So . . . after much cajoling from friends (and months of stalking other blogs), I have finally taken the plunge and decided to start chronicling my journey to parenthood. I am officially a blogger!
Why “Lupus Pie”? Well, you see, I have lupus (obviously) and I’ve always thought “lupus” was a silly word, sort of like a combination of “loopy” and “dufus.” A few months ago, “lupus pie” popped into my head and settled there, because it occurred to me that lupus sounds like some sort of edible concoction – perhaps a pie one would see behind glass at a bakery. You know, like rhubarb or pecan or some sort of meringue. But lupus, dreaded lupus, is the least tasty of all pies. It is the minced meat of the pie world. (As you are probably beginning to understand, my mind works in strange and mysterious ways. Please just humor me.)
For those of you not familiar with lupus, here is a quick run-down (courtesy of the Lupus Foundation of America, whose link you can find on the right side of this page):
“Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect various parts of the body, including the skin, joints, heart, lungs, blood, kidneys and brain. Normally the body's immune system makes proteins called antibodies, to protect the body against viruses, bacteria, and other foreign materials. These foreign materials are called antigens.
“In an autoimmune disorder like lupus, the immune system cannot tell the difference between foreign substances and its own cells and tissues. The immune system then makes antibodies directed against itself. These antibodies -- called "auto-antibodies" (auto means 'self') -- cause inflammation, pain and damage in various parts of the body.
“Inflammation is considered the primary feature of lupus. Inflammation, which in Latin means "set on fire," is characterized by pain, heat, redness, swelling and loss of function, either on the inside or on the outside of the body (or both).
“For most people, lupus is a mild disease affecting only a few organs. For others, it may cause serious and even life-threatening problems. Although epidemiological data on lupus is limited, studies suggest that more than 16,000 Americans develop lupus each year.
“The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) estimates between 1.5 - 2 million Americans have a form of lupus, but the actual number may be higher. More than 90 percent of people with lupus are women. Symptoms and diagnosis occur most often when women are in their child-bearing years, between the ages of 15 and 45.”
Lucky me, I was diagnosed with lupus at age 33, just as I was trying desperately to conceive a child. Within six months of my diagnosis, I was forced to take a leave of absence from my (extremely stressful, but high-paying) job. Starved for intellectual stimulation and social interaction, I took solace in the internet world, stalking chat rooms and blogs. I read about others coping with lupus and/or infertility, and I discovered an amazing community of families who are adopting, or have adopted, internationally.
So many people who I’ve never met - who don’t even know I exist - have been an incredible source of strength for me over the last several months. Through this blog, I hope I might serve as an inspiration to others struggling with lupus, trying to overcome infertility, and / or embarking on the adoption journey of a lifetime.
To those of you who know me in real life, I hope this blog will function as an alternative to my incessant (and likely annoying) emails about my ongoing struggles. If you want to know what’s up with me, just read my blog. If you are (understandably) sick of hearing all the tedious details of my lupus symptoms, ovary / uterine performance, and adoption ramblings, then don’t read my blog. It’s that simple. Oh, and don’t be afraid to leave a comment and/or email me. I need all the support I can get right now.