Symptoms & Reactions

Learning More About Lupus

Dear Diary:

I’ve been spending a good amount of time learning more about Lupus these days. I contacted my former psychotherapist in Las Vegas about the news of my Lupus diagnosis and requested a Skype session with her since I haven’t been able to find a therapist yet here in Reno. I’m having trouble trying not to overthink this–I’m vacillating back and forth between being relieved that I may finally have an answer for all the crazy health problems over my lifetime and fretting over what the new diagnosis is going to mean for my life.

The whole situation with these positive tests is trying my patience, too. Before anything can happen as far as treatment goes, I’m being sent to a rheumatologist here in Reno. Unfortunately, she’s so booked up that I can’t see her until December 20th—nearly three months from now! Apparently, that’s the norm when you’re referred to a good specialist.

Thankfully, she made time to meet with me over Skype. She told me that there is a tremendous amount of research showing that many people with a traumatic (emotionally, physically, or sexually) past, often develop autoimmune disorders as adults. Uncontrollable stress is a big variable, she said. Also, people growing up in inner city housing have high rates of autoimmune disorders and many environments are very toxic to us as children. Interesting psychological perspective. I’m not sure if I qualify for that, but I’ve been sick and stressed since I was a child.

During my Skype session, I realized that for the first time, I feel safe with my new doctors. So far, my new internist has been very attentive, taking the time to listen to all my problems. For that, I really like her. My physiatrist (pain doctor) listened to me about my hip and spine pain and took more x-rays. They both decided because my arthritis is even worse than before that I needed to be tested for autoimmune diseases. They said I was way too young to have the level of arthritis that I have.

No one in Washington, DC or Las Vegas ever said that. Apparently, it’s not an easy diagnosis to make, but given my blood tests, my history of pulmonary embolism, chronic pleuritic chest pain, bleeding issues, arthritis, etc. and my current overall physical condition, it should have been a no-brainer for them. I’m feeling so glad to have something to focus on and learning more about Lupus will be my focus for a long time to come.



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