I cannot really tell you what it felt like when I learned this fact. In a way, it was a kind of relief. For more than twenty years I thought I was fighting with various health conditions. Now I knew I was fighting one.
I am a Lupus Patient!
That one disease is Lupus.
I had a heart attack at the age of forty.It was caused by a blood disorder but the doctors a long time to realize the blood clots which caused the heart attack was ‘lupus anticoagulant disorder’, a spinoff of Lupus.I suffer from joint pain.In fact what I thought would have been a career in the Army was shortened by fallen arches.It now believed this was at least not helped by the disease.In my later years I have experienced a lack of energy, weakness, especially in my arms and legs and some years back I went through a time where I was having uncontrolled seizures.Now, I know Lupus creates all these.
I have searched online for more information to help me learn to live with this because this how you learn to deal with it.Here is what one expert offers:
First, you need to understand that the body's immune system normally makes proteins called antibodies. They are used to protect the body against viruses
Bacteria and other foreign materials. These foreign materials are called antigens, so in an autoimmune disorder such as lupus
The immune system loses its ability to tell the difference between foreign substances and its own cells and tissues. A symptom of lupus, the main problem is that immune system makes antibodies directed against self. Lupus is often called a "woman's disease" despite the fact that many men are also affected. However, the symptoms of the disease are the same in men and women.
A fact is this; I most likely picked up the disease while still in my mothers’ womb.The doctors believe she most likely had it and never know it since this was not easy to diagnose.
Another source online explains this:
Other Conditions in your case include depression, diabetes, heart conditions, fibromyalgia, obesity, epilepsy, lower back problems, depression, anxiety, other mental disorders, etc)
Well I am not overweight and I thank God for faith to keep the depression and anxiety manageable.I am currently seeing one doctor for my heart, one for my kidney malfunction and taking Peritoneal Dialysis.I also see a specialist for arthritis and I am taking about twelve or thirteen different medications at any given time for all these problems.
The following came from surveys as reported by another online service.
A LFA survey members suggests that more than half of those afflicted with lupus suffered at least four years, and saw three or more doctors before obtaining a correct diagnosis of lupus.
Nearly half of the survey participants (49%) received their diagnosis of lupus after being examined by a rheumatologist, a medical specialist who treats diseases of the connective tissue.
Four of ten lupus patients are treated by three or more doctors, and take six or more medications to treat symptoms of the disease.
After reading this I didn’t feel so alone.
Here is a list of symptoms of Lupus:
Profound fatigue, Low-grade fever, severe muscle aches and joint pain, Skin rash on face or body,
Extreme sun sensitivity, Weight loss, mental confusion, Chest pain on taking a deep breath
Nose, mouth or throat ulcers’ Enlarged lymph nodes, Poor circulation in fingers and toes, Hair loss and bald patches, discolored urine, or frequent or blocked urination.
Oh yes, did I not tell you?I go every three months to have my urethra stretched lest urine backs up and causes infection.
No single agent has been identified as causing lupus, although some research suggests that a combination of genetic, hormonal and immunologic factors may be behind it. A predisposition to developing the disease does appear to be an inherited trait.
Diagnosing lupus can be difficult because symptoms often mimic other diseases and vary from patient to patient. Your doctor will first attempt to rule out other connective tissue diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, infections and malignancy. Some of the tests your doctor may perform include a complete blood count, platelet count and serum electrophoresis to indicate the levels of white blood cells and plasma proteins. Blood testing for anti-DNA antibodies, which shows whether you have antibodies to the normal genetic material in certain cells, is the most definitive way to identify lupus.
Because this disease mimics other diseases and conditions, it is very difficult to diagnose. Keeping a record of your symptoms may be a useful tool to aid your physician in diagnosis. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) may be useful in relieving pain. If ANY of your symptoms worsen, CALL YOUR PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY!
You had better believe I will.
One last point.
When a person has lupus, the immune system goes into overdrive and can't tell the difference between some of the body's normal, healthy cells and germs that can cause infection. So the immune system responds by making auto antibodies that attack the body's normal cells.
Dear Lew: So sorry to hear of your diagnose. Hang in there and do not give up. God is making a saint out of you. Your reward will be great in Heaven. You have the faith to keep going. as He did for our salvation. I know it's tough. I am there too with many kphysical problems and much medicine. Sometime the doctors, well meaning, change our blood by doing this. Who knows, I may well have LUPUS. Another one to add to the list of many. Most of the symtons you mentioned I have. Jesus loves you. I join my prayers with yours. 'lil flower