Autoimmune Disease: Why do they call it Lupus?

The first person to call the disease Lupus was a doctor named Rogerius. This happened in the 1200s, and he named the disease because the face sores people get from Lupus make them look like a wolf bit them. I guess back in the 1200s more people were bit by wolves and doctors actually knew what wolf bites looked like. I also guess those sores were often ugly because of infection. This is the earliest reported coining of the name Lupus for this illness, and all other sources I found also attribute it to Doctor Rogerius. The most authoritative of all the sources where I found this was Lupus Foundation of America's website. They also produced this informative video on what Lupus is.

Lupus Foundation of America's video says:
Lupus is an autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks healthy cells. In early stages its symptoms are often just body aches and fatigue, so Lupus is hard to diagnose. The wolf-bite looking facial sore is a tell-tale sign, but it doesn't always show in everyone who has Lupus. It is treated by suppressing the immune system with cortisone and other steroids. There is no cure as of January 2013. It is not necessarily a lethal disease, but it can be life threatening. A rheumatologist is the doctor who treats Lupus.
I am researching my third Dog Aliens book right now. It is about a she wolf named Neya. It has nothing to do with the disease Lupus. The disease just kept coming up when I was trying to find information on wolves. If you would like to read my story, you should start with the first book, Dog Aliens 1: Raffle's Name.
Other authoritative sources, including Lupus UK and NIAMS, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases say the disease wasn't first named after the Latin word for wolf until the 1850s, by doctors named Clausit and Cazenave. They also say it was named for resembling a wolf bite, but are more tentative on that being for sure the explanation of why the disfiguring skin disorder is named after an animal.

Yet more sources say Lupus was named with the Latin word for wolf because the sores make the patients themselves resemble wolves, rather than the victims of wolf bites. However, I couldn't find any authoritative references for this claim. I'm not saying there aren't any, just that I could not find references.
I weighed in at 154.6 this morning. 

Icy Tree Limbs Picture

How cool is this picture I took of icy tree limbs the other day! I was mesmerized when I saw it, and I am so glad the picture does it justice. God knows how to make way prettier lace than you or I would ever crochet or spin. This is Him showing off. Who knew something of just a few colors could be so beautiful? I think the gray sky adds to the effect, rather than taking anything away. A blue sky would distract from the lovely lines of the limbs, I think.

This is just a small slice of the photo. I posted a short wide section of it on my Facebook profile. The wide version has its own kind of beauty that frames my profile nicely, I think!

I took this photo Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. outside my dentist's office in Spokane Valley, WA.

I weighed in at 154.4 this morning. I know! I really am going to kick these extra pounds and get back under 150. Really. I am. Maybe winter just isn't the time to do that, though. It's cold! Besides, Scott guarded a catered event the other day and brought home boxes and boxes of little cakes, bars, cookies and other treats...

My favorite jeans still fit.
I'm still off diet soda.

Gained Ten Pounds Over Christmas

I gained ten pounds over Christmas. It isn't Christmas without cookies! I had gotten back down to 151.8 last Saturday, but then Sunday came with church potluck, so I figured I might as well make pancakes for breakfast and eat garlic bread late at night... Yesterday I weighed in at 153.6! Today I am back down to 152.8. Whew! Still trying to get back inside my goal weight of 145 to 149.9 so I can go spend this gift card at TJ Maxx and get some new clothes...

I walked all over Costco and Walmart yesterday. It was too icy to venture to the park. A few Walmart employees asked if they could help me find anything.

"Nope, I'm just getting my daily workout!"
"Heh! I see!"

They smiled about it. We have a brand new Walmart just a mile from us, right next to our Costco. Who needs the mall anymore?Here is what I ate yesterday and lost .8 pounds, along with walking at least a mile inside warm stores:

Special K, organic soy milk, and blueberries (2 helpings: I got up at 4 and had 'second breakfast' at 7)
1 El Monterey burrito with salsa
Costco Samples: half a cheese ravioli with olive oil and garlic salt, 2 Wheat Thins with cream cheese, two bites of a chicken patty made with cheese and rosemary)
Baked chicken, onion, and baby carrots
2 Tootsie Pops

Deer Tracks in Snow Spokane

One of the coolest things about snow in Spokane, WA is it helps the deer tracks show up. This is the park where I walk every day. It is riddled with deer hoof prints! They have two side by side impressions, and the older deer leave long nail trails in front of the original prints. I can tell that at least three deer trekked through here together recently.

The deer pass through our park and through the vacant lot next to our rented house all year long, but most of the time their droppings are the only sign I notice. We see the actual deer sometimes, too, mostly through the windows. In spring they like to eat the dandelions out of our lawn, which they are more than welcome to!

I weighed in at 151.8 this morning, 1.9 pounds away from my goal weight range of 145 to 149.9. Sunday and Wednesday are my cheat days, though, as our church always has goodies out and those are the days we go.

I walked my mile in the snow yesterday, with Oreo. Here is what I ate and lost exactly a pound:

Special K and organic soy milk with blueberries
Leftover baked chicken, carrots and onion
Salmon patty with Robert Rothschild's Pineapple Habanero Sauce and steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots
1 strawberry flavored Blowpop candy

P.S. Yes, I am still off diet soda! 

I'm a Hippie Once More - Refusing to Participate in Hatred

The conflict I am against now is the "us and them war" that agitators keep trying to stir up. Rich vs poor, black vs white, men vs women, Republicans vs Democrats... I am going to stop participating in the "us and them war." I wish everyone would. I am disgusted with all of it: Facebook "friends" telling me I'm an idiot because I disagree with their politics, talking heads on TV saying how evil so and so is for disagreeing with the TV station's politics, gossip rags quoting people out of context to stir up hatred...

Listen to my theme song and read the lyrics. The only thing I would change is to capitalize the word You.

It's about refusing to participate in hatred.

The song is "I'd Love to Change the World" by the band Ten Years After from their 1971 album "A Space in Time." They understand that taxing the rich to feed the poor is only going to make it so there are no rich people anymore. In 1971 they get that. Yet, they are hippies. It's not about hating on rich people (or white people, or Republicans, or Democrats, or anyone). It's about refusing to participate in hatred, refusing to be part of the insidious campaign to divide and conquer us.

I lost 2 pounds yesterday! 

I weighed in at 155 this morning. I walked my mile yesterday for the first time in a week, because of being sick last week. Here is what I ate yesterday and lost 2 pounds of fat from Christmas and Thanksgiving rich eating:

Special K and organic soy milk
El Monterey bean burrito with lots of salsa
Leftover baked chicken, carrots and onion
Hamburger patty, barbecue sauce, raw baby carrots

AND, today is day two with no diet soda. I survived the day yesterday, so I plan on having no diet soda again today. One day at a time ought to do it for me.

Day 1 Without Diet Soda

Diet soda has been my toughest vice to quit. Honestly, it was easier to quit smoking cigarettes. I drank the last Diet Coke in the house yesterday, and the plan is I will not buy any more. It is only 8 a.m. and I am still drinking coffee, so I am not yet having aspartame withdrawals.

Diet soda leeches the calcium from your bones, according to many sources. The most recent source I heard this from was Michael R. Wilson, M.D. In his essay "Bone Up," in the book Fifty Things to Do When You Turn Fifty, Dr. Wilson writes:

"...We make deposits in the bone mineral bank by maintaining a dietary calcium intake of greater than 1,500 mg a day... We make withdrawals via drinking diet soda, turning into a couch potato, smoking, drinking alcohol... menopause..."

This goes against Dr. Tarnower's advice in my diet Bible, The Scarsdale Medical Diet. Dr. Tarnower recommends diet soda as a way to get something sweet when you are in the losing cycle of the diet. I think his advice is what got me hooked on diet soda in the first place. Dr. Tarnower was a heart doctor, though. Dr. Wilson is a bone doctor, so he knows better in this regard.

