Intervention – An Update and an Intro to a Fellow Friend in Lupus

Carie ShermanBy Carie Sherman

A few weeks ago, I humiliated myself by sharing my food intake. My confession was accompanied by a vow to eat five fruits/veggies daily. I’ve stuck with it and—surprise, surprise!—I feel better. My stomach again growls, and I’m hungry for something besides high-fructose corn syrup.

Thanks to everyone who responded on Facebook, and my friends who sent me texts ranging from “REALLY?!?!” to “No wonder you sleep so much” to “You’re gonna get fat and I’m going to laugh.”

And special thanks to two people who made this dietary change much easier to swallow. First, thanks to my meat-and-potatoes-husband who has prepared and eaten more salads in one month than he did during 2006. Second, thanks to my friend Michelle, who sent me a 2,500 word email filled with crazy-good info about finding better health.

Lupus Colorado introduced me to Michelle because we had a few things in common: We were “similar” in age (bless you Debbie for thinking so), both new moms, and both had lupus (Michelle’s diagnosis definitive; mine as of last week still in limbo).

Meet Michelle. AKA, My Daily Inspiration

You know those people you meet and within 30 seconds, you’d do anything to be his or her friend? That’s Michelle. She’s bright, funny, warm, empathetic, energetic, bubbly, motivated, fun, adventurous, thoughtful, and holy crow—I honestly could go on!

Michelle lives on the western slope and drives to Denver once a month to see her doctors at University Hospital. Our first meeting was at a playground, where we shared our stories and our little girls ran around as if their watered-down Juicy Juice was swapped with Red Bull.

I felt like crap that day and did my best to hide it. Michelle was in great shape, and I learned she was a fitness instructor and a total nerd about nutrition. It was shocking to hear that less than a year before she had been fighting for her life, spending months in intensive care due to lupus complications.

lupus colorado healthy eatingShe had been so sick. And she was now so healthy.

My excuses for not taking better care of myself were weak, and I knew it. Not that she made me feel bad. Instead, she encouraged me to make small and sustainable changes. Like eating real food.

It took me a while, but my Milk Dud box mittens have come off and I’ve rediscovered proper kitchen utensils and the foods that come with them. And I owe so much of this to Michelle.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll share Michelle’s encouragement and the hard-fought wisdom she earned on her journey from ICU and chemo to teaching multiple fitness classes a day. And of course, I’ll share my own experiences of trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Doctors can’t “cure” us, but we can improve our health. It might be hard, but like Michelle told me: The changes that heal you are easy to adopt for good.

What lifestyle changes have you made that help?

Until next time,


P.S. I sprained my wrist while carrying a grocery bag. I tried to avoid the doctor but it bruised, swelled and made typing miserable, which simply cannot happen in my world. My PCP is sending me to see an orthopedist today. This injury and a few others may or may not be related to my connective tissue disease—does anyone else experience such injuries? Or am I just a klutz?




6 comment on “Intervention – An Update and an Intro to a Fellow Friend in Lupus

  1. Staff 2012Lupus

    Though I do not have lupus, I have another autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis. Though I was in pain for my first year of diagnosis, I’m now on a medication that allows me to feel normal. I’ve take the opportunity to refine my exercise and diet. I’m certainly not perfect, but I do tend to notice when my bad habits resurface! Kudos to you for embarking on this journey!

    1. Carie Sherman

      Thanks so much! And I’m sorry to hear about your autoimmune issue and thrilled to hear that your pain is managed. Funny how easy it is to take your body for granted when it’s working properly, right?

  2. Marjorie Wallwey

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better, Carie. And here’s an attaboy for your hubby for exploring the wide world of food beyond meat and taters ;-). Hope to see you on the 30th!

    1. Carie Sherman

      You know my hubby well! 🙂

  3. Michelle Partain

    Carie!! How on earth I managed to just be reading this, I do not fully know. Thank you so very much for sharing your honest experience with nutrition (or lack thereof) so we can all understand that even on our worst of days, we are not alone… and there is still hope for healing! Keep up the incrediblework, and preferably without ever rockin’ Milk Dud box mittens ahain. 🙂

    1. Carie Sherman

      Girl, I love you. But a never on Milk Duds… I’m not so sure. 😉

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