We have a bittersweet relationship..lupus and I. What is lupus? According to lupus.org lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years.
Lupus effects my skin and joints. I know some people that have to deal with lupus attacking their entire body. That’s why I say it’s bittersweet because it could be worse and it motivates me to continue a healthy lifestyle. I remember going to multiple doctors trying to figure out why my skin was changing and no one knew anything. It was a scary and frustrating time. I was alone and away at college trying to keep it together but I was terrified. I finally found a doctor that basically tested me for every disease under the sun and that’s when we discovered that I had lupus. I was devastated. Everyone that I knew with lupus was going through hell and was on some type of medicine with side effects that seemed unbearable. I am the type of person that hates medicine and feeling sick. Well no one likes to feel sick but you know how there are some people that will be sick and not know until it’s really bad? Yea no..I’m not them..give me a slight headache and I’m on the floor. Common cold and I’ll swear it’s walking pneumonia. My poor rheumatologist has to deal with the most but he gets me and I’m grateful..Dr. Ali..Dr. Ali is calm and cool. On our first visit I told him about my lifestyle change and I told him that I did not want to take medicine. He agreed to test out me eating all natural and exercising instead of taking medicine. I am proud and blessed to say that I have never taken medicine for lupus!
Eating all natural is one part. Eating all natural means no processed foods, eliminate anything with the word artificial in its ingredients..like Dr. Ali says “Why would you want to eat something that says it’s fake anyway?”..and nothing enriched (bread, crackers, etc.) I also don’t drink soda. I won’t lie it was easier to follow Dr. Ali’s rules because I had changed my lifestyle but it did make me more strict with sticking to it. Stress is a HUGE part of it. I remember I lost a family member and my test came back horrible. The scores were so bad that Dr. Ali was about to put me on medicine but I begged him to let me calm down and come back to take tests again. It didn’t matter that my diet was good if my emotions weren’t. This is the hardest part about having lupus because how can one expect you to stay calm all of the time? In traffic..experiencing loss..can’t find your car keys..I mean seriously! I am practicing meditation and yoga to help stay calm..key word practicing..reading books about it..trying my best to zen my way through life. Woosah.
Oh how I miss working out in the sun! We are very sensitive to the sun. Sun exposure causes many things like flare ups and will have me looking like a Dalmatian if I have too much of it. I just suck it up and exercise outside in the morning or evening. You have to be thankful for what you are able to do. I can still go to the beach and festivals but I’ll just be carrying a huge umbrella..southern belle style..
For all my people with lupus..keep your head up! I know some days really suck but you can get through it. Try to not let the pain stop you from being active and exercising. Please make the necessary changes to your diet. I don’t know if you will be able to get off of medicine if you are on it but I know that you will start feeling better. Your test will more than likely improve..trust me your body needs all the help that it can get! “But Tonnisha healthy food is expensive.”..and how much is your medication?..
Purple Reign is for everyone not just for people with lupus. You need to eat healthy. You need to watch your sun exposure. Too much sun exposure isn’t good for anyone. You also need to eliminate anyone or anything that is causing you stress. Lupus has taught me that my peace is priceless. Your peace is priceless. So guard it..in the most zen way as possible.