Books by Lorie Ann Grover

Books by Lorie Ann Grover
Kirkus Starred Review, Firstborn: "A fantasy that reads like a lost history tome and deftly examines issues of gender...An engrossing story with welcome depths."

Monday, December 10, 2018

Life with Lupus: Light and Pericarditis

I thought to check in and share what the latest experiences have been regarding light in my life of lupus. As the days grow shorter, I celebrate the darkness. Less light makes life so much easier. Exposure to UVA and UVB can jump start a lupus flare.

On the downside, I find this time of year with the slant of the sun, glare increases: off the dining table, the tile, granite. Ha! Even Christmas trees are covered in a light that glares.

Thinking that the glare is the trigger, I was able to get prescription sunglasses. Working with them on in front of my laptop and using less precaution in the house, not darting through bright rooms, still resulted in a flare. There's the possibility of some other variable in the mix, but my gut is that sunglasses, alone, are not enough to allow me to sit in the light inside our house. I haven't been able to find research on such specific qualities of light.

Image result for pericarditis

Aside from sitting in a dark room for a couple days to recover from flares, my latest lupus manifestation is pericarditis. A $15,000 ER visit and further followup tests gave me this diagnosis. Inflammation triggers fluid in the heart sac which very much mirrors a heart attack. The fluid and pain eventually pass, in that case after 3 hours. I've read it can linger days or weeks. Scarring often results, which exacerbates the condition. So there's my new symptom that warns me to escape the light, work less, and breathe. Since the hospital visit, I've only had short episodes.

One note: even with insurance, many hospitals will adjust their fees with financial aid according to your income. It's worth submitting the paperwork, often found online.

The first image above is my collage from the former site, Polyvore, and the second is linked to the Mayo Clinic source.

While I appreciate the dark, I think of those struggling with depression in the absence of sunlight this December. Blessings on you.