From this picture of our can recycling bin, you can see that I was drinking five times as much Diet Coke as Scott was drinking regular Pepsi. I was drinking five cans a day. Mom, you are right, though: not even one can per day is healthy for my bones. Did you realize this was in the book when you wrapped it up for me for Christmas? I really enjoyed most of the book, although I skipped the essays on plastic surgery and other religions.

I am finally not sick anymore! I weighed in at 157 this morning, so I want to lose 10 pounds in the next few weeks. So far, so good today. I am on track having just eaten my Special K with organic soy milk. I put a teaspoon of cinnamon over the coffee grounds before I brewed it. Tastes really yummy!

Spokane Pretty in Snow

This is my view from my desk at home! The falling snow didn't show up in the picture, but it is enchanting to watch. All the Spokane schools are closed today. There aren't any kids living close by, but I bet they are all out sledding and making snow men.

The old, pioneer-style houses make this showy view pretty to me, along with the pine trees. Spokane was the first white settlement in Washington, created as settlers first started arriving along the Oregon Trail. Many of these structures survive, and more like them have been built in imitation. Our movers told us Spokane has the smallest houses in the US. I find them so quaint to look at! Not all the houses are small. We found a decent sized house to rent.

The temperature is exactly 32 at 9 this morning. It is supposed to warm up later on. We have had a steady inch or two of snow that stays, but it is not usually tough to drive in if you have studded tires, which we just got ourselves for Christmas! They cost $766 installed, and they are worth every penny.

I had taken myself off the substitute teaching call list for today anyway, because of my cold or flu, whichever it was. I think I will be free from contagion and able to work tomorrow. I usually wait to go back to work until I have been cough and sneeze free for 24 hours. I wish everyone did!

Dogs Doing Dishes

Here are Raffle and Oreo doing my dishes for me. They get all the food off before the dishes go in the washer! It's one of their favorite jobs. They're good at it, which is great as we are on a septic tank, so we don't have a garbage disposal. When I only have one dish or pan for the two of them to collaborate on, they get competitive. This time, there was one dish each. They also lick the beaters when I make a cake.

Maggie Rae, thanks for stopping by and asking how I am doing. I have a really nasty cold, the kind that is swelling up my sinuses and making them ache. I'm sneezing, and my nose is running. The cold also sours my stomach, so I have not adhered strictly to my diet these past few days. I eat crackers to settle my stomach. For some reason, it gets really acidy when I am sick. I have trouble drinking coffee when sick, too.

Yesterday I weighed in at 154.2, 4.6 pounds down from Tuesday's frightening weigh-in at 158.8. I had to drink water throughout the night last night to keep hydrated because we turned the heat up to help me get over this cold. There was no sense in weighing in after drinking all that water. I usually weigh in after a complete fast of at least 6 hours, which is usually easy to achieve overnight. Not last night.

I haven't been outside since I first felt the sickness coming on, Tuesday after my walk. Wednesday I did five minutes on the stair stepper, but I got breathless. Thankfully, it was just the illness. It used to be any little bit of exercise left me breathless and unable to continue. I am so thankful to have my stamina back! When I'm not sick, anyway.

Dog Aliens 2 Oreo comes out April 5, 2013 and 
Dog Aliens 3 She Wolf Neya is due out July 10, 2013.

Both will be released to all eBook sites the same month as their paperback is released at Amazon.

My Desk View of Dogs in Snow

 Raffle and Oreo are out playing in the snow this morning while I write. They actually do more guarding than playing, now that they are 10 years old. They have been watching that empty alley off and on for half an hour. No one has come down it, but if they do, the dogs tell them they should turn around and go back because this is THEIR alley!

I put on ten pounds over the holidays and weighed in at 158.8 this morning. Eep! I had promised myself to never again weigh more than 150, so it's time to crack down and lose these extra ten pounds in the next two weeks. Of course, I went hog wild at the New Year's Eve party I attended last night. I had lasagna, chicken enchilada casserole, chocolate chip cookies, and three servings of pineapple upside down cake! Yum! LOL!

I ate leftover blueberry pancakes just now, too, with cheese and mango syrup. But, starting right this minute, I am back on the Scarsdale Medical Diet until I weigh in at less than 150 pounds once again.