Thursday, November 1, 2007
A Corner of My World
If you have been reading my blog, you might have noticed that I love this time year. I look forward to turning on my accent lights. It's a little darker in the house, so you can see the glow of my night lights (that are on 24/7) placed through out my entire home as well. I light my candles, and look forward to making a hearty soup with a crusty loaf of french bread for dinner. It's time to get out those books that you have been wanting to read.
As much as I look forward to this time of year, my friend who deals with Lupus does not. The weather makes her battle with this disease even harder. Lupus, also known as systemic lupus erythematousus, or SLE, is a chronic disease of the immune system. Instead of serving its normal protective function, the immune system forms antibodies and cells that attack healthy tissues and organs.
With Lupus, there are a lot of restrictions you have to live with. You are no longer allowed exposure to the sun, and are sheltered from doing anything too tiring. It's so unpredictable, it makes it very hard to plan anything. Our friendship has had to lean on the spontaneous side of doing things. Although my friend is constantly faced with the ups and downs of living with lupus, she maintains a positive attitude. She has been an inspiration to me. I don't take the simple acts of living my life, such as; my daily walks out in the sun for granted. We had something planned for this week, we didn't know what... just anything! We miss each other, and don't like a lot of time to get in between our visits. That is important to us. I opened my e-mail late last night to see that she had sent me a quick message telling me she had to go to the hospital very early in the morning for a shot. I was told that her lupus was flaring up, as the condition often does if a person is tired and stressed. With lupus, my friend has good days and bad. We try to concentrate on the good ones and keep positive in knowing that there will be more on the way. My girl-friend has said on occasion that, "I have lupus, lupus does not have me." Her strength and wisdom amazes me. As much as I love this time of year, I try to keep in mind that it is a very hard time of year for my friend. My feelings are kept sensitive in knowing that.
What Is It?
*Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect various parts of the body, including the skin, joints, heart, lungs, blood, kidneys and brain. There currently is no cure.
*For most people, lupus is a mild disease affecting only a few organs. For others, it may cause serious and even life-threatening problems. Although epidemiological data on lupus is limited, studies suggest that more that 16,000 Americans develop lupus each year.
*Between 1.5 million and 2 million Americans have a form of lupus, but the actual number may be higher. More than 90 percent of people with lupus are women.
~ Lupus Foundation of America Inc.