Patience, Girl, Patience

I think my leg is making tiny improvements!  The redness has backed away from the line a little bit, and it doesn’t hurt near as much as a couple of days ago.  This is the creeping resolution of a cellulitis.  I don’t think any changes in treatment are needed, just patience, which I have more of now that I’ve lived with lupus for almost 16 years.  I don’t recommend getting a chronic disease as the way to develop patience, but it can be very effective.  A friend sent me an article today that reminded me to talk about some issues in the treatment of lupus.  I realize that I’ve talked alot about medications, because those are the things that are changing in my treatment right now.  Traditional prescription medications are the mainstay of treatment, since they stop inflammation quickly and prevent damage to organs and subsequent disability, but they can be supplemented with a number of measures.  Some of these are preventive, some are additive:

 

1.  Avoid sun exposure.  UV light can cause lupus to flare.  High-SPF sunscreen is essential for the exposures you can’t avoid, and that means year-round, whether your skin is light or dark.  If you are allergic to chemical sunscreens, like me, you can wear sun protective clothing and brush on a mineral makeup or a sun block like zinc oxide.

2.  Cut down on protein intake, and make as much of it as possible nonanimal sources. 

3.  Take anti-inflammatory supplements like curcumin(tumeric) and ginger.

4.  Eat onions and garlic for their anti-infective properties. 

5.  Use alternative pain control methods like acupuncture. 

6.  Increase Omega-3 fatty acid intake by using olive oil as your only cooking oil.  “Lite” flavored olive oils can work fine for baking or where you don’t want the heavy flavor.  Spreads like Smart Balance have no trans-fats and provide the proper Omega 3:6 ratio. 

7.  Follow all American Heart Association guidelines regarding reducing risk factors for heart disease, since lupus causes early atherosclerosis and a significant increase in cardiac and cerebrovascular events.

All of these measures are things that I have personally tried, and most are part of my daily habits now.  Many are things that I have learned through my own research.  As you would expect, when you go to a traditional rheumatologist, you may not be given the whole spectrum of treatment options.  You owe it to yourself to be as informed about your disease as possible.  That does NOT include believing every paragraph that you read on the internet.  When someone sends you something they read about lupus, take the time to verify the source and the validity of the information.  It just takes 5 minutes to go to http://www.snopes.com/ and type in the title or a few key words to see if that information is good.  Another route is to stick with information you find on valid medical websites, not information that consists of purely anecdotal reports.  The Lupus Foundation, http://www.lupus.org/, is a good place to start.

 

On a whole different note, after I wrote my environmental post last week, I grabbed a ball of undyed organic cotton off the shelf and decided to turn it into an infant sweater.  I started to knit with it but realized that it was just too plain-jane and drab.  I tried both stockinette and garter stitches with the same result–it just wasn’t pretty enough for a baby.  With the oatmeal color and unremarkable texture, that yarn needs dressing up.  I finally tried making little 2×2 squares:  knit 2 purl 2 for two rows, then reversing it to purl 2 knit 2 for 2 rows, and so on.  It is beautiful on this yarn, giving just the right texture and some depth to the color.  I’m trying a technique that is new to me, designing it from the bottom of the back, knitting up to the armhole level, adding sleeves on both sides, and going on to the front, all in one piece.  I’ll start photos when it’s a little more developed.  This should be fun!

Okay, so thanks for the prayers and good wishes.  They are working.  I won’t be borrowing my sister’s hatchet to amputate the leg (under the influence of plenty of morphine of course). 

Peace!

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4 Responses

  1. OK, aside from this being like sermons in church where you know where the bon mot is aimed – Morphine wears off! Here, take a swig of whiskey and bite down hard on that rag, m’girl! We’ll have fun storming the castle – I Promise!

  2. Thank goodness you’re not bringing out the hatchet. That would be just to messy!

  3. Please stay away from the hatchet – the idea of it makes me nervous. Unless you are using it to storm the castle….

    Bless you for mentioning snopes.com. I’ve gone there countless times!

  4. you live with lupus for 16 years ? wow! and here i am wondering if i am going to see my little girl grow up. i got my lupus when i was 23, i am now 28.

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