Tuesday, May 12, 2015

“Rainbow Fruit Kabobs" As May Is "Lupus Awareness Month"

Welcome! This week I am going a little off track and sharing something with my readers. I have a chronic illness called, Lupus (SLE). Some of you know this already. I was diagnosed in 1998 and have been living with its wrath for 17 years plus. Yes, it has been really hard dealing with this chronic illness, like a roller coaster ride, pain, lots of pills, doctors, side effects, other medical issues that add to my Lupus, fatigue, tears, and too many more issues to mention . But even with those issues I look at it as a blessing in some sort of a crazy way. The blessing is that I have learned so much from having this illness such as, life lessons about having patience, being a strong person mentally, have discovered the importance of being optimistic, understanding how people feel with disabilities, knowing and appreciate how important it is to have faith, family, and friends, plus being proud of the woman I am despite having Lupus. It isn’t that I didn’t know all this before, but it just seemed different to me now, as I am a person fighting everyday with this illness. 

There are two reasons why I am sharing this information and the first is that May is “Lupus Awareness Month.” The other is that I hope sharing my experiences will help others who have Lupus know that they are not alone. May 10th was "World Lupus Day," and May 15th is POP day, which stands forPut On Purple.” The colors of Lupus are Orange and Purple. So, please show solidarity and support by wearing purple or orange in the month of May and Purple on May 15th..

Lupus Awareness Month,” is observed to increase public understanding of the unpredictable and potentially life-threatening disease that affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans and at least five million people worldwide. Someone in the US is being diagnosed with Lupus every 30 minutes. Lupus is a complex autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and can damage any organ in the body. Many symptoms of Lupus mimic those of other illnesses, which makes it very difficult to diagnose. Everyone who has Lupus can have different symptoms and different problems. No Lupus patient is the same. Researchers do not know the exact cause of Lupus, but it is NOT infectious, NOT cancerous and you CANNOT catch Lupus by coming in contact with someone who has the disease. It is important to emphasize that a complete medical evaluation by your doctor is essential to ensure a proper diagnosis and treatment. I hope that this gives you, my readers some understanding of the illness. We all have illnesses in our families, and try to give to so many different charities, I indeed understand. After 56 years a new drug that will help Lupus patients became available a few years ago. So we need more funding and support for awareness. Please, Band Together, so we all can Change Lives and join or give generously to the "Lupus Foundation of America." Thank you. 



I remember when I was living in upstate New York, (which is where I was diagnosed), my parents came up to visit me in the summer. My dad had found an article on a website that he thought I may want to check out. The article was about the founder of this new web site called "But You Don't Look Sick." Christine Miserandino has Lupus and is an advocate for people with all kinds of invisible illness. I could not believe it when I visited her site. There were others who had Lupus plus other invisible illness and everyone was finding out information, expressing their feelings, and supporting each other. What a great title to call this website, as that is what everyone was always telling me, “but you don’t look sick” to have Lupus. Christine has hit it on the head, with this web site, where others can find a collection of stories, articles, book information, health resources and it is a very positive place for those who are living with chronic pain. So, needless to say I found a goldmine, I have to say a BIG thank you to my dad who found this article. 


Christine Miserandino you are my hero! Thank you for all you do. She gives inspiration to everyone that comes in contact with her. But when it comes to her “Spoonies” she is like a mother hen.  Yes, I did say “spoonie”.  I am a “spoonie” and so are over 11,000 other people that have joined Christine and the "But You Don't Look Sick" family. Christine is the author of “The Spoon Theory”which is a story to explain what life was like living with Lupus, a chronic illness to her friend. She used a “spoon” a normal every day item, so people would understand and be reminded of the small struggles and choices “we” make every day. When you are healthy you do not have to think about every thing you do within a day, such as working, cooking, the walk from your car to the store, or cleaning your house. It is a story about using your energy, choices, and consequences, of every- day life. The Spoon Theory is like our mantra or the secret society of the invisible illnesses. I can identify and support “The Spoon Theory.” Christine and the "But You Don't Look Sick" website has been my go to place where I can network with friends, have a positive attitude, and accomplish my goals.

