Lupus in pictures

I’ve been underweight, I’ve been overweight. I’ve been in the hospital, I’ve been home. I’ve had rashes, I’ve had to wear joint wraps and braces. I’ve been in kidney failure … though what exactly caused that – the lupus treatment, the c. diff I ended up with from the antibiotics I was on due to the infections I got from the lack of immune system from the lupus treatment, or the lupus itself… that’s up for debate still, I think. (I need to ask my nephrologist.)

Anyway, here’s a collage of some of my pictures that show my battle with lupus.
Lupus awareness collage//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

What is lupus?

This is a lupus awareness month post, my first one of the year (and the blog).

I’m a bit behind with blogging due to my health…. but I wanted to blog about lupus.

Lupus is a struggle every day. It’s joint pain and a lot of fatigue, as well as other symptoms.

Anyway, you may be wondering what lupus is…  Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems — including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. (Definition courtesy of the Mayo Clinic.)  It is a rheumatological and autoimmune disease. What I am writing about specifically is systemic lupus, the full name for which is systemic lupus erythematosus, which is also known as SLE.

Lupus is hard to diagnose, as it mimics other illnesses and it’s disease processes can be the same as those other illnesses. It attacks organs…. and each of those organs could fail on their own, without lupus, so unless there are a bunch of failing organs doctors aren’t as likely to think lupus.

 

“but you don’t look sick”

A conversation from yesterday has been rolling around in my head. I cannot go into it, it didn’t directly involve me, but it has had me thinking that much more about how those of us with invisible illness don’t “look” sick… but we ARE!

What does sick look like? Who decides what sick looks like, whose definition are we going with?

I have invisible illnesses that can have visible symptoms (I get the malar rash with my systemic lupus). I also have illnesses that have no visible symptoms – my endometriosis is the example that comes to mind of one that I’ve been diagnosed with.

Another thing that comes to mind is that you can’t tell my blood pressure just by looking at me, but my blood pressure changing sure can do a mess to me.