Lupus: Support and Survival
Living with LupusThe many physical and emotional problems associated with Chronic Pain are not psychological in origin. This is not an "all in your head" disorder.
Lupus strikes life-long athletes as viciously as it does couch potatoes. The symptoms can be disabling and depressing, interfering with even the simplest activities of daily life.
Please think of Lupus survivors as books and remember the old saying, "Never judge a book by its cover."
Lupus survivors may look fine and healthy on the outside, but our insides are pain ridden because our vital organs are being destroyed by this disease and our minds are fogged with pain and memory problems.
We are like books .. the dust cover may be wrinkle free, brightly covered, looking new and fresh; but inside, our pages are dog eared, worn, and some pages may even be missing. But if you take the time to read us and get to know us, you will find we still have much to offer in the way of wisdom and how to deal with life!
© 2000 Brenda "Rion" Sewell
A letter to be shared with friends and family
by Theresa Stoops in Florida
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ME
My pain - My pain is not your pain. Taking your arthritis medication will not help me. I cannot work my pain out or shake it off. It is not even a pain that stays put. Today it is in my shoulder, but tomorrow it may be in my foot or gone. My pain is not well understood, but it is real.
My fatigue - I am not merely tired. I am often in a severe state of exhaustion. I may want to participate in physical activities, but I can't. Please do not take this personally. If you saw me shopping in the mall yesterday, but I can't help you with yard work today, it isn't because I don't want to. I am, most likely, paying the price for stressing my muscles beyond their capability.
My forgetfulness - Those of us who suffer from it call it brain fog. I may not remember your name, but I do remember you. I may not remember what I promised to do for you, even though you told me just seconds ago. My problem has nothing to do with my age, but may be related to sleep deprivation caused by chronic pain. I do not have a selective memory. On some days, I just don't have any short-term memory at all.
My clumsiness - If I step on your toes or run into you five times in a crowd, I am not purposely targeting you. I do not have the muscle control for that. If you are behind me on the stairs, please be patient. These days, I take life and stairwells one step at a time.
My depression - Yes, there are days when I would rather stay in bed or in the house or die. I have lost count of how many of Dr. Kevorkian's patients suffered from Chronic Pain as well as other related illnesses. Severe, unrelenting pain can cause depression. Your sincere concern and understanding can pull me back from the brink. Your snide remarks can tip me over the edge.
My stress - My body does not handle stress well. If I have to give up my job, work part time, or handle my responsibilities from home, I'm not lazy. Everyday stresses make my symptoms worse and can incapacitate me completely.
My weight - I may be fat or I may be skinny. Either way, it is not by choice. My body is not your body. My ability to control my appetite is broken, and nobody can tell me how to fix it.
My need for therapy - If I get a massage every week, don't envy me. My massage is not your massage. Consider how a massage would feel if that charley horse you had in your leg last week was all over your body. Massaging it out was very painful, but it had to be done. My body is knot- filled. If I can stand the pain, regular massage can help, at least temporarily.
My good days - If you see me smiling and functioning normally, don't assume I am well. I suffer from a chronic pain and fatigue illness with no cure. I can have my good days, weeks, or even months. In fact, the good days are what keep me going.
My uniqueness - Even those who suffer from chronic pain are not alike. That means I may not have all of the problems mentioned above. I do have pain above, below the waist, and on both sides of my body that has lasted for a very long time. I may have migraines, hip pain or shoulder pain, or knee pain, but I do not have exactly the same pain as anyone else. I hope that this helps you understand me,
I have shared these thoughts with many "Lupies", as we call our self, and they agree with me. So when you see someone at the store who gets out of the Handi-cap space and they look fine -- Do not judge them as you may Not know their Inner pain.
==== And always remember I LOVE YOU! ====
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Contact the Lupus Foundation of America or the local Chapter that serves your area for more information about lupus, or the programs and services the LFA offers including support group information and physician referral.
Lupus Foundation of America., Inc.
1300 Piccard Drive, Suite 200
Rockville, MD 20850-4303
Information gathered from :
Searching for ways to deal with the depression, the frustrations, and the questions I had about lupus, I joined a support group online. LUPIES has been a wonderful gift. I have learned more from the information I found on the support web site from other sufferers of Lupus than I did from my doctor. Thank you fellow Lupies! With a very special thank you to Deanna!
May your days be pain free!
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All literary works and original artwork by Rion on this page,
unless otherwise noted, are the sole property of Brenda Sewell.
I do not mind sharing but please ask me first.
© 1998 - 2004 Brenda "Rion" Sewell
Email me at brendarion at cfl.rr.com
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"Lupus Wolf" background made by Rion.