Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday’s Rant

Be forewarned I'm feuding with my husband over something about which he has no control and I'm feeling the urge to scratch my own eyes out with a rusty knife. It's been a great day. Suffice it to say this post may seem, hmmm…, a tad bit angry.

For those of you who are unaware, I have lupus. I realize this may seem like a random statement but it becomes relevant later. I have lupus and so do 1.5 million other Americans yet very few people even know what the disease is. There is no celebrity spokesperson for the disease even though it is statistically impossible that a celebrity or five does not have the disease. The only press it ever gets is when one of the staff members on House throws it out as a possible diagnosis every week. I'm not kidding. EVERY week. Pay attention. This lack of awareness drives me nuts. Fret not, all of this will make sense in a few minutes.

Anyone watch The Shield out there in cyberland? My husband and I have been fans of it since the first episode and have watched it faithfully until its painful conclusion last week. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, it is a gritty (that might be the understatement of the century) cop drama about police corruption and the activities of one particular group of cops in L.A. It's violent and thought provoking and shocking at times. It's the kind of show that I love. I was so pleased last season when one of the show's primary characters came out of the closet with a lupus diagnosis. She's a smart, successful, highly capable woman and I was thrilled that lupus was finally going to get some serious treatment on a relatively high profile show. My pleasure turned to shock when it was revealed that the reason for the revelation about the character's diagnosis was that she was going completely insane. She was losing perspective, unable to perform the functions of her job, getting irrationally emotional and had even let her house get so filthy that it could have been condemned, all of this from a woman who, prior to her lupus diagnosis, had been an exceptionally successful woman in every aspect of her life. Are you kidding me?

So the character she came clean to took it upon himself to shelter and protect her from those who might discover her illness and subsequent meltdown. Being the gentlemen that he is, he talked her down when she was overly emotional, over compensated for her rash behavior, and hired someone to clean her house. What a gent!

The final few episodes revealed that it was her medication, not her disease, which was making her crazy. This left her with a difficult choice: continue to take the medication and remain a crazy person or stop taking it, get some normalcy in her life, and die a slow painful death from a relentless disease. She chose the latter. Nice. My heart swells with pride at this oh-so-accurate portrayal of a relatively common and treatable disease that affects many intelligent, successful, capable-of-keeping-our-homes-clean women who take their medication regularly without going crazy. Come on!


  1. I have noticed that on House also. I think though because Charlene has MS I notice things like that more also. That is crazy about the show! It amazes me that not one celebrity comes out about it. You should write a story about it! Well of course a different story from the one I just read above :)

  2. I'm in your corner! I was diagnosed with Lupus about 10 years ago. Forget raising general public awareness.... I have difficulty getting my own family to understand my limitations. At first they seemed to be understanding but that soon melted away. I guess if you have all your limbs and can get out of bed in the morning they think all is well.
    It's a chronic disease that wears you down at times. My young neighbor was diagnosed and was really having a difficult time accepting her new "normal". There is no normal. You get up in the morning and decide what you can do for that day. You can't push yourself and if you do you'll pay the piper. Although I don't think she understood my advice I told her to make friends with her disease and to respect it's boundaries.
    I haven't found any medication that helps. The side effects are nasty. A celebrity spokesperson might help but Lupus is hard to put a face on since it can manifest itself in so many different ways.
    Raising awareness is a good thing. I just don't know how to go about it.
    - Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

  3. I was going to leave a post but I can't right now because I am going crazy and can't keep my thoughts organized. I think I may have lupus or something.

  4. I volunteer in an ER and I know all about Lupus. Welcome to the world of Hollywood baby where their idea of old is 29 and a HALF.

  5. So much to address, So little space.Rest assured, we in the Frozen Wasteland to the North are always here for you, if or when you need any support or assistance with your Lupus affliction, that's what Family is all about. That said, it's impossible for me to take 'Dr. House' seriously, maybe we can start a write in campaign to get some new writers for the show. Now, how did it come to pass that you AND your hubby have a fascination with ruthless, reckless law enforcement officers? Humm, Uncle Ben and Uncle Chris just have to come to mind, Grandma Mary says; there I go again, stirrin' th'.....