Monday, November 5, 2012

Welcome back to me...

I haven't written in such a long time.  Not sure where the days went.  My last vlog/blog post was April 2011.  So much has happened since then.  Where to begin??  Well I guess I should start there...the beginning.

I was in the middle of the worst lupus flare of my life...I was dying.  I was blessed enough to have my doctors send me to be seen by the wonderful doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  They confirmed many diagnoses for me as well as diagnosed some new things.  They worked out an incredible treatment plan that has essentially put me in a near remission state of being.  I lost my the job I loved and went over a year looking for a new one...and now working part-time in another department on campus is such a perfect fit for me.  They treat me with such respect and appreciation.  I am valued by my boss who recruited me for the new position.  It will be going full-time sometime after the first of the year..which helps my body adjust to the rigors of longer hours without being a huge tax on my body.

Yes, I still manage my energy because pacing myself is so important.  I rest when my body says rest.  But I can do so much more than I could when I was flaring.  I never gave up hope...the belief that I was in control of me and no matter how much my lupus was attacking me that it never had me.

I am now focusing on educating others on lupus and autoimmune issues.  So many people do not realize that people like us exist and that we are not freaks...neither are our diseases contagious.

First off...autoimmune diseases does not mean we have AIDS.  AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.  Having an autoimmune disease is where our bodies immune systems become activated to attack our own cells.  There are many theories and hypotheses as to why this happens.  The simplest way to explain is that certain factors have to come into play for someone to develop an autoimmune disease.  There are genetic/hereditary components for the vast majority, some viral infections can be part of the process...but  once it begins, it is very extremely difficult to "turn off" or put into "remission".

What illnesses/diseases are autoimmune?  It's a VERY long list.  I will name some common AIs.

Juvenile Diabetes
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Multiple Sclerosis*
System Lupus Erythematosis*
Myasthenia Gravis
Psoriatic Arthritis* 
Crohn's Disease
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Sjögren's Syndrome*
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis*
Raynaud's Phenomenom*

(and many of the above have juvenile forms as well so those are also included in this)

I's rather daunting to look at all those intimidating and frightening names of things.  See all of the ones with "*" beside them.  Those are the ones I have...and that isn't even all of them.  //sigh.

Back to better news.  I am feeling better and enjoying how my life is progressing.  I still have more changes I need to do.  Working on figuring out how to get more stamina and being more overall fit are top on the list.

I bid you all adieu.  I will chat you later. *mwah*

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