Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It will be okay

My friend Tracy called me last night because a good friend of hers has been diagnosed with lupus. It got me to thinking about when I was first diagnosed. I remember feeling relieved. I'd been feeling sick for so long, I was sure that I had some deadly disease and no one would figure out what was wrong with me until my autopsy.

When I was diagnosed, I wanted to thank my doctor. I think I probably did thank him. It's hard to remember. It was so long ago.

When someone gets diagnosed with lupus, that person could feel a whole range of emotions. Tracy said her friend was upset and worried she would die from lupus.

It's very common to be scared and think that lupus is a death sentence. The truth is that actually most people with lupus go on to live a normal lifespan. Lupus in most cases is very inconvenient and uncomfortable but not deadly. The key to successful lupus life management is seeing your rheumatologist or other doctor regularly and following your course of treatment as directed. The prognosis in lupus is mostly dependent on whether or not you have organ involvement.

The key in not being scared is talking to your doctor about your fears. Say to your doctor, "I'm scared this thing will kill me." Your doctor should and will most likely be frank and honest about your condition. In my experience, if something is going to kill you, your doctor will let you know. If your doctor hasn't told you that your prognosis is poor, it likely isn't.

Take care and live lupie!


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