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A lesson of strength with Lazina

A lesson of strength with Lazina

These are Lazina’s words because she is the only one who can tell her stor. I just showed up to take her photos. What a beautiful experience. Thank you, Lazina.

Her story.

July 28, 2017- I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It’s an autoimmune disease. A disease where my immune system is attacking the joints in my body. It can cripple and disable those who have it. It can leave people wheelchair bound.
Yes, July 28,
2017 was a horrific day in my life.
It was the beginning of not being able to squeeze toothpaste onto my toothbrush, open a bottle of water, do up my buttons, tie up my own shoelaces, pour water from the tea kettle, hold a glass full of liquid, write with a pen, walk without pain, wear high heels, open a packet of ketchup or bag of chips, properly cut with a knife and fork, and more.

Can you imagine not being able to do the most basic of tasks?

It was also the beginning of a new, uphill, gritty, life-altering, “dig to the depths of who you are” kind of journey for me.

That was the beginning of my journey to heal myself.

First, and most importantly, I sought medical intervention. Modern medicine is something that I now don’t take for granted. If I have to have his disease, I’m sure lucky it was 2017 and not 1917. Pharmaceuticals enable me to move my joints and my body everyday. Second, I changed my lifestyle. I upped my activity level, I moved towards an anti-inflammatory diet, I minimized (wow!) my alcohol intake, I minimized stress in my life, and so much more. Third, I gathered my support network. When s**t happens in life, you need your people. All of them. The close ones, the far ones, the ones I casually know and the ones I just met. Also, my family is far from me but not once has it felt that way- I’m a lucky daughter and sister. Last, I just happen to have the best husband in the world. His love, time and effort has brought me back to life- physically, emotionally and mentally.

I wanted to visually document this milestone in my life so I could always remember that within one year of hearing pretty awful news, I overcame this obstacle.

I’m not going to be crippled. I won’t be deformed. I’m not going to suffer & wither away like RA sufferers did 40, 50, 60 years ago.
I’m strong. I’m healthy. I’m happy.
I’m in remission.
Thank you beautiful @emilieiggiottiphotos for capturing me.

Stories like Lazina’s story are why I do what I do.

Her images.

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Thank you for trusting me, Lazina!

xoxo

Emilie