Lupus- The Disease of 1000 Faces
Many people may have seen flyers in their mailboxes inviting all to a potluck dinner and silent auction to assist the Kemp family with medical expenses for their son, Curtis. Curtis is suffering from Lupus, a misunderstood disease, one that is commonly misdiagnosed and, due to the variation of symptoms, is extremely difficult to treat.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic, potentially fatal disease characterized by unpredictable symptoms and complications . In SLE the most common points of affliction are joints and muscles, skin, blood vessels, kidney, brain, and the membranes that surround the lung and heart. Although SLE occurs in both sexes, it is most common in women of child-bearing age although it has been reported in both extremes of life (in the very elderly and the very young).
Often referred to as ` the disease with a thousand faces', the symptoms are widely varied due to the shifting sites of inflammation and are often as different from one day to the next, as they are from one patient to another.
Curtis Kemp, who will be 30 in January, was 13 when he suddenly fell ill, losing over 25 pounds in two weeks. His mom, Betty, was horrified when doctors told her that her little boy had leukemia but, his symptoms got worse and worse, until he started to show a classic symptom of Lupus; a "butterfly rash" on his face. At this point the doctors had him admitted to Vancouver Children's Hospital. Betty says that she had never heard of the disease, but decided to just do what needed to be done for her son. "He has been quite upbeat," she says, "right up until the last two times we saw him." The symptoms are so different from day to day that the doctors just don't know what to do. It has started to affect his kidneys, and the outlook for the future is hazy. Dialysis is a real possibility. The bones in his elbows are beginning to deteriorate, and doctors are talking about elbow replacement surgery, Curtis has already had knee replacements. The medication for him is $500/month,and it's not covered by medical. "It won't make him better, but it will prevent him from getting any worse" says Betty.
In such a small community, you may be surprised to learn that Curtis is not alone, at least two other people in our town are also afflicted with Lupus. Julie Campbell and Melanie Point were gracious enough to share their stories, and to help us understand a little more about this disease.
Julie Campbell has been suffering with the disease for ten years. Her first symptoms were sores on her face and chest, doctors were quick to order tests for lupus, and Julie's diagnosis was swift. "Every day is different", she says. One day she may be swollen on one side of her face and the next day, no swelling whatsoever. Julie has also had her joints affected and she has undergone hip-replacement surgery. She was pregnant while she was fighting this disease and was worried that her baby might get it too. Doctors assured her that lupus is not passed along genetically that her baby would be perfectly fine.
It is common that people misunderstand the illness, and sometimes friends are lost. They are often uncomfortable and worried that they may "catch" it. This disease is not contagious. Lupus strikes most often during the victim's prime years between the ages of 15-44. It is a wide-spread, devastating and discriminating autoimmune disease that, for unknown reasons, causes the immune system to become hyperactive and attack the body's own tissue and organs. Lupus and other autoimmune diseases are the fourth leading cause of disability in women.
Melanie Point, was 26 when she began to notice swelling and aching joints. Her doctor sent her to the drugstore for anti-inflammatories . The Lupus began to infect her kidneys and a tube was inserted to drain the poison, her whole body swelled up and she lost a lot of weight. After being diagnosed with SLE and spending time at VGH, she says she is doing Ok right now with the aid of her medication, Prednisone,. " I just take it day by day" she says. The people around her have been pretty good, but this is not always the case for victims of Lupus. Sometimes an insensitive remark, or a reluctance to touch or visit can hurt as much as the physical ailments. The cause of lupus is not fully understood. There is no cure, but treatments with medicine, physical therapy and lifestyle adjustments can help people lead relatively normal lives . Some treatments can cause serious complications and side effects from long-term use.
If you would like to assist the Kemps with medical costs or would like to volunteer your time, please attend the dinner and auction, Oct 20th at 5pm, for info call, 604-867-9686, evenings
. He Got The Cougar By The Tail
She was the sweetheart of the Rockies
The song that you all know,
She paid us a visit on account of the deep snow
She came to North Bend at 20 below.
She came down so quietly, that nobody knew
She was here all day; looking for something to chew,
A cat or a dog, anything would do.
She made one mistake, she got into the wrong phew,
She knew Queenie was there, the dish of her choice,
But hadn't thought of Harry's ole voice!
