Consider me one of those people who have to learn things the VERY hard way. Its official. I am a doofus. Yea, that might sound a little harsh….but its the truth. I spent the majority of my life thinking I could do what I wanted, not listening to the doctors, and be completely fine.

Sure, it didnt start out like that….When I was first diagnosed with lupus in 95, I listened to what they told me to do. I changed my diet, changed my lifestyle, etc. But as I got better and went into remission, I fell back on those old habits.

Since the initial remission, Ive had several additional flares and subsequent remissions. And, while I would like to say that I changed what I had to each time, that would not be the truth.

I actually went a full homeopathic route until this last flare. I am VERY VERY VERY lucky to not have killed myself not getting the correct treatment. And to be honest, I could have actually lost my kidney.

I am still kicking myself for that stupidity.

Ive been in this most recent flare since November. Yes, November.

My current treatment has been at a standstill due to other health issues that have arisen….which, I could just kick myself for, since that is also connected with my unwillingness to do what Im supposed to be doing.

Since my last post, Ive been on rescue inhalers, inhaled steroids, nasal steroids, oral steroids, and antibiotics.

I am not getting better.

I still do not have my voice.

I still have issues catching my breath doing the most trivial of tasks

With one exception, this entire experience is MY FAULT.

And now, Im faced with the fact that my voice will never recover. I may get some vocal range back with intense speech/vocal therapy, but I will never have MY voice again.

My lungs may never recover. With some of the changes Im making NOW, I might get SOME of my lung function back…..SOME.

I am extremely mad at myself because I could have prevented these issues by making REAL lifestyle changes.

And, in case you were wondering just what it is Im going thru…..the diagnoses is two fold. My lupus has attacked my pulmonary system and due to the other factors mentioned above, I now am also diagnosed with emphysema and COPD.

This effectively means that I have NO choice now but to make lifestyle changes.

This is not the way it should have went down. If you are reading this and not watching what you eat and are a smoker (even an occasional smoker), MAKE THE CHANGES NOW!  Do NOT wait til you get THIS sick.