Lupus is a poorly understood illness and when you're on the poorly understood territory, a few misconceptions happen. This is because the people who know about it are a minority compared to those who don't. The main point about this blog is to not only share my journey with Lupus but to also educate people about the illness. I have decided it's time to write a post about these ridiculous misconceptions, so here are 10 cleared!
1. You will NOT catch it.
It's not the common cold. It's impossible to catch it. Lupus is not a special strain of invincible bacteria, it's a majorly confused immune system. So next time you're in the company of a Lupus sufferer, shake their hand, or give them a friendly hug and maybe even share food. I can guarantee you'll leave as healthy as you came.
2. Lupus is NOT cancer.
I can see why people believe this one as chemotherapy is sometimes used to treat Lupus. But, you'll be glad to know, it's definitely not cancer.
3. Only women can get Lupus.
It is more common in women so maybe this is where the confusion has stemmed from but men can also suffer from Lupus.
4. Women with Lupus can't have children.
Although we will be classed as a high risk pregnancy and have an increased risk of miscarriage, women with Lupus can indeed carry to full term and have a healthy baby.
5. Lupus is easily diagnosed.
It's not a case of visiting your doctor and walking out an hour later with the diagnosis. There isn't a singular test to confirm Lupus so testing can go on for months to years with countless blood tests, questioning and physical examinations. It isn't a diagnosis given out easily and it's an extremely exhausting process to have to go through.
6. It's not real.
How could an imagery illness have the power to do so much damage? Everything we feel is real, Lupus is 100% real. Ask the scientists who research it.
7. We will get better.
There is research going on but there's very little funding for Lupus research so unless the scientists have a eureka moment, we will remain incurable.
8. Lupus is uncommon.
The NHS website even states this. Although most of the people you know are probably healthy, Lupus is not as uncommon as you'd think. Don't get me wrong, it's not the most common illness to have but in my opinion it's not as uncommon as they make out.
9. Lupus is deadly.
20 years ago only 40% of Lupus patients were expected to live more than 3 years following a diagnosis. Although we can still experience complications, we now have a normal life expectancy.
10. We brought Lupus on ourselves.
False. Although many believe Lupus is brought on by certain lifestyle choices, this is not true. We haven't brought it on ourselves. If this was the case, don't you think there would be more people with it and better funded research?
I think I can speak on behalf of most Lupus sufferers that if you ever want to know anything, just ask us. We'd rather you get the correct information and who better to ask than someone who lives with the illness?