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Battling lupus one day at a time

March 22, 2010

Even on the cloudiest of days, Susan H. Langley wears a potent sunscreen under her makeup and all over her neck. On her arms, she settles for a lighter lotion — strong enough to shield her limbs from harmful ultraviolet rays, but thin enough to avoid a pasty, conspicuous appearance.

For the past 15 years, Langley, 58, has quietly battled lupus, an incurable disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own organs and tissues. There was a time when the Odessa woman enjoyed being outdoors, but now she sees the sun — and even the fluorescent lights she works under as a nurse — as a formidable threat.

Too much exposure to sunlight tends to aggravate lupus, prompting outbreaks known as flares. Langley knows all too well about flares and the many other challenges posed by the debilitating disease. In her case, lupus has led to a long list of medical problems, including diabetes.

There are days when Langley has difficulty breathing. She copes with constant fatigue and chronic muscle and joint pain from fibromyalgia. Langley also suffers from Sjögren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes her mouth to become dry and her eyelids to stick to her eyes when she sleeps.

A few minutes into a recent interview, Langley’s husband, Ron, noticed Langley needed a drink and quickly fetched her a cup of cold water. "He’s been instrumental in making things work well here at home," Langley said of her husband. The two will celebrate their 43rd wedding anniversary this month.

With the help of a supportive family and a firm faith in God, Langley has continued working as a registered nurse despite her diagnosis. Friends and family members say she is remarkably resilient and positive, even on the most miserable days.

"She’s a very determined woman," said Gail Knous, a colleague and dear friend of Langley’s who also has lupus. "I’m not as strong as her. I don’t have that fighter instinct."

"She just keeps on," said Heather Harrison, Langley’s daughter. "She never complains."

And while Langley requires medical attention herself, she has made a career of caring for others. She says her own struggle with lupus has made her a better nurse.

Read the Full Article Here

Source OA online


Battling lupus one day at a time

March 22, 2010

Even on the cloudiest of days, Susan H. Langley wears a potent sunscreen under her makeup and all over her neck. On her arms, she settles for a lighter lotion — strong enough to shield her limbs from harmful ultraviolet rays, but thin enough to avoid a pasty, conspicuous appearance.

For the past 15 years, Langley, 58, has quietly battled lupus, an incurable disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own organs and tissues. There was a time when the Odessa woman enjoyed being outdoors, but now she sees the sun — and even the fluorescent lights she works under as a nurse — as a formidable threat.

Too much exposure to sunlight tends to aggravate lupus, prompting outbreaks known as flares. Langley knows all too well about flares and the many other challenges posed by the debilitating disease. In her case, lupus has led to a long list of medical problems, including diabetes.

There are days when Langley has difficulty breathing. She copes with constant fatigue and chronic muscle and joint pain from fibromyalgia. Langley also suffers from Sjögren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes her mouth to become dry and her eyelids to stick to her eyes when she sleeps.

A few minutes into a recent interview, Langley’s husband, Ron, noticed Langley needed a drink and quickly fetched her a cup of cold water. "He’s been instrumental in making things work well here at home," Langley said of her husband. The two will celebrate their 43rd wedding anniversary this month.

With the help of a supportive family and a firm faith in God, Langley has continued working as a registered nurse despite her diagnosis. Friends and family members say she is remarkably resilient and positive, even on the most miserable days.

"She’s a very determined woman," said Gail Knous, a colleague and dear friend of Langley’s who also has lupus. "I’m not as strong as her. I don’t have that fighter instinct."

"She just keeps on," said Heather Harrison, Langley’s daughter. "She never complains."

And while Langley requires medical attention herself, she has made a career of caring for others. She says her own struggle with lupus has made her a better nurse.

Read the Full Article Here

Source OA online



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