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Not The End Of Me


Not The End Of Me
Who am I?
I don’t know…
Had I become that person I so despise?
My thoughts
Deep, dark, and unrecognizable
Who am I?
Did I just give up?
Given up on life, love, my passions, and everything in between
Who am I?
A cry baby
Weak
Distorted thoughts
State of confusion
Broken Spirit
Negative
Shaken
Stirred
Who am I?
A silent voice and distant eyes
That no one hears my cry’s
Who am I?
Drowning in the depths of sorrow,
with no tears left to cry.
Who am I?
© The Lupie Chick 2013

I’ve been was battling depression for the past 6 months. A lot of stress triggers has occurred with my relocation to Georgia, my employment, my health, and a multitude of other things. I leaned heavily on my sister- friends that keep praying for my recovery and strength to come out of this dark space. I was having uncontrollable crying spells, insomnia, panic attacks, nightmares (when I would finally sleep) and just an overall feeling of failure. I wanted to die. In my opinion, my spirit was already dead. I was in a very dark mind space and I couldn’t see my way out. While at one of my doctor visits, the doctor was asking me questions and I just looked up at him (as if I was possessed by a demon) and blurted out “I really don’t give a fuck right now.. Whatever you want to do is fine with me, I’m ready to go” I stood up and WALKED OUT, crying as I left his office. Later that evening I received a recorded call from Kroger pharmacy telling me my prescription was ready. [Insert demonic look and gas face] “What damn prescription?? I figured it was a wrong number and I ignored the message. 2 days later I received the recorded call again, I was in Kroger ( at Starbucks) and figured I would go over there and tell them to stop calling me ( they were using my day time minutes and I don’t have any to spare). When I reached the counter, the pharmacist acknowledged that I did have a prescription and it was ready. 
ME:  “YOU CAN KEEP IT- I HAVE NO INSURANCE & NO MONEY!”
Pharmacist: “Ms Dugar your cost is $4 and if you have Kroger points I can reduce that to $2” Me: [face twisted and annoyed] fine [mumbling and grumbling]
Pharmacist: Please step to the counseling window
ME: Continue face twisting/mumbling/grumbling
Pharmacist: You have been prescribed Zoloft. Zoloft is known to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and panic disorder. This medicine is an antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).
ME: [insert, hand on hip, pissed off stance] so what exactly are you saying because I didn’t ask for this?
Pharmacist: Ma’am you may want to call your physician, this prescription was called in
ME: Yeah, I’ma call him [pulls out phone and call doctor office]
After calming down a little and speaking with my physician, I now understand that his prescription wasn’t an insult to my mental stability; it was care, concern, and very well NEEDED! My physician began to tell me he sensed that I was stressed and I was displaying signs of depression. After finishing up the call, I went home, got on the Internet to do additional research.“Between 15 and 60 percent of people with a chronic illness will experience clinical depression. This may be brought on by lupus, by the various medications used to treat lupus, and/or by any of the factors and forces in a person’s life that are not related to lupus. For reasons that are not entirely understood, this type of depression is often experienced by people with chronic disease.”Lupus Foundation of America
 I encourage anyone that exhibits any of the following to consult with a physician.
·  Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
·  Sadness
·  Crying (often without reason)
·  Insomnia or restless sleep, or sleeping too much
·  Changes in appetite leading to weight loss or weight gain
·  Feelings of uneasiness, anxiety, or irritability
·  Feelings of guilt or regret
·  Lowered self-esteem or feelings of worthlessness
·  Inability to concentrate or difficulty thinking
·  Diminished memory and recall
·  Indecisiveness
·  Lack of interest in things formerly enjoyed
·  Lack of energy
·  General slowing and clouding of mental functions
·  Diminished sexual interest and/or perfor­mance
·  Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
I’ve exhibited 15 out of the 16 signs above. As a friend or a family member- please do not assume that a person is having a pity party or just “need to get over it”. There were moments I wanted to die, and a friend response to me was “oh Sixx, come on now, you’re having a pity party”. Depression is very serious and HARD to overcome. I’m not 100% recovered (even with the help of Zoloft).  I take it day by day-sometimes-minute by minute. When I say THANK YOU [to my my inner circle]-it’s not just 2 words. I know I have a praying circle around me-and you’re prays has kept me covered. [ praise & testimony]
  • Between 15 and 60 percent of people with a chronic illness will experience clinical depression.
  • Clinical depression may be a result of the ways in which lupus physically affects your body.
  • Some of the medicines to treat lupus—especially corticosteroids such as prednisone (and at higher doses of 20 mg or more)—play a role in causing clinical depression.
  • Clinical depression may be a result of the continuous series of emotional and psychological stressors associated with living with a chronic illness.
  • Clinical depression may be a result of neurologic problems or experiences unrelated to lupus.
  • Clinical depression also produces anxiety, which may aggravate physical symptoms (headache, stomach pain, etc.).
  • Two common feelings associated with clinical depression are hopelessness and helplessness. People who feel hopeless believe that their distressing symptoms may never improve. People who feel helpless believe they are beyond help—that no one cares enough to help them or could succeed in helping, even if they tried.
 Keep in Touch

