May is Lupus Awareness Month. I should have used this space to post facts about lupus to increase awareness and knowledge of the disease. I should have used my blog to promote the annual lupus walk as I’ve done in the past. But I didn’t. I didn’t because I’m angry at lupus; I’m sick of it making everything in life hard. Standing to give a lecture or clean my classroom should not be physically difficult. I’m only 30. My doctor shouldn’t be telling me to exercise less.
I know I’m being a big baby. Yes, I have lupus but I am very fortunate. I’ve had no serious complications with my kidneys or other major organs. I’m very healthy, all things considered. But sometimes I just feel like being a big baby.
I regret not teaching you all more about lupus this month. For those of you in Birmingham, please consider participating in Walk for Lupus Now, which will be held on Saturday, June 11 at Heardmont Park. Click here for more information.
For those of you who don’t live in the Birmingham area, click here to find a walk in a city near you.
Read on for a few facts about living with lupus.
- The most common symptoms of lupus are: extreme fatigue or exhaustion, headaches, painful or swollen joints, fever, a butterfly-shaped rash across cheeks and nose, sun- or light-sensitivity, and hair loss.
- Only ten percent of people with lupus will have a close relative who already has lupus or may develop lupus. Some people with lupus also will have a relative who has lupus or another autoimmune disease.
- Most people with lupus experience joint pain. Those living with lupus can have arthritis, but lupus isn’t a form of arthritis.
Side note: The word wolf is cognate with Latin lupus, hence the title of this post.