A significant number of people who visit my blog find it through search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Since this blog is primarily about lupus, one might think that everyone who finds it is looking for information about lupus. While that is true for many visitors, a good number also follow links here because they are looking for images of butterflies (maybe because they like butterflies as much as I do!)
No matter why people might find this blog, I am glad that everyone can leave with greater lupus awareness. This is a place where both butterflies and lupus awareness can be found in abundance. If you want to know more about the connection between lupus and butterflies, check out my April 24, 2012 post, “Lupus and it’s mascot: butterfly or wolf?“. This quickly took the “LAward” for the most highly read post on this blog, well into tens of thousands of reads!
So, if you are one of those who found me because you were seeking butterfly images, welcome! I trust you will take a moment to learn a little more about lupus, perhaps by stopping for a few minutes to read a post or two. You will find at least one butterfly picture in every blog post.
If you want to find out more about lupus, please read the “Lupus Medical Information” page of this blog. It will take you to a page with basic information about lupus and links to more detailed authoritative information. I suggest at very least visiting the Lupus Foundation of America at www.lupus.org.
If you just want to see the pretty butterflies and don’t feel like reading about lupus, no problem! Please just click on the “Butterfly Collecting Adventures” button or browse through posts to see the butterflies on each, and enjoy.
My hope is that maybe you will do both — enjoy the butterflies and learn more about lupus!
If all you really want is a postage stamp summary of lupus, and no more, here are a few quick points:
- Lupus is a systemic connective tissue disease in the same family of auto-immune illnesses with rheumatoid arthritis affecting skin, organs and other tissues and body systems.
- Many lupus patients have skin rashes, arthritis, fatigue, mental clouding, mouth/nose ulcers, a butterfly shaped rash on their cheeks and are positive for antibodies against their own body cells such as ANA (antinuclear antibodies).
- Lupus can attack the kidneys, and is a leading cause of kidney failure. 50% of lupus patients have some level of kidney involvement.
- Lupus is difficult to diagnose, because it affects so many systems of the body, and can easily be confused with other diseases.
- Lupus affects each person differently, and can change suddenly and unpredictably in the same patient, going in and out of flares and remission.
- Although lupus is potentially fatal, if found early enough and treated properly Lupus can be well-controlled.
- Most patients can live a normal life span with little or no organ damage with standard treatments.
- Lupus is an important women’s health issue – it discriminates unfairly against women and minorities. 90% of lupus patients are women.
- Lupus is more prevalent in women of color: Hispanic, black, Asian, and American Indian women, with the highest mortality rate in elderly black women.
Lupus awareness is very important, especially for those people who don’t yet know they have lupus. For example, many people know enough about diabetes to recognize possible symptoms in another person, and would urge someone with diabetes symptoms to seek medical advice. So, also, knowing enough about lupus to recognize its common signs and symptoms in a friend or family member could make a great difference, or possibly even save her life.
Lupus awareness is very important. Although there is no cure yet, there are new and exciting medications, treatments and ongoing research that can help prevent lupus from destroying the health of those who have it. Because one out of every 150 people has lupus, it is very likely that someone you know has lupus.
Thank you so much for stopping by, even if it was just to see the butterflies. If you learned a little about lupus, even better!