Today the theme for the 30 day Health Writer’s challenge focuses on an important message that needs to be shared about lupus. Those who are newly diagnosed with Lupus often are very shaken emotionally, and often very unsure what the diagnosis will mean to their life. For me, it was a great relief to finally have a name for my illness, and with learning I had lupus came hope it could be treated and that I might soon feel better.
However, a newly diagnosed patient has many questions, partly fueled by misinformation and misunderstanding in our own minds and that comes at us from other well-meaning people. It is critical to understand at the beginning that lupus is manageable!
How should a newly diagnosed patient respond? Learn about your lupus! Ask your doctor questions, and go to reliable sources of correct and up-to-date patient focused medical information about lupus. One of the most comprehensive and trustworthy sources for current lupus information is the Lupus Foundation of America. Their web site, http://www.lupus.org is the definitive authority on Lupus.
After your diagnosis, the perspective you take on your lupus will have a significant part in shaping the quality of your life. Remember that you are a person who also happens to be patient with lupus, and that lupus need not become the focus of your life. Lupus is only one thing, and it is important to keep it in its proper place and focus. Keeping a sense of balance is critical to not becoming a victim of your illness.
So, learn about your lupus. Learn about the treatments available to you, and find out enough so you understand what is going in on in your medications and other treatment approaches. Learn about what you can to do help yourself be healthier. Value and communicate with your support circle. Keep in charge of your treatment, be your own advocate for getting appropriate medications and medical care for your lupus, and don’t let having lupus get you down unnecessarily.
Remember that lupus is not the only thing, it is only one thing! Your life should not revolve around your lupus more than is necessary. Keep your balance, keep your perspective, and keep calm and carry on. Lupus is manageable!