Thank you for reading my story and I hope this has given you a better understanding of what it is like to have Lupus. “Spoonies” unite and please support our cause.

My recipe this week is a simple and easy dish called “Rainbow Fruit Kabobs.” With Lupus as many other diseases it is important to eat many fruits and veggies. Now as the weather is getting warmer, this will be a sweet and delicious dish to serve your guests, or treat yourself.

“Rainbow Fruit Kabobs”


Ingredients: (You can use any fresh fruit, Organic if you prefer)
Grapes
Blueberries
Kiwi
Pineapple
Oranges
Strawberries


Directions:
Wash and clean all fresh fruit. Cut Kiwi, Pineapple, and Oranges to bite size pieces. Any juice save for later. Clean strawberries, cut tops off. Now just thread the fruit on skewers. You can place them like the photo or you can put them in anyway you prefer. Pour over the fruit skewers reserved juice. Serve on a platter so the rainbow colors all match up…nice and refreshing…Enjoy!

Till next Time……..

Copyright © 2015 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved    

14 comments:

  1. Very informative post. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing something so personal.

    I absolutely *love* the pic you included about what not to say to someone with a disabling chronic illness. Although I myself don't have Lupus, I do have anxiety and bipolar, which are also invisible. I'll be sure to check out the But You Don't Look Sick website later today.

    I will definitely be wearing purple this month; it just so happens to be my favorite color. :-)

    Hugs,
    Audra

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    1. Dear Audra,
      Thank you for taking the time to make a comment and to read this post. Yes, once in a while I mention about my Lupus, especially in May as it is an important month. After a year living with this diesease I also was diagioned with MS. Seems once the door is opened, you can get other problems...So I live with both of them. Yes, you also can get some info and help from "But You Don't Look Sick" due to your anxiety and bipolar. You can take make a copy of that photo of what to say to someone who has a chronic illness if you choose. Thank you for wearing purple, I love the color as well. Hope that you have a good week....
      Hugs Dottie :)

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  2. Good evening my dear Dottie ,
    I am so very proud of you for telling everyone off your struggles with lupus , ( you told me you had lupus) I admired you for your strength in how brave and positive you was . As you know I am a diabetic ...one of the invisible diseases , as you say you have to keep a positive attitude , you are right we don't look sick .
    I also think our illness make us stronger and more full of life because we are more aware of things around us .

    What a wonderful poster you have on What not to say to a person with any type of illness . If you don't mind I would like to copy it , make a plaque and hang it on the wall at the front desk at the hotel .

    I will wear my purple blouse Friday in honor of 'Lupus Day' , all the casinos are having a walk for lupus to raise money , we have 4/5 lupus employees that work in the casino and hotel , they work at their own speed . And no they don't look sick .

    Dottie , this was one of your best posts my friend , it brought tears to my eyes as I am sure it will to others and your dear eyes as you was sharing it with us .
    Thank you my friend .
    Have a wonderful week and keep smiling ;-D Nee

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    1. Dearest Nee,
      Thank you so very much my dear friend for your support. I do try to stay positive as much as I can. I am very fortunate to have so many friends and family that give me inspiration and support as well. (including you and the other ladies in the blogging world) I know that you are a diabetic, and you are correct another invisible disease. We have to be strong as there is no other choice. We can't give up. Nee dear you can take anything you find helpful from my blog, so be my guest and take that poster....It really is so true and so many people say these things. I really don't think that they mean any harm, I just think they do not know. That is why it is so important to educate everyone what this disease is all about. Thanks for wearing purple on Friday and for supporting the people by doing the walk for people that can't. Nee don't shed tears for me, which I appreciate, shed tears for the people that need the help and are just learning about their issues. Glad that you liked this post and you my dear friend have a splendid rest of the week...I will keep smiling...:) Blessings....
      Hugs Dottie :)

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    2. Dear Dottie ,
      My tears is for how strong you are , I's wonderful to know you are in control ... so man people le heir illness control them , we have to take charge .

