Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Stress Triggered Lupus?

My close friend texted me to say based on her doc she saw during her regular medical review , lupus can be stress triggered.  So she advised me to stay relax not only for now but especially when I go back to work.   She understood very well that stresses, negative emotions like fear, anxiety would always ensue in the workplace.

I told her not to worry about me and joked that given the research and reading on lupus I have done so far, I am a quarter of a lupus' expert, if not a third. While it is not conclusive, stress seems to one of top triggers for lupus flare. Given stress means different things to different people and my GP once told me there would always be stresses in life, but the key in the degree is how the individuals manage or cope with these stresses.  For one who manages the stress well, that stress is motivational and healthy.  But for another person who is facing difficulty in managing that same kind of stress, then that stress becomes destructive.  So now I am kind of hypothesising personality or character such as those with Type A personality traits (i.e. perfectionist, competitive, impatient, time urgency, achievement-oriented)  can a predisposition to trigger lupus.  Since one is always so tense-up and work up, the immune system also follows.  So overtime, the system also gets "job" burnout, loses focus, slowly goes haywire and finally cannot even differentiate the foreign or own cells in your body!
Anyway, I cannot change the fact that I have lupus now.   But what I can do is to adjust my lifestyle and career to work around it positively.  Sometime I wonder my positiveness now is the side effect of prendisolone (since euphoria is one such side effect!).  I do not know for how long I can sustain this positive attitude, especially when lupus flares up and you are suffering from it. But I certainly do not like to make my loved ones suffered because of me.  Having been through 2 major illness within a short span of 6 months, you would know that when you are ill, the ones who are feeling more stressed may be your loved ones as they have to watch you suffer. 

I saw this quote somewhere that I cannot remember: "the happiest people are not those who have the best of everything but they are ones who make the best of those things that they have".  So to be happy, I just have to make the best of the current me! Love ourselves so that we can love others. 

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