Firstly, the mundane and practical reason I have not been able to visit my blog is that I have been without a computer for six weeks. A long story I won't bore you, which involved the breakdown of our laptop and investigations that revealed that it would be more expensive to repair than to replace blah, blah, blah. The long-and-the-short of it is that we finally have a new laptop up and running, although none of the data from our old one (we are working on this). It has been a nightmare as I've only been able to pick up emails sporadically and not able to visit livingwellwithlupus.org at all. Strangely, it felt like I'd lost one of my senses. Now I've finally had the chance to get back online, I have discovered a number of new messages and introductions from some fellow loopies out there who have stumbled across the site. Thank you so much. I often feel I am writing into the abyss so it is really motivating to have your support and to find that what I am writing means something to someone; to be reminded that I am not the only one trying to navigate the unpredictable minefield that is lupus. Now I am happily installed back in my little office which has stood empty for so long, I will be responding to each and every message so I hope you haven't given up and will be back to see.
Meanwhile life during this period has been far from uneventful. I discovered, mainly unexpectedly that I am pregnant - now 16 weeks (I told you the holiday in Italy was good) !!!!!!??????????!!!!!!!
Tony and I had planned to start a family after we got married in 2006, but thanks to lupus it was not to be. My doctors knew this was our wish, but until recently the medications controlling my symptoms meant that it was out of the question. Over the last six months they helped me juggle my medicines to find a way to make the prospect feasible (mainly by switching from MMF to Azathioprine and getting the steroids down as low as possible) which wasn't without its problems, but eventually worked. We'd all but convinced ourselves that after everything we'd been through over the last four years in particular, conception probably wasn't going to be straight forward but nature took its course far quicker and more easily than we'd expected, so we both went into shocked disbelief when the pregnancy test indicated positive. After four tests and confirmation from the GP we started to believe it may be true, but were scared of running away with the sheer wonderfulness of the possibility, because we knew matters relating to my health are rarely straight-forward. Sure enough week six into pregnancy the lupus decided to flare. Apparently this happens to approximately 30% of SLE patients, although I understand for many pregnancy also temporarily ‘cures’ symptoms. Things have been controlled and settled to some extent by an increase in steroids and generally I have been doing well. Fortunately, I do not suffer with certain key things that are known to complicate lupus pregnancies, such as sticky blood and so far I’ve been fortunate enough not to have had any kidney involvement. Anyway, regardless of how I am when we got to see the baby at the 12 week scan it certainly looked full of beans!
Managing pregnancy let alone new born babies when you have lupus is a whole new territory for me and is not something that our research explored (let’s be honest the fact that no respondents who were pregnant or with young babies volunteered to take part probably speaks volumes in itself!) so I guess learnings on this topic will be working progress. I have now stopped working entirely for the time being so have more time to dedicate to livingwellwithlups.org and plan more regular postings. So for now it’s a case of ‘so far, so good’, and we are touching an awful lot of wood and keeping fingers and toes crossed at all times.