Monthly pedicures have become a necessary indulgence. Once, I did my own, but due to persistent lupus arthritis in my hands, eventually the day came when I conceded I could no longer manage the task myself. My options were to teach my husband how, twist my daughter’s arm, or perhaps enlist a close friend. None of these choices thrilled me.
I want a pedicure when I am ready, right then, and don’t want to wait for someone else to be in the mood. Around 30 days after the last one, when my polish is at critical mass, there is a moment when it won’t wait any longer. When my toenails are too embarrassed to show their faces in public, and wearing sandals is out of the question even in the Arizona summer heat, it is time! It seems this attitude makes me an impatient pedicure consumer! This truth is inescapable.
I was almost fifty when I treated myself to my first professional pedicure, venturing out with my daughter to her favorite salon on the day before her wedding. (How is it our kids can spend regularly on things we think we can’t afford?) Enjoying the experience and the results, especially the foot massage and the smooth heels afterward, I was hooked. Along with sparing my aching hands, I appreciated the improved health of my feet, the lack of ingrown toenails that might infect, the prevention of cracked infected heels, and the pleasure of prettier smoother feet with well polished toenails. Doing my own nails after that was never the same again!
Pedicures have now become a monthly ritual. Like this week, often my daughter can be coaxed to join me. After soaking our feet in the warm bubbling water and enjoying the relaxation of the massaging chair, we were chatting with the owner of the salon about lupus and my daughter’s psoriasis. We answered his questions while he and his employee worked on beautifying our feet. Eventually, a woman sitting on the other side of me joined the conversation by offering, “I have lupus, too.”
Our chatting continued as she shared that she had no lupus organ involvement, and I was glad for her. She informed us about her impending shoulder surgery scheduled for the next day. My thoughts and prayers have been with this fellow lupus patient this week, as she underwent her latest in a series of several joint surgeries. Accepting my business card, she responded to my inquiry that she knew no one else with lupus, and was not connected to a lupus support group or any Lupus Foundation of America resources.
I thought to myself, “I can fix that!”
I encouraged her to connect back with me later for referral to these resources and websites, while wishing her well for her surgery and her recovery to follow.
It never ceases to amaze me how often I run into other lupus patients in my random social encounters. One in every 150 people has some form of lupus, and 90% of them are women.
Look around you, one of them just might be sitting right beside you!