What Lupus Means To Me 5/23/14

Lupus always makes things in life interesting but you have to keep on going on and keep a positive outlook on life. You make jokes where you can and learn to appreciate the little things that some people may not think to be as celebratory. I have always said that you need to learn how to play a poor hand well. You are dealt the hand you are given and you can either fold or keep playing. I choose to keep going, I don’t see any other way. There are many things that have changed over the past couple of years. People always say “Oh I’m sorry you have this.” or ask “If you could wish it away would you?” I am not sorry I have this, I believe this is part of me and part of my character. I have had some struggles but the fight has made me stronger and has made me who I am. I believe that I can help people understand this disease and get the word out there. Just getting the word out there will help so many other people. People like me get looks when we tell people what we have because not everyone knows what Lupus is. When I try to explain it to them, they get this kind of puzzled look on their face. We are fighting a battle of what the Lupus Foundation has labeled the cruel mystery. I would love to get the recognition out there that other diseases have.

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Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, lungs, heart and nervous system. With lupus your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. When I was in sixth grade I began to have severe joint pain and swelling. My symptoms now are: joint pain do to my Rheumatoid Arthritis (painful and swollen joints with edema), Malar Rash, fatigue, Raynaud’s, Sjogren’s, photosensitivity, abnormal blood counts (anemia), pain in chest on deep inspiration (Pleurisy), Pericarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart), hair loss, Lupus headaches, mouth or nose ulcers, and as of just recently neurological symptoms.

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