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Posted by Shelagh Tiderington on March 02, 2000 at 13:52:24:

In Reply to: Is it lupus or arthritis? posted by Jeff Bartram on November 19, 1999 at 22:49:04:

Lupus can be very difficult to live with and even more difficult to get a diagnosis on! Sometimes it will take years to get the accurate diagnosis even with all the lab work pointing to it...the reason being that it is an imitator of so many like illnesses, similar in the way that they are autoimmune, inflammatory and chronic. Lupus diagnosis depends upon a solid 'history', genetic predisposition and having at least 4 of the 11 required symptoms, on which doctors make the diagnosis...for more information on this illness, I designed a site detailing the impact of the illness, all its' symptoms and possible links to crossover illnesses as well as the likely illnesses that it can mimic, making a diagnosis almost impossible...along with the fact that in each patient it is so highly individualized that no two patients will be affected in the same way. The course of the illness chooses its' own path in each patient making management of the active flares a real challenge for both patient and 'doctor' whether it be traditional medicine or alternatives. For each person diagnosed with the illness, lupus, (systemic or discoid), the course of the illness will differ signifcantly. On top of the fact that it is an illness not as commonly known as it should be, it has the odds stacked against it for achieving both recognition and then the necessary medical intervention with treatments. I am(through my site) a member of the Lupus Awareness Ring and we are all dedicated to getting the information out there for everyone who has the illness as well as for those who treat the illness....knowledge is one of the best weapons against this autoimmune, chronic, incurable, inflammatory, insidious and potentially fatal illness known as the 'wolf' by its' victims and symbolized by the 'butterfly' in recognition of the discoid facial rash (the malar rash), known as the butterfly rash by all who have it....remembering that butterflies are free and beautiful the symbol has come to mean a lot more to patients than just the rash. In order to live with the wolf 'be prepared' with as much knowledge and a network of support to help get you through the 'flares' and possibly into the desired 'remission' we all work towards....It is a fight for your life so arm yourself accordingly!

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