Good-Days-Bad-DaysWith each age and stage of living with lupus, I find that there are periods when I have to go back to school. Not a formal sit-at-a-classroom-desk experience, but certainly one where I look at the latest information on studies, treatments, and the ever-evolving “why” of how we develop lupus in the first place.

It’s sometimes hard to believe that there are still many things we don’t know about lupus. Besides “why?”, there is no standard treatment for the disease. Meds or combinations of meds might work for one person and not for another. Lupus still can flare at unexpected times; I might do everything “right,” but still not escape a flare.

The aging process does not stop, and with it comes a confounding set of new body changes. We lupies who reach certain age milestones might celebrate them, but then be even more confounded by symptoms: Is the extra pain the disease, or the aging process?  Is my bone loss “normal” aging, or did the long-term prednisone or other meds contribute (or cause) the problem?

Keeping current helps take charge of some of the wondering. It’s comforting to know that researchers are trying to get at the root of certain questions. Rheumatologists are keeping current along with us, which helps to unravel some of the questions of “Is it aging, or is it lupus?” And it is helpful to know that there are more resources through patient advocacy groups, such as the Lupus Foundation of America, that can help us all navigate our lives with the “wolf.”

Yes, we might not want to go back to school. But there are benefits to keeping current. And if reading up on the latest brings an extra dose of hope – I’m all for it! Yes, going back to school might not be so bad after all!



More from Beliefnet and our partners