Thursday, July 25, 2013

Lupus Is ... And Isn't

Since my lupus diagnosis a couple of weeks ago, I've had the privilege of speaking to so many people about the "condition" (I hate the word "disease," so don't use it much!).

In an attempt to spread some info (and hopefully do the world some good), here's a little primer.

Lupus is...
... a sneaky little bugger. It's symptoms are often mistaken for other diseases or conditions. Or, as in my case, doctors often think those living with the condition just "need more sleep," or "more exercise."
... an autoimmune condition. It tricks the body into thinking normal tissues or cells need to be destroyed, so the immune system goes into overdrive, but turns on the body by mistake.
... highly individual. The condition expresses itself in a variety of ways - and is almost always specific to each person. This is one of reasons it's hard for doctors to diagnose and treat it.

Lupus isn't...
... a death sentence. After the condition is under control, many people live long, "normal," happy and productive lives. I plan to be one of them.
... something to be taken lightly. Although fear doesn't need to be a part of my life, awareness does. My life changes now that I have this diagnosis and I plan to take my health seriously.
... going to be "cured" by a prescription. While medication might be necessary, I plan to exhaust all lifestyle change options before I sign up for any drugs or pills.

If you'd like to learn even more about lupus, click here.

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