Who isn’t disease phobic? Especially, diseases that are not familiar to our ears. It is tough living with the condition that we know will eventually take away the kind of life we used to live.
Systemic lupus erythematosus or commonly known as lupus is a disease that was said not to be rare but is not so popular among most of us. According to Lupus Foundation of America, around 1.5 million Americans, mostly women, and at least 5 million worldwide are affected by this disease.
How would you feel after hearing from your doctor you got lupus or someone in your family is diagnosed with lupus? It immediately gives you that fear. Questions and suspicions start to linger over your head. This abiding sense of ours to worry is what gives us the feeling of fear and anxiety. But should we really fear lupus?
It’s okay to feel the fear but never live in fear.
It’s not easy, but fear can be overcome. It is something that doesn’t happen overnight, but a process that begins with awareness. From awareness, you can draw strength that will give you the willingness to accept the situation you are already in. Don’t let your fear keep you stuck in black-and-white thinking of feeling sorry for yourself. Don’t let it hold you back from living a life that is still joyful and fruitful.
It’s not just you.
It may seem a bit of a shock but it’s true, even the rich, beautiful, and famous can have this frightful disease. There are celebrities who have come out in the open about their disease. Selena Gomez who just had chemotherapy and kidney transplant, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, and Toni Braxton to name a few.
Even the late Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos died in 1989 from complications with lupus. Their status in life did not excuse them. Lupus takes a toll in their everyday life. They too have their fears, but some have learned to face them and break the clouds from this misfortune by funding research and raising awareness.
Clear that gray cloud over your head.
Lupus will require you to change your lifestyle. Hearing this is quite fearful in itself, but not with the open and clear mind. The doctor says be less active, but not inactive. There are still some activities you can enjoy that are not that strenuous. You can do yoga, swimming, walking, and stretching.
In fact, Dr. David Wofsy, MD, a professor of medicine at the University of California recommends low-impact activities. You may do exercises on flexibility, strengthening, aerobic, and body awareness. These exercises not only can improve your mental health, but also reduce fatigue and lessen the side effects of medications you are taking.
Though helpful, exercises are planned under the supervision of your medical doctor. Avoid straining yourself too much, because too much of anything can worsen your health condition.
It may be hard, painful and fearful. Turn that fear into the strength that invites awareness and acceptance. That will sustain you.