Twitter: @lupieeChick
Instagram: @naturally_lupie
Email: lupiechick@gmail.com
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Farewell Mishinda


Yesterday morning I was contacted by the aunt of one of my blog followers. I was taken aback by the call, as I’m super busy finalizing details for my upcoming event (Cupcakes & Cocktails). The caller sounded unsure as to whom she wanted to speak with.  As I waited to try and catch the voice she asked if she could speak with “The LupieChick”. I paused as I knew this was a Lupus related question as no one refers to me as the Lupie Chick in conversation. I acknowledged that I was the person she was looking for and she began to tell me about her niece, Mishinda. 
Mishinda was 26 years old, mother of 2, and had passed away from complications of Lupus on Sunday, February 24, 2013. I instantly felt my heart break (literally, I had a pain in my chest) as she began to speak about Mishinda. It pains me to hear stories of anyone lost their fight with  Lupus. Funny thing, she didn’t sound sad. She was laughing and telling me how Mishinda loved my blog and my willingness to just say whatever I wanted. Her favorite post was Am I Being A Bitch Or a BabyWe laughed as I was slightly embarrassed by the title of that post. Mishinda referred to me as a pistol whipper (lol…lol…). She commented that she looked forward to my daily pictures of me smiling (I haven’t posted any pictures of my face in a while, as I’m going through a flare up and have the butterfly rash across my face) and my reference to Lupus as Mister. 
Then, she suddenly  her tone of voice became serious. She stated that Mishinda asked her family to find me and get in contact with me because she wanted to speak to me. “ME????? “  Was my reply, as I never had any interaction with Mishinda? The family tried feverishly to find me, finally coming across my Facebook page, in which has my phone number listed. She asked me if I would attend the candle light virgil on Friday night to honor Mishinda. — INSERT A PAUSE AND A LUMP IN MY THROAT—ME????  Ya’ll know I have a fear of public speaking. She replied- YES, we would like you to come and speak. I told her that I’m not a medical professional, I refrain from giving medical advice, and I can only speak about my experiences and my desire to bring awareness. Her reply: “BE YOU – BE THE FUNNY LUPIE CHICK THAT MISHINDA SO LOVED AND ADMIRED” [insert uncontrollable crying]. 
After I stop crying, and contacted a few friends, as I was unsure if I should attend. I questioned my ability to speak publicly (I have a MAJOR fear…. stomach is in knots RIGHT now as I think about it), I questioned what would my presence bring, can I meet Mishinda’s expectations or the families expectations, what would I stand up there and say??, sweating, stiff and straight like a statue with nothing coming outta my mouth?? [Oh my!]. All my friends encouraged me to do it and to let God guide my words. I realize the honor and blessing. I pray that I can deliver and fight through this fear.  I will attend the candle light service, and honor my lupie sister Mishinda the best way I know how. I can hear my siStar now “Sixx, You better werk hunty” (lol…lol…lol…) DO THAT!!!!!
Fam, I write this blog with no hidden agenda. My ONLY agenda is to share my life, and my experience with Lupus. I have no idea the number of people with whom my blog had inspired, made laugh, cry, or angry but I’m grateful to each and every one of you. Mishinda has encouraged me to continue to push, fight, and advocate for all Lupie Chicks. I NOW realize that Lupus is my ministry. It’s my duty to be a voice and a face for the invisible disease. Please keep me prayed up as I enter this new chapter of my life. #LupieChicksUnite!!!!!!!

