Friday, March 18, 2011

Could I have Lupus?

I recently signed up for, where I answer questions about lupus from people who write in.
One of the things I am asked repeatedly is "do I have lupus?"

Kind of silly to think I could diagnose them via e mail, especially since I'm not even a doctor, or a nurse, or any kind of medical professional. But the one thing I have above many doctors is this: I'm listening, and I'm taking their problems seriously.

How exasperating to go to the doctor and be told you're imagining your problems, or that you're "just depressed" or  something other pat answer implying you're a hypochondriac. Seriously, if I want attention the doctor's office is the last place I'm going. Sit in the waiting room for 2 hours past your appointment time then get 5 minutes with someone who's not even listening... If all I want is attention, I could just make a sex tape.

Getting back to the topic at hand- how to get diagnosed. How to find out once and for all whether you might have lupus. Here are a couple great resources. The LFA lists the classic symptoms of lupus:

The Lupus Foundation

This website discusses the various blood tests (none of which are definitive) used to try to determine whether it's lupus:

My Life Works Today

Carla Ulbrich, The Singing Patient,
is the author of "How Can You *Not* Laugh at a Time Like This?"
Get Carla's Book at
Next time, I hope to discuss how all diseases are really just one disease, and wellness and illness are a spectrum.