My name is Pam. Four years ago, I was diagnosed with lupus and was forced to quit my job due to the illness and side effects from medicine. One day, I was taking the garbage out and was looking at an empty dog food bag thinking how much of a shame it was to throw away something so cute. I decided to see if I could make a tote out of it, and my business, Dirt Road Crafts, was born. I now use recycled materials to make totes and aprons.
My illness is a horrible one. When I tell people I have lupus, a lot of people don’t know what that is. I’ve used my time at markets not only to sell my totes (which is how I pay for meds), but to educate the public about this devastating disease.
I have a hard time walking some days and all my joints swell, I have a lot of skin issues and Lupus has also not been kind to my lungs and heart. It’s so hard to plan ahead for anything. I never know if I’m going to be able to walk or breathe tomorrow when I wake up, much less next month. It has changed my life so very much, but some good has also come from it.
Because I now have my own business, I can work at 3 a.m. when I can’t sleep, or I can skip a couple of days if I need to. My oldest daughter and I have become like best friends through all this. She is my next door neighbor and helps me when I can’t help myself.
We have learned to laugh at the small things, and sometimes even the big things. I always say life is way too short to be grouchy! I’ve really learned to say I can instead of finding reasons why I can’t.
I have five beautiful grandchildren and two awesome daughters, and some very close family and friends who tell me they are so amazed at how well I handle things, but I just feel like I’m doing what I have to do to survive.
Please check out my totes at etsy.com/shop/pamsdirtroadcrafts and please educate yourself about lupus and the devastating effects it has on a body.