If you go to the doctor because you're bruising easily and your skin is turning scaly, and the doctor finds you have low platelets, then tests you for the ANA antibody, which comes back positive and indicates that you're probably on the road to developing Lupus, though you don't yet technically have it, do not Google Lupus Symptoms. Do not listen to a friend (a nice and good friend, even) who regales you with stories of her aunt and how she's lost all her hair to Lupus.
Do not hark back to the one woman from your childhood town who you remember having Lupus and ask your mother what happened to her. You may find out she's died.
Also, don't dwell on the word Lupus itself. It's an ugly, roundy little word that makes you think of Pus-y Oompa Loompas.
And do not, at 11:30 pm while you're trying to drift off to sleep, start thinking about all the ways in which an autoimmune disease could fuck up your life.
Doing such things will only require more Xanax than you legally have access to.
Update: Thank you thank you for all your kind words and positive thoughts. For the people asking, I just wanted to clarify things a bit. Lupus is an auto-immune disorder in which the body's immune system attacks its own cells. It can vary from mild to organ-threatening.
I first tested positive for ANA back in 2004 when I was pregnant with Claire and having some extreme skin issues. Since then, my titer (or the concentration of antibody in my blood) has risen. But is still not at a level which is considered Lupus. The patterns of the cells, however, indicate that Systemic Lupus (or SLE) is to come. It's possible it may not. Though I have been experiencing some vague Lupus symptoms for the past few years and think it's probably likely. Perhaps that's just my pessimism talking.
For the most part, besides some bad moments, I'm not incredibly freaked out about this. I may only get Lupus mildly. They may come up with better treatments for autoimmune diseases by the time I need them. Maybe I'll somehow skate out of it entirely.
Lupus has been on my mind, so I wanted to blog about it. I believe everyone has something health-related, or several somethings, to deal with in life. This is just one of mine.