anger, antioxidants, arthritis, aunaturale, autoimmune, exercise, hair loss, insomnia, lupie chick, lupus, lupus foundation, meditation, miss sixx, womens health, you tube

6 Months of Living with Lupus

Wow, where did the time go? It has been 6 months since my lupus diagnosis. I had a doctor appointment Tuesday, and I was informed that I’m stable- not getting any worse, but thus far not any better. No reduction of the meds (bummer), next appointment Jan 4, 2012.

As I reflect on the past 6 months-it brings tears to my eyes. I’ve have several short stays in the hospital, many days/nights of pain, and depression. There were days when all I could do was cry.. ball up in my bed and cry. I see my doctor so often that I feel like we are dating. I know I’m a handful and I know I work his nerves. I’m always full of questions and comments. I just tell him straight- I can’t afford to do all of the things you want me to do! I know it sounds crazy that someone/anyone would say that they can’t afford to do something that may benefit them-BUT I can’t! I’ve made adjustment to my benefits at work (starting with getting the flexible spending account) in which I hope will help me financially with some of the things I need to incorporate. In the mean time, I’m doing the best I can with what I have. It has been extremely difficult for me to accept help. I’ve always been the care giver- not the one being cared for. I find myself ashamed of my appearance (because of the weight gain from the meds along with the scarring on my face). Ive had trouble with housekeeping and cooking meals sometimes-but THANKS to my children and my husband all of which have pitched in and got the job done when I couldn’t.

Some friends have hung in there with me and a lot have fallen by the wayside. That saying “out of sight out of mind “pops into my head. As long as I’m out of sight, I guess I don’t cross their mind(s). The other day my son’s step mother sent me a message on Facebook that said “you’re a fighter- I know firsthand” lol..lol.. That sentence made me laugh uncontrollably. The people that I least expect to hear from are the people that I’m in contact with. The people whom I thought didn’t care about me, have showed the most concern. For that I’m forever grateful.

November 20th my daughter turned 13 years old. Crazy me thought it would be a great idea to have a 3 day (weekend) celebration.

Pretty Girls Rock Party started Friday at 3:30pm and ended Sunday at 6:00pm. All I can say is a weekend of cupcakes, makeup, swimming, food, and dancing left me slaved to my bed for 5 days. I literally could not move. I had a conversation with my body and Lupus. I told them- “look I need for the both of you to cooperate and lean back this weekend. My mini me turns 13 once and I need to be there for her-if either of you act up, or show off there will be hell to pay!!!!!” My feet gave out Sunday afternoon, but all else was perfect!!!!! My daughter was so happy that I was able to participate and hang with the “girls” all weekend.

It’s been 6 months of living with Lupus. I’m determined to make the next 6 months much more enjoyable & pain free. I’m being forced to face one of my fears (water). It’s been demanded (by my doctor) that I begin an exercise regimen. It’s hard to imagine exercising when I’m in constant pain. I’m looking into water aerobics (to help with my joints) and yoga. I have an incredible fear of water (due to a childhood incident when I almost drowned).

I’m hoping that I can get back to wearing my stiletto’s shoes,walking without pain and leave the sneakers for workouts-not part of my daily uniform. I want to wear makeup when I want too-not because I feel like I have too (I’ve recently purchased the clarisonic brush-I’m already seeing results). I will also be doing a makeup over-a do over- a NEW ME!!!!!! So until next time Lupie Chicks-stay healthy and pain free!


** did you notice that my earrings match my jacket? I wrapped them myself using yarn**

arthritis, aunaturale, autoimmune, awareness, depression, fitness, immune system, lupie chick, lupus, miss sixx, mz sixx, rheumatoid, treatment, womens health

Reap the Benefits of Physical Activity

Day 5: Be active for younger looking skin

By Amy Wechsler, MD

Get Moving for Better Skin, Better Sleep
Do at least 30 minutes of physical activity today, and schedule some time for a few more active half hours over the next few days. Whether it’s taking a class at your gym, going for a power walk with friends, taking a bike ride, or playing Frisbee in the park — there are lots of options for doing your body good. Choose something you enjoy.

