Three things I don't generally endorse:
1. Self portraits
2. Artsy fartsy filters on pictures
3. Doing something that's really not something but yet is supposed to somehow support a cause.
Three things I'm doing in this picture:
1. Taking a self portrait. (There's no one else in the office today and I thought it would be weird to wander the streets and ask a stranger.)
2. Using an artsy fartsy filter (My shirt is purple. It didn't look very purple. But purple is important to the rest of this story.)
3. Doing something that's not really something but yet is somehow supposed to support a cause.
May is Lupus Awareness Month. Usually awareness campaigns aren't really my thing, but the Lupus Foundation of America stepped up their game this year and has been using their Facebook and Twitter accounts to share facts and stories and other things I actually think are cool and beneficial. So, I decided to jump on board.
Today, as part of their campaign, they asked people to wear purple and tell others what it represented. So, that's what I'm doing.
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I was diagnosed with lupus in 1997. Aside from mentioning about that much information, I haven't gone into detail about my disease very much. I don't know why. I'm not shy or uncomfortable talking about it. It just didn't seem very fun and bloggy. Before the month is out, I'll try to share my story. I would have done it today but that would have required some preplanning... which is clearly not my thing.
But, just a few points I want to mention...
Lupus can range from mildly annoying to fatal. It affects every single patient differently and can damage any organ in the body. There is no single test to determine whether or not you have it. For that reason, it's often difficult to diagnose or misdiagnosed. Joint pain and fatigue or among the most common symptoms but there are a myriad of others as well. Because it's so complex, most people know little or nothing about it. Yet, it's not rare. 1.5 million Americans are estimated to have it, 90% of them are women. While there are some treatments that can help significantly, there is no cure.
I've been incredibly blessed with a great doctor and access to medication to keep my lupus pretty well-controlled. There have been a few times where that wasn't that case - but generally speaking - I have had far, far more good days than bad. I'm grateful and I'm fortunate. I want to do more to make sure other patients can say the same, even if that starts as simply as wearing purple today.
Besides, purple is my favorite color.