Food Intervention!

Carie ShermanBy Carie Sherman

This is my self-imposed INTERVENTION.

Over the last few years, my illness has forced me to make changes. Big ones.

Some were for the best—like going freelance, rediscovering yoga, and simplifying (pretty much) everything. Some changes were the worst, like no more running, becoming a social recluse, and needing more naps than my toddler.

Like it or not, these changes have kept me in relatively good health.

A health I’m very much enjoying, thanks—in NO part at all—to my terrible eating habits.

My brain and body know good food leads to good health. Yet I keep making bad choices.
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Paging Dr. Crane: Your Patient is Now Sulking in Room One

Carie ShermanBy Carie Sherman

I admit it. Some days I feel sorry for myself.

My most recent funk started at a family dinner. I went from being engaged and interested to being a spaced out, slightly crabby, vacuous lump.

Thankfully, Dr. Frasier Crane helped me snap out of it.

That evening I was flipping channels, trying to find something inane to capture my unreasonable mind, still mad as heck though not sure why. I had seen this black mood before. By now, my brain knows better than to launch into a state of Why Me.

So why was I again so mentally miserable?

Frasier had it all figured out.

It was really quite simple, he said. You aren’t mourning the fact that you may have lupus. You’re mourning the life you thought you would have.

Frasier paused. I started thinking about when my mood went south.

Perhaps it was during the excited talk of racing in one of those insane mud runs—an event I would have happily signed up for. Maybe it started when I was holding my sweet nephew, born around the time my doc told me It’s Best to Wait to get pregnant again. Or it could have been watching everyone enjoy my favorite ooey-gooey chocolate cake. Cake I couldn’t eat because I took another doc’s advice to try a gluten-free lifestyle.

YES, I told Frasier. That makes sense! Those happy conversations reminded me that my life has changed. And it’s okay to be sad about that.

The acknowledgement alone yanked me out of my pity-party for one. Why? I’m not entirely sure. The conversation with Dr. Crane was pretty one-sided.

Still, it was enough to convince me: It’s okay to mourn the life I had expected. And next time I’m feeling gloomy, I’ll try shifting my focus to the wonderful things the last few years have taught me.

My “new” life awaits. And I’m thrilled to explore it.

Does your illness affect your mental health? How do you cope?



May Newsletter

LRI launches federal provider program

Singer Toni Braxton Shares Personal Story of Lupus

toni-braxtonThe Lupus Research Institute (LRI) National Patient Coalition participated in today’s launch of the Lupus Initiative®, the culmination of its five-year advocacy campaign resulting in $4.6 million in Federal funding to make the healthcare provider education program possible.

Helping to draw attention to the need addressed by the Initiative to train professionals in lupus diagnosis, six-time Grammy award winning singer Toni Braxton shared her personal story as a lupus patient and Board member of Lupus LA, an LRI Coalition partner. “It took years to be diagnosed with lupus,” said Ms. Braxton. “There were so many signs like joint pain and extreme fatigue, but it wasn’t until my white blood cell count dropped twice that I was finally tested for lupus. Proper treatment can only begin after lupus is diagnosed, so early detection is very important.”
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Memorial Day Weekend: Avoid Flares and Enjoy the Sun

By Carie ShermanCarie Sherman

First things first—thank you for the gracious support you provided through Lupus Colorado’s Facebook page. (Have you been there? If not—GO. It’s awesome!) You’ve given me the confidence to keep going with this blog in the hope that together, we can help other Coloradans dealing with issues of the auto immune.

I love this holiday—a chance to remember and a chance to celebrate my favorite season. I’m a summer girl. Bleached hair, tanned skin, dirty feet—that’s who I am. Well, used to be. My days of sun-up to sun-down outdoor antics have become rare. But that’s okay. I’ll address the boo-hoos and emotional mind-messing in a later post.

Since I traveled last weekend and am beyond exhausted, I’ll spend most of the days resting. But I do plan to get outside. So today’s focus is an important practicality: protecting yourself from lupus flares that result from sun exposure.

  1. Sunscreen. I hate putting on sunscreen. Whether I’m sick, rushing to a meeting, or desperate to know why my dog is wet and my toddler is hysterical, I don’t need another “to do.” That’s why I LOVE Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration—a moisturizer and sunscreen in one. It sooths my dry skin and gives me 50 SPF. 50! It has a light coconut smell and a little bit of shimmer, which perks me up even on dark days. You can find it in any drug store.
  2. Hats. I spent much of my teens and twenties hiding behind a grimy ball cap. And while you can often still find me in a navy blue cap with half the visor eaten off (thanks, Farley-dog), some occasions require a refined look. Luckily, hats are back. You can find something that fits your style in nearly any store. I like Target.
  3. Clothing. Your average white tee has an SPF of 4. You should apply sunscreen everywhere, but a little protection from your clothes can’t hurt. Once a specialty store item, SPF clothing is showing up at retailers like REI, Athleta, and Lands End. Can’t afford a new wardrobe? The makers of RIT dye provide a sun guard rinse you can add to your laundry. I haven’t tried it (let me know if you have!).

Steve Martin once said: A day without sunshine is, you know, night. I’m sick of night. Even if it’s for 10 minutes and in the shade, I’ll be outside this summer. I hope you are too.

Do you have any sun protection tips? Share them below.