For World Lupus Day, we have collected a few patient stories which we hope you will enjoy. If you have a story to tell, feel free to get in touch and send your story to katharine@lupus-europe.org! All stories will remain visible on this page of the blog.

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My life with lupus – living to the fullest – “Don’t stop me now” by Claudine from Belgium

‘What did you do last night?’ I asked myself when my alarm clock went off in the morning.  And to clarify, I had done nothing special during that night.

But like every morning I wake up with the headache, the flu-like feeling and the rigidity of my body. The usual stuff, like I always tell my husband when he asks me how I am. But this time it felt as if I had run a marathon. I hadn’t J.

I knew this was coming.  My wolf had warned me with his subtle signals.

‘You’re going too far, you are ignoring me too much’. He admonishes me with his finger in the air. And I know, I realize it. But it remains so attractive to be able to keep up with everyone. Without being stopped, without being slowed down.

After a few minutes I pull myself out of bed. Everything goes very slow. I find it difficult to think, to move and to breathe. ‘I’ll have to be patient with myself today’, I mumble quietly.

In the distance I hear the voice of my son Lenny.  And at the end of the staircase, he is waiting for me with his arms wide open.  I feel so blessed. His big hug creates the first miracle today.

At our breakfast table I close my eyes while I enjoy the scent of my coffee. Hmmm…this is another blissful moment.  And a big smile appears on my face. Because my sandwiches with sprinkles that I’m making will taste so good with my coffee.

My mobile beeps and in a blink of an eye my face brightens up. It is a text message from my daughter Lisa. She is on a school trip this week.  Her message makes me laugh. I miss her terribly! I can’t wait to see her again and to take her in my arms.

In the background I hear the song “Don’t stop me now by Queen, with the ever-inspiring Freddie Mercury. It is still one of my favourite bands.

I turn up the volume of the radio because it’s a great song, it’s exciting and it makes me incredibly happy! Really, you can’t stand still on that song, can you?

And the small dance movements that I’m making, also help the stiffness in my body.

I sing along with the song:

“Don’t stop me now…”

“I’m having such a good time, good time…”

‘Uh, good time? ‘ I think to myself. No, not really no.

However I’m singing all the air out of my lungs.

Absurd, isn’t it?

You know, in my mind I’m not sick, on the contrary. In my mind I’m unstoppable.

I read once in a newspaper: “Look more into your talents and less to your limitations.” That’s wisely said. Often we are too much focused on the things that we can’t do. And it inhibits us.  Because, it is mostly our thinking that limits us.

Although my lupus is still quite active, I feel this fire inside me that can’t be diminished. So I had to find something that I could do with my talents and within my limits. Something that made me feel useful again. Something that I could do at my own pace.

A couple of years ago I started writing about my invisible illness and I share it in my blog http://wolfandthecity.blogspot.be. It creates more awareness and more understanding about living with arthritis, living with lupus. And the most beautiful thing about sharing these little parts of me is that I’m also helping and supporting other patients.  And this still gives me a lot of warmth in my heart.IMG_0025_2

And that feeling, helping others with my experience as a patient gave me the impulse to do more.  So now I have become a patient-partner in research and a patient representative. I’m so happy that I can contribute and speak up for those who are temporarily unable to.  I can hardly describe in words the powerful energy when we are working together in a patient panel or at a convention. Putting our hands, our thoughts and our energy together.  United we are changing the world into a better place for patients with arthritis. It gives me so much mental energy and friendship in return.

There was a time when I used to postpone the things I wanted to do.

Because of my illness…But now I just do them! So I’m learning to play the piano and I love it. It stimulates my brain again.  And recently I’m into yoga. It helps me to regain strength. And during the drama classes I’m learning to express myself again.

And all this makes me feel so alive again.

You know, I am aware of my sick body, I am aware of my ‘limitations’.

Every morning I get up with my wolf fur. And every day I scan my limits.

What I can do and what not. What will work today and what will not.

It is what it is…

But besides being ill and having daily pain, I experience also very beautiful, intense moments of happiness.  Even if they are only fractions, a few hours, it doesn’t matter.  I’m especially grateful that I’m experiencing them.

My focus is on the things I can do, not on what I can’t.

And even though my wolf often tackles me in all my enthusiasm…

Even if I tread my path with much trial and error.

It will certainly not stop me to follow my heart and to do the things I’m passionate about. It will certainly not stop me to be intensely happy too.

Don’t stop me now…

You are right Freddie.

Show must go on!

That’s the spirit ;-).

Claudine Goyens is a member of CIB LIGAUnknown

 

 

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2 days ago
LUPUS EUROPE

#lupus is a #raredisease that affects nearly 500,000 people in Europe. Furthermore, there are over 300 million people who live with a #raredisease in #europe.

