May is Lupus awareness month!
What is Lupus? Systemic lupus erythematosus (S.L.E.), commonly called Lupus, is a chronic autoimmune disorder that can affect virtually any organ of the body. In lupus, the body’s immune system, which normally functions to protect against foreign invaders, becomes hyperactive, forming antibodies that attack normal tissues and organs, including the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, and blood. Lupus is characterized by periods of illness, called flares, and periods of wellness, or remission. (http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/conditions/lupus/fact_sheet.htm)
If you read my cut and paste definition of Lupus you would conclude that it is a serious disease. And yes it is. I take it seriously in terms of taking care of myself. I stay away from the sun, I avoid stress, most especially stressful people, hehe! I eat right, I exercise. Despite my have to’s and don’t do list, I basically have a light mood towards my lupus. When I meet someone who has no idea what Lupus is, here is how I personally explain it: Because I’m crazy (pause and smile), my antibodies are crazy too and they attack my own body. Then I go into an in-depth description of how lupus affects me.
Some SLE patients may not like my nonchalant definition of lupus. They say that no 2 lupus patients are the same. They may say that I have the better version of it and that’s why I can define it in a comedic way. I disagree. I lost my 11 day old baby girl because of my lupus. I’ve been through a lot. But what will sulking and being miserable do? I believe that to make people understand, you have to show them first that you are strong, you are coping and that it is OK to have it.
It’s there, I’ve had it for years, I’m going to have it until the end of my life. You don’t let an illness define you, YOU DEFINE YOUR ILLNESS! We need to find the positive in everything. You take hold of your life. God has great plans for all of us and 1 roadblock doesn’t mean it ends there!