Hello all. My name is Lenny. I'm a 48 yr old M. I was diagnosed with SLE 5 years ago. From all I've seen I believe that my situation is typical for someone at the 5 year mark. I have only recently felt the need to be involved with support groups. If anyone can help me get hooked up with a group on the Miss. Gulf Coast, I would appreciate it. For the first 4 years of my illness I was able to spend my time at the harbor, on my boat. Even on bad days I would find myself feeling better after going to the harbor, and whithin a short time would even feel up to working on the boat and basically just "messing about". I live in one of the towns that was hit hard and partially washed away by hurricaine Katrina. So this past year I have hardly left the house. The harbour was washed away, and I sold my boat. About a month ago my wife told me that she is going to divorce me. Soooo, 5 years suffering lupus, this past year dealing with the catastrophy, now my family splitting up. I do need to reach out to the support group.
Still, I have found so much to be thankfull for. I am constantly reminded by all of the good things that come my way, no matter how small, that everything is a gift from God. It is truly by his grace that all of my needs have been met. I only hope that you all can share the comfort in knowing that God is with you, and he will care for you.
Hi and welcome Lenny:
Wow ! you really have been hit between the eyes with reality. I am so sorry you are in such a place of struggle and reorganization in many areas of your life right now. I don't think there is any easy way to go through these kinds of losses and grief without pain and taking one day at a time and putting one foot in front of the other. Many of us here including myself have had to deal with life altering experiences both before and after dx. My thoughts, prayers and hopes for a brighter future are with you my friend.
I'm sorry I can't help you with information on a local support group as I live in Canada but I am sure others that drop in will be more valuable to you in that area. I am glad you are looking for some support at this time because it is always nice to have a real live hug and warm hand to hold when life is tough. I hope you continue to stay with us here on the forum because there are lots of caring, supportive, understanding and informative people who come here from all over the world. Although we can't give you warm fuzzies in person it it still a wonderful feeling to feel understood and belong to a group that takes the time out reach out in our time of need.
I'm sure you miss your boat terribly right now. I have a special connection to the earth and especially water. That is my refuge and my strength. I used to have a boat (many) and a beautiful summer cottage on one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Unfortunately, I too had to let it go but I forever hold in my heart the warm feeling the mere thought of that place brings to me. I continue to keep my spirit, strength and hope alive now by continuing to stay close and connected to the water. I swim, do water aerobics, and live on the river where I can feel the energy of the water that surrounds my neighborhood. There isn't anything in the world so wonderful. Peaceful yes, but also with the potential for great destruction as you have personally experienced with Katrina. How can you not respect such a powerful force?
Take care my friend and I will look forward to getting to know you better through your posts. Remember, one foot in front of the other and keep that strong faith you have in Gods presence and blessing.
Your new friend from Canada Patricia (beautifulbeluga)
I am glad that you found us and we are, indeed, a support group. I am in California, so I also cannot help you with a support group in your area. Until you find one, please come here and join us as often as you need.
I am so sorry that you are facing so many losses right now, but you are correct in saying that we all blessed with so many gifts from God! You will find that everyone here embodies a little bit of those gifts. I hope that we can provide you with comfort, support, information and acceptance. I look forward to seeing your posts and talking with you.
Peace and Blessings
Hi and welcome!
I don't know off hand of any lupus support groups in the Gulf Coast area, but so much has been destroyed, it's hard to even find information. I know there is a chapter of the Lupus Foundation in Texas - they might be able to help you locate a group in your area. If you can't find a lupus support gtoup - you might be able to find help in an arthritis support gtoup, many hospitals sponser these. Here is some contact info for LFA chapters that might have more info on the Gulf Coast situation.
Texas Gulf Coast Chapter, Houston
North Texas Chapter, Dallas
Arkansas Chapter, Hot Springs
Memphis Area Chapter, Memphis
Mid-South Chapter, Nashville
Georgia Chapter, Atlanta
Welcome new friend,
It's heart warming to know that you felt a need to reach out for support, and I assure you - this is absolutely, hands down, the great support site that I have encountered.....and there are quite a few men on this site; all of them very supportive and encouraging.
You are going through so much right now.....and as wonderful as this site is; I find that the "human touch"...and talking face to face is such a comfort. I went through a very traumatic year, last year...and I think we all are instilled with a "self preservation" mode - that kicks in when we're at that point when we realize that we can't endure life alone. I found my local support group this website (Saysusie - hope this is okay to share) and I hope that it will for you as well. You can click on "Mississippi", and then find support groups in your area. My group is not specific to lupus but for chronic illness and fibromyalgia. I hope this will provide you with a lead or two.
If I may be so bold - and share a thought or two with you - I would like to say to you - as I have shared this with so many others. When we go through these difficult times in life - at times it feels like it's "too much to bear"; there are instinctively the "why" questions - of which so many times never provides an answer. Hold on strong to your faith, God never brings you to something, without bringing you through it as well. You will get through this. Stay close to those you love, and let them love you - just as you are. I'm sure these events in your life have all been such a shock to your "life's dream" goal. I remember when my marriage could not withstand this chronic illness struggle, I was devestated. I mourned the loss of the life I had; but also with time and a whole lot of soul searching - as well as the help and guidance of exceptionally good friends. I began to understand that my companion was uncomfortable and not committed to this "everafter"; it breaks your heart. Years later, I began to understand that God has a plan for my life - and I felt so lost when I couldn't work; when my world turned upside down. But what is my calling in this life - what am I supposed to do with my life? When my doctor challenged me with switching "why" questions - with "what" statements. So I share with you - what can you do to keep yourself surrounded by supportive people; what can you do to keep peace in your life - it's not easy when someone chooses to walk out of our lives - I hope you will be able to discuss "what can we do to get through this with dignity and grace" (it is possible and you both will be so much more at peace however this turns out) - whether she chooses to stay or leave, you have to ultimately choose "to find a new dream - find out what your calling is in this life - we all have it......and most importantly make sure you take good care of yourself.
I hope you will keep connected with the people here. I can't begin to tell you how much EVERYONE here has helped me through those dark days - and doubtful moments. You will be blessed by all these caring people.
Hold on and be strong in your faith in God. You will get through this valley, and when you begin to come through the otherside - we "all" have our rainbows after the storms in our lives. Hang in there. Keep us posted and let us know how you are doing.
Welcome, Lenny! I love this group, and not a day goes by that I don't check in. We can ask questions, vent, and just get the love and understanding we need here.
My heart goes out to you for all you suffered. Katrina was horrible; I've always loved the Gulf Coast (from Texas, myself, but adore Louisiana, Alabama and Mississsipi)
Remember Job? God tested him, took everything he had, but then rewarded his faith by restoring what he had tenfold. When I feel bad about what happens to me, I think of poor Job.
I hope you visit here often, and even "move in" to our little community. It's a blessing for me.