Today, along with Rare Disease Day, patient organisations around the world advocate for equity for people living with a rare disease

#ShareYourColours and help us spread the word by liking and sharing. Remember that you can also download the material of the official campaign on the website

rarediseases.org/
... See MoreSee Less

#Lupus is a #RareDisease that affects nearly 500,000 people in Europe. Furthermore, there are over 300 million people who live with a #RareDisease in #Europe.

Today, along with Rare Disease Day, patient organisations around the world advocate for equity for people living with a rare disease

#ShareYourColours and help us spread the word by liking and sharing. Remember that you can also download the material of the official campaign on the website 

https://rarediseases.org/
2 days ago
LUPUS EUROPE

Today is rare disease day!

🚨 There are over 300 million people who live with a #raredisease in #europe.

🌎 Today, we join our fellow patient organisations that work towards a better life for people with rare diseases and their families.

🔴 Some facts about #RAREDISEASES:

1️⃣ There are more than 6000 identified rare diseases.

2️⃣ Rare diseases currently affect 5% of the worldwide population.
The true impact of rare diseases is much wider, however, with those affected in Europe in the millions, as the disease affects not only the patient but also our loved ones.

3️⃣ 72% of genetic diseases are genetic, although #lupus is not one of them.
👉 Lupus is not a genetic disease. Although it is very much related to genes, there are other factors that play a role in its manifestation.

4️⃣ 👶Neonatal #lupus is a rare congenital disorder that some infants of mothers with lupus and anti-Ro/SSA and/or anti-La/SSB antibodies develop.
The most serious complication of neonatal lupus is a heart condition known as congenital heart block.

5️⃣ Having an early diagnosis is key to having access to the right treatment. This has an impact on physical and mental health and, therefore, on the quality of life.

Along with organisations Rare Disease Daye DayEURORDIS-Rare Diseases Europeurope, we will carry on working towards an early diagnosis, access to treatment and equality for #raredisease patients 🙌.

Thank you for your support on this #RareDiseaseDay!

#rarediseaseday2024 #ShareYourColours
... See MoreSee Less

Today is rare disease day!

🚨 There are over 300 million people who live with a #RareDisease in #Europe.

🌎 Today, we join our fellow patient organisations that work towards a better life for people with rare diseases and their families.

🔴 Some facts about #RareDiseases: 

1️⃣ There are more than 6000 identified rare diseases.

2️⃣  Rare diseases currently affect 5% of the worldwide population.
The true impact of rare diseases is much wider, however, with those affected in Europe in the millions, as the disease affects not only the patient but also our loved ones.

3️⃣ 72% of genetic diseases are genetic, although #lupus is not one of them. 
👉 Lupus is not a genetic disease. Although it is very much related to genes, there are other factors that play a role in its manifestation.

4️⃣ 👶Neonatal #lupus is a rare congenital disorder that some infants of mothers with lupus and anti-Ro/SSA and/or anti-La/SSB antibodies develop. 
The most serious complication of neonatal lupus is a heart condition known as congenital heart block. 

5️⃣ Having an early diagnosis is key to having access to the right treatment. This has an impact on physical and mental health and, therefore, on the quality of life. 

Along with organisations Rare Disease Daye DayEURORDIS-Rare Diseases Europeurope, we will carry on working towards an early diagnosis, access to treatment and equality for #RareDisease patients 🙌.

Thank you for your support on this #RareDiseaseDay! 

#rarediseaseday2024  #ShareYourColoursImage attachmentImage attachment+2Image attachment
3 days ago
LUPUS EUROPE

🌟 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗩𝗼𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗠𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀: 𝗝𝗼𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗥𝗮𝗿𝗘𝗥𝗡 𝗣𝗮𝘁𝗵 #𝗟𝘂𝗽𝘂𝘀 𝗦𝘂𝗿𝘃𝗲𝘆 🌟

🦋 Each journey with lupus is unique, yet there are shared paths: the initial confusion at the first symptoms, the quest for a diagnosis... But we know every lupuERN RECONNETs the power to initiate change.

🤝 ERN RECONNET and Lupus Europe have collaborated on the RarERN Path #lupus project, aimed at capturing and understanding the patient experiences across Europe.

Your story is crucial to reshape and enhance the care and attention we, as lupus patients, receive.

📢 𝗪𝗲 𝗡𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗩𝗼𝗶𝗰𝗲❗

If you're living with lupus 𝗶𝗻 𝗘𝘂𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗲, your participation is invaluable.

By sharing your patient pathway, you can contribute to a larger effort to understand how people experience the condition, their pathways and ultimately, to try and improve healthcare services.

