I ate oatmeal for dinner yesterday. Sometimes I eat oatmeal when I’m hungry but don’t feel like cooking. Living alone and not having to prepare meals for anyone but yourself can result in some unusual eating habits. Yesterday, though, I had a fridge full of food- specifically beef and bell pepper stir fry over white rice. I’d cooked it the night before and then tucked it away in the corner of the refrigerator.
Smart musicians don’t play concerts on an empty stomach.
I went with the oatmeal over the beef stir fry not by choice, but because lupus had decided to have a raging party in my stomach. That’s ok; if I had to rank all of my lupus symptoms, I’d list stomach issues as one of the least unsettling (pun intended). Throwing up occasionally won’t ruin my day, and as inconvenient as running to the bathroom is, it’s far less debilitating than fatigue, insomnia, or brain fog.
On the bright side, at least I’m getting some exercise.
An hour and a half before I had to get up on stage with four of my colleagues and make Mozart’s G Minor Quintet after three rehearsals sound easy, I decided solid food wasn’t for me. Nowhere in my part had Mozart indicated that the violist should run offstage holding her stomach.
That kind of theatrics is for contemporary composers.
My disease has disappointed me and crashed the party many times throughout my life- but oatmeal will never let me down.
Just as I had hoped, oatmeal for dinner quelled the riot in my gut. The Mozart flew by with no awkward breaks. As I walked off stage with the rest of the ensemble, I mentally patted myself on the back for finding the perfect panacea.
This program brought to you by Quaker Oats.
When I was first diagnosed eight years ago, I would have felt quite differently about eating oatmeal for dinner. Frightened by the disturbing symptoms that mysteriously come and go, I kept myself afloat by imagining a future in which the fatigue had disappeared into thin air and the nausea had faded to a memory. I wanted my life back. I wanted to be normal again.
Eight years later, my definition of normal has shifted, mutated, stretched to include whatever my life is now.
Will I ever be able to just go play a concert without some sort of minor emergency beforehand? Doubtful.
Will I ever get to stop putting up with this stupid disease and just live my life?
Will I ever reach a point where I accept that I have limitations and find ways to work around them?
I’m getting better everyday.