World Lupus Day blog post by Iris Carden
The tenth of May is World Lupus Day. I often think the best way to “celebrate” World Lupus Day is with pain relief and a long nap.
Many people are familiar with Christine Miserandino’s Spoon Theory which explains the fatigue in lupus and related illnesses.
Today, I’d like to look at an analogy for what’s going on behind the scenes, the cause of the fatigue, pain, and worse symptoms of lupus.
Imagine your body is like a medieval castle. The royal family are the organs that keep your body functioning. Your immune system is like the knight in shining armour on gate duty. It’s his job is to stop invaders (diseases, toxins, etc) getting into the castle and causing a problem.
The problem in this castle is the knight in shining armour is hyped up on the medieval equivalent of extra strong caffeine drinks or speed, and has forgotten which side he’s on. He’s let down the drawbridge so any and all invaders can come in if they want, has stabbed the king, punched the queen and even kicked the dog.
He’s running all over the castle, causing mayhem, among people who are just trying to get on with their normal activities.
Another analogy might be a bad cold-war era spy movie. You know the type. Our immune systems are meant to be on our side, but they’re secretly double-agents working with evil against us.
That’s what’s happening in people with lupus and other autoimmune conditions. Our immune systems, which are meant to protect us, have abandoned their post and started attacking us instead.
Because the immune system is meant to protect every part of the body, it’s in every part of the body, so it’s able to attack any part of the body.
The medications we take have dangerous side-effects, but they’re necessary to calm our immune systems down, to get them back to doing their proper job. The overall result tends to be extreme fatigue, joint pain, other random annoying symptoms, with the risk of organs failing if the medication cocktail isn’t right. (Right for one patient isn’t right for another, they often need to be tweaked.)
Reference: Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino https://butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/
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Those examples make this disease much easier to understand for those of us not living it. I’m sorry you have a first hand example of those double-agents trying to bring you down. 💞
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