Monday, November 4, 2013

I had one life before getting sick and I have a completely different life now.

Last night I was in tears for hours because of the pain. Crying does nothing to relieve the intense feelings of pain but sometimes I get so overwhelmed that I can't do anything else. I'm so lucky to have parents who understand what I'm going through and give me all of their strength and love. I couldn't do any of this without them.

I'm feeling only slightly better today, but the way I'm feeling prompted me to get back into writing this blog. I put Beautiful Basics before this blog but I'm back now and hopefully I will feel well enough to keep up with both of my projects.

I think it's only appropriate to talk about the symptoms I experience in my life due to the Lupus and Fibro. It's important to understand that having both of these illnesses makes each one more difficult to tolerate. My Lupus makes my Fibro worse and my Fibro makes my Lupus worse. It's a vicious cycle that is extremely difficult to get out of and it turns my body into its own worst enemy.

Just a heads up, I'm not writing this to make you feel sorry for me. I don't want sympathy, but I do want you to understand.

Chances are, you have known someone with Lupus or heard something about it. Some people are capable of having totally normal lives with it while others have more severe cases. There are many different symptoms and each person can have a totally different experience with the illness; the same thing goes for Fibro. Each of these illnesses are completely unique based on the person they reside within.

I'm only going to graze the surface today, and we'll get more into depth with my personal symptoms at a later time.

Let's start with the Lupus, shall we? Also known as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. The Mayo Clinic defines the illness as "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."

The following graphic is amazing because it sums up the symptoms of Lupus in a much easier to understand version than I can even begin to articulate. Which ones do I experience? ALL of them, with the exception of the butterfly shaped rash across my cheeks and nose. I do get a rash on my skin when I'm out in the sun but do not have the typical, constant facial rash.

Extreme fatigue, check. Severe headaches (AKA migraines), check. I have a constant fever and the sore, painful, achy feeling that a regular person may experience when they have the flu. My hair is falling out, although my Doctor put me on two medications that have helped and I now have a ton of new hair growing in. I have Raynaud's Syndrome, which means my hands and feet turn blue/purple and lose all feeling in them when cold. I often have to put my appendages in hot water to regain feeling. You get it; I have all of the above.

Moving on to Fibro now. I found another helpful infographic. Again, it's pretty much all of the above. Let me add that both graphics forgot to add anxiety and depression.

My illnesses affect my brain more than any of my other organs and therefore cause me to have stroke and seizure like episodes. I shake and tremor and have muscle spasms. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I have broken glasses, dishes, or thrown things accidentally. I have a really hard time speaking, understanding, comprehending, and problem solving because of it. I joke around that I used to be smart, and I'm not anymore. I speak my own language these days and fortunately enough my parents have learned to decode my aphasia-riddled sentences.

I think I'm done for the day. My fingers are freezing and it's becoming ever difficult to type with the icicles that are attached to my hands. I'm hoping to post once or twice a month of this blog, so I'll see you next time!

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