Welcome – I’m Laura Day. I live in Beautiful Ballarat located in VIC Australia. Some people say its cold here, I’d probably agree – winters do last longer than average and can be bitter cold, however with LUPUS this climate is a good fit.
I started this blog to document my healing journey living with Lupus (sle). I was officially diagnosed with this condition in 2010, however I was showing symptoms for much longer. In my opinion conventional medical doctors are baffled by auto-immune conditions, and there is alot of confusion on how to treat it effectively. For the first 4 years I have followed the conventional medical route, taking a whole concoction of drugs including – Prednisone (steroids), Plaquenil (anti-malarial) and Methotrexate (chemotherapy drug) along with Vitamin D, Calcium, and anti-antibiotics if i get sick.
I have never been really comfortable putting “prescription DRUGS” into my body, but at time this was the only solution I was given to deal with my rashes, fatigue, chronic joint pain, and mouth ulcers. I have been on a search — though 6 Rheumatologists hoping that they could suggest something other than medication for treatment. At the start I did feel some relief from the medication, but I was still worried about the long term effects of taking all these drugs. Depression, eye problems, memory loss etc… DR google and it gets pretty scary!
I started looking for alternative treatment around 2 years after my diagnosis. I have tried – Naturopathy, Osteopathy, Kinesiology, Reiki, Acupuncture and Chinese herbs, plus a host of vitamins and herbal suppliants for my immune system from the health food shop.
December 2014 marked the start of one of the biggest lupus flares I have ever had. I admitted myself to emergency twice within a week. Only to be given a high dose of steroids and more steroid cream, plus antibiotics to deal with the infection on my skin. I was eventually admitted to the Alfred hospital before Easter in 2015 and diagnosed with Lupus Nephritis – I was given MYFORTIC to help calm the kidney inflammation – the scary thing with kidney disease is that it is a-symptomatic – I had a renal biopsy and stayed in hospital for 9 days. My first hospital experience was traumatic to say the least and the high dose streoids put me into a drug induced depression. After hospital i returned to Ballarat for home respite and slumped into a 4 month long depression that i felt i could never bounce back from. I did a 6 session CBT treatment that I don’t believe helped me to focus on the good things in life that i had to look forward to the sessions were more focoused on my feelings on the “illness” rather than the “WELLNESS” aspect – which turned me into a couch potato – withdrawing from life – not showering, binge watching shows on NETFLIX and playing solitaire on my phone.
After some time I was able to resume 8 hours of work with my amazing supportive workplace ARTHUR CREATIVE – where I was able to get back to teaching visual arts through a day program for artists with disability. I felt great to be back and socializing again – back to a :”somewhat” normal life again — Still having to attend 4-6weekly check ups in melbourne to see if the new treatment was for me. After some time a 2nd Biopsy was done and I received a phone call at home alone (as my partner was in melb with all our friends at a BBQ. I was told i needed to be admited back into hospital the next day because the 2nd biopsy showed slightly worse damage. Not told what course of action, we made the trip down, and met my mum – and was told that my only option is IV Chemo treatment. Everyone was in shock. I completely refused it straight away. POISON going into my veins, no way… and with all the reading about health and wellness. It went against my moral code. Distraught Mum suggested I go home wit her to thing about it. No thinking happened, i didnt sleep all night. We made an emergency appointment with my trusted Rheumatologist Daniel Lewis and he agreed that this was the only way to avoid kidney damage and going on dialysis.
So decision made – It was happening even though I wasn’t happy that this was the only option for me right now. I opted to transfer my treatment from Melbourne to my home base in Ballarat. I thought that if i was staying in hospital for 3 days of infusion, id like to get to know the nurses and staff that would be treating me. It also gave me access to being referred to a local clinical Psychologist because of my past drug induced depression. I ended up staying 6 days. Because of the steroids I wasn’t sleeping so I saw 3 sunrises in a row. The catering staff were a bit baffled at first with my Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan diet. But i just asked for hot water for my own herbal teas and was given vegan salads (that i had to pick nightshade veggies out of and steamed rice and veg, which was good – PLUS by my partner brought me in sushi, almond milk and Gluten free brekky food.
This time round I am taking a new approach – opening up to everyone in my extended network – family and friends all sending love and support. I have been active on social media as a way of coping and hoping that i can help others on a similar path.. my local community has been amazing people that knew me as ARTIST Laura had no idea that i had Lupus as it is an invisible illness, and when I am out and baout its only because its one of my good days. Behind closed doors its a different story. I want to open up share my journey, and hopefully inspire a whole host of people with or without illness / disability. Prevention is the beast way to protect yourself from ending up sick like I did.
Originally frustrated and fed up with the conventional medical approach, I started this blog to track my healing journey through both conventional and alternative treatments. But now I see there is a place for both – along with many lifestyle factors – emotional and environmental STRESS playing a big role in the chance of someone having a health turn. Lupus came into my life for a reason, I was stressed, self critical, emotionally sensitive, comfort eating and didn’t love myself to really take good care of my body and it fought back by giving me an illness that was attacking my body – Just like i was doing to myself mentally.
I know I am a long way off, but i have hope and faith that one day my illness will no longer afflict me.. There are still many complimentary / alternative health avenues to explore, I plan to document my trials and triumphs and hopefully inspire other fellow sufferers to do the same. I welcome you to join me on this self healing journey…
MAJOR TURNING POINTS in my journey to wellness have been:
Reading Dr Joel Fuhrman “EAT TO LIVE” & learning about his “Nutritarian food pyramid” https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/foodpyramid.aspx
INVESTING in my health via SKYPE appointments with Robyn Chuter a qualified Naturopath, who helped to designing a plant based eating plan specifically for me, PLUS incorporating EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) to dissolve patterns of self-sabotage.
Watching the FOOD MATTERS documentary
Attending 2 EARTH EVENTS, so far…
Gabrielle Burnstein in MELB: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wK8W-le08M
Food Matters LIVE TOUR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgqXAevjdZ4