Lupus may be life threatening but it is definitely not the end of the world. I have to remind myself of this because my mom, who took care of me during my worst of flare ups, would have me bedridden if she had her way.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks itself, instead of protecting the body against invaders that would make us sick. Before I was diagnosed with lupus in 2004, I was a very active and ambitious person. I’m still ambitious but lupus cut my active lifestyle to the quick.
Before lupus, I enjoyed the summer months and aerobic exercise. Now, extreme heat and sunlight exposure in addition to physical exertion, are surefire ways of getting a flare up. Lupus flares are different with each sufferer which is why it’s important to know what your “red flags” are.
The average lupus flares consists of chronic fatigue and achy joints & muscles. Other flares are more serious which involves the damage or potential damage of internal and/or external organ systems. Staying in communication with your specialist is important in addition to becoming your own advocate, when it comes to your healthcare.
Developing an “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” mentality regarding lupus, you will feel more empowered as you learn more about the disease, and less depressed. You quality of life will change which will bring about depression, and that’s normal.
The remedy for that is to try what you used to do differently, or find an alternative. The worst mistake you can make is to become stagnant, which is so easy to do. We know what being stagnant physically does to the body, but what about the mind?
Lupus is the most misunderstood disease, because your symptoms may mimic another disorder. If you are in my situation where you have critics or fearful people around you, we have enough on our plate already dealing with this fact.
So, let’s spend the rest of our time finding ways to live our lives the way we want, considering the activity will not cause a flare up. People say it’s not over until the fat lady sings. Don’t let her sing just yet–put her on a diet.