Back when I got my almost diagnosis of pre-Lupus/early Lupus/something like Lupus, I told very few people. Basically, my book club, Bible study, a handful of other friends. Those that I told were sworn to not ask me how I am feeling. (I could do no such thing with my family. Everyone, including my 87 year old grandmother, asks me how I'm feeling even before I can say, "Hello.") In return, I promised to update them every once in a while and to tell them when I am having a flare. They were very eager to help.
I am a firm believer in the "Denial" method. If I don't talk about it, I don't feel it, and I can then function normally. I have been living with this long enough now, and ignoring it quite well usually, that I don't even know what normal is anymore. I haven't had any debilitating pain, and I'm not getting woken up at night because of it. However, I feel things, and I wonder. Is this a Lupus symptom or is this just how people in their 40s feel? Makes updating people a touch difficult. Keeping this in mind, here is an update on my health. I'm going to list the symptoms. Anyone over 40 reading this, please let me know if this is part of the normal aging process.
1. The twitchy toe. When I am sitting or lying down, the middle toe on my left foot will just start bobbing. Sometimes just a few bobs, other times it feels like my toe is having a seizure. It was quite disturbing at first, but now I can pretty much ignore it. Except when it's having a seizure. Then I have to stand up and make it stop.
2. Bruising. The other day, as I was coming in the back door, I got hung up on the ledge. I lost my balance and slightly bumped into the door frame. No big deal at all. Didn't even hurt. Apparently it looked good, though, as the entire family had a good long chuckle out of it. This is the result.
Most of the time when I get a bruise like this, I have no idea how I got it. A bruise showed up on my foot yesterday. I can only guess that it was from wearing flip-flops for a few hours, as it is right along where the strap goes. I'm just glad that the bruises are usually in places that can be covered with clothes. Otherwise people would either ask questions or just assume that Hubby beat me.
3. Sore jaw. It doesn't bother me when I eat. It doesn't bother me when I talk, usually. It almost always bothers me when I yawn. Sometimes it hurts so badly that I reflexively stop yawning. I had a dentist appointment yesterday, so after having to keep my mouth open for half an hour, my jaw is really sore. Bothering me when I chew and talk. It should be better by tomorrow, though. (Don't worry. I'm tough. The discomfort hasn't kept me from eating my peanut M&Ms today.)
4. Sore/painful joints. If I sit in one position for more than five minutes, it is painful to get out of that position. Just sitting will start to hurt after 10 minutes or so, but the actual standing stops me in my tracks for a few moments. Doing anything repetitive for more than a couple of minutes really starts to tax the ol' joints and muscles. Shoot, even typing for a few minutes straight will hurt. (I stop and think a lot when typing blog posts so as not to over-burden my fingers, wrists, arms, and shoulders.) Scrubbing, raking, brushing hair, vaccuuming, and writing cause problems.
5. Headaches in the same spot, my left temple. Sometimes it radiates down to my cheek and eye. No rhyme or reason as to when they show up. They aren't painful like migraines. Sometimes they last a few minutes, sometimes most of the day.
6. My left side "falling asleep". This has only happened one time, Mother's Day. I woke up early in the morning to a feeling that my arm and leg were asleep. This happens all of the time, and I just need to roll to the other side to feel better. This time, it didn't go away. All day long. And I had the headache all day, too, radiating all down the side of my face. I was at a soccer tournament the entire day but couldn't shake it. The feeling finally tapered off and went away the next day.
7. Getting worn out rather quickly. Doing anything aerobic wears me out real fast. I'm thinking that this is partly just part of the nasty, out-of-shape cycle. I stopped doing as much because it hurt. That just leads to being out of shape, which means a person wears out quickly when she tries to actually excercise again.
I think that's it. Looking over the list, I've probably just scared my dad to death. It looks as though I'm dealing with quite a bit. But really, it doesn't bother me much. I have gotten very good at ignoring discomfort. Plus, knowing my triggers, I avoid them. I make sure to sit and rest. I do chores around the house in short bits, rotating the tasks I do by the muscles I need to do them. I avoid going outside during the peak sun hours, and when I am outside, I gravitate toward shade. I take my aspirin every night.
So, jury, what say you?
Am I just old, with a little bit of Lupus thrown in? Or do I have Lupus with a little bit of old age thrown in?
Have a lovely day!