Guest Blogger – Sharon Teaches us about Lupus

One month from now I will be in Detroit with many of my family and friends for the Alliance for Lupus Research’s Detroit walk to raise money for Lupus research! I mentioned before that my best friend, Sharon, has lived with lupus for some time now. Team Cakesy, our walking group, has collected nearly $2,000 already and is hoping to raise at least $1,000 more in the next month! We certainly have our work cut out for us!! Please check out the link at the bottom to make a donation!

I want to say thanks to Rhapsody for leaving this in the comments for the Team Cakesy blog post of a letter I wrote about Sharon:

Perhaps you can do a blog on MSN breaking it down, what it is, what it affects and how, in simple layman terms. What are the symptoms? I know i sound naive and I can probable google it though sometimes the clinicalness of the writing sometimes water down the powerful impacts. Give it to me from your perspective. The “I” vision is always powerful.

Great suggestion!! I had Sharon do a write up for me, so lets give her a round of applause and welcome her to Windows Live Spaces!!

Sharon Teaches us About Lupus

The first time that I heard of lupus was on the “Martin” sitcom when someone made a joke about Santa Claus having lupus due to his spotty hair. The joke tickled me then and I can definitely relate to Santa’s spotty hair now.

Lupus is a tricky disease because its symptoms mimic those of other diseases. The line between Crohn’s Disease and lupus is blurred just like the line between Irritable Bowel Syndrome. My doctors thought that I both of these diseases before I was correctly diagnosed with lupus at age 22. My diagnosis took two years. Nowadays, I hear the average time to make an accurate diagnosis is four years. That’s a terrible thing.

Lupus flares occur when the body’s good antibodies turn on each other and fight. A healthy person’s antibodies fight off colds and other maladies whereas a person with lupus antibodies’ fight each other. When there are no or minimal signs of lupus symptoms then the disease is said to be in remission.

Lupus can attack any organ in the body including the skin, eyes, heart, nerves, liver and kidneys. The symptoms range just as far. They include feeling fatigued, anemia, muscle pain, purple fingers and toes, bruising easily and rashes.

There are two forms of lupus, systemic and discoid. Systemic lupus is of the blood and discoid lupus is a skin disorder. In order to accurately diagnose lupus, bloodwork has to be completed. If discoid lupus is suspected then a skin biopsy may be required.

There is not a cure for the disease. There aren’t any lupus specific drugs and have not been any new medications in over 50 years. There are just ways to manage it which include knowing your physical limits, keeping stress to a minimum, eating a balanced diet and staying out of direct sunlight.

Lupus is not a death sentence and folks can live healthy, full and productive lives. Additionally, some people have been in remission for decades and lupus is just a distant memory. It is all in how you take care of and nurture yourself! If you want more info about lupus: www.milupus.org

Sharon, A.K.A. Cakesy

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Item of the Day…. is…. *now for a shameless plug*…. If you would like to send a donation to Team Cakesy you can click here to do so: http://walk.lupusresearch.org/site/TR/Events/MID?px=1814235&pg=personal&fr_id=2210

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