Friday, April 15, 2011

Lupus Smart! Me Stupid!

(The title of this post should be read aloud in your most caveman like voice)

I did something kind of stupid the other day. It was a gorgeous day out, so I decided to go for a run. I’m not a runner, but I decided to run a block and then walk for two or three and then run again. I’m not sure exactly how far I went on my run/walk, but it was kind of far.

Well, on Monday I woke up with my legs feeling totally obliterated, like they had been run through a paper shredder. When I got up, my right arm was totally numb. And I have this sore on my lip; it’s like a bump, but the middle of it is cracked. It’s basically like a characteristic lupus mouth sore, but on the outside.

The other nice souvenir I got from my attempt at running was a fabulous reaction to the sun. My skin was not only hot and red, but it looked like I had a rash in just about all of the places that were exposed. That night, the redness had spread. This is a pretty classic lupus reaction to the sun.

So why I wasn’t I prepared for these classic lupus symptoms? First off, these were not symptoms that I had when I was first diagnosed with disease. Second, over the winter months, I was focused primarily on my arthritis, because for me, these illnesses are somewhat seasonal (watch for an upcoming post about this topic). Third, I think that for a minute, I forgot that I had lupus.

Here is the evidence to prove number three:

Last week was one of the most productive in awhile. Nearly more productive than the rest of the semester combined. I’ve been on fellowship, trying to get my dissertation together, and dealing with people who don’t want to work within my timeline. But this week, I was able to move forward on things. So I submitted two papers for publication, submitted two funding applications, completed my Institutional Review Board application for my dissertation research, finished my syllabus for the class I am teaching spring term, and prepared to send off the final draft of my prospectus to my dissertation committee. I also read four books, but I’m not quite sure how I managed to do all of this.

The problem with productivity is that, at least for me, there needs to be balance. So honestly, this week, I have spent most of it on the couch. I haven’t been in this much physical pain in awhile. And my emotional state probably hasn’t helped much (more on that in an upcoming post).

Last week was a classic example of the way my entire life used to be pre-illness. Doing 25 things in a day, staying up late working or reading, and putting the pedal to the metal. And now I am paying for it. BIG TIME!

There’s part of me that feels like this flare kind of snuck up on me. And then as I go back and read this post, all I can do is shake my head. I’m an idiot. This flare didn’t sneak up on me. I practically asked for it. I had it coming.

I pushed my body, and my body pushed back. No surprise there!

Whenever I try and act like I don’t have lupus, guess what?

Lupus takes me to task and reminds me that I do in fact have lupus, and that it actually does have a pretty strong hold on my life.

It’s amazing how easy it is to fall off the wagon, and it’s even more amazing how easy it is to forget how to get back on.


  1. Sigh.
    And Amen.
    Hope you get some good rest and feel a bit better soon.

  2. Oh I feel your pain. We always get "reminded" when we over do it! Get some rest and feel better soon.

  3. Ack, I know how you feel! It really does stink to have those blissful "normal" moments only to be slapped in the face with reality afterwards. Usually for me it involves not getting enough sleep, followed by a week or more of feeling foggy and awful. Staying up late to watch Conan is never REALLY worth that, but I tend to forget it fairly frequently!!

  4. I may have had a similar couple of days although not so extreme. I need to remember this every spring. The arthritis symptoms fade a tiny bit as it warms up and i get out in the yard and do some gardening - digging, bending, pulling, carrying. In the sun. Yup - every time.

  5. Shoot...I hate being reminded...sometimes!

  6. Oh boy, can I relate. I get lulled into a false sense of "normal" pretty often, and then am actually puzzled when the disease comes and whacks me. Sorry it happened to you!

  7. I hate it when I start feeling normal and then overdo it. My wife warns me but I don't do such a good job at listening!

  8. wish you be given strength and healing of your lupus

  9. So glad you wrote this. I wrote on this subject today because of it... My first! :-)

  10. Oh, how many times have I had a similar experience with my migraines...

    Chronic illness has a way of reminding us that we really have no control over our bodies. And (at least for me) it's taught me, over and over, the importance of balance in my life.

    Hoping that you get past this flare soon. *hugs*

  11. Dont you just hat feeling tired all the time?