Twitter: @lupieeChick
Instagram: @naturally_lupie
Email: lupiechick@gmail.com

Altonia Dugar, au naturale, awareness, lupie chick, lupus, lupus foundation, Lupus Walk, miss naturale, miss sixx, natural hair, natural hair care, women, world lupus day

31 Days of Lupus Awareness Facts



Lupus Awareness Month is observed during May to increase public understanding of this unpredictable and potentially life-threatening disease that affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans. Here’s today’s important fact about lupus.

May 1: Lupus is an unpredictable and complex autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and can damage any organ in the body with life-threatening consequences.

May 2: Ninety percent of the people who develop lupus are female. Males also can develop lupus and their disease can be more severe in some organs.

May 3: Lupus develops most often between ages 15 and 44. However, between 10 and 20 percent of cases develop during childhood and these cases can evolve more rapidly into serious health complications.

May 4: In lupus, something goes wrong with the immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs. The result is the production of autoantibodies that causes inflammation.

May 5: Some people have genes that allow them to develop lupus. Factors that may trigger lupus in these people include infections, ultraviolet light, extreme stress, certain prescription drugs, and certain hormones.

May 6: Many symptoms of lupus mimic those of other illnesses, and symptoms can come and go over time, which makes diagnosis more difficult. Consequently, lupus can take three to five years or more to diagnose.

May 7: There is no single laboratory test that can determine whether a person has lupus. Diagnosing lupus involves analyzing the results of several lab tests, a review of the person’s entire medical history, and the history of close family members.

May 8: Lupus is treated by a rheumatologist, a physician who specializes in conditions affecting the joints and muscles. Some people with lupus may need additional care from specialists, like a dermatologist for skin problems, a nephrologist for kidney disease, or a cardiologist for heart complications.

May 9: More than 90 percent of people with lupus will experience joint and/or muscle pain that can be disabling. Medication and mind-body therapies can be used to help control the pain associated with lupus.

May 10: Lupus can be an expensive disease. The average annual cost to provide healthcare for a person with lupus is $12,643, and rises to nearly $21,000 when lost work productivity is included.

May 11: African Americans, Hispanics/Latinas, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans are diagnosed with lupus two or three times more frequently than Caucasians; however, lupus affects people of all races and ethnicities.

May 12: Successful treatment of lupus often requires a combination of medications. A new treatment for lupus was approved recently, and nearly two-dozen clinical studies are underway to develop a full arsenal of treatments.

May 13: As many as 80 percent of people with lupus experience fatigue. For some, fatigue can be debilitating, even to the point of forcing them to stop working.

May 14: People with lupus are usually encouraged to engage in appropriate daily exercise in order to maintain muscle and bone strength. Care should be taken, however, to balance exercise with rest.

May 15: Systemic lupus is the most common type of lupus. Systemic lupus can affect any organ system of the body, including the heart, kidneys, lungs, blood, joints, and skin.

May 16: Discoid lupus (the most common form of skin lupus) accounts for approximately 10 percent of all cases of lupus and occurs in 20 percent of those with systemic lupus.

May 17: Drug-induced lupus is a lupus-like disease caused by taking specific prescription drugs. The symptoms usually disappear after these medications are stopped.

May 18: Women with lupus are at increased risk for loss of bone mass (osteoporosis) and are nearly five times more likely to experience a fracture.

May 19: Blood disorders such as anemia (a low number of circulating red blood cells) are common in lupus, affecting about half of all people with active disease.

May 20: People with lupus should eat a nutritious, well-balanced, and varied diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and moderate amounts of fish and lean meats. Lifestyle adjustments should always include quitting smoking, as tobacco products can cause flares of lupus symptoms.

May 21: More than 80 percent of people with systemic lupus will experience some type of nervous system complication, ranging from mild confusion or memory loss to strokes, seizures, and vision problems.

May 22: The malar, or “butterfly” rash on the face is present in about one-third of those with systemic lupus. This flat, reddish rash across the bridge of the nose and cheeks, is often the only visible symptom of this form of lupus.

May 23: As many as 40 percent of all people with lupus, and as many as two-thirds of all children with lupus, will develop kidney complications that require treatment.

May 24: Only 10 percent of people with lupus will have a close relative who has lupus or may develop lupus, and only five percent of children born to a mother with lupus will develop the disease.

