I am feeling quite stuck in the middle, between feeling a lack of trust in the doctors, and a lack of trust in any alternative therapies too.
As you know I had a bad reaction to steroids a month ago and was very close to taking my own life. For a long time since I have felt like I survived a kind of near-death experience! Looking back now, I feel that my trust in my GP and Consultant has been eroded by the experience, especially as I talked through my concerns with my GP before I took the steroids -he knows I have a history of depression and anxiety- and yet he still thought I should give them a go. In some ways I'm glad I took them as I would always have wondered if they could help me.. now I know they aren't for me. It still shook my confidence in doctors though. I've now started taking high dose Naproxen 500mg with anti-acid caps to protect the stomach lining. I'm not a great fan of these but I need to take them at the mo as I'm flaring.
As you know I've also been trying out other alternatives of treating lupus, with diet (and I read 'The Lupus Recovery diet' book). I am still gluten free, sugar free, and I'm still mainly dairy free too. I think it's too early to tell whether it's having a positive effect, however as you will know from reading my previous blogs about the diet, I couldn't sustain a strict vegan diet with no butter, eggs or meat .. and no cake! I actually got to the point where I felt on the edge of an eating disorder where I saw all food as 'harmful' and starting wondering if I should give up eating altogether! Luckily I was getting support from my Nutritional Therapist who helped me find a way through to a reasonable diet that was going to help me in the long term. The problem I have now is, she is a big fan of a Dr Natasha Campbell McBride, who developed the 'GAPS' diet, which is very odd; it's about repairing the gut wall by eating lots of meaty soups and stews with lots of saturated fat and fermented foods... and cutting out ALL grains (yes ALL of them!) and potatoes, sweet potatoes and parsnips too. As you can imagine, I'm NOT a fan! In my experience I usually feel worse for eating too much saturated fat. Not only that, she also keeps recommending that I buy more and more expensive supplements and there's no evidence (that I can find anyway) that they will help with lupus.
So I'm caught between taking pills that will hurt my digestion but reduce the inflammation, and a nutritional therapist who's trying to heal my digestion with diet and expensive supplements...Ah!
This is the point where I need to have a rant. Not only is it unfair that we have to suffer the aches and pains and limits to our lives just having lupus, but we have to pay for it again by spending a lot of our disposable income or 'fun money' on prescriptions, and on top of that I feel discriminated against for not being able to eat foods that I'd like to eat like croissants and cream teas, instead I have to pay loads more money for horrible gluten free bread that tastes bad. I feel like a second class citizen.. not entitled to ordinary pleasures. Sometimes all I want to do is sit on the beach in the sunshine and eat an ice cream, but I know that will make me feel ill. Ok, rant over! I'm going on holiday to Cornwall next week and I'm determined to have fun!