Thursday, October 15, 2009

Living with Lupus

Two and a half years ago I was diagnosed with lupus. I can't believe that it has been that long. It is a hard disease to understand, hard to diagnose and hard to live with. For those who do not know what lupus is an autoimmune disease of the connective tissues. It occurs mainly among middle-aged women, characterized by skin eruptions, joint pain, recurrent pleurisy, and kidney disease, among other symptoms. It is a disease that flares and has times of remission.

So you may be asking yourself what causes this disease. Well, they really don't know. They know that you can have genes that give you the predisposition to develop it. Usually something triggers it. For me it was having my first child. After having my daughter is when my symptoms started, although I did not realize it at the time. I was told by my OB-GYN that the symptoms that I was having was "just the way my body was". I was patted on my knee and told I was fine. After my pregnancy with Andrew is when it got extremely worse, and was later diagnosed. I thought that every mom was tired. By this time I had three kids to take care. Of course my body hurt, I was always toting something or someone. I had sores in my mouth because of stress...I have three kids. I have headaches because, you guessed it...I have three kids. They do make noise, you know. So, I went to my PCP for the ulcers in my mouth. He said it seemed like I had "some sort of autoimmune thing going on". Those were really his words! He sent me to a specialist who asked a bunch of questions, and asked me to tell him everything that bothers me, even if I don't think it is unique or important. He then decided that I probably have lupus. More blood work was done, I was put on medication. At first the meds really helped. I was able to walk up the stairs without having to nap afterwards. Most of the sores went away. What I thought was a heat rash didn't appear as often. He also told me of precautions to take to help myself not flare as bad. Those things are pretty much taking my meds on time twice a day, taking vitamins, staying out of the sun, and resting a lot.

As for me right now, I am in constant pain, have constant sores in my mouth, am always tired, have a light molar rash on my face (can be covered by makeup), headaches, and am extremely sensitive to the sun and to heat. All that said, my lupus is controlled right now by medication. It is not getting worse, as in it is not attacking my liver or kidneys. I know I am blessed by that.

Lupus has no cure. They have medication that can help control its symptoms. They said mine was caught early, and so if I stay on my medication I should be able to avoid my organs being damaged by it. Let me restate this...I know that I am blessed. I could have a form of lupus that made it completely impossible for me to take care of my family. God gives me the strength I need. He understands my pain like no one else can. He catches each one of my tears (Psalm 56:8). He has a plan that is not to harm me, but to give me hope (Jer. 29:11). I hold true what the Psalmist said in chapter 147: He will heal my broken heart over this and bind up my wounds (v3), He is mighty in power (v5a), His understanding has no limits (v5b), He grants peace (v14).

Some days are harder than others. It seems that I am having more hard days since moving to Texas, and leaving my family and support group three hours away. I appreciate their prayers, and know that God is still God. He is God over lupus, and every other disease. He cares, and He will give me what I need, when I need it. I serve an awesome God. He is my Lord, and what I choose to put my hope and trust in.

No comments:

Post a Comment