Twenty years ago, when my wife was diagnosed with it, the life expectancy was — possibly a normal life expectancy.
Karen was in pain, she was weak, she tired out quickly. One doctor dismissed her symtoms as being “in her head.” She made an appointment with a different doctor in the same clinic. He didn’t know what it was for sure, but he was suspicious of the rash and sent her to a dermatologist. The dermatologist identified the disorder and lined her up with a specialist in Little Rock.
She was diagnosed with lupus and other related disorders, including fibromyalgia and polymiositis. Fortunately, through the care of this doctor and doing what she is supposed to do, she has been in medicated remission for many years. When she backs too far off of the meds, symptoms start to reappear, so she must maintain a low level dose of them. She does have pains related to the disorders and she isn’t able to build strength easily — it has to be slow and gradual. Other than that, though, she lives a normal and healthy life.
Today, she went to a dermatologist for a small rash that has been rather stubborn. It turns out is is probably related, so she is going to have to be a little more careful with staying out of the sun and/or using sunscreen.
It was the same dermatologist that diagnosed the lupus on August 23, 1988. It was the first time she’s been back since he referred her to the specialist.
How cool is that?
Note: the picture above was taken last September about a mile out on a trail in Canyonlands National Park.