Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt


Lupus: Why Is It Called “Lupus?”

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of porbital/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of porbital/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One of the most confounding things for many people when they first hear the term lupus is, “Why is it called ‘lupus?’” The name doesn’t resonate with people today; it doesn’t seem to describe any kind of body part or disease process. Or, does it?

The word “lupus” is Latin for “wolf.” Back in the day, in the 19th century, an astute doctor noticed a very distinctive rash across a woman’s cheeks and nose. The woman had a very serious case of kidney disease, too. The doc put the two together, identified a disease process (inflammation) that was manifested in both the rash and the kidney disease, and called it “lupus,” because the rash looked much like the markings common on many wolves’ faces. Moving up into our century, the name “lupus” is still used as a catchword to encompass three major types of the disease:

cutaneous lupus – affecting the skin

systemic lupus erythematosus – affecting one or more  internal organs and, sometimes, skin as well

drug-induced lupus – Some medications can cause lupus, however when these medications are discontinued, the lupus usually goes away

There is also pediatric lupus (lupus found in children), and other sub-categories of the above.

During the past several years, as various lupus organizations have tried to raise awareness for the disease, efforts have been made to come up with a descriptive color or even a symbol for lupus. Sometimes, the color orange, associated with the sun, to which many lupus patients are very sensitive, and the color purple have both been used to connote lupus-related activities. The wolf is also used sometimes, as is the shape of a “loop.”

Personally, I find relating to the wolf a bit problemmatic; although it is a majestic animal, as a lupus patient, even one with a malar (red) facial rash, I don’t have anything in common with it (except, perhaps, for occasionally howling at new or stirred-up symptoms)! The “loop” idea also doesn’t really resonate with me, except, perhaps, for the days when lupus brain fog is really pronounced and I, too, feel “loopy.” The color orange is interesting, but personally, I prefer to wear yellow as it doesn’t clash with my reddish wigs. Purple? Doesn’t really relate, unless, as a lupus patient, you’re royally angry about an aspect of said disease.

So, we’ll continue to try to come up with descriptive images and words for this thing called lupus. As you hear more about the disease throughout this Lupus Awareness Month, you might come up with something, too. Let me know if you do!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

 



Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Comments are closed.



Previous Posts

A Praying Spirit: What works?
The longer I've written this blog, the more I've come to understand that I'm not the only one for whom prayer is crucial to coping with illness, pain, and other crises. For man

posted 1:00:41am Sep. 20, 2014 | read full post »

New Podcast Chat with Sean Herriott
Sean Herriott is the former host of Relevant Radio (Catholic Radio)'s morning program, "Morning Air." Over the past several years, I was a regular guest on Sean's program, talking about health and faith an all sorts of topics. He now has his own podcast, "Faith As a Second Language," and I am a gues

posted 4:51:19pm Sep. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: Too Many Moving Parts? Here's Help!
  This doc wants bloodwork and so does that doc, but the appointments aren't on the same day, so you end up with 2 sticks instead of one. Then, the first doc needs more blood and another test, and a third doc insists you need another test, but at a different facility from the first one, so you end

posted 1:08:20am Sep. 18, 2014 | read full post »

TLC Tuesday: Look for Light
"One more doctor visit" bringing you down? Last week, I had two doc visits in one day, both of which were delayed and difficult. But, at the second one, a "God thing" happened

posted 1:27:45am Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: When Everyone Has Their Own Ideas
Don't you just know, one person's rheumatoid arthritis is another's "Oh, it's just aches and pains?" Or, one person's propensity to infection is another's "Don't worry, I only have

posted 6:12:12pm Sep. 14, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.