There’s no point in being miserable.
Try one of these free workout videos — there’s something for everyone.
And get this: Exercise during the day helps you fall asleep at night and improves the quality of your beauty sleep. Just another one of the health benefits of physical activity.
Remember to eat well, go green, relax, and simplify.

Treat Yourself to Something Special
You’ve hit the halfway mark to better skin! Block out an hour today or tomorrow — 1 full hour — to do anything you’d like. Veg in front of the TV; go shopping for new makeup at a department store where you can get some TLC (check out Dr. Amy’s Most-Worth-It Beauty Splurges); get a manicure and pedicure or the massage you still haven’t had yet. Just make sure it’s fun and relaxing. This is quality you time.

The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

antioxidants, arthritis, autoimmune, blog, cure, fish, flaxseed, iron, lupie chick, lupus, migraines, miss sixx, motherhood, Omegga fatty acids, supplements, vitamins, womens health

Eat This… Don’t Eat That!

As some of you know, I’m an F-O-O-D-I-E!!! I love all types of food. I’m accustomed to eating what I want, when I want it! My faves- buttery soft, mouth melting buttermilk red cupcake(s) topped with a dollop of cream cheese, a smooth rich, and dense NY Style Cheesecake topped with fresh berries, and extra crispy, golden brown SOUTHERN(deep)fried chicken (with all the fixings on the side). yes, I love food- #dontJudgeMe! Since being diagnosed with Lupus, I’ve been told to eat this.. don’t eat that.. Then of course everyone under the sun want to suggest what I should and should not eat. Overwhelming is an understatement- and I’m HUNGRY!

I dont enjoy my food or feel satisfied after I eat. I’m always worried that I ate the wrong thing, did the hubby put something in the food I wasn’t suppose to have[he cooks a lot of our meals during the week], what if I get sick, what if I get a flare up? With all of that swirling around my head, I can’t eat or enjoy my food.

I took to the Internet to see what other Lupies are eating- BIG MISTAKE! I’m more confused than ever. My doctor is suggesting that I do a gluten free eating plan. Others have suggested I do a vegetarian eating plan (the two conflicts with each other). I’m making an appointment with a nutritionist and hopefully will have a clear understanding what I should and should NOT be eating.

In the mean time, some of the common foods I’ve discovered that I Should Not Eat are:

Alfalfa seeds and sprouts should be avoided because they contain an amino acid called L-canavanine. This amino acid can aggravate the symptoms of lupus.

Animal meats, dairy, eggs, nori seaweed, and peanuts contain arachidonic acid. When used excessively, arachidonic acid can actually be destructive to the body.

Beans and mushrooms contain amines and hydrazines, which increase lupus symptoms.

Oils like corn, poppy seed, safflower, and sunflower, cured meats and hotdogs actually encourage lupus episodes because they contain components that have been proven to trigger lupus symptoms.

Eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and white potatoes, called nightshade vegetables, should be avoided because they contain solanine, an agent that triggers inflammation and pain common to lupus sufferers.

Sulfur-containing veggies such as cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale and cauliflower. These may be difficult for many lupus sufferers to digest without upset.

Fats. It’s suggested fat reduction can produce up to a 25% improvement in the aches and pains of a lupus patient.

Herbs like andrographis, echinacea, eleutherococcus, garlic, ginseng, and Panax should be taken with caution since they are known to increase autoimmunity.

Iron should come from food, not dietary supplements because it could promote joint destruction, pain, and swelling.

To Summarize-Don’t Eat This!

  • Caffeine, dairy, foods high in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol
  • Red meats and high fat meats like organ meats, and dark meats.
  • Alcoholic beverages, salty foods, sugar sweetened beverages, candy, snacks, sweets, and alfalfa sprouts.

