Today is World Lupus Day. And yes I know the prompt word for today is Diverse. And yes I know that some of you may be thinking to yourselves-what does Lupus have to do with the word diverse?
So let me explain…
According to the dictionary, the word Diverse means: 1. of a different kind, form, character, etc.; unlike, and 2. of various kinds or forms; multiform. Got the just of it?
Now back to Lupus…
Just as people all over the U.S. will wear many shades of purple today in honor of world lupus day, those affected by lupus often come in many shades and forms as well.
We are a diverse country. It is a diverse disease. The two coexist.
Lupus is a global health problem, a worldwide disease that affects approximately 1.5 million people of all nationalities, races, ethnicities, genders and ages, in just the U.S. alone. Lupus, unlike any other disease I know, can affect ANY part of the body in ANY way at ANY time. It is often unpredictable and almost always leaves a life-changing result.
Its impact on one individual is unlike the next. No two cases of lupus are EVER the same. Lupus is diverse because it indeed comes in various forms. You have Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, the most common form of Lupus, that affects ones internal organs. And then you have Neonatal Lupus, affecting newborns and infants. Drug Induced Lupus that brings on lupus symptoms to individuals as a reaction to a prescribed drug- often lasting up to 6 months. Then there is Discoid Lupus Erythematosus, one of the 4 forms of lupus that affects the skin and causes scarring.
Do you know of any other disease that requires you to have at least four of the criteria/symptoms from a list of (11) common criteria, or measures? Yeah, me neither. And because this disease is so diverse and so unique, it is often hard to diagnose. Thus leaving individuals with unanswered questions, susceptible to test after test after test in order to filter out what it is (not), and tons upon tons of medical bills due to emergency room visits, hospital stays, and routine blood work. Sometimes it can take YEARS before an individual receives a diagnosis.
But sometimes that’s just how the cookie crumbles.
Let’s learn about how Diverse lupus really is. Let’s all get to KNOW LUPUS one day at a time!