It was about a quarter to four
Harry was having a hot Rum and more,
Just celebrating, he was 74.
Well just right now
he heard a hell of a roar, just outside the kitchen door,
The mountain girl had Queenie on the floor.
Harry said that will never do
I'll show that cat a thing or two.
He grabbed the big cat by the tail
until she let out a hell of a wail.
The dog was screaming, and the big cat spitting
Harry was a praying--------
Oh Lordy, Oh Lordy help me now
I never prayed before
If you can't help me, don't help that cat,
Queenie needs you more!
And on it went for an hour or so
The big cat wouldn't let Queenie go.
Old Harry said I can't quit now
I got into a mess, and how.
But prayers are always answered yes
Even if you're in a terrible mess.
Just then Cliff came on the scene
and said "What's all the loud noise mean?"
Now Clifford boy, the old man said
I Can't hang on much longer, I'm getting weaker all the time.
And the big cats getting stronger.
As yet he hadn't seen the mountain girl
When he did his mind went in a whirl.
He said, Old pal what can I do
To save poor Queenie girl and you.
So listen now the old man said
Nows the time we must keep our head
If we don't we'll wake up dead.
You grab that iron bar of the bed
Hit her on top of her fur hat
If you miss we are dinner for the cat.
Now Clifford was a very good boy
He did just as the old man said
He got astride the mountain girl
And hit her on the head
Both Harry and Cliff a tear did shed
When they saw the mountain girl lay dead
Now the old man could relax his hold
On the big cats tail, and behold
Queenie looked him in the eye and said
But for you and Cliff, I'd be dead,
I thank you both for the guts you had
To tap the big cat on the head
Harry said to Cliff
Let's have a Hot Rum,
Good and stiff.
And so they did, 1--2--3--4--
Then they had a couple more.
Now Clifford is a nature boy,
There's no doubt about that,
He'd rather have had that cat alive,
then put her in a mat.
The girl who loved the mountain view
She only came to dinner
Although she lost the fight, one to two,
She still became the winner.
Her hunting days are over now
But she'll always be home for dinner.
She's at the taxidermist, She'll cost a pretty penny
Irene says she'll put up the dough,
If we don't have any.
The mountain girl will be home again
About the 1st of May
All dressed up in a very, very lovely way.
And this time she'll come home to stay
Never more to roam, those mountain tops with very deep snow
Where Mother Nature said you have to go
And find a new home in the valley below.
Old Harry is still a bright "74"
And the Doc says he's good for another 20 years or more.
Cliff will have the mountain girl as a souvenir
She'll have a home in the parlour for many a year.
Now Clifford says, my turn to say
Harry we'll always celebrate this day,
With a bottle of Rum, 1--2--3-- or 4
Yes and maybe a few more,
For I'll never forget that awful wail,
When you grabbed that cougar by the tail.
Jan.23, 1969 - Harry Lee "The Mountain Poet"
On Sept. 25, during a road check, police told a lot of people to put on their seatbelts, they would like to remind us all that you are required to buckle up even if you are only travelling a short distance.
During this same road check officers seized 14 marijuana clones (cuttings) and a prohibited weapon, a switchblade type knife. A Surrey man was charged.
On Sept.22, a body was noticed in the Fraser River around Hells Gate, and the body of 37 year old Patrick Wayne Chouinard was later recovered from the water in Yale. Chouinard, of Chase, BC, was fishing in the Lillooet area when he was reported missing on Sept.14, this case is still under investigation in Lillooet.
On Oct 4, the SPCA was in the area and seized a number of dogs, under cruelty to animals. These dogs will most likely be adopted as they seem to be gentle and well-behaved. The dogs owners have not yet been located . Dog owners are being reminded to license their dogs, and keep them off the streets. Police are assuring us that vicious dogs will be dealt with, their owners are urged to keep their dogs tied up securely..
Businesses are being cautioned to be very careful when cashing third party cheques. There have been a lot of problems with fraudulent cheques The cheques are written on accounts of respected members of our community, but they are being signed and cashed by people who are not authorized. Police suggest that businesses either do not accept third party cheques or that they phone the person who owns the cheque.
Winter is on the way, and the road conditions are
quickly deteriorating. The pavement is frosty and
very slippery, especially in the mornings. Four
minor accidents have already been reported,
as a result of the slippery conditions so please
watch your speed.