was afraid of losing her power in the company. (Look, you are the boss. You put food on our table.) What I am thankful for though, is that I've met nice colleagues and sweet understudies who kept backing me up regardless what she tried to brainwash them with. Still in contact, and still working together with these bunch of sweet stuff. They stood by even when I was at my lowest after getting diagnosed with AOSD. Surprise, surprise. Meanwhile those that I thought were my best friend of a few decade? Had actually expected me to deliver my sick person breakfast to her on the morning of her wedding day because she is the bride. Well, I totally did not almost die on the hospital bed with a brain totally fried by my own immune system just a week before.

Still not blaming the disease, still not feeling unfair about the diagnosis. I am taking it really well, to be honest. Okay, side effects aside. I am not taking the side effects of Prednisolone too well, haha. Hey, I've never been this heavy before okay. It's a lot to digest especially having married into an aesthetic-cultured family. It's all about the looks, yknow.

As I sit down here in my new acquired space, with my favourite cuppa of Toffee Nut Latte... this time, on my own, I can't help but to think of all that wasted effort I slogged myself for last year. It literally costed me my health. Was it worth it? Honestly, not at all. I wouldn't give up my life slogging for people who are not worth my time. Neither would I waste my time pleasing people or feeling afraid of offending anyone anymore. You don't like my honesty? Too bad. AOSD made me realized a lot. Really a lot. I am more thankful than anything if I really have to put a feeling towards this diagnosis.

I've lived my whole life helping people and pleasing my bosses. Never once dared say no, and getting undercut almost every where I go. Because I don't know how to say no, because I was extremely afraid of people feeling bad when I reject their request for help. Because I was so scared of inconveniencing people I would always end up swallowing every single bit of grievance. And look where are these people right now that I am sick and useless? People who actually stood by are friends I've never helped, or people I stopped contacting for a decade. A freaking decade. Ha.

I've even lost count of all that I had lost since my diagnosis. Real life, reel life, virtual life. All I have left now is me, my family, and my cats. Reason why I haven't been updating much about my life is because there really isn't anything I can update anymore. Things that I used to enjoy are things I can never do anymore, and the looks that I used to earn extra cash with are no longer there anymore too. I am not allowed back on set because the job scope would cause my condition to flare. And with the treatments and medications, my body went through extreme changes. Some being permanent. Many of you had been checking in with me asking how am I, why am I updating lesser and lesser, why do I not post as much pictures anymore and stuff... Well, here's my life with chronic illness.

I look like an average human being, all alive and well. But what lies underneath this vessel, is an ongoing war between the good and bad cells inside my body. With Adult Onset Still's Disease, my immune system attacks every single body cell within me whether or not it's good or bad. With medicinal steroids(Prednisolone), it helps to suppress the immune system and stops it from attacking my body cells. Which also leads me to my very first side effect:

1 Very, very bad immune system.

What Prednisolone does to you is that it will suppress the immune system, so it doesn't attack my body anymore. Worse case scenario of untreated AOSD is heart and lung failure because my immune system will eventually end up attacking my vital organs if I don't have it under control. With my immune system suppressed, I fall sick very easily. My injuries wouldn't heal, and infections are almost daily occurrence. A simple cough in public may be harmless to normal people, but if someone coughs or sneezes in front me may send me into another flare up and staycation in the hospital. Which actually happened in late July, when I had a flare because my nephew was sick when he visited my place for housewarming. My self esteem had been attacked, man. And I have no idea how long it will take for me to finally not feel affected by it anymore.

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