But I’m not. I’m going to be honest. I have lupus but I rarely get sick. I rarely get sore. I am always tired, but there is often never a reason for it. Or for me to whine. I feel like a hack most of the time, saying I have Lupus. I seriously feel healthy 90%+ of the time. The sun doesn’t bother me too much. My diet, whilst it could be better, isn’t such a problem for my digestive system. Yeah, I get migraines, and dizzy, but may if I looked after myself a little better, and had less of those things in my head, that wouldn’t even happen.
I didn’t even know what Lupus was
So the fact that I get sick, and have been getting sick, so often, so early in the year, in a climate that resists the transportation of colds and viruses is kind of weird. For a long time I was confused about what it meant to have Lupus. Of any kind. Or any autoimmune illness. I thought it meant our immune system was weak. Like AIDS or HIV kind of weak. I was so wrong. That is a completely different type of sick that sits at the entirely opposite end of the health spectrum. My immune system works. Like super human strength. The force is strong with this one. Consider me the hulk.
This can be exhausting
My body gets restless. If there are no antigens, foreign invading ‘sick cells’ coming into my body for it to defend itself against every minute of every hour of every day my body starts firing shots. Anywhere. And so it begins attacking its own cells. And even when it isn’t attacking it is still doing surprise raids and drills and hunting down potential places of infestation and attack. Now imagine if our police and allied forces were constantly running around Australia looking for terrorists and criminals. Not only would they be tired, so would we. It would be exhausting, every afternoon we would be ready to go to be at sundown. Parents will understand the pressure and tiresome nature of even the threat of being nagged and observed.
How my sick is different
This leads to inevitable and ongoing lethargy. When I say I am tired, I did not just lose some sleep the night before. I have lost a lifetime of good night’s sleep. When I spend a period of days exerting more than the minimum required amount of energy to sustain my life I build up a debt. This does not mean I cannot do things that require it, like working, studying, general ‘having fun’ situations. It does mean that this debt must be paid at some point. Typically if the debt is not paid in the smaller doses of extended sleep periods and rest and recovery times, then it will manifest itself into what looks for all intents and purposes like a cold. This is my sick.
What if I get normal sick?
I just don’t. This is not me shining a light out of my nether regions and overstating how glorious be thy name of Jessie. It is just a fact. From childhood my sick has been a manifestation of Lupus lethargy and ‘overdoing it’ and not of contracting whichever cold or flu virus is at present an issue. That is not to say those antigens do not come near me, they do. We just assume they come into my body, my hyper alert Lupus immune system takes one look, loads up the bazooka and tells it to ‘Bugger off’.
So why have I been sick?
This year I have not been taking care of my body and diet as well as I should. I have been under a lot of stress. The location of this most recent lesion is one that is close to parts of my brain that regulate internal body temperature, which we feel has a large role in all of this. These are all guesses as to why I might get a little bit of Lupus sick. There are a few more, of the same strain, but I will not list them for fear of rambling. I have never before been like this, with frequent bouts of gastro and weeks spent in bed. All I can say is that I know I am sick.