Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lupus - A Bunch of Poopus.

I was recently diagnosed with Lupus.  While it is a crummy diagnosis, I am at least glad that I finally know why I have been feeling off for the last handful of years.  I really thought I was going to lose my mind.  The pain, the fatigue, swollen joints that wished me a "good morning' each and every day....all are a result of this silly autoimmune disorder that I am unlucky enough to have.  I know that my husband, friends and family must have thought I was a hypochondriac.  I was always tired and something always felt weird.  I thought..."Am I imaging this? Certainly I cannot feel bad - again!"  So, I have my diagnosis after a little blood test showed the Smith anti-bodies were positive, throw in a little Raynaud's Syndrome, swollen, painful joints, and pleurisy - and yourself got a nice little Lupus salad, dressing on the side please.  My husband has coined the term "Lupus Poopus".  I like that.  It is poopy.

Stress.  It is best avoided.  It is really best avoided when you have lupus.  I can't tell you why, but stress causes lupus flare ups.  A flare for me is extreme fatigue, painful joints and a constant pain under my left rib.  During a flare, I am worthless a good 2 - 3 days.  I have mild lupus.  I am 47, have a 5 and half year old son, a career that demands I stay on top of my game, my mother is institutionalized with Alzheimer's Disease.  I want to be a wife and mother who is engaged with the family, a devoted daughter who can take care of her parents, and successful in my chosen field.  So, no stress in my world.  Ha!  Why am I sharing this with you all?  I am certainly not looking for sympathy.  I have always approached just about every situation with a little dose of humor and sarcasm, and for the first time, I do not feel like being funny.  This is a drag.  I have mild lupus..cannot imagine what the poor souls who have full blown, chronic lupus feel like.  

No sun exposure.  What?  I am a beach loving, sunshine worshiping girl who misses living in Florida.  Sun exposure is not good for us lupers.  That is just not acceptable.  I take Plaquenil, which is an antimalarial medication that happens to help with lupus symptoms.  Now I can visit a third world country without the worry of getting malaria, and I could be pain free to boot!  The joy.  Never mind that I have had an allergic reaction to the medication.  It causes me to itch uncontrollably.  I am taking long showers with anti-itch soaps and lotions.  I smell funky.  I am really sexy these days.  However, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I can go into remission with a little time on this medication.  If I take good care of myself, I will avoid flare ups and can live a fairly normal life (I use the word normal loosely).  That is the goal.  

I've got to be better for my family, I've got to keep dancing, and I have to become my old, energetic, annoyingly hyperactive self again.  I feel deep in my bones, and believe me, I feel everything in my bones...this is a perfectly attainable goal in the next 6 months.  Things have got to change.  I need 'me' back.  I need to find the humor in everything again.  I am just not Jennifer without that.

Life is still a wonderful thing, and I am so glad to be where I am - right now!  XOXO

1 comment:

  1. You are on the right path girl!!!!!! Hugs!