Today, 10th May is the 16th World Lupus Day and this year May is Lupus Awareness Month. Those annual events aim to gain attention to lupus and its impact on the live of millions of individuals and families around the world.
“Lupus is an autoimmune disease. In a healthy immune system, the body produces antibodies which destroy unhealthy cells such as bacteria, viruses and foreign waste. However, lupus causes an overactive immune system to produce auto antibodies which attacks healthy body tissue. This can affect most parts of the body including any organ.” Systemic lupus is the most popular type in which any organs can be affected, such as heart, lungs, kidneys, brain and skin. As statistical data, there are currently around 5 million lupus patients in the world of which 90% are female. “Symptoms of lupus include fatigue, fever, headaches, sensitivity to light and hair loss. People with lupus may also have a butterfly shaped rash across their cheeks and nose. Fatigue is one of the main symptoms affecting about 80% of people with lupus.” Currently, there is still no exact conclusion about reasons and treatment for lupus. (From http://www.whathealth.com)
That’s been more than 13 years since the day I was diagnosed that I have lupus after several months wich typical symptoms including hair loss, weight loss and fatigue. My kidney was attacked by my own immune system at that time, when I was just 15. I had to stop everything for a year to focus on the treatment saving my kidney. It has actually changed my life. After its flame, I suffer everyday its symptoms from fatigue, cramp, joint pain, quickly get exhausted, I become really sensitive to sunlight that can really quickly knock me out. Those symptoms are not clearly visible for others.
I have known someone who are also with lupus. We suffer everyday its symptoms that are different from ones to ones, but pain and hurt is as same. Unfortunately, those people, one by one, passed away after struggling with lupus. Everytime I got updates about them, it damn hurt and make me afraid of, honestly.
Two years ago I gave up everything – my family, friends, job etc. in Vietnam and moved to Europe where the weather is good for lupus patients. It is actually better for me here than in a tropical country like my home country, even though I suffer and fight against lupus alone everyday. Anyway, everyday I wake up, as long as I can still function, it is good; although my body cannot work as perfectly as normal people.
Lupus is a mysterious disease and all lupus patients are mysterious warriors. I’ve been fighting for years and not stopped hoping. Lupus, I have you but you don’t have me!