LUPUS, in a nutshell

Every disease, everything that ails us, usually has a descriptor, a very easy way of describing it. and here is a lupus descriptor that is a very basic. Future articles will expound on this video:

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My Journey

My rheumatologist called; ‘Rituxan has been approved by your insurance company; so the infusion center will be calling you to schedule.’ 

‘Wait, not so fast!  I have a few questions about Rituxan, basic questions: like why you chose it, what to expect, what the goals are and what side effects there are.’  The doc explained the action of Rituxan (Rituximab™).

It works by supressing B cell activity (remember the B cells and T cells?) which decrease much of the inflammation caused by lupus and Sjogren’s Syndrome. Unfortunately, also decreased would be my body’s ability to fight infections. Good hand-washing would was a must as would be not staying in crowds without a mask.

The symptoms? Never a problem at rest, shortness of breath was always a huge problem when I exerted myself; all I had to do was to walk 10 yards and the shortness of breath was terrible, debilitating. Where had this come from? From left field, I know!

To someone who had been athletic her whole life and relied on her lungs to fuel the heart with enough oxygenated blood to power my muscles in a triathlon, being short of breath with such minimal exertion was quite a lifestyle change. 

Stay tuned to this channel for updates on my weekly treatments with Rituxan as I take this journey. For now, infusions are scheduled once a week x 4 weeks.


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Clinical Trial for Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an uncommon form of arthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that occurs when your immune system attacks the lining of your joints. This causes joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and redness that can move to any joint, at any time. You may also have other symptoms like feeling tired or having a fever. Better treatment options are needed for people who suffer with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Right now, local doctors are looking for people who have Rheumatoid Arthritis to participate in local research studies. Click the link below to learn more:





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Oral dryness in lupus? Sjogren Syndrome

Do you have a dry mouth or difficulty swallowing? Does your mouth feel like it’s been stuffed with cotton balls and you can barely speak?  Or, if you can speak are you understood? If so, I’ll guess that you don’t stray far from home without a water bottle.

Not always found in lupus, this condition of dry mouth-or xerostomia- is a hallmark of Sjogren’s Syndrome, another autoimmune disease that often is found in lupus sufferers.  This time, the cells of the immune system have set their sights on and mount their attack on the mucous-producing, or exocrine glands, thinking they are foreign invaders, when, in fact they are ‘self.’

The exocrine glands we speak of here (there are others) are the salivary glands,  abundant around the mouth and jaw. Very often, a dry mouth can be caused by medications, but this dry mouth is worse-Wait a minute, is a contest! A chronic dry mouth is HORRIBLE-whatever the cause. Continue reading

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For a long time, I’ve made posts long and lengthy. Then I realized, when I’m surfing the net, do I like to read a dictionary? an encyclopedia? No, short, sweet and to the point. So, starting today, it is short, sweet and to the point. Let’s start with  inflammation. In lupus, whenever something is inflamed, it’s usually related to-though not always; lupus.

Inflammation of most organ. or parts of organs is seen by us as redness and swelling, or hot, and painful. Redness can mean many things. not always lupus. Continue reading

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Sign up: AGAIN??

Would you be so kind as to resign or if you haven’t signed up for the ride of a lifetime, would you sign up and walk this journey called lupus with all of us lupies? The place to sign up is on the front page, the first box on the right,  e-mail me of new posts. You’ll be notified of all of the fun and interesting posts and comments and you, too, can be part of this great excursion! See you soon!  






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The Bionic Woman?


Replacements of most joints are becoming commonplace, but some are replaced more often than others; and the hip joint is very likely the most frequently replaced joint. The following is an image of a normal hip:

normal hipNotice that the bone marrow has a blood supply, (the blood supply to the bone marrow is represented by the area with the red dots on the graph), ‘ball’ and ‘socket’ created by the ‘head’ or top of the femur and the acetabulum of the pelvis.

Over the course of years, the cartilage  can wear thin. When the cartilage doesn’t provide the cushion that it used to provide, pain results, and this pain can be quite severe and not always relieved by medication. You may have heard people use the term, ‘bone on bone’ referring to the bone in the ball rubbing against each other of the ball and socket. each. It may now look a bit more like:

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You can see on the patient’s same side that there is an accumulation of dead bone cells. These cells cause much of the pain: how? Bone cells are like any other cell in the body, they must rid themselves of debris and toxic wastes. This is the goal of one procedure commonly used to relieve symptoms: core decompression.

If pain from osteonecrosis still exists despite complete non-weight bearing status, ice, elevation and physical therapy with tylenol and nonsteroidal antinflammatories (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxyn, a surgical option is sometimes indicated. One of those surgical options is the total joint replacement, a THR.

anntated_THRIn the diagram to the left are the components of the hip prosthesis which are inserted by the surgeon to create a new joint.

The femoral stem is inserted into the thigh bone and bypasses any osteonecrosis or osteoarthritis which may be present.

The femoral head component has at it’s end a shiny metallic (titanium) piece which inserts into a plastic cup or liner. This liner fits into the acetabular component and doubles as cartilage to further protect the new joint.

This surgery has saved many from a lifetime of pain and if it works on me in a week, I’ll be free of hip pain for the first time in many years and one step closer to THE BIONIC WOMAN!

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