I’m about to go AWOL. Again. Off base without permission. I’ve done it before and I know that there can be serious consequences so it’s not something I recommend. I ‘ve followed the rules and stayed in step for so long , the rules are beginning to grate. I’ve never been a very good rule follower or one for regimens, so I’m not sure why I signed up for this. But the more I do of it the more it starts to rub me the wrong way , every written or given order, I feel my back get up just a little bit more. My spine starts to stiffen , and not in a good way. I ‘ve fought for so long, and done things so long “their way”. “STEP IN LINE SOLDIER!!” “SHOW UP HERE 0800” , suddenly my rebellious side just starts to splash a little further over then the canteen will hold. Some of the things they have taught me have really worked . I’m doing better. I have gotten better. But some of the things have pushed me so far in the other direction I don’t like the person I’m becoming. To tell the truth it’s left me laid low. I don’t like being that person , I’m tougher than that. Am I talking about the military? Am I a Marine suddenly about to leave my duties and disgrace my country? Am I a soldier about to leave base, and turn traitor? No, I only a warrior fighting lupus, and I’ve suddenly decided that after 15 years , that after seeing more doctors than you can count , taking more medicines than you can fit in a 5 gallon bucket, literally, and being not better , but worse, I’ve decided that I am not going to do this anymore. When the meds make you sicker than the disease itself. When the pills make you so sick that you can’t get up off the bed for days on end. You can’t care for your children or family. When the IV treatments they promise are going to really put you over the top, turn out to cause you to have blood clots and maybe a stroke and seizures and who knows what. I’ve decided I’m going off base. What are they gonna do ? Throw me in the brig? I’m paying the doctors after all. Quite a hefty sum at this point. We figured up the prices the other day. After insurance , we figure our part of the bills that we’ve paid has been well over 100,000 dollars. Meaning I’ve had a million dollars worth of medical bills. I have heart failure, lupus carditis, Raynauds, Sjogrens, fibromyalgia, osteopenia,POTS, and now some type of stroke or seizure condition.I am 34 years old. I am not meaning this as like going cold turkey which I know can be dangerous, so please DON’T EVER DO THAT. I ‘m telling you don’t cold turkey your meds. I’ll tell the crazy old quacks, I do not want to do this. I mean I just have GOT to give my body a break from this chemical firestorm. So that’s the story of a tired old warrior. I’m going to rest for a while.