      If you notice , with our invisible illness , we are in a way more healthier than most folks . ;-D . I will visit 'You Don' Look Sick' , you can always learn something form other people even if their illness is different than yours .
      Take care m friend and blessing to you :) nee

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    3. Thanks Nee,
      You are very kind. I am in control and a strong person, but sometimes I do have many melt-downs, but then realize there is no other choice, so I have to be strong. I feel we are stronger mentially as to the illness. We have been through so much. You know that with your diabetes. You are correct you can always learn and count on others. Blessings dear friend...
      Dottie :)

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  3. Dear Dottie, I praise your strength and encouragement to all. I am also praying for you that each day will be a better one.
    You are very strong to share your story and encourage others with these struggles that they are not alone and may find some strength in your story.
    The fruit kabobs are always delicious and a healthy treat.
    Blessings dear friend. xo Catherine

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    1. Dear Catherine,
      Thank you so much for your beautiful comment and your prayers. You are one of my best food blogger friends. I am strong at times, but do have melt downs at times. I try to share my struggles with others so they can be aware. Yes, I love fruit and these kabobs are a refreshing treat for a hot summer day for sure. Great hearing from you and I will be going to visit your blog today,,,Blessings dear friend for a great rest of the week.
      Dottie :)

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  4. Really excellent post. Lupus can be such a tough disease (as I'm sure you well know!) -- we know people who have it, and it's just no fun. But it's one of those diseases most people don't know about until they meet someone who has it, for some reason. So it's good to raise our awareness. Love the kabobs, too! Super post -- thanks.

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    1. Hi John,
      Thank you for your comment and for visiting...You are correct Lupus is a tough one, but we have to keep going in life and this is so important to share so others will see and learn what it is all about. I am not sure if you know this as well, one year after I was told I had Lupus, a door opens and then I was diagnosed with MS. So I deal with both of these diseases. Glad that you liked the Fruit Kabobs, they are so easy, pretty, and refreshing...Blessings to you and your family.
      Dottie :)

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  5. Dear Dottie, I really feel for you and the way you have written this post is simply wonderful. What you are saying that Lupus has made you stronger is admirable and I am sure you are. You also are very sensitive and loving. I always look forward to your lovely comments!
    They say that everything in life comes for a reason and has a positive side despite how hard it is to live with it. Diseases makes us stronger and better people and I believe they makes us grow spiritually too.
    Well done for raising awareness on this disease as many people don't understand it. Ciao e bacioni!

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    1. Dear Alida,
      Thank you dear friend, for your loving comment and for you visiting me. Yes, I rarely speak about it, only to a few people, but this is important to share as it gets everyone to think about and be aware of this disease. I try to be strong and be positive. the other alternative is to cry, and I have done that many times. Yes, I am a very religious person and spiritually I have grown so very much. You are so kind with your words and I thank you again for supporting me and my health issues.Now I am going to see what you have on your delicious blog. Have a glorious day and will see you on your blog...
      Hugs Dottie :)

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  6. Good job with this post, Dottie! Our 45 year old recently learned she has Lupus; it took her a while to be correctly diagnosed, but now she is doing well and looks great. My family is filled with diabetes, another of those invisible chronic diseases. I'll be wearing purple tomorrow. Take care and keep on!

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    1. Dear Pam,
      Thank you for visiting and your comment. Sorry to hear about your daughter being diagnosed with Lupus. Sounds like she is under control and doesn't have it that bad, bless her. If she need any info give her the website of "But You Don't Look Sick" or she can contact me at anytime, and I will help her with whatever she needs. I know about Diabetes, my mom has it and her whole side of the family is riddled with it as well. I have to watch as I am on Prednisone and that is a Steroid which makes your sugar levels go high.Thank you for wearing purple and supporting Lupus. I will say a prayer for your daughter..Have a wonderful day...
      Hugs, Dottie :)

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