Men Series | Living with Lupus - Teliah NaShonia

Men Series | Living with Lupus

This is a personal testimony from Rodney Johnson's life with Lupus. He is a brother, a father of three beautiful children, an uncle, a great friend to those he loves and my fiance. He will share his personal life experience and challenges he has faced with this disease.

As a man with lupus, the first thing I discovered is that a lot of individuals believe lupus is a woman disease. This means that ninety percent of women have been diagnosed with this disease. While only ten percent of the male population carry this disease. I was diagnosed with Lupus in 2007. I was 26 years old when I found out. I was in a semi-new relationship, raising my beautiful daughter. We didn't know much about lupus during this time. But, after doing plenty of research, I quickly became more informed.

So, what is Lupus?

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the form of the disease that most people are referring to when they say "lupus." Its a disorder of the immune system known as autoimmune diseases. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system turns against parts of the body it is designed to protect. This leads to inflammation and damage to various body tissues. Lupus can affect many parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and brain. The cause of lupus remains unknown, but there is solid evidence that genetics, environmental factors, viruses, and infections play a role.

Living with Lupus

Imagine strolling along, minding your own business then BLAM! you're knocked off your feet. Well, that's exactly what happened to me in 2007. One moment,  I was enjoying life as a father, with no serious medical problems and seemingly the next I was hospitalized for almost a month. When I arrived at the hospital, I had flu-like symptoms and blood in my urine. My physician told me I had all sorts of things. But, after my continued stay the physician said I needed to visit a rheumatologist for additional testing to confirm that I had systemic lupus erythematosus.

The diagnose was confirm by the rheumatologist. Now, my life with lupus has been extremely difficult. I have been living with lupus for 10 years now. I wake up in pain a lot. There are countless days where my body doesn't want to function correctly. My energy is always drained, which causes me to glued to the bed most days. I have to take four pills to maintain this disease. I have participated in physical therapy in the past to help my body function properly.

The Symptoms of Lupus
I experience fatigue, pain or swelling in joints, skin rashes, and fevers, with varying severity.
Treating Lupus
I primarily see a rheumatologist, who treats arthritis and other diseases that cause swelling in the joints and a dermatologist for my skin issues. Since I am not a health care expert, I would advise you to see you primary care physician and they will lead you in the right direction.
Coping with Lupus
Jeremiah 30:17 states. "For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast: It is Zion, for whom no one cares!’

These words of Jeremiah’s prophecy are indeed most relevant to thousands of people suffering from lupus or any other illness in our world today.  The definition of an outcast is a person who has been rejected or ostracised by their society or social group. In our world, we keep our distance from the depressed and avoid the terminally ill. And often these people decide that rather than seek help, they’ll retreat from contact with other people.

The risk of being hurt is too great. It’s safer this way. But, as believers in Christ we have to allow God to; pardon our sins, remove our afflictions, and bring us into a comfortable situation with our health by having faith in him.

We can reach our ultimate faith only when we realize the genesis of that faith is not in the healing, for that is misplaced; it's in the Healer, for he is the source. This means that we need to live with Jesus as our Lord through Him, no disease can harm us.

Lupus resources

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