🔗 𝗔𝘃𝗮𝗶𝗹𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝟭𝟰 𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗴𝘂𝗮𝗴𝗲𝘀:

🇩🇰Danish: bit.ly/SLEStories_Danish
🇳🇱Dutch: bit.ly/SLEStories_Dutch2
🇬🇧English: buff.ly/3uExnRz
🇫🇮Finnish: bit.ly/SLEStories_Finnish
🇬🇷Greek: bit.ly/SLEStories_Greek
🇮🇸Icelandic: bit.ly/SLEStories_Icelandic
🇮🇹Italian: bit.ly/SLEStories_Italian
🇱🇹Lithuanian: bit.ly/SLEStories_Lithuanian
🇵🇱Polish: bit.ly/SLEStories_Polish
🇵🇹 Portuguese: bit.ly/SLEStories_Portuguese
🇪🇸Spanish: bit.ly/SLEStories_Spanish
🇸🇰Slovak: bit.ly/SLEStories_Slovak
🇫🇷French: buff.ly/3IfuJVf
🇩🇪German: buff.ly/3IfHf7e

Your story can lead to significant shifts in lupus care. Let's come together to make a difference. Your experience, your opinion, your struggles, and your triumphs can help shape a better future for all lupus patients across Europe.

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗿𝗼𝘄❗
... See MoreSee Less

🌟 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗩𝗼𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗠𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀: 𝗝𝗼𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗥𝗮𝗿𝗘𝗥𝗡 𝗣𝗮𝘁𝗵 #𝗟𝘂𝗽𝘂𝘀 𝗦𝘂𝗿𝘃𝗲𝘆 🌟

🦋 Each journey with lupus is unique, yet there are shared paths: the initial confusion at the first symptoms, the quest for a diagnosis...  But we know every lupuERN RECONNETs the power to initiate change.

🤝 ERN RECONNET and Lupus Europe have collaborated on the RarERN Path #Lupus project, aimed at capturing and understanding the patient experiences across Europe.

Your story is crucial to reshape and enhance the care and attention we, as lupus patients, receive.

📢 𝗪𝗲 𝗡𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗩𝗼𝗶𝗰𝗲❗

If youre living with lupus 𝗶𝗻 𝗘𝘂𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗲, your participation is invaluable.

By sharing your patient pathway, you can contribute to a larger effort to understand how people experience the condition, their pathways and ultimately, to try and  improve healthcare services.

🔗 𝗔𝘃𝗮𝗶𝗹𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝟭𝟰 𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗴𝘂𝗮𝗴𝗲𝘀:

🇩🇰Danish: https://bit.ly/SLEStories_Danish 
🇳🇱Dutch: https://bit.ly/SLEStories_Dutch2 
🇬🇧English: https://buff.ly/3uExnRz 
🇫🇮Finnish: https://bit.ly/SLEStories_Finnish 
🇬🇷Greek: https://bit.ly/SLEStories_Greek
🇮🇸Icelandic: https://bit.ly/SLEStories_Icelandic
🇮🇹Italian: https://bit.ly/SLEStories_Italian
🇱🇹Lithuanian: https://bit.ly/SLEStories_Lithuanian
🇵🇱Polish: https://bit.ly/SLEStories_Polish
🇵🇹 Portuguese: https://bit.ly/SLEStories_Portuguese
🇪🇸Spanish: https://bit.ly/SLEStories_Spanish
🇸🇰Slovak: https://bit.ly/SLEStories_Slovak
🇫🇷French: https://buff.ly/3IfuJVf 
🇩🇪German: https://buff.ly/3IfHf7e 

Your story can lead to significant shifts in lupus care. Lets come together to make a difference. Your experience, your opinion, your struggles, and your triumphs can help shape a better future for all lupus patients across Europe. 

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗿𝗼𝘄❗
3 days ago
LUPUS EUROPE

🚨 Tomorrow is #RareDiseaseDay!

🙌 Let's show our support to all those organisations that, like us, work every day to improve patients' quality of life.

🔊 Share the officiRare Disease DayDay campaign video and help us raise awareness of the importance of an early diagnosis, equitable opportunities and access to healthcare.

#ShareYourColours

buff.ly/49NLliU
... See MoreSee Less

🚨 Tomorrow is #RareDiseaseDay!

🙌 Lets show our support to all those organisations that, like us, work every day to improve patients quality of life. 

🔊 Share the officiRare Disease DayDay campaign video and help us raise awareness of the importance of an early diagnosis, equitable opportunities and access to healthcare.

#ShareYourColours 

https://buff.ly/49NLliU
LUPUS EUROPE Uniting people with Lupus throughout Europe
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