May 25: About 40 percent of people who were originally diagnosed with cutaneous lupus, which affects only the skin, will go on to develop systemic lupus that can affect any organ in the body.

May 26: Neonatal lupus is a rare condition that affects infants of women who have lupus. With proper testing, physicians can identify most at-risk mothers, and the infant can be successfully treated before or at birth.

May 27: Lupus is not contagious and cannot be “given” to another person. Lupus is not like or related to HIV/AIDS or any other infectious disease.

May 28: With current methods of therapy, 80 to 90 percent of people with non-organ threatening lupus can look forward to a normal lifespan.

May 29: Advancing technology and better understanding of the disease have improved pregnancy outcomes. Today, 80 percent of women with inactive lupus can have successful pregnancies.

May 30: Most people with lupus are able to continue to work. However, some people may require modifications to their work environment and schedules, such as flexible work hours, job-sharing, and telecommuting.

May 31: Today people with lupus are leading healthier lives and living longer than at any time in history, thanks to researchers who continue to discover more about the underlying science of the immune system.



Click Here to Learn more about Lupus

Click Here to donate to team Lupie Chicks in the 2012 Walk for Lupus- Baltimore MD – September 29, 2012

Click Here to Join Team Lupie Chicks in the 2012 Walk for Lupus- Baltimore MD – September 29, 2012

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May 11th Lupus Awareness Fact

May 11: African Americans, Hispanics/Latinas, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans are diagnosed with lupus two or three times more frequently than Caucasians; however, lupus affects people of all races and ethnicities. Lupus can be an expensive disease. The average annual cost to provide healthcare for a person with lupus is $12,643, and rises to nearly $21,000 when lost work productivity is included.



Click Here to learn more about Lupus

Click Here to Donate to Team ” Lupie Chicks”

Click Here to Join Team Lupie Chicks at the Walk for Lupus in Sept 29 at Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD

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Lupus Awareness Fact- Day 8

Lupus Awareness Month is observed during May to increase public understanding of this unpredictable and potentially life-threatening disease that affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans. Here’s today’s important fact about lupus.

May 1: Lupus is an unpredictable and complex autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and can damage any organ in the body with life-threatening consequences.

May 2: Ninety percent of the people who develop lupus are female. Males also can develop lupus and their disease can be more severe in some organs.

May 3: Lupus develops most often between ages 15 and 44. However, between 10 and 20 percent of cases develop during childhood and these cases can evolve more rapidly into serious health complications.

May 4: In lupus, something goes wrong with the immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs. The result is the production of autoantibodies that causes inflammation.

May 5: Some people have genes that allow them to develop lupus. Factors that may trigger lupus in these people include infections, ultraviolet light, extreme stress, certain prescription drugs, and certain hormones.

May 6: Many symptoms of lupus mimic those of other illnesses, and symptoms can come and go over time, which makes diagnosis more difficult. Consequently, lupus can take three to five years or more to diagnose.

May 7: There is no single laboratory test that can determine whether a person has lupus. Diagnosing lupus involves analyzing the results of several lab tests, a review of the person’s entire medical history, and the history of close family members.

May 8: Lupus is treated by a rheumatologist, a physician who specializes in conditions affecting the joints and muscles. Some people with lupus may need additional care from specialists, like a dermatologist for skin problems, a nephrologist for kidney disease, or a cardiologist for heart complications.

Click Here to learn more about Lupus
 
Click Here to Join Team Lupie Chicks for The Baltimore Walk Now For Lupus September 29, 2012 (Baltimore, MD)
 
Click Here to donate to Team Lupie Chicks

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Day 6: Quality time for younger looking skin

Have Fun with Friends

Spend Quality Time with Friends or Family Spend time today with people you care about. If you love to cook, invite them over for a scrumptious meal. If you don’t want to cook, go out. The point is to get together with people who are meaningful in your life — who make you laugh or inspire you — and share stories and time. Put together the perfect dinner-party menu with healthy recipes from the RealAge Recipe Finder.

Extend the Evening for Extra Value If you and your dinner mates live close to one another, invite them back to your place for dessert or an after-dinner drink. If it’s winter, light up the fire; if it’s summer, sit outside in candlelight (for more vitamin G). Just make sure you’re not up past your bedtime. Keep moving your body, eating right, going green, relaxing, and simplifying.

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, 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.