Advertisement

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Lupus: First Symptoms

Maureen Pratt Author PicThe first significant symptom that I had that indicated something was seriously wrong was that my hair began coming out of my scalp in thick, cylindrical clumps, leaving behind smooth, round bald patches from which no further hair would grow. The first time this happened, I was sitting at my desk, working, and idly twirling a lock of my long, blond hair. Suddenly, the whole lock pulled away from my scalp, and I sat staring at it, completely shocked.

Advertisement

Over the course of several months, the same thing happened over and over, until I could no longer cover up the very glaring bald spots with my remaining, increasingly sparse, hair. After the first episode, I saw my doctor, who told me to see a dermatologist and assured me “nothing bad was going on.” But neither he nor the dermatologist ran any bloodwork for a full year (they did tell me to “reduce stress,” however, which was impossible due in great part to seeing myself go bald for  no apparent reason!).  Once, the internal medicine doc even asked me, “Are you sure you’re not pulling your hair out yourself because you’re so stressed?”

After a full year of hair loss, I realized that other symptoms had been occurring, too, although at the time I didn’t identify them as symptoms (and didn’t know what lupus was at all). I was bone-numbingly tired, oversleeping alarms and barely able to get through many days. My hands were very painful, and I began dropping things without warning. Finally, I prayed for wisdom to know what to say, then asked my dermatologist to run some bloodwork, “just to humor me,” even though she was certain I was fine (after all, besides the hair loss, I looked healthy, didn’t I, with those rosy cheeks…which turned out to be a very red, inflamed lupus rash).

Advertisement

The bloodwork results led me to a rheumatologist who did the most comprehensive examination I’d ever had from a medical professional. She went back in my medical history, ordered more tests, and, when all was said and done, told me, “Lupus is trying to kill you. And if you don’t do something about it, now, it will.” I’d developed internal organ involvement, and some of the damage was already permanent.

I had no idea what lupus was, but I learned quickly!

Not everyone will experience the same set of symptoms that I did. Each lupus patient is an individual, and each has an individual set of symptoms. Also, not everyone with hair loss and the other things I experienced will be diagnosed with lupus. But it behooves anyone who experiences these or other significant symptoms to seek good, attentive medical advice. Be persistent, too; I have spoken with many lupus patients whose doctors at first dismissed them and their symptoms like mine did. And pray for guidance all along the way. As I have and continue to experience, God never abandons us, especially when our lives seem to be changing in ways we do not understand.

For more information about lupus symptoms, visit the Lupus Foundation of America’s website: www.lupus.org

Blessings for the day!

Maureen

Advertisement
Comments read comments(1)
post a comment

Comments are closed.



Previous Posts

Lent and Food: Giving Up, Adding On
I do not know anyone who does not like to eat. And, along with the physical activity of chowing down, we all have our ...

posted 7:20:22pm Feb. 11, 2016 | read full post »

On This Ash Wednesday
Lent begins again, so quickly! Seems like we just celebrated Christmas, with all the joy and light, and are now ...

posted 7:09:34pm Feb. 10, 2016 | read full post »

Being Good to Your Heart
It's Heart Health month, and no time like the present to think about being good to your heart, inside and out. Of course, ...

posted 7:00:36pm Feb. 09, 2016 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: In Advance
The tests I mentioned in an earlier post went very well, and I'm "out the other side" of that particular challenge! And one of the things that helped bring about smooth sailing was what I did in advance of even going out the front door. In my ...

posted 6:46:52pm Feb. 08, 2016 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: How We Give
When you have a chronic illness, and associated expenses and unexpected health upsets, it can be hard to figure out how to give to those who are less fortunate (and, yes, although it might be hard to imagine, there are many people who are less ...

posted 5:20:22pm Feb. 06, 2016 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.