You should Eat THIS!

Foods high in iron. Eating leafy green vegetables, fish, and lean meat like liver can help offset your risk of anemia. Many breakfast cereals are also fortified with iron.

Fish. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring, contain natural anti-inflammatory substances and may help reduce swelling and inflammation associated with systemic lupus. Your lupus diet should include plenty of fish.

Antioxidants. Many fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, which are natural healers. Berries, apricots, and sweet potatoes are especially good sources.

Vitamins. Vitamin E, zinc, vitamin A, and the B vitamins are all beneficial in a lupus diet. Vitamin C can increase your ability to absorb iron and is a good source of antioxidants.

To summarize-Do the following!

  • Include: chicken breast, lean beef, wild salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout, tuna (canned light), crab, oysters, tilapia, cod, pacific oysters into your diet
  • Remove skin from poultry because that is where the most saturated fat is located
  • Look for lean meats around 99%
  • Broil and grill vs. pan fried with oil, deep fried, and breading.
  • It is important to incorporate fish into your diet around 3-4 times a week
  • Practice portion control – meat should not take up ½ of your plate, it should be more like ¼
  • Beneficial fish oils to consider include: evening primrose oil and flaxseed.
  • When you are thirsty, replace soda and tea with water

The Lupie Chick is H-U-N-G-R-Y! If any of you have any advice or any recipes please share.

Disclaimer: The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

arthritis, aunaturale, autoimmune, lupie chick, lupus, migraines, mz sixx, natural hair, rheumatoid, sjogrens, venus williams, womens health

Venus Williams and Sjogren’s Syndrome

Venus Williams a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, pulled out of the U.S. Open yesterday and said she has Sjogren’s syndrome.

Venus said in a statement issued at the Open in New York and reiterated today on ABC’s “Good Morning America”

“I’m really disappointed to have to withdraw from this year’s U.S. Open. I have recently been diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease which is an ongoing medical condition that affects my energy level and causes fatigue and joint pain.” She added: “I enjoyed playing my first match here and wish I could continue but right now I am unable to. I am thankful I finally have a diagnosis and am now focused on getting better and returning to the court soon.”

Sjogrens Syndrome– What is it?

Sjogren’s (SHOW-grins) syndrome is a disorder of your immune system identified by its two most common symptoms — dry eyes and a dry mouth.

Sjogren’s syndrome often accompanies other immune-system disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. In Sjogren’s syndrome, the mucous membranes and moisture-secreting glands of your eyes and mouth are usually affected first — resulting in decreased production of tears and saliva.

Although Sjogren’s isn’t life-threatening, it is an incurable condition where the immune system starts attacking glands that produce tears and saliva instead of fighting infection, according to Arthritis Research U.K. Around a half- million people in the U.K. suffer from the condition, which is usually diagnosed in women between the ages of 40 and 60. The American College of Rheumatology’s website said between 400,000 and 3.1 million people are affected in the U.S.

The exact trigger of the disease isn’t quite clear, Mizutani said {Wesley Mizutani, a rheumatologist on staff at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center}.”That’s the million-dollar question,” he said. “We don’t really know. There’s probably a genetic component, certainly, but there’s more than that.”Certain antibodies are associated with Sjogren’s, but it seems to need a trigger, like a viral or bacterial infection, for the immune system to go awry.

Once set off, the system can’t really be fixed — but certain steps can be taken to mitigate the symptoms for the vast majority of patients. Keeping eyedrops and a bottle of water nearby are two such easy measures. Brushing after every meal and otherwise good dental hygiene are a must.

More extreme measures can also be taken, from anti-malarial to autoimmune suppressant drugs.

But, Mizutani pointed out, it could be worse. “If I had to choose an autoimmune disease to get, Sjogren’s would be one of the milder ones.”

I’m sending prays and positivity to Venus Williams, like my friends and family have told me ” God is Able”

Get well soon-

Love you Venus xoxoxoxoxoxo

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