Each time I come to a break from school, I realize that I've lived a life that is far too stress-filled over the past several months and vow not to subject myself to such a lifestyle again as it inevitably leads to a painfully frustrating flare.

And still, here I am, in my five-day break between regular school and summer school, feeling worthless as I sleep or simply lie around in pain when I have lots of work to do (while Josh scrubs our shower and shampoos the carpets in the pre-summer-cleaning-frenzy). Of course, I should focus on gratitude. After all, I have a husband who takes it upon himself to work on deep-cleaning out home, holding no resentment toward my inability to help. Also, I have friends who invite me to do relaxing things, so I'm not stranded and completely lonely (like Brooke, who had me over for a spa day and Liz and Josh, who had us over for a cook-out and Rock Band night). Plus, I have the sort of job that includes frequent, built-in time off, a luxury many people I know don't have.

I have made at least one positive change in my life: I'm now wearing some serious sunblock on all exposed skin, every day. Yeah, I should have done this from the first moment I realized my lupus affected my skin as well as my joints, but I didn't. Hopefully the rashes on my chest and arms will go away after a couple of weeks of this practice.

Flares always lead to interesting television watching on my part, especially when I'm too fatigued to read or write. During my time at Brooke's, we ended up sucked into this show on MTV that takes vapid to an entirely new level: Paris Hilton's My New BFF. Wow. Paris Hilton has taken junior high school, playground politics to an entirely new level. People have to go through embarrassing challenges in order to prove their friendship worthiness, while Ms. Hilton makes rather arbitrary decisions about to whom she will say, "TTYN [Talk to You Never]." The show is both sickening and fascinating on a psychological level.


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