Lupus, a disease that changed the life of Daniela López

“Lupus is a disease that brings us back to another reality and changes our lives, but we must take advantage of these changes to turn them into opportunities and make decisions that lead us to realize what we want for our life,” is the message shared by Daniela López Cervantes, who has been suffering from this disease for 11 years.

It was the year 2007 when Daniela López was only 24 years of age and diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus, considered the most common form affecting many parts of the body. She had recently graduated from university with a degree in Educational Sciences when she received her diagnoses. Her life changed and she became aware of this disease, so she had to learn to live with the new reality.

“It was a year after finishing university when I received the diagnosis of the disease; I had many plans and goals to carry out. At the time nothing changed, I investigated this disease, but a year ago I had an emotional relapse and I began to doubt my future and everything I could not no longer do”, says López Cervantes.

In that year, after an episode of suffering a relapse in her health, Daniela suffered from fever and intense headache for many days, as well as joint pain to the extent of not being able to move; she told her mother, who accompanied her with a specialist in rheumatology and after a series of laboratory studies and medical history, she was diagnosed with lupus.

The diagnosis at that time was lupus and mild depression. She remembers that she was losing the direction of her life, she wondered things about her, how to pursue her career and how to continue with the life to which she was accustomed.

Life changes-continues Daniela López-you become more aware of your health, what you eat, of your body and I believe that the changes are good enough to understand the disease and live with it. It is important to assimilate the changes.

“The treatment in general is to take corticosteroid drugs, as well as immunosuppressants to reduce the defenses that our body produces. There are also other medications that control pain, energy and some antimalarial drugs, which, although they are used to treat malaria, have also been found to be useful for this treatment of lupus,” she says.

Daniela López knows that in order to cope with this disease that has no cure, multidisciplinary accompaniment is important, as well as the family, friends, and the closest people. “I could not do it alone, the time has come that I have needed help and they have given it to me, but I have also had to see people leave and another who stays,” she shares.

“A normal day is to get up with joint pains in my hands and legs, which sometimes do not allow me mobility. I need more rest than usual after doing intense activities, you have to be careful with the sun because it can sprout lupus, take care of infections, take care of food, do a little exercise, it’s a big change in my life,” she says.

Regularly, Daniela needs to rest for six to eight hours, but when she has activities that are outside office or field she needs to recover this energy with afternoon naps.

“Despite the lupus and / or adversities that you can overcome, there are limits, but you can get ahead. It is true that there are times when relapses do not allow you to work, medical check-ups are constant and you have to ask for permits; In order to achieve this, you have to understand what is happening with you and talk to the immediate superiors and human resources personnel, in order to understand the situation in which you find yourself”, recommended López Cervantes.

The lupus that Daniela suffers is currently in a “recess”, has not presented symptoms of alarm, but day by day it reminds her of her physical condition that she has a disease, because occasionally she suffers from less intense pains, such as headache, scattered nausea, less strong than when the lupus flares.

“The discrimination that exists towards people suffering from lupus is due to the lack of knowledge of this disease. It is not contagious, it is not totally incapacitating, so it is important to make this disease known,” she concluded.

For a week in May, the Ecology and Vulnerable Groups Registries in collaboration with the LUPUS Oaxaca group “Supporting and informing”, launched an awareness campaign that consisted in reporting on this condition and illuminating purple the Municipal Palace and the Fountain of the Eight Regions.

What is Lupus?

The disease called Lupus affects women, men and children; There is no cure at the moment, but there are treatments that are used for other diseases or are just managing to control it in some patients with certain characteristics.

The most serious risks to health are cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and stroke.

There are several types of lupus: the systemic erythematosus, considered the most common and affects many parts of the body and the discoid erythematosus, which causes a skin rash that is difficult to heal.

In addition to subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus, which causes sores on parts of the body that are exposed to the sun; the secondary, caused by the use of some medications and neonatal lupus, a rare type of lupus that affects newborn babies.

About the author

This article was written by Ian Hayden Parker, Oaxaca Life staff writer, the leading source for English news in Oaxaca, Mexico.